Ølten – Ambiance

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label [URL] Hummus Records
Released: 2018
Buy Album [URL] https://olten.bandcamp.com/album/ambiance
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/oltenband/


Band line-up:

Christophe Macquat – Guitar and Synth
Marc Theurillat – Drums
Sébastien Bandelier – Bass


1. Igelkott
2. Raus
3. Klark
4. Lied
5. Gover
6. Sludge
7. Popoutro
8. Pope


Sludge Metal is a genre I’ve been familiar with for a long time but never really stepped over the threshold into its inner sanctum; in other words, it’s a genre I like and respect but could never get hooked the same way I have with others. Nonetheless, in doing this job I do get sent the odd band who do perk up my interests and fire my inner curiosity to seek out the huge world of music that is forever expanding in realms I’ve never set foot in.

By this I refer to a band from Switzerland: Ølten, whom I assumed were Scandinavian until I read the press release, but they proved me wrong both in identity and musicianship. At first, I felt this was going to be another boring and predictable Stoner record, but this band began with a chilling intro that edges deeper and deeper into the psyche to show just what it’s like to be slipping into madness and ecstasy, most likely due to a binge on numerous narcotics.

The psychedelics of drug influences are all here and the crisp fidelity of the cymbals and snare make you feel like your brain is being beaten with psychic hammers, as you delve deeper into a world best described as a flowing void of colour and wonderment. It should be noted this album is entirely instrumental and I tip my hat to them for again getting me fascinated with instrumental Metal releases.

Ølten is described as Post-Sludge, so I was not surprised when I saw the song lengths, for Sludge tends to be long and outstretched in length and ability. Adding in progressions and extended talents on the guitars and drums have its ‘post’ element, so this is something you’d dig if you love your Post-Punk or Stoner Doom music with extra riffs or solos that make you feel you’ve fallen into a void of anxiety and curiosity. Add this album to your collection if that’s where you get your kicks.

Review by Demitri Levantis