In normal circumstances a review should focus on the actual record, but this new release by crust legends Doom demands a different approach. Though it’s a joyous thing to get a new Doom recording, the first since 2013, the reason this is out now is a much darker one.
San Martin’s Club in Santiago, the capital of Chili, was the location for a show of the band on April the 16th earlier this year. According to general media outlets the building collapsed due to overselling tickets, leading to the death of three visitors. The truth is slightly different though, in fact there was a human avalanche when visitors refusing to pay stormed in en masse. This actually led to the death of five visitors, being crushed in the ensuing chaos. A tragedy indeed, which the band could not have prevented. To give something back, the Consumed To Death EP was released with all profits going to the families of the deceased.
The history of Doom knows all about tragedies however, with the death of vocalist Wayne Southworth in 2005. The band pulled through this great loss and has been reunited since 2010. This release speaks of their social engagement and commitment to what the band believes in. Opener Consumed To Death speaks of greed that is almost all consuming, perhaps a direct reference to the tragedy in Chile. The whole EP has a feel of venting frustrations, but that might be reading too much into it, as after all, Doom have always dealt with topics of this ilk. And the sound is a furious as ever, relentless crust punk with throbbing, dirty rhythm underneath and the jangling, tortured guitar work of Bri Doom right at the centre.
But what is it you get for a few supporting euro’s? You get five gritty tracks from a band that has stood the test of time. Denis Bordman’s vocals are being spat furiously at the microphone in a style that is somewhere between punk shouts and guttural barks. It conveys the angry feel of the lyrics easily. Those deal, like they always do, with the corrupt society around us. In a way, not much has changed for Doom as we can’t forget they were also one of the precursors of grindcore in its early days. I guess that is a good thing, because someone needs to keep on making raging songs like Driven By Greed, blurting one-liners about that ever present condition in the world of greed-fuelled self-destructive behaviour. The song is fast, relentless and dark, just the way you’d want it.
Razor sharp guitar work, rattling drums and a lot of attitude is what the band has to offer. A track like V.I.P’s has those hatchet style breaks that chop up the songs relentless pace. There’s also a lot of sampling going on to emphasize the overall theme, before the buzzsaw guitar kicks in for real. I would suggest not listen to this at the office, because you might start smashing things up to the driving pace and machinegun drum assaults of Life In Prism.
So yeah, this is not the game changing record of the year. This is Doom from Birmingham and that should be enough of a motivation to check this record out. Be kind, donate some money on their bandcamp and get the thing as a download. You’ll feel better and you’ll have the soundtrack for being angry with the world. What more do you need?
Scribed by: Guido Segers