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Earth Burnt Black : Harrowing Catharsis

The debut of Earth Burnt Black is a well-packaged and articulate myriad of ideas that hits the nerve more often than not.

The debut of Colorado prog doomers Earth Burnt Black isn't groundbreaking by any means, but it is a well-packaged and articulate myriad of ideas that hits the nerve more often than not.

The massive and soaring clean vocal-led portions of this epic slab of doom are set off by grisly toilet grunts and the odd black metal rasp. Big phat riffs on 'The March', with the lead and bass playing off against one another compellingly, are set off by extremely low growls and phlegmatic rasps that had me gnashing my teeth at the obvious talent of vocalist Patrick Wickman. 'Adornment' mixes brutish bashing and slavering harsh vocals with fizzing, harmonized guitar riffs - sounds catchy, heavy, dark and aggressive, but with the right amount of light flashing through the slats on the roof. 'Freedom of the Wretched' features a rocking, gleaming proggy riff at its heart. Not to mention a skittish bass solo. Instrumentally these guys are tight, and there are loads of ideas being thrown into the concept.

It all trundles along like a proggy album. Tracks meld almost seamlessly into one another, central musical motifs are returned to in different instrumental incarnations, and the myriad vocalisation techniques make for an operetta feel. At times it's beautiful (the opening of the Isis-like 'Lead or Cyanide') and at others wrathful (the mid-section and end of 'Freedom of the Wretched' in particular). These tracks are often by their nature long, and although the chopping and changing between vocal styles and gradients of viciousness helps keep things fresh, there is occasionally the whiff of a directionless section or a mismatched tune here and there. A little bit too fat on the longer tracks, and not quite the searing emotional manifestations that might form the carapace of an ideal doom album.

This is a solid outfit, I must say. Coming off like a cross between Isole and Monkeypriest, with a few smears of Opeth to round our their eclectic sound, Earth Burnt Black have something to tempt many an explorative doom head. It just doesn't make your balls fly off, and while I found plenty to enjoy on repeated listens, it doesn't beckon irresistibly to be spun again.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. The March
3. Adornment
4. Freedom of the Wretched
5. The Hunt 6. Lead or Cyanide
7. Vengeance and Fire
8. Epilogue

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Earth Burnt Black bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-02-15 by doom-metal.com
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