"Strange Conflicts of the Past"

By Dr. Abner Mality

When strolling through the Riff Garden, I always spend a lot of time at the plot marked Cardinals Folly. Here one can find the tastiest and most succulent riffs of the best Finnish vintage, full of flavorful doom. Very few are the plants that provide riffs the quality of Cardinals Folly and it is a mystery to Ye Olde Doctor why this variety of doom-fruit is not more popular.

True, true, Cardinals Folly are definitely of the same family of doom that countrymen Reverend Bizarre hail from and they also have many hints of Cathedral and even the venerable Black Sabbath tree...strong roots for a heavy garden indeed! I savor the riffery of "Rasputin The Mad Monk", which moves from lethargic to neck-snapping with brilliance. Another classic flower in the Cardinals Folly plot is "Serpent's Night"...oh, what a colossal and tasty riff this one sports! Pure doom in best tradition of those bands mentioned above and equalling them in every way. But for sheer riff overkill, look no farther than "Blood Axis Raiders", the stand-out fruit on the C.F. vine!

On "Strange Conflicts of the Past", we sample many buds from Cardinals Folly's past....chewy bits of doom from various rare sessions of the band's past that are hard to come by now in their original form. Every one of them has a stand-out moment to induce head-banging but I will say that the last 3 tracks "The Model", "They Found Atlantis" and "Transmissions From the Mad Arab" seem to not quite have the quality what of goes before. Not to say they are bad, but they don't match up to stuff like "The Right Hand of Doom" and the aforementioned "Blood Axis Raiders".

Be warned, the vocals here are much an acquired taste. Doleful, monk-like muttering of deep and frankly awkward phrasing, not "real" singing as most know it. But it is part and parcel of what makes Cardinals Folly so gloomy and morose. If you can accept this unique Finnish flavor, then "Strange Conflicts of the Past" will prove to be a riff-taster's delight! Reap this harvest of doom...