Review: Mohammad - Lamnè Gastama

Mohammad - Lamne GastamaMohammad always sound like they’re sawing a gigantic tree down, pressing all of their bodily muscle into the motion back and forth. It’s part of the reason Lamnè Gastama bares down on me so heavily – where the guitars of other bands are strummed and then relieved to resonate by themselves, the contrabass and cello of Mohammad are under a continuous tectonic friction. The earthquake is always happening. Each chord change resembles the mantle fracture snaking in a different direction, announcing itself through the unholy scrape of the bow cranking into sudden reverse; a constant devouring of land matter, an agonising process of prising open.

“Hapsia” is the trio’s first ever vocal track, with Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ) rasping as the strings wrap around him like ivy; tightening, twisting, reducing the deathly chord progression into a ball of black matter knots. The sense of constriction has never been stronger, and it only intensifies as the group lurch toward the closing 17-minute piece: a low synthesiser drone that hangs like a lead weight in the corner of my stomach, sprouting into a blackened plant of splintering contrabass stems, gungy slugs of overtone and palpitating bow noise, dragging at the inside of my body until I cave in. Mohammad chew away at my internal organs and then work outward, with the shrieks of attack sounding like molars poking up through my skin.