“Tel” is a Hebrew term which describes a civilization breaking itself down and building over its mound – a term that sums up a band whose music breaks down the boundaries that separate the sub-genres of metal and builds itself into an eclectic mix of elements. The band formed in 2016, reigning from Richmond, Virginia; the land where the likes of Windhand, Cough, and Inter Arma have made themselves known. Each of the four band members set out to explore his own creative freedom and bring his own influences to the table, creating an unusual blend of hypnotic clean male vocals, intricate guitar leads, thick bass grooves, and hectic drumming. A three-track demo of raw and atmospheric sounding sludge/doom was unleashed, and a handful of intense live shows were played around town, before a lineup change and some personal struggles slowed progress down for a while. However, inspiration never ran dry, and the four piece continued to experiment and write more material, leading to the creation of their first album. Lowlife was recorded on a hot weekend in early September by Garrett Morris (the guitarist of Windhand, who has also recorded for the likes of Cough, Bat, and Electric Wizard) and mastered by Dan Randall of Mammoth Sound Recordings (known for his work for bands such as Iron Reagan, Ghoul, Cannabis Corpse, and many others). The debut album consists of five songs that bridge the gaps between the spacious doom of Yob, the raw sludge of Acid Bath, the progressive tendencies of Mastodon, and the sorrowful atmosphere of Katatonia. The bleak melodies, personal lyrics, and ominous artwork portray true stories of genuine hardship, allowing the music to serve as a cathartic experience for its songwriters and for the listeners who can relate to it.
Read our review here.