събота, 22 юни 2013 г.

Gallow God - The Veneration of Serpents (2013)


Gallow God play this mixture of very dark, "down"-sounding, heavy and streaming with bass lines doom metal. In 90% of the cases, you can sense the general sound of an album by looking at its cover. "The Veneration of snakes" suggested to me well-produced extreme metal. This is partly true, but for me the cover artwork doesn't really do favor to the band, because I expected something like new Behemoth (regarding production) and that's not true, because apart from the good sound (not crystal clear) there's nothing mainstream about this music.

What can you expect on the album? As I said, very heavy, (non-sludgy) doom with very neat, non screaming, clear, but not perfectly audible vocals as one would hope to find in proper doom metal. A bit too heavy traditional doom. There are many great riffs present, but unfortunately at times they get too repetitive like in the title song, which changes how many, like two riffs? Delightfully, there are quite some changes in the pace, therefore less boredom for the weak-hearted. And actually, there really ARE many diverse riffs in the other songs too. I can say that many doom bands these days can envy Gallow God for the diversity. The London based band brings me to the Middle ages in a remote village where the plague devastates all the people, it's how fucking dark this album sounds. Bang, The Veneration sounds as if My Dying Bride are no longer romantic in any way and hammer tenfold more heavily their instruments. I really like the way the instruments are mixed, you can perfectly hear what each of them has to say. These guys have to be extremely proud if this really is an independent release. 

This album is good if you're a doom purist, because there's nothing in it that you cannot like. The vocalist sounds miserable and wretched as hell. No baby wailing. I was absolutely impressed by the opener track, one of the finest doom songs I've heard recently. The confusion and misery in the voice of this man give me the chills. The solos are well-mastered and what I like most is that the vocals are used like another instrument, so perfectly fitting the instruments, all the music on this record is in perfect harmony. Also, the drums sound like a giant mighty hammer and are so pleasantly audible, not buried under the other instruments like often happens, which is one more thing that helps for the post plague feeling I seem to have about this album. One of the songs stand out a bit as little weird, but that's because it is a cover. Scarborough fair might be a cover, but it's done in such a perfect way that I really have nothing bad to say about it, on the contrary - it's a fine thing that the guys have included it.

It really makes me happy to see bands like Gallow God flourish these days. Now I am armed with their new album and waiting for upcoming concerts. 

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