Roughly one year ago the distinctive one-man mauling machine known as Golden Bats, then located in the vicinity of Brisbane, Australia, released an album named Residual Dread, the first official full-length after more than a dozen demos, splits, and EPs dating back to 2011. As recounted in this review, it was a titanically heavy album, steeped in a kind of gothic gloom, and so haunting in its laments that it threatened to split the heart even as it was splintering bone. With both a persistently brutal punch and an emotionally devastating conveyance of grief and pain, the music repeatedly hit home with staggering force on multiple levels. The songs were mainly slow or mid-paced, and relatively simple in their composition, but the music was tuned like a Stradivarius of suffering, supremely well-calculated to deliver punishment with tremendous primal force, and the songs so well-written that they were very hard to forget.
Since then, Golden Bats‘ alter ego Geordie Stafford has moved to Rome, Italy (just a couple of months ago), and is nearing completion of a follow-up album. In the meantime, he has decided to release some of his older but previously un-released creations, the first of which we’re premiering today. Denominated VII, to place it in line with a sequence of earlier demos, it includes four tracks, two of which are covers, and all of which again demonstrate the crushing power and mind-bending, emotionally wrenching impact of Golden Bats‘ formulation of sludge.