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Shepherd : Laments

Germany's Shepherd, a brand-new doom outfit on the very eclectic Exile on Mainstream label, already has their cred down pat. I opened up the info sheet that came with the CD only to be greeted by the world DOOM in gazillion-point German Gothic font, with a quote about what a great band they are. No information on personnel, influences, gigs, nothing. Incidentally, the quote was by none other than riffing doom god Wino himself. Interested? I was.

One of Shepherd's co-founders is Andreas Kohl; he's also Exile on Mainstream's labelmeister and the artist who reportedly did the work for the elegant CD booklet, featuring doomy romantic graveyards, animal skulls, and derelict ocean liners. So far so good, but what about the music? Well, its old-school riffing doom with a taste of sludge for good measure. Shepherd is not about pushing musical boundaries; rather, they're updating trad doom for the new century. Lets put it this way: if the Hellhound label were still in business, Shepherd would be their latest signing. The songwriting is consistently good throughout the disc, with long, mid-paced songs emphasizing various elements such as stoner ('Suburban Boogie') or space ('Art of Being Lost') overlaid onto the solid bedrock of musical influences such as Saint Vitus, Lost Breed, The Obsessed, and Internal Void. The last two tunes on the disc come closer to newer Electric Wizard or Sons of Otis territory, steeped as they are in doom/sludge goodness.

Shepherd deserves to take their place alongside the newest wave of doom masters such as Orodruin, Thunderstorm, and Pale Divine, and yet they are clearly on their own program, not sounding quite like anyone else. Write the label site above and pick up on some sweet misery.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Healing
2. Times
3. Suburban Boogie
4. Black Faced Witch
5. Sleepless
6. The Art of Being Lost
7. The Coldest Day/The Story of the Holy Drinker

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes

Visit the Shepherd bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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