The Land Of Rah fulfill their far-reaching sonic vision on their debut album
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The Land Of Rah fulfill their far-reaching sonic vision on their debut album

We’ve spent the past few weeks singing the praises of Sydney’s The Land Of Rah. Throughout the first half of this year, the collective have released a series of singles, steadily building their ambitious sonic vision. We knew they were building up to something big, but we weren’t expecting this.

Today, the group have unleashed their debut album, An Ancient Evil & A Huge Pumpkin; a 2-hour, 35-song labyrinth of musical madness. Entering such a mountainous record may seem daunting, but rest assured dear reader, this thing is a thoroughly enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

The Land Of Rah have unleashed their debut full-length album, An Ancient Evil & A Huge Pumpkin. Hold onto your hats.

An Ancient Evil & A Huge Pumpkin is a wild, medieval, Lord Of The Rings-style journey, but what separates The Land Of Rah from many others making music in a similar vein is their ability to take the piss out of themselves. Take the album’s opening track for instance. Titled Grindelhaub, The Canuka, Hësting and Hykinthea, the spoken-word track sets the scene for the rest of the album, but only after each contributing character battles through a few bursts of laughter.

The album’s next three tracks flaunt dispersed spoken-word sections before Valenfall provides our first “song”… in the traditional sense, at least. From here, the three songs that makeup what I’ll call the Slylys section of the album, provide some of the record’s most exciting and unexpected sounds. Here, The Land Of Rah venture through dark, hip-hop, and electronic-inspired sounds, creating an immersive and gloomy soundscape.

On Lizard Town Low Down, the group revisit some of these more hip-hop-inspired sounds in a lighter setting. This song is driven by an upbeat groove, and is undeniably infectious. Right when you think you’ve heard every possible avenue this record is willing to go, The Many Horrors of Scoverdal Pass emerges, assaulting you with abrasive electronic textures.

Arevil’s Gardens (Rip) is a standout track, incorporating neo-jazz and space-rock vibes. And here we reach the final stretch. After the pulsating pummeling of Ancaurung’s Lair, which acts as a sort of dramatic climax, the album ends with End. On this final track, the team of explorers celebrate their victory in song.

Granted, getting to this point will take two hours out of your day. But it’s well worth it. The Land Of Rah are one of the most ambitious outfits we’ve listened to in a long time, and this album is their magnum opus. 45 people were involved in the making of this thing, for God’s sake.

It’s rare these days for a band, especially on this level, to put so much into a body of work. However, the results have definitely paid off for The Land Of Rah.

Listen to An Ancient Evil & A Huge Pumpkin above.