"Guardian Demons"

By Colonel Angus

My music collection keeps growing at a rapid pace with all the great new metal coming out.  It seems there is a “must have” album at least once a week that makes it into my overflowing CD racks.  But I must admit, one genre within metal that has been absent for a while is Doom metal which is odd being that I am a huge Black Sabbath and Trouble fan.  I love that heavy slow riffing and almost plodding pace, which works well with all those lyrics dedicated to dark subject matters (i.e. death, the devil, etc).  The issue I have with many of the new Doom metal releases is that they come close but there is one element that just doesn’t seem to work.  Unfortunately, King Heavy’s "Guardian Demons" falls into that category.  I really like all the music but Luce Vee’s vocals just don’t do it for me.  It’s not that he is a bad singer but it just doesn’t quite fit correctly. There are instances when he conjures up a deeper, more guttural vocal that fits better.  Parts of “(Death is But an Extreme Form of) Necrosis” shows of this vocal technique and the song is better for it.  To be fair, I have only listened to this record a half dozen times so his vocals may grow on me with repeated plays but with all the disks in my collection (and new ones added on a weekly basis), I don’t see the point of forcing myself to learn to like it.

It really is a shame because I really like the music and I think that Matias Aguirre comes up with some great heavy riffs.  His Sabbath-y riffing stands out through the disk with his standout performances being “Cult of the Cloven Hoof” (coincidentally the shortest track on offer here clocking in at just over five minutes), “As in Nightmare”, and “(Death is But an Extreme Form of) Necrosis”.  Most of the cuts pass the seven minute mark yet the changing riffs and pace within the songs make you wish they were longer.  Daniel Perez Saa and Miguel Canessa make up the rhythm section and they certainly sound a lot like Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.  They have that “swing” element that made Sabbath so unique even when other Doom metal players started to pop up.  All in all, the music is really good and I would be willing to purchase a disk of all instrumental versions of these tracks.  As I mentioned above, Vee is a good singer, just not the right fit for these ears.  As other metal genres have produced some great new albums (the traditional NWOBHM-ish genre comes to mind), so will Doom metal.  It’s just a shame that this one won’t make it into my collection because it really does have potential.