EP review: bigLOVE – Crusaders Of Joy

bigLOVE spread an uplifting feeling of warmth with heavy-hitting debut Crusaders Of Joy…

EP review: bigLOVE – Crusaders Of Joy
Angela Davey

For a band that claim to be “shrouded in anonymity”, it seems odd to lead with the fact that bigLOVE is actually Justine Jones and Sammy Urwin of Employed To Serve. Needless to say, Justine’s throaty roar is unmistakable as soon as the vocals kick in, so any attempt to disguise their identities would have been futile.

A slight shift in gears from the math/metalcore of Employed To Serve, bigLOVE slows things right down with their own uplifting take on atmospheric sludge. The idea behind the project is to focus on unconditional devotion and everything that is cherished in the world. This may raise a few eyebrows, considering that sludge is usually a pretty miserable genre, however, the very nature of how this album was written and recorded allows for positivity to radiate naturally from every reverb drenched riff and scream.

Each part of Crusaders Of Joy was written mere moments before it was recorded, allowing for a potency that would otherwise be missing. It’s in this that the sense of warmth and love, that Justine and Sammy are so eager to convey, is a focal point. Its rich textures are intricately layered together to create a complex piece of music that’s genuinely interested and multi-faceted. It allows breathing space to appreciate its immersive nature, instead of dragging listeners down to wallow in the murky depths, as so many other sludge bands often do.

Crusaders Of Joy is an exciting and mesmerising shove outwards at sonic barriers and, as the closing line of Forever Intimate repeats: 'Joy for all.'

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Employed to Serve, Thou, Inter Arma

Crusaders Of Joy is out now via Church Road

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