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KUROKUMA LIVE IN SHEFFIELD…WHAT HAPPENED?

Equal parts primitive brutality and mind-bending psychedelia, Kurokuma bring a freshness to the doom/sludge sound with their percussive focus and mantra-like songwriting

The band was formed in late 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Jacob Mazlum and drummer Joe Allen in Sheffield, England. George Ionita was soon brought into the mix following the departure of original bassist, Richard ‘Fridge’ Ledger.

In Autumn 2020 recording of the debut album began with legendary sludge producer, Sanford Parker (YOB, Coffinworm, Indian) in London. In the Summer of 2021 Kurokuma headlined the New Blood Stage on the first day of Bloodstock. 

Metal Hammer named Kurokuma in their ‘Bands to Watch in 2022’ list and the band’s debut ‘Born of Obsidian’ was eventually released on CD, tape, vinyl and digital in February. It received critical acclaim from the metal press and fans alike: 

“An inventive, electrifying and absolutely unforgettable listen.” – Metal Hammer

“An inventive, electrifying and absolutely unforgettable listen.” – Metal Hammer “Kurokuma’s sludge is of a suitably mind-altering strain to open a ritualistic channel through space and time on this compelling curio.

” – Kerrang! “One of the most daring, exciting and adventurous debut releases the UK sludge/doom/stoner metal scene has seen in years.” – Outlaws of the Sun

On the 25th November 2022 Kurokuma one of Sheffield’s Premier Sludge bands headlined at the Network night club, performing to a near capacity crowd.  The Atmosphere in the room was electric, dark, hot and sweaty and as one would imagine the music was loud.  the fans were on a mission to have a good night, keeping the bar busy, enjoying the buzz and eagerly awaiting Kurokuma 

At around 10pm the band came on stage and blasted they’re through a 7 song 45-minute set. The band also introduced their new bass player Zak Wells, who is an exultant musician, with a great stage presence. 

Songs that stood out for me, were Sacrifice to Huitzilpochtli. A five minute master piece from there album Born of Obsidian, that really brings together the bands musical talents.  Mazlum’s plays a nice heavy guitar riff, commanding vocals, Wells on bass adds more depth to the overall sound , and Allen’s drumming is top notch. I have read elsewhere that this song sounds a little like early slayer.  In my opinion its sound production is better, and the musicianship is more creative, live this song is crowd favourite.

I also enjoyed Dark Triad, from an E.P called Avorsus.  This song has an almost post-apocalyptic vibe, where I can imagine the remnants of society emerging after a great cataclysm.     it would have been nice if Allen would have played the bongos, live as this really adds a kind of tribal feeling to the song. This song is also another example of the bands talents combing to create a sludge/doom epic that’s an instant hit with the fans. The band also played some new music, that new inface that they don’t have names as of yet.

Overall the evening was a great night, and the fans really enjoyed the show, so did I, and I look forward to seeing them play again. Hopefully 2023 will bring along some really good opportunities for the band to further build their fan base, and create some great music too.   Kurokuma epitomise the sludge/doom underground music scene and are a perfect example of the musical talent coming out of Sheffield.

Kurokuma’s mission is to ‘Make Sludge Grim Again’. In this they have definitely succeeded, so go and see them perform. You will not be disappointed.