Pombagira - 2013 - Maleficia Lamiah (Review)

British psych-doomsters Pombagira are back with next full- ength release "Maleficia Lamiah", which I was eagerly anticipating after their previous effort “Iconoclast Dream” proved to be one of the thickest and heaviest releases the world of doom had ever seen. So much was I blown away by it that I can hardly count how many hookahs –smoking evenings had I enjoyed with its tunes chosen as a soundtrack. Not only was it the heaviest stuff the band had ever released, but also something which could easily send Electric Wizard and Lazarus Blackstar in the rearview mirror in terms of heaviness and sound.

However, times have changed as the tunes dominating their next opus are not even near close to what made the Iconoclast Dream so great. Maleficia Lamiah is their fifth full-length album and is composed entirely of two songs: the titular track and the swirling expanse of “Grave Cardinal”. From the very first riff it becomes apparent that UK-based duo has delved deeper into psychedelia and experimentation leaving the plodding doom goodness on the back seat. Gone are 5-minute long heavy –as – hell downtempo interludes and Sleep-like stoned-out riff–fests. Instead, Pombagira takes completely different approach here bombarding the listener with subtle layers of psychedelic tunes which occasionally give way to crushing riff pressure. Rather than bludgeoning with brute force, they deliver heaviness piece by piece, building the songs layer by layer. Some pieces of the songs are set against drone backdrop, while others have a distinct touch of improvisation to them. All this is delivered with raw and apparently feedbacked sound which conjures images of nuked wasteland infested with the ghost of those who were wiped out in the wake of immediate apocalypse. Yes, the album retains a very bleak and unsettling mood with the nearest comparison probably being US Flood’s “Native”. Sound like a good package for amazing psychedelic doom record with a lot to discover and explore with each new subsequent listen but the painful reality is that all this sounds inconsistent and out of place. Take US Flood’s native album as an example of what Pombagira could have achieved with the direction they had chosen, but what we have is nearly 40 minutes of psychedelic mess with almost nothing to reward more careful listening. I hope that next time British doomster will take all these into deep consideration and will not draw the bow before the arrow is fixed.
(Reviewed by Den)

+Vic Singh who infamously photographed Pink Floyd In 1966 for the Piper At The Gates Of Dawn album was enlisted for this album to take a new set of press photos, and the results are mesmeric and splendid. This is what Vic has to say about Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Maleficia Lamiah.

"I was approached by The Pink Floyd a new and comparatively unknown band in 1967 to take the album cover photo for 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn'. The concept for the cover was left up to me, listening to The Piper for the first time surprised me, it was completely original, a complete break from the popular 60's sounds,  which we were all brain-washed into. The concept for the Piper cover photo remained mysterious for a while, finally I decided to use a prism lens which had been lying around in the studio and had never been used by me before.

Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Maleficia Lamiah have similarities.

Listening to Maleficia Lamiah for the first time I got a similar vibe as with The Piper of originality and the resolve to do something different, creating progression rather than repetition and stagnation.

Just two examples are attached, but there are plenty more where they came from and with exclusives set aside also.

+The LP version is limited to 500 copies will be available for pre-order at www.blackaxisrec.co.uk from 5 Feb. This version will contain three extra bonus tracks.

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