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Cardinals Folly – Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom Award winner

Cardinals Folly
Holocaust Of Ecstasy & Freedom
by Ofer Mashiach at 09 March 2017, 9:22 AM

To me, Doom Metal has always being an apex genre. Since BLACK SABBATH's early works that laid the foundations for Heavy Metal in general, and Doom Metal in particular, I find it most appealing thanks to the big riffs and more laid back approach, allowing you to delve into the lyrics and let the tunes pass through your body. New Doom bands that have popped in recent years seem to retain the splendor and thick atmosphere, and even the sleekest production can't resist the retro feeling inherent in this genre.

CARDINALS FOLLY is not different in that respect. Hailing from Helsinki, Finland, this mighty Trio released in 2016 its third full-length, "Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom." This release showcases their strengths after their somewhat eclectic and slightly unfocused previous album "Our Cult Continues!" The fuzzy sound is gone in favor of a much clearer production and thematic consistency, both lyrically and musically. Being a fan of the band, after I listened to the first track they released, "La Papesse" (The Empress from the Tarot cards), I pre-ordered the album, which proved to be a wise choice.

As I already mentioned, this album is a step forward in both production and performance. It is also more varied. The big riffs are there and the album goes along in a slow tempo for the most part, with occasional upbeat sections. The band mentions SAINT VITUS as one of their favorites, which is definitely evident by the slightly muffled sound and, at times, a somewhat punkish vibe in the faster parts. This is well demonstrated in "Goats on the Left," a Lovecraftian themed rocking piece. Mikko's unregulated vocal delivery also sound punkish, or more specifically, like a self-amused drunkard who tries not to be out of key, with occasional unexpected semi-growls. A more intoned singing could have benefitted this album greatly, but that's not a real concern.

"Her Twins of Evil" reveals the more melancholic side of the band. It starts slow and gloomy, but after a NWOBHM-ish interlude it gets faster. The drumming is decent but does not do anything extraordinary except for keeping the pace, though it shouldn't in this type of music. "Nocturnal Zeal (Winter Orgy)" fades in slowly and the mysterious feel is haunting throughout until it fades out. The rest of the album follows much the same pattern, but it doesn't it gets boring by any means. The closer, "La Papesse," is my favorite song, being majestic with tinges of psychedelia, which is always welcome and compliments overall experience perfectly.

This album is a must for Traditional Doom Metal fans, and marks the band's position as the rising force in the genre from a country that brought us great Doom like REVEREND BIZARRE and FALL OF THE IDOLS. CARDINALS FOLLY is definitely in that league.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Poison Test
2. Goats on the Left
3. Her Twins of Evil
4. Nocturnal Zeal (Winter Orgy)
5. Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom
6. Psychomania
7. La Papesse
Lineup:
Mikko Kääriäinen – Vocals, Bass
Juho Kilpelä – Guitars
Joni Takkunen – Drums
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
     


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