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Lurk is a Finnish doom band with elements of sludge, death, and black metal. They have an awesome logo, and an awesome sound to go with it. It's a little tough to pin down an exact reductivist formula to describe them. There are resemblances to a much slower version of Withered. But the strongest resemblance is to Triptykon's rage-filled, powerful doom. The comparison is especially apt considering the vocals, which have more than a little Tom Warrior's visceral, bellowing snarl. Check album closer "Deliverance", with its occasional wordless grunt.
I would be more than willing to call the vocals the main selling point here, but the music is excellent as well. The production is cold and natural, with just the slightest hint that there was an echo in the room--almost as if they were recording in that Giger-esque cave depicted on the cover. The heavy riffs have all the forcefulness and groove of Triptykon (see especially "Fire the Blood Sky"), and are nearly as eerie with their mid-range lead riffs. No, they don't have the incredible string-bending and total mastery of dissonance, but this is a debut.
Restrained experimentation is also present, with some odd distortion here and subdued synths there. That's key to any Triptykon comparison. It's not nearly as multi-dimensional, and lacks some of the subtlety of the incredible Swiss band. It's not really fair to make a comparison between a genuine debut and the work of an accomplished and universally-lauded brilliant musician like Warrior. But Lurk has more than enough interest to last the full 36 minutes without getting dull. And after all is said and done, it's the bangable, chest-beating, intense riffs that are most important, and Lurk have that in spades.
The Verdict: Lurk is an impressive debut that will have you banging your head and yelling along. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.