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Quick Review: FLOOR Oblation

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Oblation – noun \ə-ˈblā-shən, ō-\ – defined as "to make a religious offering or an offering of devotion", in this case the first new release from Floor in a decade offered to the masses as a sacrificial carcass on the altar of doom.  Many of the devout believers at the chapel of heavy music will place Floor and its main collaborator Steve Brooks at the head end of the doom/stoner metal hierarchy, yet the likelihood that most recognize their sound from this particular band is not as likely as their poppier alter egos that became Torche in 2004.

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With Brooks being the patriarch of both projects, the comparison cannot be ignored; in fact it has to be addressed due to the unique style of Brooks’ voice and signature guitar sound, that fuzzy and crisp attack he has become known for in Torche, which began in 2002 with Floor’s self titled debut record. As quickly as Floor created something different from anything in recent memory, they were dissolved; releasing a rehashed set of recordings in 2004, it wasn’t until 2010 that the band came back together to begin something new.

In that decade Torche have released two critically acclaimed albums, and suddenly drew a whole new group of people to discover Brooks’ previous work which has an uncanny similarity. Oblation offers more of the same well polished, two guitar, weighty sound… precise and deliberate, formed but somehow unhinged.  The clearest distinction between the two projects is their song structure, Torche a more traditional pop/hook driven set up, while Floor sacrifices that sensibility for self indulgent riffs with an occasional jaunt into the experimental.

This album will be difficult to ignore as a piece of genre history, but also because there can be no question about its simple beauty and power it possesses in its mostly short arrangements. Unmistakable powerful tracks like “Sign of Aeth” and “War Party” play well with other interesting uses of lighter tones, ie. the arrangement of “Homecomings and Transitions”, creating an album that no doubt will be talked about all year. Oblation will be released on Seasons of Mist April 29th. 

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