DOCTOR DOOM - “A Shadow Called Danger”
By Dark Starr
This album might not be the tightest fit under heavy metal. It definitely has a lot of metal in the mix, though. In fact, if I had to label it as a set, I'd say that it's metal with healthy helpings of blues rock and jam band music built into it. It's definitely unique and quite entertaining. There is so much going on here, that it's often stunning how a song will transform before it's over.
I love the heavy and almost melancholy vibe of the opening "Come Back To Yourself." The introduction works through a couple changes. Then a fast-paced jam takes over from there. The vocals come in over the top of that. It has an alternative and even punky energy to it. I can even make out some hints of reggae on the tune. This thing has some killer blues rocking sounds in the mix later, too, landing perhaps in the territory of LED ZEPPELIN or GRETA VAN FLEET.
"What They Are Trying To Sell" has a great groove and energy. It's still firmly set in that blues rocking thing, but it also has plenty of metal in the mix, too. It turns to some killer old-school metal further down the road, calling to mind BLACK SABBATH to some degree. There is some smoking hot keyboard work later in the track. A fast paced metal jam is on fire, too.
An acoustic guitar section starts "Ride On." It grows outward at first by electrifying for the entrance of the vocals. It has a lot of that blues rock thing at play. Yet there are some metal edges at various points. This has some almost proggy intricacies at times.
While "Connected by the Worst" is meaner and a bit rawer, it has plenty of cool twists and turns along the road. It is another that gets rather proggy as it evolves later. It's seriously hard rocking and classy. "Hollow" comes next, and I really like the metal groove a lot. It's full blown metal, but it's still built around that blues rock angle. It has some technical guitar soloing that is positively incendiary. There are some later moments that make me think of bands ranging from THE EAGLES to THIN LIZZY. Yet, it still remains metal.
The familiar mix of blues rock with metal is on display on "The Rich and the Poor." I really love the bass sound on parts of this thing. There is almost an ALLMAN BROTHERS-go-metal section later. The blues rock thing, along with more of that ALLMAN BROTHERS element is on display at the start of "In This Town " It gets delivered with hints of stoner metal. The instrumental section mid-track feels like what you might get if you merged that Southern rock band with BLACK SABBATH for a while. It explodes out into some fast paced NWOBHM inspired jamming from there. It keeps evolving from there. The closing "Sarabande" is a version of a classical piece by Handel. It is slow moving and tastefully heavy. It's quite an effective instrumental that makes a great closer.