A band made up of 2 former Electric Wizard band members & with vocals by the former Cathedral frontman Lee Dorrian could mean only one thing…get ready for some earth-crushing, bowel-shaking doom metal.
Oh my…the eerie opening of Crown of Burning Stars does not prepare you for the sonic assault that comes shortly afterwards. Crushingly heavy, this is doom played at a level I’ve not heard for a while. It’s incredible with the vocals sounding perfectly layered on top of a cake of just pure hate & darkness. The guitar tone throughout is to die for & you just don’t want it to end.
The Cross continues the bludgeoning of your senses but still sounds different to what came before. So evil sounding with vocals that are preacher like at times, this is music designed to welcome you to hell.
The stylings of Electric Wizard are a little more evident in Nephthys but that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Slow, covered in darkness & furious doom tones its highlights are the excellent vocals that break up what are often similar sounding riffs. It’s a song that speaks to the heart of every doom fan.
Living with the Dead is somehow gloomier then the last continuing the trend of the album so far, crushingly heavy with doom filled riffs. It’s a getting a little tiresome at this point so it is nice to see a change of pace about halfway through as it slows down & softens momentarily before picking back up. The howls that follow from Dorrian are incredibly haunting.
I Am Your Virus doesn’t excite at first with far too similar riffs making it difficult to pick it out of the bunch of songs so far but as it goes on the little differences really become noticeable.
The final song, Screams from My Own Grave begins with light drumming that builds expectation to the explosion of doom that follows. The vocals are very eerie here, sounding far away & with a certain level of echo that makes it difficult to pick words out. The star of the song though is the mind-melting tones that just drip hate & anger, it’s oppressive but incredibly listenable, demanding that you shut up & take in everything. I loved the almost bell-like tolls near the end.
Depending on how you feel about doom will decide how you feel about With the Dead. It’s wears it’s inspiration unashamedly on its sleeve but still has more than enough originality throughout.
With the Dead - With the Dead (Rise Above Records)