There are some folks who actually read my reviews I’m told, and if you are one of those rare types, you may well have heard me praising the works of Deaf Hank, Big Dog, and Joe E. Deliverance, three individuals who when they come together are known as the entity Dö. In particular, I’ve praised their easy going attitude and humour, something that is all too often missing in those who play Doom; I mean, “happy Doomsters” is surely an oxymoron? However, even these happy chappies of Helsinki seem to be pissed off at the state of the world, but being creative musicians, rather than sit at a keyboard and snipe at the world through social media, they’ve taken their angst and formed it into the EP ‘Astral: Death/Birth’.

Opener ‘Astral Death’ finds the band at their sludgiest, heavy, fuzzy looping riffs matching up with tortured vocals that seem to be dragged up from the very depths, almost a death-growl, matching perfectly the roughly hewn music, music that was recorded live and is clearly unmolested by the ministrations of an over zealous engineer. ‘Astral Death’ sounds on record like it would sound live, and is a perfect number for a dank sweaty basement club where the bass batters your chest and rattles the pint glasses on the shelves. I don’t know what made the band so angry, but whatever it is, it lead to by far their darkest, most intense composition.

By comparison, ‘Astral Birth’ has a lighter, psychedelic opening, the notes crisper, well as light and crisp as you can get if you plugged your Gibson into a Marshall that has been slashed with knives and constantly over-driven. Complete with cries that sound as if they should be echoing from a minaret, the hypnotic opening feels like the soundtrack to some Eastern mantra, and when the trippy solo breaks out some four minutes into the track, it surely shares some of the DNA of George Harrison’s sitar influenced guitar work. However, this hippy idyll cannot last, and halfway through this epic twelve minute track the anger re-emerges, and any thoughts of love and peace are swept aside in a tidal wave of riffage that would have the likes of the mighty Matt Pike nodding in appreciation, all before the number fades out in a howl of feedback.

Dö are clearly not a band to just rest on their laurels, or stick to a single sound, and for that they are to be praised. Considering just how powerful an EP this is, and it is one that really needs to be listened to as a whole, I can only look forward with anticipation for their next release, and wonder what is the next spark that will kindle their creative fire.

(9/10 Spenny)