|Glow's 'Gone, But Never Forgotten' topped my list for 2005. In the world of trad doom, it was a monster out of left field, the best of the best, first among equals. Nobody did bluesy doom better than these Spanish freaks - it was one of the finest interpretations of 70s influenced metal I had ever heard. My fervent prayer at the time was that for the love of all things holy and unholy, some wise label would sign these deserving doomsters and do 'em a proper. |
As Robert Fripp says, sometimes God smiles. Glow is back, and Alone Records deserves boatloads of good karma for signing them up. The good news is that the group is wise enough to know not to screw around with a very good thing. The other good news is that this is not a simple repeat of 'Gone...', but an improvement, giving their distinctive grooving doom sound a more up to date aura without compromising it one iota. The production on 'Dive into the Sun' is better, with finer dynamics, clarity, and tone. There's plenty of distinctive bass drum, always a plus for doom records of the first rank. Perhaps the most noticeable change is in Ralph's vocals. Along with his trademark clean, soulful belting, there's plenty of vocal treatment going on, sometimes to good effect ('The Weatherman') and sometimes less so ('Inside').
I hate to feed the vocalist-as-primadonna-syndrome, but there's no getting around the fact that Ralph is one of the best singers in music. Period. His passionate vocals recall the very best: Henk Armstrong, Paul Rogers, Pete Stahl, Chris Cornell, even Jadd Spiritu. There are few in that top rank, and Ralph's efforts on 'Dive...' justify the album's purchase by themselves. But of course Ralph doesn't sing in a vacuum, and the group's musicianship is every bit his equal. Dip into the album with 'Dead Angels,' very probably the album's best tune, and a heavy qua heavy exercise in 'Sabbathy goodness, melodic and stomping. 'Winter Pain' is a loping, destroying monster, as if the King of the Wargs was holding a private dance for his pet dinosaurs. 'Evil Number' pumps the endorphins, a successful exercise in galloping blues doom, with some tasty cowbell to liven things up. As the title might suggest, 'The Weatherman' is the soundtrack to revolution, 1970 style. Who knows? If the song could be sent back in time, the U.S. might now be run by bomb-throwing anarchists.
Pounding, melodic, bluesy doom. That's what Glow is all about. Grooves and rhythmic change-ups, tone and emotion, buttery distortion and a retro Hammond. Glow's got it all, enough to loan to a hundred bands with plenty left over for themselves. These guys recreate 'Sabbath, 'Vitus, Trouble, Witchfinder General, Revelation, and other doom masters of the past, blend it with classic rock like Kansas and Rush, and come out somewhere south of Goatsnake, Abdullah, and Spiritu.
4. Dead Angels
5. Winter Pain
6. Evil Number
7. Wake Up
8. The Weatherman
Duration : Approx. 66 minutes
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