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Surtr : World Of Doom

The many flaws of this album should not hide the fact that Surtr do have some ideas.

At last, the French band Surtr has managed to release their first album. The main change since their demo is the welcome addition of a bass player. And, oh boy, what a great change it is!! For all of you thinking that a bass guitar is useless in Doom Metal, just give the demo a try and then listen to this album and I'm sure you'll change your mind. Musically, we're still roaming the very travelled fields of Traditional Doom, the way Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus charted it. There's nothing really new in term of ideas, but Surtr is a more than capable band and the songs have their good share of memorable riffs.

You'll also finally get the full concept that was first hinted on the demo, the album being just one song divided in 5 parts, with a bridge consisting of a rather useless, cliché and weak cover of Reverend Bizarre's classic 'Doom Over The World'. OK, I'm pretty sure that the band only wanted to pay a tribute, and the song (or at least, its title) suits well the concept of the album (the rise of the giant of fire Surtr and the coming of Ragnarok compared to our modern society), but really, this cover is not only useless, it's also quite badly done. And worse than that, it exposes all of Surtr's flaws. The first one being the vocals. As on the demo, this is still Jeff (the guitar player) who sings here. And while some work has clearly been made, he is still not a good singer. Therefore, covering a song where the vocals are VERY important was a bad idea from the start.

But this flaw should not hide the fact that Surtr do have some ideas. The band could really take advantage of a good (real) singer and should work more on the songs, which are sometimes too long... or it could be the fact that there's no blank moment between the tracks, everything sounding like one long single song. Clearly, right now, Surtr have not the talent needed to release another ’Jerusalem’, and they shouldn’t have tried to. More than once, boredom hits, and it's not the curious Thrash sounding rythmic parts (at 6 minutes in 'Part II') that can help. Maybe if this album had been released as a demo, I wouldn't have been that hard. I still believe that Surtr has some strong potential, but they still have to work a lot more. The Traditional Doom sub-genre is starting to become quite crowded, with a lot of wagonning bands (mostly from the USA) trying to get a piece of the cake, and it'll take for a new band even more hard work to stand out from the crowd. This is even more true for a band coming from a country like France, where Doom Metal is far more underground than in the neighbouring countries.

Still, ’World Of Doom’ (awesome title, by the way) will please the Reverend Bizarre addicts. It's far from being a bad release, it's just a very average one, from which I maybe was expecting too much. But I'll still keep a close eye on Surtr, for they could well surprise me next time.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. World of Doom – Part I
2. World of Doom – Part II
3. World of Doom – Part III
4. Doom over the World (Reverend Bizarre cover)
5. World of Doom – Part IV
6. World of Doom – Part V

Duration : Approx. ?? minutes

Visit the Surtr bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-03 by Laurent Lignon
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