|This Finnish three piece play what they call N.W.O.F.D.M., which I believe stands for 'New Wave Of Finnish Doom Metal'. I also believe that this is in reference to the style in which another Finnish band, Reverend Bizarre, started. One way of explaining N.W.O.F.D.M. is that it takes all of the main elements of traditional doom metal to the extreme, shifting the genre from slow and heavy to a "whale on land". Currently, there are not many bands that have joined this "new wave" and perhaps, due to it's simplicity, I've yet to hear a band that doesn't play it well. However, I've got a feeling that "the wave" might be very limited on originality. The Coven, who play in this style as well, have slight elements of blues but still don't stray very far from the preached path of Reverend Bizarre.|
The lyrics center around pagan themes, which is of no surprise considering Beltane is a Gaelic holiday from the Celtic times. It marked the beginning of summer and is strongly linked to fertility rites. In a related note, Irene Sutherland, from the 1973 film The Wicker Man, is quoted on the inlay as saying "You'll never understand the true meaning of sacrifice." The reference is also directed towards pagan rites with Celtic origins, although the movie's portrayal of them are no where near correct. While the music has no pagan folk elements, it still has a general aura that fits the theme well. The music is dark and a tad mystical with deep clean vocals, but however well it fits there is something else written on the cover that perhaps describes it's real purpose: "PLAY IT LOUD!!". I can agree that 'Beltane' sounds at their best when played loud.
Because the music is very close to what Reverend Bizarre has created previously, I'll recommend the music to just that fan base. On 'Beltane', the music is just as good as the original but then again, there is nothing here that surpasses them either. The demo is perhaps limited by it's length as you'll get more for your money from buying a Reverend Bizarre full length. However, the choice will be a lot tougher if these guys release one of their own.
1. Hallowmas Gallows
3. Serpent Nights
Duration : Approx. 21 minutes.
Visit the The Coven bandpage.