Blacklab – In A Bizarre Dream (New Heavy Sounds)

Blacklab’s set was one of the most anticipated moments at this year’s Desertfest London.

It was easy to see why.

The Japanese ‘doom witch duo’ had weaved their magic with 2018’s Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0 and its follow up, 2020’s Abyss.

Drenched in fuzz, crackling with creativity, spiced up with hardcore punk, those albums turned heads.

And In A Bizarre Dream will get those heads spinning 360 degrees in a fever of Sabbathian ecstasy, fuelled by potent sludgedelics.

A carnival bizarre from Blacklab

Blacklab’s third record is a kaleidoscope of low slung tones, immense riffery and loose, punky chaos, harnessed by guitarist/vocalist Yuko Morino and drummer Chia Shiraishi.

Through the surging d-beats of Dark Clouds, the Dorrianesque Abyss Woods and the acidic sludge of Cold Rain, the Osaka act’s unique take on heavy runs free.

Even Collapse, which closes the album with a flurry of primal, proto-crossover viciousness, doesn’t sound out of place alongside Blacklab’s doomier moments.

The whole glorious, magnificent thing, just works.

Really, really well.

And thanks to Jun Morino and Wayne Adams, who produced and mixed he album respectively, In A Bizarre Dream has the sonic heft of a city stomping gojira.

The highlight? Crows, Sparrows and Cats – featuring Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier on lead vocals. The track drips with effortless, eccentric cool. Sadier is the perfect foil for Morino’s cosmic riffery. It’s a match made in avant-rock heaven. It’s one hell of a song.

But that said, In A Bizarre Dream is a real album. One that deserves to be listened to as such. It’s a rich, flowing body of work sculpted by the skilled hands of Morino and Shiraishi.

And in a world of ten a penny NOLA riffs and Electric Wizard clones, Blacklab shine brightly.