"After honing their sound over several years of solid gigging, which includes a spot opening the 2022 Supernormal festival, Lo Egin have crafted an album of elemental force. Volumancer is a modern doom tome in which thrashings of drums, bass and guitar find kindred spirits in larynx-shredding vocals and lamenting horn arrangements, delivered on trombone and saxophone.
There is a solemn beauty to the manner in which the brass knot around one another on opener ‘Accursed Land’, one that is augmented by the grizzly slouch of the groove. The ramshackle majesty of Lo Egin’s noise is only accentuated when the instruments fall back in gall at a curdling scream.
On ‘Arise’, we find a wickedly supple riff made caustic by the trombone and saxophone. The skronk and hiss that serrates the song’s opening section peels off into dubbed-out delays and squalls of feedback, with all parties redoubling their efforts at its bludgeoning climax. Those who found fire in The Bug & Earth’s collaborative ‘Concrete Desert’ album should seek further heat here.
After the slowly cresting rhythms of the first two joints, Volumancer enters a more impressionistic sphere with third cut ‘Insomnia’. The track begins with a heralding ambience which sounds not unlike a horn heard across a valley. From this pregnant drone emerges possibly the album’s most arresting guitar riff, a slow arpeggiated thing of ominous poetry that leads Lo Egin’s charge towards another crushing climax.
‘The Things His Highness Overlooked’ is a similarly slow bloom, the cautious interplay of trombone and sax not shackled by some mighty work from the rhythm section until well past the three-minute mark. Anchored around further lacerated vocals, this mid-section soon heralds a third phase of deceptively tight interplay in which the band deliver some of Volumancer’s most impressive harmonic work.
Unapologetically stern, full of portent and omen, Volumancer skirts close to the abyss throughout. However, it is not until the closing title-track that the album fully submits. ‘Volumancer’ is a sort of perpetual motion machine in reverse, a track which begins syrup-slow and somehow only gets slower. Drowning themselves in scourges of distortion and horn skronk, Lo Egin’s vocalist yells at (or is it from?) the deep. “Please”, we hear them beg, sinking into a quicksand of feedback. The music gives no quarter, sucking singer and listener under to close out an album which has been slouching towards Bethlehem from its first bar."