Tuesday, January 7, 2014
…DOOMRAISER / CARONTE – ‘split’
Wielding the war hammer of doom under such battle cries as Heavy Drunken Doom or Slower Harder Drunker it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that Italy’s Doomraiser practices a belligerent and barbaric combination of sludge and doom. Though these two mantras may be a part of the band’s modus operandi Doomraiser is actually firmly rooted in traditional doom metal while pulling in both progressive and psychedelic elements. Up to this point the band has released an amazing trilogy of full-lengths with their second album, 2009’s ‘Erasing the Remembrance’, standing as their crowning achievement. Doomraiser has also put out notable splits with both Earthride and fellow countrymen Midryasi. For their third foray into the realm of split releases Doomraiser has chosen to once again team-up with an Italian-based band, the relative newcomers Caronte. Exceeding the work of their impressive debut, ‘Ascension’, Caronte’s two tracks add a grimy, sinister vibe to the tripped-out trio of tunes.
No strangers to sluggish, heavy compositions Doomraiser’s track, “Dream Killers”, is a twelve minute ode to the band’s past while also shining some light into the shadows to reveal new dimensions to their sound. Displaying their penchant for slow, atmospheric intros—just listen to “Phoenix” from ‘Mountains of Madness’ as an example—“Dream Killers” is a smoldering slow-burn of pulsating bass, eerie synth washes, glockenspiel, and haunting guitar leads. Rather than plunging into a slow-motion doom crawl, Doomraiser defies expectations by launching into an up-tempo rocker. Despite the accelerated pace of “Dream Killers” the band still takes the time to slow things down on a couple of occasions for introspective, mind-bending excursions into hazy, smoke-filled lands.
For their side of the split Caronte chooses to take the left hand path by lending a sinister, fuzz-filled vibe to their two tracks “Back from the Grave” and “Journey into the Moonlight”. With Electric Wizard as a starting point—particularly on “Back from the Grave”—Caronte have crafted a couple of sleazy slabs of stoned-as-fuck doom metal. Wah pedal abuse, organ, dirty riffs, and satanic chants swirl around the distinctive vocals of Dorian Bones whose bellows, at times, resemble the unhinged caterwauling of The Jesus Lizard’s David Yow. With “Back from the Grave” and “Journey into the Moonlight” Caronte have surpassed the tunes that made up their debut, ‘Ascension’, and have provided worthy counterparts to Doomraiser’s “Dream Killers”.
2013 has provided some excellent split releases, most notably Cough and Windhand’s ‘Reflection of the Negative’ and the split between Australian doom masters Rote Mare and Dire Fate. The Doomraiser/Caronte split should feel right at home amongst these other masterpieces as both bands have crafted some killer tunes. Though it appears that Doomraiser has recently undergone a personnel change resulting in what the band has dubbed as the “Drunken Mark III” lineup, they are reportedly working on their fourth full-length. Here’s looking forward to Doomraiser’s continued legacy and new tunes from Caronte…