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P˙lon : The Harrowing of Hell

P˙lon certainly don’t reinvent the wheel. What they do superbly is capture the fear that started the genre.

Most metal fans are immediately skeptical of (or hostile to) Christian bands. Even I, as a Christian myself, harbor that skepticism. But if there’s one metal genre where the followers of Jesus have proven their worth, it’s Doom.

The reason for this is simple. As atheist metal scribe Josh Haun once noted, “So many modern Doom bands embrace the dark side, and it seems they missed the entire point of Black Sabbath (both the song and the band). Ozzy and Co. weren’t happy to see Satan standing before them, they were fucking terrified.” That’s the reason Trouble were accepted, and it’s the reason you should give P˙lon, and their vinyl LP The Harrowing of Hell, a chance.

The Swiss three-piece play a style of traditional/epic Doom that lies somewhere between Candlemass and fellow Christians Trouble. As with both of those bands, the vocals are an unusual clean style that may be a turnoff for some listeners, but grows on you after a while. It’s slow and quite simple Doom, which occasionally adds in some keyboards. The (presumably overdubbed) lead guitar work is excellent, playing melodies that go along perfectly with the rhythm guitar. The record has variety, too, from the music/then vocal/then music dramatic songwriting of “The Stream of Forgetfullness” (sic), to the fearful “Returnal Etern,” to the ominous yet sorrowful “You Have Been Warned,” the latter of which contains a nearly tremolo-picked riff.

As I mentioned, the vocal style might be the biggest sticking point for some. If it's a little too tough to get into, you might appreciate guest vocals by Nomad Son's Jordan Cutajar, who has a much more orthodox throaty style on the two tracks where he takes the lead.

They certainly don’t reinvent the wheel. What they do superbly is capture the fear that started the genre. And then they throw a cover of “Paranoid” at you that’s slowed down and rearranged such that it’s hardly recognizable. The record is worth checking out for that alone.

Check out http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/ for more metal reviews and commentary from Kelly Hoffart aka Full Metal Attorney.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Gethsemani
2. Psalm 139a
3. The Stream of Forgetfullness
4. Psalm 139b
5. Returnal Etern
6. You Have Been Warned
7. Paranoid

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the P˙lon bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-08-21 by Kelly Hoffart
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