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S.o.M. : Ethno Doom



This is the first doom metal release from the Boyanov Gimn label. The label seems to focus on Eastern European bands who fit both the "extreme" music category and more importantly write lyrics in their native tongue. S.o.M. clearly fit both bills with their folky doom/death versions of Medjimurjeian folk songs. In their own words, they focus on contrasts "putting traditional folk songs in [a] doom environment ... [which] emphasiz[es] the dramatics with huge [and] dynamic oscillations" (bracket contents were added by reviewer). Additionally, the band has taken on a prominent unorthodox element, at least by doom metal standards, and that element is hope. More specifically, they contrast their dark doom/death and male growls with serene female vocals and in doing so they are "symbolizing a candle in the dark, a message that there is always hope and a goal worth pursuing." I would like to add that I think S.o.M. adds one more "candle in the dark" and that this one shines a promising path for doom/folk. S.o.M. doesn't travel a pure doom/folk path but they still prove how well the two elements can work together and how dark and gloomy such a combination can be. Amazingly, all of this is pulled off without the use of a single keyboard.

'Ethno Doom' contains all four tracks from the preceding demo CD of the same name but it also includes a lot of older works (from the period when this was a one-man project?). If I had been fortunate enough to hear the tracks that never made it on the demo before I heard those which did, I would have concluded that the band had potential and that they focused mostly on bass dominated funeral and doom/death. The strengthening of the folk elements and the addition of Lea Djido - the 'candle' and a fantastic vocalist I might add - seems to be what has really taken the band to new heights. Their older stuff is great but their newer tracks border on being classics. Heck, I've had the song 'Grad Se Beli' stuck in my head several times, purging my mind of any annoying pop songs which had gotten stuck there. That song really does become that catchy after listening to it a few times.

S.o.M. is one of those bands which I intend to follow closely, waiting patiently for new releases. Yep, the band has made my 'favorites' list before even releasing a full length album. After that statement it should come as no surprise that I would recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys dark and bass-laden doom metal with female vocals or the combination of heavy, chugging riffs and folk music. It's a bold claim, but I think that the lively bass lines open up the possibility that even doom/stoner fans might enjoy this.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
1. Grad Se Beli
2. Places?
3. Mura, Mura
4. Ljubav Na Muri
5. Sirota Sam
6. Ratnica
7. Vuprem Oci
8. Koliko Puta
9. Baros, Oj, Barice

Translation:
1. The town is shining
2. Are you crying?
4. Love on Mura
5. Alone in the world
6. She-warrior
7. I stare in the sky
8. How many times
9. Baros, hey, Barice

Duration : Approx. 76 minutes.

Visit the S.o.M. bandpage.

Reviewed on 21-04-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
Hate Your Guts Records
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