When I write a review usually, I try to delve into the work, dissect it a little, and give an honest, from the heart, impression of how it leaves me feeling. I do it in the hope that it may resonate with you, the people who turn up, to read my diatribes. I try to mention who the bands are, where they are from, and at times, I pull in the odd little titbit, just to keep things interesting.
I research a lot, mostly for my own benefit really. Especially if a band has an interesting name, or if the album has a quirky title, it sparks my interest. Well, the title of the new album by German heavy weights The Wright Valley Trio, Metal Doom, could not be more aptly titled if it tried. As the title states, and in the truest form, this album is quite literally Metal Doom. It explains the subject genre, and is every bit as descriptive, as it is honest and true.
Having formed in 2014, The Wright Valley Trio are true purveyors of the spirit of doom metal, and this album is as crushing as it gets, and then some. It’s always hard to contextualise an album that only has two tracks, but over those two tracks, there is just short of forty minutes of music, so it’s still way longer than any Rob Zombie album that you part with your hard earned money to buy.
Track one is entitled Dein Grab, and translated into English, it reads as ‘Your Grave’. You see, titbits, we’re learning, and getting informative information too. It’s nineteen minutes and thirty-four seconds of intense, drudgy fuzziness. Entering with a slow throbbing bassline, over the course of the first couple of minutes, it is joined by the guitar and drums.
It’s a play straight out of the doom metal rulebook, and it is crushing. Add to this a guttural and unforgiving vocal, which erupts just before a quarter of the way through, and you’ve got yourself a masterclass in just how to do things correctly. Slow and heavy, it feels unending, and at eight minutes in, I’m already feeling it. It drags on, like a bloody zombified corpse, for what seems like an eternity, and it is as brutal as it is dark.
It’s a play straight out of the doom metal rulebook, and it is crushing…
After the halfway point it slowly picks up in pace and by a quarter of an hour, it’s breakneck. With thunderous drumming and chugging guitar replacing the doom drone, it’s full of body and is as sludgy as it is doomy. Never dropping off in intensity, it’s morose, dark, and leaves you with a sense of impending doom.
Track two, Schlaf, (Sleep), only capitalises on what’s gone before, and ups the intensity. Slightly pacier than Dein Grab, it takes longer for things to start evolving, but it’s a thrill ride nonetheless. The continual heavy drone sound feels like it could go on for an eternity, until it’s broken by the entrance of the vocal.
Halfway through, it breaks right down and starts feeling like a new track is beginning, more than it still being the same one. This is a long, drawn-out affair, and feels like a desolate sonic soundscape, until the heavy returns, which is absolutely monumental. Again, this continues to drudge along, right up to its climax, but is accompanied by a visceral guitar, which elevates the piece to a more electric finale.
Over the course of these two tracks, there are moments of real bleakness, which parallel the more intense moments, and the real beauty is that you still feel engaged right from the opening seconds to the dying moments.
Reading more into the list of similar bands, it cited Amenra, and in places ISIS, as a fair comparison, and I think that’s a safe ballpark to be in. It’s not an easy ride, it isn’t a ‘Sunday morning over breakfast’ kinda soundtrack, and it won’t be for everyone. That being said, if you do like doom with your coffee on a Sunday morning, this is the one for you. A new find for me, and such a welcome one at that.
Scribed by: Lee Beamish