Wheel Of Doom – Ladiatia

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

It won’t surprise you to learn that this Japanese five-piece play down-tuned, ultra-heavy sludge metal of the kind that Neurosis, Iron Monkey and next-gen bands like Raging Speedhorn have made (almost) popular.

However, where Wheel Of Doom differ is in the interplay between light and dark, quiet and damn heavy. Vocalist Shinn Kadokura spends as much time singing in clean, melodic tones as he does screaming in gut-wrenching subsonic bass, a Fear Factory-style duality of vocal that on FLOAT evokes the artiness of former Faith No More singer Chuck Mosely.

With occasions of genuine beauty (the pastoral opener BASSUQIO, reprised in closer INTO YOUR VOICES) combined with lyrics based on oriental philosophy (not that you’d know…), this debut mini-album has enough impressive shifts in time signature and changes of mood to mark Wheel Of Doom as a band to watch.

5 stars