ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL is a collaborativve project including Endless Floods, Greyfell and other friends between the two majestic cities of Bordeaux and Rouen. They’re simply an atmospheric Sci-Fi Sludge/Doom Metal band that seems to have found the way that many tend to lose easily. This is their debut EP and although I’m not a fan of how the name is written, I’ve become a huge fan of their effort here. Track #1 – Armure opens with a gentle chant with surrounding layers of synth that flows gently across the room, the band doesn’t get into the heavy mode till it’s 5 minutes. They then marry the heaviness that the traditional Sludge provides with beautiful esoteric loneliness that the synth offers. At 14 minutes in length this is the longest track of the EP and keeps you well within the wraps of their journey. The guitars showcase themselves with care and precision. There’s not an extra note jumping out of rhythm in this March of melancholy. They’re carefully embedded with the rhythm, sometimes mixed slightly lower but yet make their presence felt throughout. I suppose we have to talk about the drumming here, I’m not familiar with which drummer took the active role here or if both the drummers played alongside by side (does feel like that at times but I can’t be certain for sure).
What kind of drumming stands out? The one that is just right, that’s the drumming that stands out and with Age Total, it’s a measured, acknowledged and a well crafted tool that holds the songs together. But isn’t all drumming supposed to hold the music together? Well, not really, a drummer is a timekeeper and has no obligation to rest the heaviness of the band on their shoulders. In this case, the drummer gently packages the relative heaviness and synth laden atmospheric denseness and engages with the skins with a tormented grace. This is what we need and this is a fantastic performance. The vocals sound like recorded versions of echoes from Norwegian mountains, if we took all the music away and played the isolated vocals alongside a stream of freshwater in a Scandinavian forest they’d actually sound in sync. We need to talk about Track #2 – Carré, a glitchy-electro-atmospheric incantation, which is brilliantly put together. It is the suburban soundtrack to a city at night creaking with a derelict synth in the background.
This is a fantastic EP and I’m looking forward to more of their output in the future. I do sense this project potentially branching out into a power electronics zone eventually and that’d be interesting too. Track 3, the unambiguously titled ‘Metal’ is your standard heavy affair with their style of delivery and happens to be a good companion to the EP. Songs like these are to be experienced live and when well done create the gentle rhythmic aura behind a screen of lights. I genuinely hope I get to see them live someday, for today, if you’ve got some time to spare please do check them out.