"All Hell's Martyrs"

by Octopi Mills

This is a band from Dublin, Ireland in the doom metal vein. The intro gets in no hurry, and "13 Clergy" comes along with some good riffs and vocals that sound like something between Bobby Liebling and Wino, though finding it's own style in a old school metal sense. The sound of the song has a vintage kinship, like it could have been from the 80's. "Cthulu Opiate Haze" is next and immediately I see there is diversity in the vocalist, which works well over the dreamy, thick strings which are done better and with more taste than most of their peers in the style. There is a sweeping, weeping manner of the guitar layering that is much like the building of a lasagna rather than that of a stone temple, and I will mention the drummer is there to avoid cheating his timing. This track swirls and swirls within itself like a maelstrom for a bit and creates a storm like atmosphere in which patience is required to hear it all.

"The Devil's Venom" is a mere little piece that seems to be an intro for the next song that follows, which opens with some chanting and the sweeping, open high string layers are a staple by now, and I have heard them in black metal music before often. This has a heavy effect on the guitar sound making it sound drugged out, hazy and melancholic. So far this lasagna of strings is not overdone, though just like the dish itself one can become full on the mass, and there is echo that is there sometimes, or perhaps a reverb that lends itself for effect to the sound. By the time "Scourging Iron" comes about the sweeping strings I have mentioned nearly become too much, somewhat upsetting the other layers bubbling is here I become curious and threaten to rip the layers of this up to see whats crawling under there, like planks in an old floorboard where one hears heartbeats and slithering noises. The bass is there and the drums, but i haven't the means to investigate further and the song picks up a bit, and there are some good leads in guitars that are missing in the doom style abroad in the genre here, though they are somewhat lethargic and subdued, which lends a good feeling to the songs, much like an old aunt might give you an old nightcap of opium tea.

Crowley is invoked in another sort of intro piece to "We Wield the Spear of Longinus" and I hear the god damned little strings again manifest and know he sure likes them and must keep them as little impish pets. The vocals wail and there is some good dark, gloomy melody in the song. This isn't your uncle's doom band, and is seeped in dark gloom and deep feelings that are demonic and wish to make you lethargic like them, where they will break you out of the spell with a "praise hail satan" and then pick up the beat just enough to let you know where there heart lies and that it is moved at such intervals by Lucifer. There are moments that remind me of a doomier Mercyful Fate in this song, which has theatrical passion and stage presence. The next song gallops around on a slow, heavy horse like the knight of pentacles from the Waite tarot pack, and is as his symbol and pace has been built from before. And the little strings return like Christopher Lee from the mists of time....And the next song is like its ancestors, offering enough change to make it listenable. All in all, this a good/decent album and one of the better bands I have heard in newer doom circles.