Highgate - Self Titled [Total Rust - 2008]Highgate are a 3 piece doom project from Kentucky USA and this self titled album is their first grim sonic vomit onto the world at large. The albums made up of one long 54 minute track that for the most part makes an impressive, inventive and rewardingly grim apocalyptic doom listening.
It all starts off with a mid-pace quite harmonic yet bleak riff march and a dialogue sample about nuclear bomb fall-out, before one of the bands two vocalist roars in with sandpapered growl sounding quite Alan Dubin like(Khanate ect) as the riff continues to move simply yet effectively from one downturend chug to another. At about the 5 minute mark the riff takes on a more marching feel as the singer details melted landscapes and the aftermath of a bomb fall. Before it drops into some gloomy and tumbleweed weed blowing bass tone wondering with some simple effect peddle oscillating guitar tone and the singer once more droping in with pained bloody throat tones- making a most effective windswept atmosphere like walking through the after math of the bomb drop, which is nicely intensifies when they drop down into feedback whines and wind like textures at the 14 minute mark.
And for the rest of the track it crawls, chugs and even goes up to a quite speedy black metal type pace and vocal attack at points too. The only let down to the whole thing for me is towards the end when the band throw in an up-beat indie goth rock riff which they seem to repeat again and again for the last 10 minutes or so. It just rather cheapens the apocalyptic atmosphere they created before hand.
Anyway an impressive and promising opening shot which has some heavy Khanate mimicking going on vocally and a bit of amateurish atmosphere making here and there. But there’s enough original and creative twists to make this worthwhile and rewarding to fans of long form doom work-outs.Roger Batty