Garden Of Worm - Garden Of Worm

After a long wait, Garden Of Worm have unleashed their debut album and it so good that they might just be the best of all the Finnish Doom Metal bands. The album artwork may suggest something cheap and nasty but the music is quite the opposite. What sets this three piece apart from most other Doom acts is how they manage to capture the true essence of Traditional Doom Metal and blend it with 70's Progressive Rock elements without recycling anything from either genre. The sound may get close to the sounds of bands like Revelation at times but there is always a twist to their songs, from Sabbath styled riffing to Iron Maiden styled Heavy Metal progressiveness, these various sound textures usually occur when you least expect it though which leaves you with a album is extremely diverse within the context of a Doom Metal band. They are also real heavy without ever sounding like a typical plodding Doom / Sludge band.

"Spirits Of The Dead" has a apocalyptic atmosphere to start off the album and has a truly retro-doom vibe, the playing is precise and can't be faulted. Blending big riffs with subtle prog-rock inflections that continue to vary and build in dramatic intensity. The next tune "The Ceremony" is even more intriguing and mysterious, while there is some heavy riffing going on, it also has a strong under-current of early 70's occult rock, not that the band is focused on the occult lyrically. Its the vocals that are one of the main elements that makes this band so unique, they are delivered in a clear, half - spoken way that gives a ceremonial vibe to the songs. They bring out the melancholy in the acoustic third track "Rays Of Heaven" while "The Black Clouds" is true ominous Doom Metal. Bursting with a feeling of agony and despair but played with the strange but beautiful time signatures of a Progressive Rock band, this is twisting, turning epic track. The lyrics and music combine to create something emotive and heart-wrenching, you ever heard the Pink Floyd song "Don't Leave Me Now"?, "The Black Clouds" displays that kind of unleashing of emotions. Its not all mellow, tear-jerking stuff however, when the song bursts into a fury of chugging riffing 6 minutes in, its a pure expression of some of the finest old-school Doom song craftsmanship.

"Psychic Wolves" explodes with aggressive, mutated, twisted prog-doom arrangements, there is even passages that come close to sounding like Rush. Strange, unusual and unique, Garden Of Worms are unlike anybody else. "The Alchemist's Dream" has everything all inserted into the one piece of music, chugging doom, knotty progressive sections, noodling guitar lines and apocalyptic but yet melodic vocals. The grand finale, "Hollow" is a 10 minute monster of ever-changing musical genres and textures that keep your ears glued to the incredibly varied sounds. Pouring out pure emotional vocals and some seriously dense riffage, "Hollow" is the most straight-forward Doom Metal track on the disc that manages to remain captivating for its entire duration. If you are already a fan of bands like Dawn Of Winter, Revelation and The Wandering Midget then this should be right up your alley. Garden Of Worm are dark Doom Metal with a Progressive Rock edge that is both intriguing and mesmerizing. Another winner for Shadow Kingdom Records.

1. Spirits Of The Dead
2. The Ceremony
3. Rays From Heaven
4. The Black Clouds
5. Psychic Wolves
6. The Alchemist's Dream
7. Hollow

Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewer: Ed
May 19, 2010
Next review: Valhall - Red Planet

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