Conjurer shouldn’t sound this composed. Ok, so maybe composed isn’t the right word- the York five-piece thrash and gnarl at the lines between sludge, doom, and death metal like a feral bear at belly flesh. But ‘Mire’ is only the band’s debut full-length, and it constantly and consistently belies their youth and inexperience. Opener ‘Choke’ is a landslide of increasing speed and intensity (drummer Jan Krause puts in a frankly ridiculous shift throughout the record), but ‘Hollow’ mixes in glinting, hypnotic guitars and a creeping, impressively restrained darkness, and the brief but brilliant clean vocals in ‘Thankless’ add essential texture and depth. Cult of Luna are obviously a strong influence, but the screamed vocals and shapeshifting riffs remind me of the much-missed Johnny Truant too. Even better, some parts of ‘Mire’ sound terrifically original. This record should instantly elevate Conjurer to the top of the UK metal scene. What they do next could shake up the world.

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