I have taken advantage of my recent Doom Metal kick once more and despite my recent bouts of depression and laziness, gave this gem a listen. It was well worth it. This is the debut album by up-and-coming Occult-themed doomsters Bathsheba. Going into this one, I had only heard one track off of it and wasn’t sure what to expect with the rest. It was one of those cases where not just one song indicates what the entire album will be. You just have to hear the whole damn thing to get it. So I did and I can now say with total certainty that this is a fantastic modern take on the Occult Doom style that many know and love, as pioneered by the legendary Candlemass & Pentagram. In the same vein, but with a unique twist. While the classic core sound remains intact, the heaviness and aggression increases greatly.
The voice of this project, the lovely Michelle Nocon, also vocalist of the band Death Penalty, provides a very sinister and evil sounding brand of loud, powerful Doomy clean vocals that occasionally push the harshness envelope and trudges into more raspy, harsh vocal territory, as presented on Ain Soph & Demon 13. The harsh, growly vocals and evil, chanty yells is what adds a uniqueness to the already impressive package in a genre I honestly deem kind of stale these days. What Candlemass & Pentagram made famous in the last 3 decades has been very rarely duplicated with success, with very few exceptions. Epic Doom or Occult Doom or whatever you want to call it was never really my cup of coffee for that very reason. Aside from those 2 legends, I can count the other bands within the genre that peak my interest on one hand. Most of it just never does it for me. I can honestly say, however that this band can can now be added to the one-hand list. They bring a different feel to the table that transcends the ordinary and greatly intrigues me in every way and Michelle’s very unique and sinister style is a big part of that.
On the instrumental side of things, the band delivers just as greatly. You can expect some textbook Occult Rock-driven Doom Metal tropes, like thick, crunchy, distorted, heavy, guitars banging out groovy, evil riffs and just as heavy, ear-raping drums, very loud yet atmospheric production-wise and just epic sounding all around. This is a very well done, cohesive and damn impressive debut output by these up-and-comers that has left me with a good first impression and I believe that the best is yet to come by these guys and gal. I look forward to their next release and I encourage all of you to give them a listen! If they can get a good amount of people of board, they can without a doubt go places. So keep an eye out.
So, if you’re a fan of Candlemass, Pentagram, Blood Ceremony, Count Raven or even Electric Wizard or King Woman, I highly recommend this album. Especially if the Epic Doom genre hasn’t impressed you much in the last number of years. This one is well worth it.
Until next time.