Latest updates:

We hope you enjoy your visit here. Please join or login if you have joined before.

MT @ Facebook

Not logged in

Users online

37 guests

Welcome to our newest member, Bodenes5

Doomocracy - Visions and Creatures of Imagination

Visions of Creatures and Imagination
by Daniel Stefanov at 08 August 2017, 8:02 AM

I know what you're thinking, and you are right, DOOMOCRACY is indeed a goofy name. Not as goofy as they come, but surely on the goofier side of things. However, should you give these Greeks a chance (and you should), you'd find out there's nothing goofy about their music. "Visions and Creatures of Imagination" is the second album of these acolytes of pure classical Doom metal, and, according to their own words, is a step towards more mature and developed sound. The music definitely sounds mature, however before getting to that, I can't help but note that the album art, despite being decent, is a step down from the quality of their debut. Especially for a young band, it is of great importance that the album art draws the attention needed to sell those extra few copies, so that the band can feel more confident going forward.

The cover of "Visions and Creatures of Imagination" seems to do precisely the opposite. It is boring, bland, generic, even difficult to look at. The typical composition of a central figure performing some sort of gesture can work wonders in two settings - an extremely detailed or shocking scene of vivid colors or depth (IRON MAIDEN's "Dance of Death" comes to mind for all the wrong reasons, but most MANOWAR cover arts, and even DOOMOCRACY's own debut follow that formula brilliantly) or in a deliberately devoid of details and objects setting, to underline simplicity, sense of loneliness or serenity (like WASP's "Crimson Idol" or STRATOVARIUS's "Elements"). But having it surrounded by skulls and drown in shades of brown goes the opposite way of inciting "visions and creatures of imagination". Luckily, things feel much more positive once the music starts playing.

DOOMOCRACY's style of slow, heavy, and emotionally charged metal once again works like a charm, and despite not shining with terrible originality, the album is never boring or annoying to listen to. Straight from the first track, "Ghosts of The Past", the band shows that they are dead set on delivering crushing slow riffs over a melodic background, and drive them forward with Michael's stellar singing. His voice shows impressive range, worthy of envy from many singers, while remaining both powerful and emotional. The same can be said about the music - usually it is very hard to find the right balance between sounding emotional and sounding "evil" enough to be accepted on today's heavily competitive metal scene, with all its absurdities, not the least of which - the fact that "evilness" seems to be becoming the primary measure by which bands are judged. DOOMOCRACY, however, have nothing to fear, as their solid take on Doom metal does exactly that - deliver on all fronts. That is also apparent in the follow-up track, "Lucid Plains of Ra", which seems to be the thematic centerpiece of the release, being of Egypt-inspired motifs. And despite me not being a fan of said motifs, the song's immense-sounding rhythm section and faster than usual tempo, truly set it as one of the best tracks on the record.

Going through the release, a lack of diversity can be felt, but Doom metal has never been among the genres that try to kill two birds with one stone anyway (like for example Melodic Death, or Power metal, where the artist is more or less forced to dive in many different directions), so it is well within the acceptable that the album sounds like a single huge track from start to finish. That being said, each track has a different message and a shade of a different feeling to convey. "One with Pain", for example, is as complex and beautiful as an 8-minute universe of sound can be, while "My Bane" has a simpler, more melancholic atmosphere to draw you in. The titular song "Visions and Creatures of Imagination" has menacing and nightmarish undertones, but develops into a beautiful melody, delivered emotionally amidst heavy guitars, therefore annihilating what shades of horror there might have been on the track. The album closes on "A Taste of Absinthe", which is an epic track, not nearly as unfittingly alcoholic as the title suggest.

Overall "Visions and Creatures of Imagination" ends up being more than the sum of its parts, despite being driven more often by masterful musicianship than quality of composition. Michael's voice does wonders to establish the atmosphere, however can be perceived as overacting at times, trying too hard to evoke dramatic feelings, while the music at the particular moment seems to be going a more head-banging direction. At some points in the first half of the album several background tracks seem to be overlapping, creating a bit chaotic feeling. I don't know if that is intentional or not, but it does sound like a mistake in editing. I personally would have liked a wider variety, a more contrasting picture, however the album is supremely enjoyable as it is.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ghosts of The Past
2. Lucid Plains of Ra
3. My Bane
4. One with Pain
5. Guardian Within
6. Visions and Creatures of Imagination
7. Trinity of Fates
8. A Taste of Absinthe
Michael Stavrakakis - Vocals
Angelos Tzanis - Guitars
Harry Dokos - Guitars
Manolis Sx - Bass
Minas Vasilakis - Drums
Record Label: Steel Gallery Records


You do not have permission to rate

Metal Temple © 2000-2014
Yiannis Mitsakos

Designed, Implemented and Hosted by PC Green