Let’s start at the intro – ‘Him The Almighty Power’. Almighty he may be, however in this instance he sounds like a rambling and no doubt cider addled ‘Harry Ramp’ warbling on about fuck knows what before seguing into what, to these ears anyway, sounds like a compulsive hoarder being forced to hurl his entire collection (approx. 1500) of biscuit tins down the ‘up’ escalator at Holborn tube station. But that is just the intro.
Now I’ve been lucky enough as a reviewer to have a good run of late. Blessed with some totally stellar albums sent thru from the boss (Stand up ‘Hellbringer’ & ‘Evil Reborn’ & ‘Denner / Shermann’) I guess I was due something I didn’t really fancy and this is it.
This here is the debut album from ‘Evil Spirit’ a German three piece doom metal band from Berlin. I thought it was me at first, not being the biggest doom fan so I played it thru a few times before deciding it was a bit….. pants.
Thing is, there’s some strong riffs on this. 3m40s into ‘Grey Ashes Of The Reptile’ is a riff to make Candlemass proud and that track drives on from that point strongly. It’s just all the wafty nonsense up to that point. The pained vocals and dull chords just do not float my Dutch barge. ‘Eve Of The Beholder’ isn’t too bad. For one, it’s short (2m07s) but then following that is the near eight minute ‘Let The Dragon Be My Guide’. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fair bit of atmosphere created by the band but if you have a peek at the band photo in the centre of the CD insert you’ll see they look about as evil as Dani Filth in a Scooby Doo onesie……. and I apologise for that image.
The production is more suited to, say a primitive black metal album as opposed to this and it sounds like a lo-fi Hooded Menace demo. I hate caning bands as it’s quite clear that Evil Spirit have an idea of what they want to achieve but I feel they need to sit down and re-map their vision. Up the production, drop the cheesy image and concentrate more on shorter, more quality songs and don’t forget the RIFFS because that is what doom should be about in my book.
Having said all of that, the band gets a bonus point for having my song title of the year with ‘Push Angie Back Into The Swamp’.
(5/10 Mark Eve)