2015 saw me, and the world at large, introduced to Dö, a stoner doom trio hailing from darkest Finland with their rather excellent EP ‘Den’ (see Ave Noctum passim). Well, a year has gone by, there has been an apparently more than amicable line up change, and the trio of Big Dog, Deaf Hank, and new sticks man Joe E (for Epic) Deliverance have pounded out their debut LP ‘Tuho’.
And what a debut it is! From the first concrete heavy blast of ‘Born Under Black Wings’ the band firmly declare their intent to bulldoze their way into the play lists and very psyche of doom fans everywhere. The riffage is slow, heavy and sludgy, the bass and drums a sonic barrage, and the vocals a throat wrenching growl, albeit the lyrics are still understandable rather than lost in the wall of sound. As for the first solo of the album, I hope I’m not mistaken when I say it is care of bass beast and vocalist Deaf Hank rather than a down tuned guitar, the fuzzed out howl owing more than a little to the work of the late lamented Cliff Burton. Track two, ‘Everblast II (The Aftermath)’ ups the pace, steering into the territory that a certain Mr Pike has made his own with High On Fire, pounding looping riffs pummelling unrelentingly from the speakers in an aural assault on the senses. When the riff finally relaxes its pace, Big Dog lets loose a solo that is positively gentle by comparison to what came before, far more akin to psych than doom with a capital ‘D’, the contrast between styles in one track not jarring, rather complimenting each other. This blissed out trip continues with the initial meandering beats of instrumental track ‘Ex Oblivione’, where the slowly building pace allows each member of the band to express their not inconsiderable skill with their own musical weapon of choice.
For those who want their doom epic, Dö deliver the goods in spades in the form of the twelve minute plus ‘Forsaken Be Thy Name’, a dragged out litany of hate towards all things religious threaded throughout with a near endless guitar solo that goes from the bluesy to the full on prog master work, ably carried aloft by a rhythm section that sounds like it has played together forever, rather than being a new entity for this album. By contrast ‘Hail The Fire’ follows with a simple combination of acoustic guitar and vocals very much in the dark country style of Wino at his most stripped back, the album then closing with ‘Kylmä’, Finnish for ‘The Cold’, a title more than appropriate for a number that invokes images of the starkest wastes of Finland, Deaf Hank’s vocals entering the realms of the blackened snarl, a style I don’t usually go for, but that matches the slow, bleak music of the first half of the track, before the guitars go full on buzzsaw and the band find their inner corpse painted selves.
At the moment Dö remain very much a self financed, self releasing, underground act, with their music only currently available for download through their bandcamp page, albeit they have done limited hard copies of prior music that has long since sold out. The band are even trying to get this album on vinyl to satisfy the most kvlt of music fans, but to do this, you, the listener must go and buy this pretty damn excellent album rather than pirate it. Go to Dö’s website and part with some of your hard earned cash in exchange for their music, you won’t be disappointed.