Doom Sessions is a new series of split EPs from the fantastically prolific Heavy Psych Sounds label. Volume 1 was the Conan/Deadsmoke Split that came out on July 17th. Volume 2 which I’m reviewing here, features 1782 and Acid Mammoth and will be released a couple of months later on September 18th.
The artwork is somewhat typical for the doom genre, an attractive lady summoning the fires of hell leaving you in little doubt as to what to expect on this release.
The first three tracks come from 1782, a three piece consisting of Marco Nieddu (guitar/vocals), Gabriele Fancellu (drums/backing vocals) and Francesco Pintore (bass). The name denotes the year that the last witchcraft trial took place in Europe, the victim being Anna Goldi. The band have so far released the She Was A Witch single and their Self-Titled debut.
First track Bloody Ritual is an Electric Wizard styled number, vocally taking its cues from Wizard frontman Jus Oborn. It reminds me of Torquemada ’71 from Witchcult Today, my favourite release from that band. Hey Satan reminds a little of Wino era Saint Vitus, there’s a dirty sound (Dave Chandler’s guitar playing has clearly had an influence), reminding me a little of Look Behind You from Born Too Late, an album that was described by Allmusic as ‘Black Sabbath on Quaaludes’, and 1782 certainly taps into this. The band conclude their side of the release with the seven minute Witch Death Cult, a slow burner reminding one of Sabbath’s Under The Sun from Vol 4, which was possibly the densest and sludgiest track in that band’s catalogue. This is a track that positively trudges, like you’re wading through treacle, so much so it makes the preceding numbers sound like DRI by comparison.
Witch Death Cult, a slow burner… that positively trudges, like you’re wading through treacle…
The other half of this split comes from Acid Mammoth, a doom metal band hailing from Athens, Greece that formed in 2015 and includes Chris Babalis Jr. (vocals/guitars), Dimosthenis Varikos (bass), Marios Louvaris (drums) and Chris Babalis Sr. (guitars), Jr.’s father. The band have released 2 albums to date, the most recent of which Under Acid Hoof was their first for Heavy Psych Sounds.
Black Wedding the first of Acid Mammoth‘s contributions, opens ominously with a ringing church bell which is a sly nod to Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath on, er, Black Sabbath. The song is the longest on this entire release and has a feel of Sabbath’s 13 about it, an album that I enjoyed for what it was. Ozzy’s vocal style also seems to have made an impression on Chris Jr, that familiar nasal whine coming through loud and clear. Sleepless Malice treads a similar path with the latter era Sabs sound with some Electric Wizard touches running through it. The final track on the release and the shortest comes courtesy of Cosmic Pyres which is a little more compact than the two preceding numbers as well as a little darker.
Having had a break from reviewing doom releases I decided to give this split a shot, more than anything due to Heavy Psych Sounds involvement. If I had to state a preference then I would go for 1782 but that’s not to say Acid Mammoth were unworthy. The wording on the cover makes a bold claim for itself promising to ‘make you feel sensations that you have never experienced’. This may be true if you were not versed in the genre, but as someone who has been listening to this stuff for nigh on 20 years, this is an overly optimistic statement for what is a decent but far from groundbreaking release.
Scribed by: Reza Mills