Sound Advice: I, by Olde
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Sound Advice: I, by Olde

The Toronto heavy music veterans in Olde come together to make some exceptionally textured doom.

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So apparently, for Sound Advice (at least as far as our aggressive music selections go) we’ve started a new thing where we only feature records with amazing album art. Today’s example is the debut full-length I from sludge-heavy doomsters Olde. As you can see, the art in question features a naked woman with extremely sharp teeth (is she a vampire? an early-stage-transformation werewolf?) holding a rough spear and riding a grizzly bear. While it’s no wang-i-corn, there’s no doubt that this cover is majestic as hell.

Happily, the music more than matches the record’s exceptional presentation and packaging. The riffs are like huge tar pits, heavy as the hearts of stars. The distortion is massive but unexpectedly, wickedly clever, allowing for brief moments of clarity in all the filth and sludge. The sheer scale and weight of the sound captured here speaks to guitarist/producer Greg Dawson’s experience and intelligence, creating many surprising moments and an overall sense of narrative cohesion while never compromising the record’s force and muscularity.

The song structures of I are familiar in all the right ways, from the well-worn grooves of “Flies” to the surging energy of “Rise Before the Fall,” which gesture toward Crowbar, Pantera, and Down through their infectious and satisfying writing. Featuring members of Sons of Otis, Jaww, and Moneen, Olde has a strong sense of history and knows how to write music that hooks like a harpoon. It’s the extraordinary tones and textures of I, however, that set it apart—and make it an exceptionally strong piece of doom with which to close out the heavy-metal year.

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