When discussing stoner metal we often throw out terms that in normal life are reserved for use by workplace bosses complaining about slackers, but lackadaisical paces and relaxed energies are elements that just work amongst sun-drenched riffs and languorous grooves – finally, a realm for the Big Lebowski’s of the world to call home. And yet, the new album from South Africa’s Ruff Majik boasts all the hallmarks of the genre whilst simultaneously thriving off an energy that’s fun and vivacious despite always oozing in fuzz think enough to pack out your bong. You know, the big one you bring out on special occasions.
Tårn takes the best parts of the genre’s storied history and coalesces them into one cohesive sound. Finding a happy medium between heaviness and accessibility, it borrows heavily from both the lively grooves of early Queens Of The Stone Age and the desert-soaked languid rhythms of Kyuss, though not without also paying homage to the delightfully dark and doomy riffs of Black Sabbath. Its undoubtedly more streamlined than its 2018 predecessor Seasons. If that album was the band experimenting to see what worked, Tårn sees the band double-down on what they do best, emerging with an intoxicating offering of necromantic stoner doom that’s familiar but still sees the band carve out their own niche.
Tight and well-executed, Tårn sees Ruff Majik hone their arsenal until only the most effective weapons are left. A bewitching album built on the foundations of good songwriting, otherworldly vocals, loose grooves and a fuzz dial turned up to eleven, Tårn is well worth any doom fans’ time.
Tårn is out May 3rd on Lay Bare Recordings. Purchase here.
Words: George Parr