Expect big things from this band. The midland’s Conjurer take the positives from a heap of genres and combine them to make one snarling, progressive, and at times almost terrifyingly heavy metal sound. Their debut record The Mire puts them firmly on the track to success and is a bewilderingly polished attempt from a band still in their infancy.
In truth, you find out everything you need to know about the quartet within the first two and a half minutes of album opener ‘Choke’. Slow, heaving riffs build their way into an explosion of pace and growls leaving you in a vast space with guitar lines and drum fills hurling themselves at you from almost every direction.
With a style somewhat akin to the 100mph mathcore/hardcore sound that Employed To Serve seem to have perfected so well; Conjurer rarely give you time to gather your thoughts throughout The Mire, and even in its less hyper-tense moments you’re still waiting for the chaos to resume. As you’d expect from extreme prog metal – the record is musical ping-pong between a steady climb and a rapid descent, and it rarely dips below captivating.
Stretching a hardcore style into 7 minute+ songs is an unenviable task, yet Conjurer consistently pull this off with spitfire turns of pace and shots across the bow. Tracks like ‘Thankless’ and ‘Of Flesh Weaker Than Ash’ carry an aura of unpredictability that keeps them so potent, whether it’s the occasional drop into a black metal style vocal or quick transition into screeching guitar rips; Conjurer utilises their time with aplomb.
It’s the scorching culmination of sounds that the metallers produce which stands out as the shining element of the album though. The kitchen sink is consistently thrown at you, but you’re always able to dissect each particle and truly consume it. This works most prominently for drummer Jan Krause whose snare sound will leave you feeling like you’ve been left with a hole in your head, and in a record flowing with inescapable brutality; it’s Krause who leaves the longest lasting impression of power.
Shorter efforts on the record such as the title track and ‘Retch’ showcase Conjurer’s ability to condense their heads to the wall style metal into something a little more succinct and snapping, but it’s the longer tracks on the album which really arouse the brightest spark.
‘The Mire’ is seven tracks of prog metal that takes you in almost every direction conceivable, it manages to sit in that middle ground between jagged and polished – and often feels like a true spectacle. Admittedly your patience and attention span is going to need to be quite lengthy to draw the most out of the record, but if you stick with it; you’ll find yourself an extreme prog metal band that seems destined for genre-wide acclaim.