- Rome, Italy
- May 2019
Gotta love it when a doom band does everything it can to hold up it’s end of the bargain as a doom band. It’s a great genre with a lot of great stories and experimentation with concepts. This theme laden doom record about burning witches could very well be thought an old classic, it’s like a reboot. Especially with the retro horror type artwork I see around about these guys. Solid designs on the posters and fonts. It has that happily dark vibe like House Of A 1000 Corpses or The Devils Rejects (I love those movies, it’s a compliment). The art is done by Sscvlt
This is an aggressively doomy record with dark imagery and themes and yet I can still feel the “fun” of playing the music, the energy. The opening track is a pretty mild and held back progression but the second track really gets into the “bouncing”, where normally I’d describe a lot of this genre as “tumbling”. Still, I didn’t yet feel like there was anything super special here, then around the ten minute mark it started to win me over with the occult like chanting and the smaller more restrained diddy’s on the guitar, the drums drop out completely while the riff continues to the songs end. The vocals have a bit of variety with the gain on his mic or whatever seeming to change intensity from song to song. Sometimes it gets too distorted and I don’t enjoy it, I feel like something else could have been done vocally. Personally I like a bit more punk sludge on my vocals. Like Cyttorak did earlier this month, with the small variety of vocal styles thrown in to break things up. Little accents.
There is a sense of there being something “other” present but I don’t think it’s been quite realized yet, which is understandable as it’s their debut album. I think their collaboration with other Italian doom metallers probably really helped direct them or expand the sound. I look forward to the next LP where perhaps there will be more of a signature sound developed. Maybe more of those little restrained riffs, that was really interesting to me since the instinct in doom is to go long and fanciful, which is very much present here as well. It’s just more stimulating to me when they subverted that. It takes a while of samey riffs to reach those moments. The general composition just isn’t as strong as the slew of doom records released this month. I’m not a huge fan of a concept album being self-titled. I also found it weird to end it with a Pink Floyd cover (as nice as it is) when it should be a self contained conceptual album with a proper ending arc.
I really liked the design of the She Was A Witch single, also done by sscvlt. He has an eye for fitting the music because this style of red horror definitely suits the dark vintage feel of the music. Both are cool but I think the subtext of the song or album title gives it more information so people can form more of an idea in their head. It can contribute to the theme more.
As charming and awesome as they are, in terms of being cool guys and having great theatrics, I have to objectively review this and I just don’t think it quite hits the mark over all as a constructed album. I can’t fault them for their art direction and commitment to the doom genre. They clearly love and enjoy playing it and I hope they get to continue playing for a long time, further developing their sound. I think maybe they honor the fuzz a little too much and refrained from fusing other genres into it in anyway. It’s rare that anyone is musically on point with a debut, so good start either way. A good branding will take them pretty far.
For the average metal fan though, there’s definitely more important stops on the way to 1782. This one is for the true doom fans who are running out of obscure vinyl’s to hoard. It’s the tasty new release for the doom fan who has heard everything. I’ve been more critical than usual, but don’t get me wrong, new bands just need more feedback. It’s a serviceable doom record that will look great in any collection.
I’d enjoy this release more as a physical product rather than audio alone.