Jan 102024
planning for burial murderer

California metal label The Flenser is assembling a new tribute album to softcore band Low now that their career is over following the untimely death of cofounder Mimi Parker. As the release date approaches, they are previewing some of the covers that will be on the record.

The latest to be released is by Thom Wasluck’s so-called “gloomgaze” project Planning for Burial. Wasluck has been putting out music under this name for about 15 years and performing under it for nearly 20. He covers “Murderer,” an exquisite-sounding deep cut from Low’s eighth album Drums and Guns. It’s a stark, simple haunting song about trying to use god to justify violence.

As befitting a cover by a doom metal-adjacent musician, Planning for Burial’s cover of Murderer begins with a distorted bass up front in the mix and shimmery, droning guitar back in the mix. Wasluck’s voice is gruffer and lower than Alan Sparhawk’s and far less Pretty than Parker’s (it should go without saying) giving the whole thing a much creepier vibe.

Around 90 seconds in, Wasluck adds a second additional guitars and what sounds like glockenspiel and his second verse is screamed rather than sung. The menace that hides quite well in the original, due to how pretty it is, is on full display here with the music now fully reinforcing the lyrics. The finale is a haze of different guitars and vocals, building up to a final, surprising cut.

It’s not quite metal, exactly, but it’s aggressively noisy and dark and unsettling. “Gloomgaze” may be the right word for it after all.

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