Who would have thought that one day a founding member of Napalm Death would create something so pleasant?
Despite its tough metal title, “Conqueror” is actually comparatively subdued next to the bone-crushing weight of the debut album and the wide open production of the “Silver” EP. Its lightness has less to do with any significant compositional choices and more to do with its softer production, though the songs are a little sparser and often catchier, leaning closer to the warmth of shoegaze and dream pop than the cold, plodding heaviness of industrial doom.
There are more vocals and songs contain actual choruses, though they’re still winding epic affairs, perhaps more psychedelic and drug-friendly than in the past. Consider the inspired “Mother Earth.” The core of the song is recognizably doom metal, but the watery synths and waves of reverb and feedback, not to mention the dreamy lyrics, are pure acid-dropping granola-hippie ecstasy, but in a good way! It’s the heaviest head music outside of Japan.
“Mother Earth” is the best example, but every song on the album virtually pours over the listener, forming a warm, inviting cocoon of distortion and love. Justin Broadrick might take exception, but this is very agreeable, very agreeable indeed.
01 – Conqueror
02 – Old Year
03 – Transfigure
04 – Weightless & Horizontal
05 – Medicine
06 – Brighteyes
07 – Mother Earth
08 – Stanlow