Pylon – Doom   Leave a comment

Pylon from Switzerland released this album “Doom” (catchy title) over a year ago but I only recently picked this monster up so sorry for all you Pylon fans out there but here is a long overdue review. Pylon formed in 2002 and have recorded 3 full length albums including this one and a split album with a band called Painwork. The last album “Th’ Eternal Wedding Band” released in 2006 was an interesting album that mysteriously went unnoticed by the majority of doom-heads and its a shame as it was a great album. The “Doom” album however takes all the elements from that and previous efforts and exploits them to full capacity on a album that is epic and I mean real epic, 77 minutes worth of epic, maybe even too epic! Pylon are based around just two musicians, Matt Brand (guitar, vocals) and Jan Thomas (bass, flute) but on this album they enlist the help of no less than 5 drummers and 3 guest guitarists to produce a piece of work that is in the vein of Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. The band’s lyrical concepts are centered around themes about Christianity.

The first track “Renovatio” basically sets up the mood that carries on for the rest of the album, its lumbering and full of sorrow with Brand’s vocals being one of the most oppressive voices in Doom Metal. The opener and the following track “Doomstone” take up 20 minutes of this 13 track album so already early on, its not a easily digestible album. “Doomstone” highlights the progressive doom edge the band has and they are very proficient in their delivery of blending the mournful with aggressive doom while keeping it musically diverse. The organ work in “Ho Theos Erchestai” is at odds with the rawness of songs like “DeadLove” and “Psych-Icon” but also keeps the album from ever becoming too one-dimensional or stagnant. A lot of the tracks are centered around long instrumental sections (Renovatio, In The Shade, Hors Des Sentiers Battus, An Angel Tale) but they also include an ballad like approach in the tune titled “Beneath, Beyond”; you can never accuse Pylon on being short on ideas.

“Dream A Dream” picks up the pace halfway through the album with an driving metal tune that verges on a more generic HM style while “De Rerum Sanctarum Una” and “Age Of Despair” are both two minute keyboard-drenched instrumentals. While this album is very long, there is some killer riffing along its journey that is worth waiting for, “Ho Theos Erchestai”, “Doomstone” and “Renovatio” are all major highlights. Along with the great guitar work, the bass playing of Jan Thomas is incredibly solid and he even supplies some flute that creates even more atmospheric touches. The vocals of Brand will NOT be to everyone’s taste however, his monotone Ozzy-ish vocal range doesn’t leave much room for dynamics in certain songs but I personally dig his voice but I can also see that some will find his style a bit dull, he does throw in some Death Metal growls in songs like “DeadLove” but these variants are rare. The other factor to hurt the album is its length, 77 minutes is a long time to listen to any band and this is a tough album to sit through especially given the fact that the two longest tunes are the first two. Maybe if the album was book-ended by these two, it might have flowed a little easier.

This one is for fans of Saint Vitus, Count Raven, Trouble, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Faith and Nomad Son and I am sure most of those more Trad-Doom listeners will dig this but getting through it in one sitting will need some effort but I guess that gives you even more reason to spin it more often, right? Jan Thomas said this about the album’s title, “The title was not conceived as a statement purely about the musical aspect of the compositions; instead, it’s synonymous with the meanings (of) fate, ruin and divine sentence at the center of the lyrics”. This is indeed Doom as the title suggests and I hope this album gets more credit than their other albums have as this is their strongest work to date……8.5/10
The Official Homepage of Pylon
Quam Libet Records


Posted September 28, 2010 by doommantia in Pylon

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