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Various Artists : Doom Capital

Of all the many subgenres within my beloved world of stoner/doom, old school doom AKA Maryland doom AKA doom-tinged metal AKA blues-based doom AKA whatever is definitely one that's close to my heart, so you'll get none of my usual clinical objectivity in this review. Nossir, that ain't happening. What you ARE going to get is a lot of gushing about how great this comp is, but I'm only doing that because its true. True I tell you!

One thing I've noticed in the reviews I've read about this album is that the reviewers often include a healthy chunk of the press handout that came with the CD. There's no doubt about it, the D.C./Maryland doom scene is a fascinating - and often incestuous - one. In this case, however, incest is not necessarily a creepy word invoking pictures of your leering Uncle Albert. When it comes to these amazing musicians, the fact that they've often been in each other's groups in the past seems only to highlight their strengths and ability at musical interplay. So I'm not going to go into too much detail about the history of all these bands except to tell you that they descend musically from 'Sabbath through Pentagram, and that the trademark Maryland doom sound owes a lot to just that lineage. If you want history, read Crucial's informative notes (errors notwithstanding, ha ha) and the thumbnail band bios.

If you're like me, a huge fan of the above-referenced style o' doom, then for the sake of the Southern Lord get your wallet out and get this comp IMMEDIATELY. Most comps. may be ass, but this one is definitely a doomed-out winner. Rare tunes, including ones by Clutch and the much-underrated Internal Void, abound. There is guitar genius from Wino, Dale Flood, Kelly Carmichael, and... Well... Just about everyone; biker doom from Earthride; doom with a southern tinge from Black Manta; white doom (I just made that up) from your spiritual advisors in Life Beyond; and there's even a Maryland super group in the form of Los Tres Pesados. I simply cannot mention all of the groups and describe all of the tuneage, because it would make this review twice as long and three times as boring. Suffice it to say that this disc is chockablock with quality 'Sabbathy doom, with amazing guitarists, fat tones, ace songwriting, and superb rhythm sections. You'll hear old favorites stretching out and new favorites putting their own spin on the old school. Its all so good, you can't help but get an adrenaline rush. If you're an old school doom fanatic, that is.

Crucial Blast has done us a great service with this fine effort. I'm heavily into this doomed musical community, and there were still groups on this disc that I had yet to hear. I daresay you will say the same. This comp definitely fits into my small but worthy "Comp Hall of Fame," along with 'Judge Not...', 'Blue Explosion...', and 'Dark Passages'. The cool thing about this disc is that it raises the possibility of sequels: what about another comp of Maryland-style doom without limiting it geographically? How would Europe's True Doom bands mesh with all of this? And what about Pentagram themselves? Questions, questions..... I think its time to listen to War Injun again, while I ponder these weighty matters.....

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. 'Sea of Destruction'
2. 'Grip the Wheel'
Hidden Hand:
3. 'Rebellion
Internal Void:
4. 'Black Wings of Deceit'
Life Beyond:
5. 'Rising Sunn'
6. 'Class War'
7. 'Lifeline'
8. 'Black Sky'
War Injun:
9. 'Dangerous Prayer'
Black Manta:
10. 'Days of Yore'
Leviathan AD:
11. 'Breathing Rust'
King Valley:
12. '$2 Brain'
13. 'Damned to Know'
Los Tres Pesados:
14. 'The Ruler'

Duration : Approx. 66 minutes

Visit the Various Artists bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
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