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Paul Chain : Alkahest

Paul Chain is Italy's ultimate mastermind of doom. The amount of music that he has created through the years is immense. A lot of it managed to get on CDs, but his productivity was far too high for the Italian labels to manage. It is probably not that odd that Paul Chain has got a cult status.

So what does this CD have to offer the doom fans? Well, Paul Chain has a most unique epic voice. It is much softer than the vocals of most epic vocalists. This fits the music quite well as it adds a sorrowful sound. He also does set coarser vocals on some of the last tracks. [edit by author: Though it should be noted that Lee Dorian, of Cathedral fame, does most of the vocal duties.]

As you might have guessed, the music here is mainly epic traditional doom. There are some tracks without the epic element in them, but this is not the rule. Some tracks have a classic rocky feeling; others are heavy with a slight ballad feel. Some of the more modern sounding of those tracks have soft keyboards in the background. But absolutely every one of the tracks has guitar solos that peak the music up to several times. Fans of soloing should really not miss out on this one.

Paul Chain has many influences. The fourth track, 'Three Water', for example, reminds me of a doomy version of 'Smoke On The Water' by Deep Purple. Others are heavy, much like Candlemass. And then again there are other sections that are unique to Paul Chain's style of doom. Take for example the intro on track five. I have never heard any other doom band use bagpipes on any of their tracks before.

Obviously Paul enjoys experimenting and exploring the sound of traditional doom. But he never goes too far astray, thus preventing the music from becoming silly. Actually it is this experimentation that makes his genius shine. It is his curiosity and will to step by step, explore unknown territory that renders his music so unique and interesting.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Roses Of Winter
2. Living Today
3. Sand Glass
4. Three Water
5. Reality
6. Voyage To Hell
7. Static End
8. Lake Without Water
9. Sepulchral Life
10. (Bonus Track)

Duration : Approx. 67 minutes

Visit the Paul Chain bandpage.

Reviewed on 09-02-2006 by Arnstein Petersen
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