Salvation’s Answer: Revelation

Rating: 75%

R-5653597-1399041839-6599.jpeg.jpgSo…1991 saw one of Maryland’s Doom Metal rockers release their debut. “Salvation’s Answer” by Revelation musically is pretty good. I’m not to keen on John Brenner’s vocals as I feel they are a bit Punky and weak for this genre of Heavy Metal music.  I love the grittiness of the guitar parts by John Brenner’s whether it be his riffs or leads. The bass by Bert Hall, Jr. is freaking heavy as is Steve Branagan’s drums.

Musically itself, there’s a great overall sound. It’s got grit and some crunch. It does seem to have a small and I do mean small dash of Hardcore Punk in some of the songs. It’s very progressive as well which is very unusual for a Doom Metal band to possess. The song “Paradox” is a great example of the Prog Metal influence. But it works. It’s got a mixture of heavy and slow tempos as well as faster and more upbeat tempos.

Track listing:

1 Lost Innocence 6:24
2 Salvation’s Answer 8:26
3 Infinite Nothingness 4:56
4 Paradox 4:06
5 Images Of Darkness 6:52
6 Long After Midnight 5:18
7 Poets And Paupers 5:22
8 Waiting For… The End 6:33

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Black Night: Iron Man

Rating: 90%

12009.jpg1993, saw the debut release of the Maryland Doom Metal band Iron Man. Although, nothing new to the Doom Metal genre itself, this album doesn’t fall short. It’s packed with lots of traditional old school Doom Metal influences. You can hear the Trouble, Saint Vitus, and yes, some Black Sabbath influences. It’s not the newer slowed to a crawl tempo that most newer bands have opted to do. In fact, this makes Doom Metal very pleasant to listen to.

The musicianship is remarkable. Al Morris III has this certain tone set to his guitar that screams Black Sabbath and Trouble, but at the same time, you can almost hear some Bluesyness pouring through those amps. He produces some high energy riffs and lots of great leads. Bassist Larry Brown lays down a bit of funk. He and drummer Ron Kalimon lay down some powerful tempos. Rob Levey has a voice that is almost Ozzy influenced.

Musically, this album is really good. It has a rich sound that isn’t tone driven, but isn’t exactly raw. Has a lot of good riffs and leads. It’s cool that this band is a local band from my area where I grew up at.

Track listing:

1. Choices 04:13
2. The Liar 03:29
3. Black Night 04:16
4. Leaving Town 06:32
5. Life After Death 03:57
6. Life’s Toll 05:50
7. A Child’s Future 05:46
8. Vampires 05:04
9. Time for Change 04:38
10. Why Can’t You See Me? 05:01

Standing on the Sun: Internal Void

Rating: 90%

R-1780605-1259613758.jpeg.jpgIn 1992, Frederick, Maryland Doom Metal rockers Internal Void released their first full length album “Standing on the Sun.” The entire album has such a great overall sound. To give you a taste, this album is almost like Saint Vitus mixed with Trouble with a hint of Candlemass to top it off.

The musicianship is very good. You have the eerie and creepy vocal style of J.D. Williams. His vocal style may seem sloppy, by not always following in line with the instrumentation, but he somehow makes it work.  This makes him a decent front man. Guitarist Kelly Carmichael sounds good as well. His guitar has that Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath sound without the low tone. The riffs he produces are scary as hell in the sense that it’s eerie. He performs some great riffs and outstanding leads. The rhythm section with bassist Adam Heinzmann and drummer Eric Little produces some very aggressive and heavy tempos and melodies.

Track listing:

Warhorse 5:02
Take A Look 8:40
The Peace Song 3:40
Utopia Of Daze 6:15
Standing On The Sun 8:33
Unclean Spirit 4:10
Devil In Drag 6:42
Eclipsed 2:02
Line In The Sand 6:04
Desolate Cemetery 7:27

A Fragile King: Vallenfyre

Rating: 80%

R-3418834-1329668619.jpeg.jpgThis album was released in 2011 as Vallenfyre’s debut, as a super group. It consists of Paradise Lost’s lead guitarist on lead vocals and guitar, At the Gates’s drummer Adrian Erlandsson, and My Dying Bride’s guitarist Hamish Hamilton Glencross. It also features Scoot on bass and guitarist Mully.

I really like this album simply because it’s old school Death and Doom Metal. Yes, old school Death Metal drenched in Doom Metal. Not Melodic Death Metal! Plus it features three guitarist. My most recommended song on this album is “Cathedrals of Dread”. 

The instrumentation has this doomy feel that goes with it’s overall sound. The guitars have this crunchy sounding tone along with screaming leads. The guitars are toned down which help to achieve that sound. The vocals are gritty are well.

The song structures are what you would expect from this genre of music. Slowed and heavy with some faster tempos thrown in. It’s got some really nice riffs that are super tight. Those leads and fill ins are just screaming. The drumming is pretty good too.

Track listing:

All Will Suffer 4:09
Desecration 4:56
Ravenous Whore 3:02
Cathedrals Of Dread 3:52
As The World Collapses 3:13
A Thousand Martyrs 3:24
Seeds 4:45
Humanity Wept 2:18
My Black Siberia 3:49
The Divine Have Fled 3:41
The Grim Irony 4:39

Live In Los Angeles: Trouble

Rating: 75%

R-3701505-1399668135-8102.jpegRecorded in 2008 an almost 13 year hiatus, Live In Los Angeles was released by Doom Metal rockers Trouble. Now, they did do some minor touring here and there for gigs until Wagner left with the new album in 2007 “Simple Mind Condition.” With new vocalist Kory Clarke replacing Eric Wagner, the band got moving again for a new tour. So, no comparison when it comes to the vocals. Wagner just had that voice for this band. Clarke’s vocals are just way to raspy and gritty for the overall classic sound.

Musicianship is pretty good. It’s good to hear these guys live as I have not heard anything of them since 1995. So, when I saw this album on vinyl, I could not pass it up. Not for $8.00 anyway. So, Clarke’s vocal work moves the band forward. He has some bog shoes to fill in which for the tour, he did alright. He just ins’s Eric Wagner. The bass work by Chuck Robinson is very clean. The riffs, scales, and leads conducted by Bruce Franklin and Rick Wartell are pretty good. They done a hell of a good job at harmonizing the fill in solos as well as keeping rhythm with tempo. Drummer Jeff Olson throws out some nice tempos and rhythms. 

The overall sound of the music is a tad bit gritty and not as clear as it could be. That might also contribute to my bias feelings toward Clarke. The sound again, is a bit weak.  It’s got great riffs and great leads. Either way, it’s one of those things where you take it or leave it. And for me, I would take it, just because of the fact, that I haven’t heard much from this band during the last decade.

Track listing:

A1 Intro 2:37
A2 RIP 4:37
A3 The Sleeper 3:21
A4 Touch The Sky 3:29
A5 Plastic Greenhead 3:50
A6 The Eye 4:49
B1 Simple Mind Condition 3:58
B2 Mr. White 3:36
B3 End Time 6:05
B4 Trouble Maker 4:05
B5 End Of My Daze 5:00

Trouble: Trouble

Rating: 90%

Trouble_-_Trouble.jpgI loved this album when it was released in 1990. Trouble was one of the first American Doom Metal bands whose history goes back to 1979. I remember when 100.7 GRX in Baltimore was shutting down and several songs from this album were played over the airwaves. Many of my friends were like “what the hell is this?” Well, this was American Doom Metal at it’s finest.

You can’t beat the musicianship. Eric Wagner was one of a kind. He had some harsh sounding vocals, but, he could hit those high notes with no problem. Then you have the riff and lead masters on guitars Bruce Franklin & Rick Wartell. Bringing the harmony and tempos to the front was bassist Ron Holzner & drummer Barry Stern. Adding in some of the keys was  Jeff Olson.

Musically, this album has much to offer. Great vocals, catchy riffs, and killer lead solos. The drumming is exceptional. It’s clean, rich and meaty. It has a good bit of energy behind it, considering that it is a Doom Metal record. The production is pretty damn good.

Track Listing:

“At the End of My Daze” – 3:13
“The Wolf” – 4:33
“Psychotic Reaction” – 3:15
“A Sinner’s Fame” – 4:18
“The Misery Shows (Act II)” – 7:21
“R.I.P.” – 4:08
“Black Shapes of Doom” – 3:47
“Heaven on My Mind” – 4:09
“E.N.D.” – 2:23
“All Is Forgiven” – 5:12

In the Name of Suffering: Eyehategod

Rating: 85%

7209In 1990, and released in 1992, “In the Name of Suffering” by Eyehategod is the most primitive, doomy, muddy, and gritty sounding album that I’ve heard of in a long time. Many people skip over this important album for some reason. To me, this is one of Eyehategod’s most important albums in their catalog.

The musicianship is very tight. You have the tortured style screaming vocals done by Mike Williams. The ultra feedback, down-tuned, heavy, and distorted riff masters Jimmy Bower & Mark Schultz on guitar. Their sound alone is what makes this album sound gritty and muddy. Then you have bassist Steve Dale and drummer Joe LaCaze.

Musically, again the sound is very raw. The song tempos are drawn out which is why it gets the label Doom Metal. The timing and tempos set by the band are aggressive. Nothing like this was released up until Eyehategod did it. If you like Sludge Metal mixed with Doom Metal and you prefer the sound to be as raw as raw can get, then this is a good album to try. The guitar sound alone is very course and grainy. I do like the Hardcore Punk influences that you can hear, here and there.

Track listing:

1. “Depress” 4:58
2. “Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist” 2:37
3. “Shinobi” 5:15
4. “Pigs” 2:59
5. “Run It into the Ground” 3:10
6. “Godsong” 2:44
7. “Children of God” 3:10
8. “Left to Starve” 3:09
9. “Hostility Dose” 2:43
10. “Hit a Girl” 4:18