Have you heard of Kosmograd? They’re a Post-Metal/Sludge band hailing from Toronto, ON. Perhaps you have caught them opening for Intronaut, The Ocean and Solstafir? Maybe? Truthfully, the band has not participated in any extended touring circuits and unless one is a Torontonian metalhead, Kosmograd would be relatively unknown as they remain exclusive to their local realm. However, their new EP Orbiter (2014) is a sophisticated, original listening experience that showcases considerable growth as a band and maturity as a cohesive unit. A band that has greater potential than status as “local legends.”
Post-Metal and Sludge comprise the band’s two most recognizable influences. This diversity of influence makes the band’s sound difficult to define but their Post-Metal influence has a similar bludgeoning quality to Cult of Luna. The band’s first full-length album Kosmograd (2011) features a heavier Hardcore influence this gives it a similar caustic roughness comparable to early Neurosis. Although it was both an admirable debut and enjoyable listening experience, it is hardly genre-defining. Orbiter is a drastic step-up from its primitive predecessor. It has a slow-burning, rockin’ groove that is reminiscent of Kylesa and Crowbar. Its unrestrained, primal energy carries the listener though three unique songs in the span of thirty-one minutes. Orbiter displays a turn towards cleaner production and more cohesive song-writing. Finally, it features less Hardcore elements that its predecessor and favours Sludge and Stoner Rock.
It is difficult to isolate notable tracks on Orbiter due to the strength and overall cohesive quality of the album. “Inconstant Moon” has an excellent straight-forward groove. The song progresses in a jammy, psychedelic fashion and incorporates Stoner Rock influence that fits the band’s sound effectively. It is a gritty rocking tune. The title-track “Orbiter” is the most diverse and progressive track on the EP. It begins with colossal guitar riffs and highly viciously harsh vocals; very effective. The song progresses into a spacey mid-section and ends with a drawn out sludgy jam session. Finally, “Laika” is quite the trip; it is heavily Post-Rock influenced. It begins with spacey meandering melodies and climaxes into a guttural roar. It continues to transform into another slow-burning jam and ends quietly. It is a wicked track.
Ultimately, “wicked” is the perfect word to describe Kosmograd’s latest release. I look forward to experiencing the atmospheric qualities of Orbiter in a live setting. If the band’s intent was to draw a listener to their live show, Kosmograd has surely succeeded. Recommended for fans of Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Stoner Rock, and Sludge.