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Evoke Thy Lords : Drunken Tales

Without being revolutionary, Evoke Thy Lords have succeeded in developing their own personality in an overcrowded genre.

The musical path Russians Evoke Thy Lords are following is really not so common. Founded in 2002 in Novosibirsk, the biggest city of Siberia, the band, on its first release in 2008, played a punchy kind of Gothic Metal festooned with interesting folky touches. Five years later, here comes the band with its sophomore album, 'Drunken Tales', and what have you got? Stoner Doom! The connection between Gothic and Stoner isn't really obvious, apart from their respective links with the Doom Metal genre, making it a pretty strange metamorphosis to say the least.
It's a metamorphosis which could also become quite a controversial topic when thinking about it: let's be honest, the whole Stoner/Sludge/Psychedelic scene has become pretty popular these days, and this evolution could be seen by some as an opportunistic move…

Fortunately, this new album is good enough to make me forgive anything. If you're already familiar with the band, you'll quickly notice that they still make good use of some ingredients that could already be found on their debut. First, the vocals: Alexey Koslov's growl is an interesting testimony to the Doom Death roots of the band, despite the album being largely instrumental. It's especially noticeable on 'Cause Follows Effect' - the final track (which was also part of the Doom-Art.ru 2009 compilation and therefore is probably a little bit older than the other songs on 'Drunken Tales') - where the singer delivers a very guttural growl which gives the track an always-appreciated aggressive edge. This song, offered as a "bonus", also features a guest female singer, whose voice, while less technical and lyrical than the female singer's on the previous album, has a more sensual tone which perfectly fits the moods.

As on their debut, you also find here a flute player whose contribution softens Evoke Thy Lords' music a lot: it brings about enchanting melodies and a Progressive Rock edge which keeps the tracks interesting despite their length; to me, it is really one of the album's most captivating features, making it turn out to be much richer than expected - a little too rich for some perhaps… Be forewarned though: if you like your Stoner Doom ugly and raw this 'Drunken Tales' might not be your cup of tea, although the Russians manage to stay heavy enough to be enjoyed by the average doomster. In fact, the guitar and bass work is pretty solid: nothing really astounding, but it's groovy and massive as it should be.

To conclude, although it will not appeal to everybody, I can't really fault this second effort. Without being revolutionary, Evoke Thy Lords have succeeded in developing their own personality in an overcrowded genre, and offer us a good album making a kind of bridge between Blood Ceremony and Ramesses. A successful metamorphosis, then…

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Routine of Life
2. Dirty Game
3. Down the Drain
4. Dregs
5. Cause Follows Effect

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the Evoke Thy Lords bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-06-19 by Louis Halard
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