Doomsower – Vintage Era …   11 comments

Doomsower Portland’s doom-titans have been plodding away at their doom-metal for quite some time now and have been ever progressing and building up a loyal following. One listen to their first two demos and you can hear the huge leap in quality between the first and second recordings. The band has turned another page with the release of “Vintage Era,” a 4 track, 45 minute monolithic beast of epic-doom metal released on the new Doom Metal Alliance Records label. With any genre of music, if you are passionate about what you play, it comes through in the grooves and that is how it is with Doomsower. Nothing is contrived about this band, they display an honesty and a passion for playing doom-metal. It is not played on a whim, this band truly live the doom-metal experience. The constant playing and perfecting their art is really starting to pay off now with this recording that blows away earlier demos for sound quality and raw heaviness. The major change in the band is they now have grown to a 3 piece with an addition of a bassist, this has filled out the sound immensely. The band was heavy before but they are absolutely bombastic now.

Vintage Era begins with a Doomsower classic, the hellishly tasty “Cimmerian Sunrise.” One spin of this nasty animal and you get the impression you are getting a taste of what could become a doom-metal standard in future years. It begins with a sickening tone before a sinister riff kicks in that sets up the depressive vibe of the song. After some hauntingly morbid ambience, the riffing turns to slow-motion guitar crunch, pounding drums all played in an extremely ponderous tempo. Guitarist and Vocalist Justin has a curious voice that doesn’t sound like anyone else but could be compared to Reagers in terms of its menacing tone. He has a deathly, almost ill kind of voice, one that exhibits pain, torment and a type of twisted evil. “Cimmerian Sunrise” is a song that is constantly building in atmosphere without ever-changing tempos and that is not easy to do in any genre of music. There is a slight change in arrangement 10 minutes in and it is given some added spookiness with a spoken-word sample. It grinds to a plodding halt some 14 minutes later but somehow this is a catchy 14 minutes of raw menacing doom that keeps your attention throughout. Comparing the band with anyone else if difficult as they simply don’t sound like anyone else, maybe Saint Vitus is the closet reference I can give but Doomsower are their own beast with their own unique take on doom-metal.

Second track, “Sower Mighty Sower” by comparison almost seems short and sweet at over 8 minutes long. It kicks off with an apocalyptic whirlwind of guitar/bass thunder before it sets off on its journey. It is more of a mid-tempo chugger by Doomsower standards and has a very infectious groove. The groove is shattered by an almost kind of blues break halfway through with a mesmerizing bass line backed up with gentle guitar-lead runs. “Sower Mighty Sower” gets very hypnotic at this point and lets say kind of druggy showing the band have more than one trick up their wizard-sleeves. The crushing doom soon returns before the tempo increases again slightly and it is pure old-school songwriting in many respects of arrangement with 3 very unique sections filling out the 8 minute tune. “Hexenjager” 3 tunes in, also begins with a screeching guitar intro and caveman-like drumming that neatly sets up the essence of the song. The song is a plodding, crawling piece with a strangely sing-along vocal line, for me it always sounds like Witchfinder General jamming with Saint Vitus on sedatives. I don’t think I could play this slow even if I was on tranquilizers. Doomsower have that in-built doom-skill of knowing how to keep up a crawling tempo and keep it locked in a solid groove. Even though most of “Hexenjager” is at the pace of a slug, they still break it up with some killer mid-tempo sections and the infectious hooks that are in those passages basically rule, this is a great but sick tune.

Last track is another monster epic in “As The Sword Splits The Air,” and this one is the most different of the four songs. Breaking with the usual bombastic guitar intro, this tune starts off very psychedelic and hypnotic in its ambience. More huge riffage is unleashed and drummer Kalvin rolls around his kit particularly well on this tune, perfectly adding accents to each element of the guitar work. If you read my earlier reviews for the band and I hope you did, you would have read my praise for the drumming. He doesn’t play the typical expected beats and his drumming is mostly off the edge of the world somewhere, this gives the songs a real unique character to set them apart from most other bands. “As The Sword Splits The Air” in many respects sums up everything this band is and what will become in the future. It is epic, brooding and an apocalyptic sprawling piece of doom-metal that has an intense atmosphere that is unforgiving. Mostly instrumental, the song showcases all of the band’s elements in the one long track. It has the crushing doom-riffing you would want from a doom-band but there is also a lot of subtle psychedelic interplay between the musicians. It is a mesmerizing way to end of a very enjoyable, unique album. I have nothing but praise for Doomsower and I can safely say they have arrived, it is now a matter of time to see if everybody in the doom community picks up on it. The production is done from a old-school D.I.Y approach so it is far from perfect but in the case of Doomsower it gives it a sound of its own. I think they would lose a lot of what they already have if they all of a sudden got a polished production job. I highly urge you to buy yourself a download from the DMA Store or at least go to their bandcamp page and have a listen, I think you will dig their epic dirges……………9/10
Doomsower @ Bandcamp
Doomsower @ Myspace

PLEASE READ: This DOOMSOWER album is now available on CD. Please contact the band for details or contact me and I will pass on the message. PLEASE support this band especially in you believe in the future of US Doom Metal. Again, pick this up on CD – DOOM ON…..

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Posted April 28, 2011 by doommantia in Doomsower

11 responses to “Doomsower – Vintage Era …

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  1. Heard the band on Crestfallen, like the song but the production was pretty bad I thought. I do think they would be great with a good mix.

  2. I hate hearing bands that have potential but sound like crap. Doomsower needs to re-record this album and get someone who can sing. The vocals are abysmal and it sounds like it was recorded in a dumpster. It is a real pity as the band do have the riffs and ideas, their recordings are impossible to listen to though.

  3. The Obelisk called them doom punk lol. Thats a first I think. I haven't heard this album, only tracks on the Myspace and they do sound too raw to be taken seriously. Doom metal needs good production and Doomsower have got al ong way to go in that department.

  4. I think Vintage Era sounds pretty good but I appreciate the comments, keep them coming.

  5. I don't think they are ready to record. Got serious potential though.

  6. lol doom punk, that doesn't sound good to me.

  7. “I feared it to be one of these RB-imitations, but thank Lord it was not!

    I like it! Great fucked up Hellhammer/Venom feeling! Too many new bands are clean and polished and nerdy! You guys have the right spirit!

    I would actually love to own this record! If I was a label manager I would release all of these songs as an album tomorrow! Just in the form this stuff is now! Raw and real!”

    Sami Hynninen wrote this to me in regards to hearing us. Thanks anonymous people for your comments.

    Justin Doomsower
  8. Yeah you ever noticed its the anonymous people that always have the negative comments.

  9. I do think the production is a bit rough but hell the songs are great and what the hell do I know about production anyway. I agree with Sami Justin, released as is !!!

  10. Justin,

    Maybe you should ask Sami Hynninen if you can use that quote for advertising the album, it is kind of cool.

  11. I'll see what I can do. We've been using the “Raw and Real” line for quite some time already. haha

    Justin Doomsower

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