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Brlabl — Wounderland Award winner

by Shea Higgerson at 25 July 2021, 10:29 AM

"Wounderland" from death doom rockers BRLABL is perfectly strange and intensely heavy in all the right ways. It’s a fantastic blend of stoner, death metal, doom, sludge, and deathcore — and it’s a banger from beginning to end.From the first song “Welcome” it was clear this would be one weird trip of an album, but the cool kind of weird. This one begins as if a ringmaster is welcoming you into the circus or the freakshow with a “come one, come all” type of invitation, and you know you’re about to be in for quite a peculiar experience. It’s sing-songy with circus-inspired background music at first, then suddenly hits with gnarly doom vocals and heavy guitars and drums offering up a taste of what the whole album will be. It’s the perfect intro song.

One thing I really love about this album is how experimental the band is with different sounds, while still retaining the heaviness I like about them. A good example of this is the song “Good Buy” where the backing vocals they use in the chorus behind the growls kind of remind me of something more along the lines of post-hardcore. They use a lot of spoken word type vocal sections, as well, but it never makes things feel less intense. This song in particular and the next one “Whatever” have parts that make me think of bands like THE NUMBER TWELVE LOOKS LIKE YOU, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE, and SKY EATS AIRPLANE — something a little more -core and extremely experimental with the sound. I love how every song seems to have some completely new element and includes instrumental and vocal experimentations each their own. It gets quite weird and if you’re not into experimental wackiness, you won’t enjoy this despite the heavy. It’s definitely doom laced with something. What is even more impressive is how they manage to tie all of this seemingly chaotic sound into one cohesive album.

Not to be outdone, the last song “All is in Wounderland” ends the album as perfectly as the intro began it. I particularly enjoy the chillvibe riffs and drum beats BRLABL tends to use that add a menacing aura right before they go into something especially heavy. This song makes you feel like “OK I’ve finally made it out of the funhouse maze, out of "Wounderland"… but I kind of want to go back. To sum it up, I couldn’t get enough of this album, and I’ll definitely be giving it many more listens. This will be one of the best doom albums of the year, no doubt.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Welcome
2. Everything Wants to Grow
3. Survive or Die
4. The World is Going Down
5. Good Buy
6. Whatever
7. We Are Here
8. Stone Away
9. Superstar
10. Ways of Words From Big Haha Into a Gaga World
11. Top
12. All is in Wounderland
Roman Zimmerhackel – Vocals
Marcus Pretzl – Guitar
Florian Jäger – Bass
Uwe Seiler – Drums
Record Label: Kernkraftritter Records


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Edited 09 June 2023

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