“Excerpts From a Dread Liturgy”

By Dr. Abner Mality

This is one of those records that seems to have everything necessary for the Mality stamp of approval, yet it just doesn’t move me. Hard to say why, because this Portland band plays an aggressive merger of black and death metal that is well executed and generally well recorded. But if you listen to a lot of this kind of thing, it becomes kind of hard to tell one from another. That’s pretty much what we’ve got with DROUTH.

I detect strong odors of SKELETONWITCH here. There’s a lot of frantic, trebly melodies with a clattering drum assault, screechy vocals and the occasional grooving riff. I’d say the biggest trouble DROUTH has is that they don’t know when to quit. “Excerpts...” is full of 8 and 9 minute songs that would have been better as 5 or 6 minute songs. “A Drowning In Sunlight” and “An Apiarist” have some good ideas and slamming riffs, but they are just too damn long. And the music of DROUTH is not really distinct enough to support such songs. So it’s no surprise that the best and most energetic track is the briefest, “A Crown of Asphodels”, which comes across focused, direct and with a cool melody.

Nothing here is really bad at all, but I can’t say it’s essential in any way.