Durge was formed in Cape Town, South Africa in 2016 by Mark Ellis, Francois Taljaardt, James Lombard, and Heinrich Wesson. Over the past two years the band has been forging their unique sound that they call “Melandelic Rock”, a fusion of melancholy and psychedelic sounds. They’ve recently released their debut EP titled Dirge.
Vocalist/guitarist Mark Ellis comments on the EP, “Being very much a DIY project and the band’s first official release (with the help of some close friends), this EP is something close to the hearts of all four members. It also marks the start of an exploration into our sound which still has many dimensions to uncover. Dealing mostly with individualism and social issues, Dirge is a short statement to life.”
With an apt title, Durge deliver a five-track brooding rock effort that is layered in cold melancholy. It’s dark and extremely moody, more likely to leave you feeling down in the dumps than lifting your spirits. This style is exemplified on The Man Who Has Never Seen Snow, the slow groove eating away at the soul.
Round and Round is a little more beat-friendly thanks to more traditional sounding rock riffs and a sprinkling of psychedelics. However, it is On Call for Death that really delivers on the latter front, a hazy fog of catchy rock goodness that sees vocalist Mark Ellis crooning expertly.
Faithless’ grungy rhythm does little to excite unfortunately and is the only black mark on an otherwise solid EP. Happily though, Durge close Dirge out with the impressively moody Restless Night. The final track is a perfect blend of great vocals and dark, depressing melody.
Durge – Dirge Full Track Listing:
1. The Man Who Has Never Seen Snow
2. Round and Round
3. On Call for Death
5. Restless Nights
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Durge - Dirge (Self Released)
The Final Score - 7/10