This was an EP sent through just for review, but after a quick listen I just had to “upgrade” Trepalium to Band of the Day. It’s not just that they’re good, it’s that they’ve taken a sound that should be – at best – so weird that it’s niche and made it into something incredible listen-to-able.
That sound… is jazz death metal.
Yes, I know we have “black jazz” courtesy of Norway’s Shining, but this is a very different take on the jazz/metal fusion – more akin to Suburban Legends meets Marduk. Yes, I know. How the hell could that work? But it does.
Damballa Voodoo Doll [it was going to be Voodoo Moonshine, but apparently there was some legal issue with the name] consists of six tracks and comes out on February 9th. They’re also doing a “UK” tour (basically, they’re driving along the M4 corridor) to support it and I really wish they were heading further north as I have a feeling they’d slay it live. Given that they’ve toured twice with the mighty Gojira and also played Hellfest four times, they’ve had some practice.
Those tour dates first:
- 10/02 – London, Boston Arms Music Rooms
- 11/02 – Brighton, Prince Albert
- 12/02 – Bristol, The Louisiana
- 13/02 – Southampton, The Firehouse
- 14/02 – Cardiff, The Full Moon
And now the music… holy crap, it’s good. Imagine someone’s taken the misery of death metal and said “bugger it, let’s make this something fun that you can dance to”. It’s like coating bacon with chocolate. It just shouldn’t bloody work, yet the end result is delicious. Remember the first time you saw people square dancing to Black Sabbath at a Hayseed Dixie gig? It’s got that kind of oddball hit to it.
As hinted at by the video below and a lot of their promo photos, the feel is very 1920’s – ragtime, swing, jazz, boogie. With metal thrust through it. Opener “Moonshine Limbo” is one of the best tracks on the EP and is an instant earworm. You can’t even feel the transition from slow headbang to Charleston – it’s that smooth.
The jazz influence comes through more with the oft-improvised feel of the title track, while “Possessed by the Nightlife” has a much heavier, downtuned feel throughout.
Closer “Blowjob on the Rocks” is a great instrumental number that doesn’t feel like a song missing lyrics, just a great bit of steering-wheel thumping (I do most of my listening in the car) music.
Really, really good stuff and – a rarity these days – genuinely original.