Garganjua – A Voyage In Solitude


Review by Gary Cordwell

Release date: 29 January 2016

Honestly, it’s best not to trust us guys when we tell you that size doesn’t matter. It does. Especially in the world of rock. We like things big…guitars, volume, presentation, hair! East Midlands 4-piece Garganjua understand this (it’s even in their name) and their debut LP, ‘A Voyage In Solitude’ has bigness writ large all over it – a full length album of only four songs. Four long, twisty, earnest, powerful songs. This is…heavy.

Things start with a brief, strummed intro and thence unto the sludge! The addition of a second guitarist pays off big time, this sounds immense! An all-encompassing, huge rumbling doominess, a landslide of sound. There is Cookie Monster growling amidst the onslaught of this megalithic soundscape. Occasionally the noise drops away for a second before roaring back and the effect is dizzying. Finally it sludges out into a morass of feedback and tom-toms until another mega-fuzzed and soporific riff emerges from the swamp.

It’s not all pummell though. Yes, ‘Isolation’ has a humongous, Sabbath-slowed-down-and-blasted-through-a-wall-of-damaged-amps riff that will rattle your fillings loose but it occasionally drifts off into melodic moments of reverie, of harmony guitar, echoey near ambience but don’t think about pouring a drink and putting your feet up because the sludge is never far away, it lumbers back like some cruel and bizarre horror movie genetic abberation – Ed Geins blackened soul transplanted into some deformed, enormous erm..sloth/chinchilla type….thing.

This seems to be the bands forte – this seemless transition between the Yin of crushing doominess and the Yang of almost post-rock melody and they pull it of brilliantly. It adds incredible emotional power and heft to the already present volume and distortion.

The high point has to be the title track. It’s huge (sorry, I’ve run out of size adjectives). Ageless and timeless, it just exists. Again, it switches between one chord bludgeon and almost proggy moments of gentle (Ok, not gentle) tunefulness. But despite that, this is pure Doom – crushing and oppressive. You know that scene in ‘Conan The Barbarian’, where Arnie is tethered to the huge wheel. Pushing it slowly, steadily, around in circles. For years. On his own. Well, this should have been playing in the background, Trust me, I know things, Conan would have been a Doom-head!

Eventually it all ends and your are left feeling drained, but in a good way. You feel as though you’ve been on an epic journey, a quest. Not quite sure where to or how or why but it’s powerful stuff. recommended.

7 out of 10garganjua

Track Listing:

  1. Witch Hoarder
  2. Isolation
  3. A Voyage In Solitude
  4. Extinction