Gloomball – The Distance

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Review by Robert Baker

Warning: This album is NOT for you if you own any of the following;

  1. Anything purchased from Primark
  2. See 1.

There’s no room for hipsters trying to gain credibility through consumerism or some half-baked attempt at social-group kudos through wearing an AC/DC t-shirt bedecked in sequins here. However, should that description fit almost as well as that shirt that says ‘Geek’ you bought, at least now you have an excuse for owning those pair of Beats headphones*. Not that you’ll be needing them, mind you, as Gloomball have managed to produce an album of such intensity and outright musical muscle in their release The Distance as to demand only a full set of speakers and uncluttered volume dial that was nailed in the  ‘ten’ position and the knob broken off.

Hailing from Germany and describing themselves as a band with no musical taboos Gloomball indulge us to twelve tracks of musical creativity that mix so many nuances and elements of differing genres the self-bestowed ‘alternative metal’ title seems barely capable of beginning to describe sufficiently.

‘Overcome’ opens both the album and your ears with a deceptively restrained, far-off playing of instruments that almost has you wondering if the mp3 is scratched that suddenly launches into the intro-proper,  the old switch-and-bait magnificently unseating you and drawing you in to an overwhelming introduction that certainly grabs your attention.

But this is no one-trick pony filling to worry the quality of content here, with the fifth track on the album ‘More and More’ seemingly placed there in silent acknowledgement to our own personal thoughts as we begin to sink our teeth further in.

And to close, Gloomball serve a singular piece of piano and vocals confection, ‘Living With My Tender Pain’ offering us a more thoughtful course to ruminate upon, a more emotionally fragile and darker, impassioned song of such depth and brevity that matches if not equals the unexpected opening of the album for being able to stop you in your tracks, leave you wordless as you listen and become overwhelmed by the atmosphere created by frontman Alen Ljubic’s vocals.

With a sound that begs for a stage to be performed upon and clear versatility when it comes to song composition Gloomball have the perfect meal sized appetizer for their future career with The Darkness, their road-map a blank page with the word ‘Anywhere’ writ large in the middle ensuring that whilst we may be in wonder of what their latest release may sound like, we will certainly be hungry and queuing up, forks very much at the ready.

*Unless they are pink and you are a male – it isn’t ‘ironic’ if you simply look a dick, y’know.

260842-Digipak8 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Overcome
  2. Burning Gasoline
  3. The Distance
  4. Blown Away And Gone
  5. More And More
  6. No Easy Way Out
  7. Bitter Place
  8. Long Time Gone
  9. We Do Belong
  10. Your Sorrow Inside Me
  11. Hand In Blood
  12. Living With My Tender Pain