"Flesh Throne Press"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Quirky British psych-doom band Pombagira is one of the most long-winded acts around. "Flesh Throne Press" is their second double album set in a row and as is typical these days features songs longer than a stay in a dentist's chair. Frankly, it's starting to get real old. The time is ripe for a return to concise and punchy song-writing instead of bands putting every note that comes into their heads on display.

Over 80 minutes of occult rock are on "Flesh Throne Press" and there are some pretty awesome moments among them. There's also a lot of filler. Plenty of laid back psychedelic drifting is featured this time around. Just about every tune features moody, mellow psych and quite a few tracks like "I Curse, I Pray" and "Gather" are in this style exclusively. That's been a part of the Pombagira M.O. for quite some time now, but "Flesh Throne Press" puts more emphasis on that part of the repertoire than ever before.

First track "The Way" starts things out very promisingly and to my mind is the best song. A perfect mixture of heavy, sludgy Electric Wizard style doom with those more restrained folk-psych tones. The clear vocals are unique and eerie and give things an individual touch. This is just about a perfect doom metal tune, but "Gather" is exclusively the trippy stuff. "Endless" is a good example of what they used to call "acid rock" and it's definitely an acquired taste. "Sorcerous Cry" brings back more of that low-tuned heaviness, reminding me rather of Windhand in the way it sounds so relaxed yet monolithic at the same time.

With the 15 minute plus "In The Silence", we have a song that starts strong and ends with some awesome grooving doom. What's inbetween is drawn out and often tedious, but at least the climax is great. After this one, the album becomes rather mediocre even though the songs become noticeably shorter. Pombagira keeps mining the same kind of sound. I don't get a feeling of exploration or adventure with the constant mix of metlow and massive. When the album ends with the brief and unremarkable "Yesterday's Tomorrow", the feeling of letdown is palpable.

I actually enjoyed some of those more restrained moments, but there's just too many of them here to suit me. Some diamonds here, but overall a missed opportunity.