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Laudanum - The Coronation (Cover Artwork)

Laudanum

Laudanum: The CoronationThe Coronation (2009)
20 Buck Spin

Reviewer Rating: 2


Contributed by: GlassPipeMurderGlassPipeMurder
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"Any press is good press." That may be the reasoning over at 20 Buck Spin, where despite my known lack of interest in blackened doom, drone and all associated styles, their releases just keep showing up in my mailbox. Of course, it's not all about me. My approach to reviewing has always been t.
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"Any press is good press."

That may be the reasoning over at 20 Buck Spin, where despite my known lack of interest in blackened doom, drone and all associated styles, their releases just keep showing up in my mailbox.

Of course, it's not all about me. My approach to reviewing has always been to write for the reader more than to impose a personal opinion, but in this case the two paths probably arrive at the same destination. If you're a regular, active user on Punknews.org, chances are slim this is going to be an album you seek out. If you're reading this only because you Googled "Laudanum - The Coronotion" or something similar, chances are you already have an interest in this, and therefore it may very well be to your liking. But again, this review isn't for you.

Granted, there is a small minority of hardcore kids who don't mind sludgy, repetitive noise and they might be the most likely significant demographic of readership to have an interest in Laudanum. After all, the one-sheet's RIYL does drop names like the Melvins and Throbbing Gristle that have the history and panache to reach a broader appeal. But The Coronation is still pretty much a niche sound.

The first five minutes of the record are essentially white noise. The album is 50 minutes long. So they've already spent 10% of the disc space leading up to the wall of sound, a slow, sloshing doom progression. Part-time vocalist Becky Hawk (how's that for a metal name?) has a nice, snotty, almost punk delivery that warms things up for alternate male vocals that hit like a sledgehammer.

But directly following the heavy onslaught of "Invoke" is another five minutes of "buildup" (i.e. droning tedium) during "In Obscura," raising the portion of noise to one-fifth the whole disc. The band continues the cycle of several minutes of chords and rhythm followed by five minutes of drone through "Wooden Horse" and "Autumn Horse" before making decent use of the eight minutes "The Last Sleep" demands. The final track "Apotheosis" is a fairly reasonable summation of the album: an 11-minute composition with eight-and-a-half minutes of monotonous buzzing that spends the next three sludging over a few chords with no vocals to break up the ennui.

And it's really a shame Laudanum didn't inject more vocals into The Coronation. Substantial vocal sections only appear on two out of the seven tracks, and of those, "Invoke" is really the only one that commands the attention of the listener. While there's surely an audience for this type of endeavor, it's probably not from around these parts.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thus_spoke_sean (July 20, 2010)

@GPM, you should stop reviewing this stuff. You admit that you don't like it the genre. It is tough to understand a music that you completely have no interest in. As someone who likes this kind of stuff, your reviews are just bad. Not to say that YOUR reviews are bad, I like your take and choice in punk, but these doom-y records you have been reviewing....just no, just stop.

wallofyouth (July 19, 2010)

sounds pretty okay to me

contrastattitude (July 19, 2010)

Couple of points:

It's pretty clear that the reviewer got the CD version of this album, which I think changes the overall listening experience. This record also comes on a double LP, and each of the four sides has a long intro-noise section and then one song that follows. While you could plow through all four sides in one sitting, the record works easily as well if you choose just to play one side at a time.

If anyone cares, this band shares members with Brainoil, Graves at Sea and the late/great Dystopia. If you happen to be into any of those aforementioned bands, you may dig Laudanum.

-Ken

Mystereohasmono (July 16, 2010)

And the winner for worst album art of 2010 goes to..

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