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Monday, 13 May 2019

Reviews: D-A-D, Monasterium, Doomicidal, Scythian Fate (Matt & Manus)

D-A-D: A Prayer For The Loud (AFM Records) [Matt]

Well this is a blast from the past! When you've been so involved in music for a long time (going on 15 years) so many bands come into your peripheral vision but go away just as quickly, Danish rockers that used to be called Disneyland After Dark (but changed their name after The Mouse threatened to sue) have been one of those bands. I've never found the time to invest into their back catalog since the band having been around since the 1980's  in that time they have managed to release 11 albums, their previous offering DIC·NII·LAN·DAFT·ERD·ARK coming in 2011. So after 8 years they have returned to the front with A Prayer For The Loud a record that is full of blues-drenched hard rock anthems with touches of sleaze thrown in for good measure.

Founder member Jesper Binzer's vocals are filthy enough for rock n rollers like the swaggering Nothing Ever Changes, has enough authenticity for natural blues tracks such as The Sky Is Made Of Blues but also he has the grit for ballads such as A Drug For The Heart with both styles played by a band who are shit hot. According to the band they have "trimmed the fat" so to speak distilling their sound into what is the essence of D-A-D's sound and that is a band who are both retro and modern at the same time as they blast out of the speakers guitars blazing with a boiler room stoking the flames like Bon-fronted Acca Dacca, without the indulgent solos, although there are some tasty ones like on No Doubt About It. A Prayer Fo The Loud needs to be played at 11, it's a properly good rock record that makes me think I should invest some time in these Danes discography. 8/10     

Monasterium: Church Of Bones (Nine Records) [Matt]

Monasterium are an epic doom metal band from Poland and like their forebears in Candlemass, Monasterium bring heavy low tuned trooping riffs that are pure old school doom, pulsating basslines and distorted riffs are driven by a propulsive drum beats, with wailing vocals bellowing tales of horror, history, mythology. The some of the members are also a part of mysterious doom crew Evangelist along with Sadman Institute this fourpiece are excellent musicians, with some sprawling melodic solos breaking up the downbeat riffage, after two heavier numbers at the beginning of the album Lia Loagaeth is more gothic ballad, but it's not long before those doom metal riffs come back. I'll have to note here that no matter how good a band are musically, the songwriting has to be there and this is a little by-the-numbers if I'm honest, the longer numbers go on a bit too long making it a little mediocre, especially for a second album where improvement has to be noticable, still if you are major doom lover then try Church Of Bones. 6/10 

Doomicidal: Shadow Of The Gallows (Independent) [Manus]

Anyone have a buddy who’s always insisting between bong rips that his upcoming self-recorded doom EP is the heaviest thing you’ll ever hear? Well, Doomicidal’s debut album is a step or two above that. There’s potential in the band, for sure. This album shows a group of musicians capable of good chemistry, smooth playing and proficient writing, but it’s all a little dampened by an amateur feel and fairly weak vocals. Aside from those couple points, there’s enough here to make the record enjoyable, as long as it’s not taken too seriously. Rats In The Wall boasts some catchy riffs and a cool guitar solo, and War Crimes and Bride Of Baphomet get to the point at under four minutes in length each. Contrasting is the 10-minute long Hangman which seems to trudge on forever. This isn’t the strongest debut, but at least it sounds like a band that can get better with time. 6/10

Scythian Fate: Matrimony In Madness (Independent) [Manus]

It’s admittedly a little odd when the ethereal buildup of intro Borisov 1812 gives way to Crimson Snow, which sounds like a character from The Muppets singing over a drum machine and a guitar being played in the other room. Low-budget amateur albums can work when they capture a rawness, but in order for that, the band needs to authentically possess that rawness. Sadly, Scythian Fate does not. What’s worse, is the guitar is pretty good when the vocals aren’t there to distract listeners from it. A serious lack of bass doesn’t help either, and the programmed drums are a hindrance as well. This sounds like a demo—not an EP and definitely not an album. If these two guitarists can find a bassist and drummer, and get a decent singer, they’d be able to make a good record. This one just doesn’t cut it. 5/10

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