четвъртък, 22 август 2013 г.

Cough/Windhand - Reflection of the Negative (2013)

'Reflection of the Negative' is the most colossal split I have heard recently. I think the most appropriate adjective to describe it is 'colossal' indeed. It's heavier than Coffins covering Eyehategod, the ultimate hammer smashing your face. Imagine how huge this is if Coffins haven fallen behind.

Windhand and Cough are among the most interesting newly emerged doom bands on my checklist. Maybe not exactly new, but still not old enough for the spectrum of music I am into, for me to call them anything else. If you listened to Cough's previous work then to some extent you know what to expect. Having in mind how extreme Cough sometimes are - it is hard to believe that they have gone a step further in the abyss. The modern source of enlightenment, the Internet, explained to me that an 'athame' is a ritual dagger. As it is associated with Wiccan cults and witchcraft in general you can guess why the band used it for the name of their split opener song. This whole track sounds like a slow suicide. These drums know how to pound. It's fucking hard to explain, like saying which spot of grey is greyer than the other. It is drums pounding, but it's colourful. It's different. It's not like most doom/sludge bands out there who do the same in their long songs. Parker Chandler's vocals are so prolonged and tortured, the guy have gone beyond himself. And the song being seventeen minutes long journey is also one step ahead. No lying, I really didn't notice it was longer than seven minutes. Maybe that's normal for me, maybe the track is just too damn good. You got the outwordly solo as it is expected for a band like Cough (take Killing Fields, A Year in Suffering - masterpieces of slow riffing and a lay me on the floor - 'I am dead' type of soloing). I waited too long before checking this split as I knew about its existence even before it was officially released - a mistake you are advised not to make. 

Second and third track are by Windhand. Well, most of the time while I was listening to these I thought "it's just not fair". These guys are so much damn better than other new doom stuff and THE HELL, their self-titled debut was my favourite doom of the year already. This split makes me want to cut off from the world and blow my speakers into outer space. It is so terrific. Dorthia Cottrell moves slowly through the haze of slow riffage so perfectly as if I am not in ecstasy already. Sure, if this is not your type of music you'd probably think that the reviewer is high as a kite, but if it is your type - you would just get my point. If you loved Windhand's first album there is nothing on here that you wouldn't. And it's not the same songs repeated with a slight change of riffing. Yes, it's the same formula, but it WORKS. It's fucking fine doom with atmosphere. If some bands represent gigantic galaxies crushing into one another and other evoke wolfs howling at the moon, this one here is a dark house in a distant forest. I beg the reader to forgive me if I sound stoned, but that's how my favourite music reflects my writing. 

понеделник, 5 август 2013 г.

Ritual Temple - Revelation of Evil (2010)

I heard some Ritual Temple on youtube some time ago and their music instantly grabbed something in me, I knew I had to order their demo tape as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the guys only have one demo released and it seems they have split-up shortly after recording it. Which is a horrible shame.

Maybe there's something wrong about me and my sound quality preferences, but I find myself listening to more demos and generally the very early band recordings these days. Maybe it's my bad experience - it seems that some of the band demos I really dig evolve into crappy first lengths. An example is Age of Taurus, which released a smoking tape and then something went wrong with their debut. Of course, this is only my opinion and no one is forced to agree. In this case maybe it's better to release a demo only and disappear.

With Ritual Temple there are no delusions - check how they look and and see their demo cover, the guys are not joking. The doom present on "Revelation of evil" is indeed a revelation of pure and majestic doom metal, which smells like an early 90s garage studio, not like a 2010 modern crap.

I can't think of one specific characteristic trait, which makes a doom band tolerable for my ears, but one thing I know - the line between sounding like an idiot and like true doom, is very thin. The band from French Brittany is a presentor of the latter. "Revelation of Evil" dwells somewhere between Hellhammer and Saint Vitus. The vocal lines follow quite the same path, and thankfully never sound too gothic and gay. You see, I don't ask so much from the vocal work. There are a lot of memorable songs on the demo and while my personal favourite is the upbeat "Slave of Satan", there is not one dumb song. The speed of the tape is settled and goes from mid-paced to wild guitar solos at the end of which song. Maybe that's what I digged most about this tape, the fucking down-tuned guitar lets loose at every fucking song. Both the intro and outro are ritualistic and very well-chosen for this tape.

On overall, this release is a keeper, definitely.  Go get yourself a tape and maybe we can make the guys reform.