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Evoke Thy Lords - Drunken Tales

Evoke Thy Lords
Drunken Tales
by Dorothy Cheng at 23 May 2013, 12:31 PM

The great thing about Doom Metal is its tendency to bring out and highlight Metal’s Rock and Blues background. With a lot of other subgenres, the Rock and Blues sound is almost obliterated, making Doom Metal much more listenable to rockers of all genre affiliations. A prime example of such a Doom Metal record would be EVOKE THY LORDS’ “Drunken Tales”, their second full-length release off Solitude Productions. Veering off the traditional path set by Doom Metal pioneers CROWBAR, which included less interludes and more agonized screaming, EVOKE THY LORDS has produced an album that sits more on the atmospheric fence than the normally neck-snapping heaviness of other Doom Metal records.

This is in line with their description of themselves as Psychedelic Doom Metal, as they have incorporated atmospheric effects to change-up the genre. Progressing from their last two releases, this can be seen as a revamp of the band’s identity in the Doom Metal scene. As they said: “The renovated EVOKE THY LORDS include solid guitar sound, powerful groove base and meditative trance dressed with hypnotic flute sounds”. The flute does a lot to accentuate and highlight melodies that the crunching guitars cannot, bring out the melodic side of Doom Metal, which is most of the time lost in other records, buried beneath the heavy buzz of instruments.

The vocals have a distinct relation to MARILYN MANSON’s style, evident in the whispered verses and low tone. “Drunken Tales” also eludes the normal Doom Metal musical themes that serve to conceptualise the recurring themes of “agony, suffering, and pain”, floating into a more Zen vibe that blends nicely with the genre’s typical slower and heavier sound. Track number 2 “Dirty Game” even had a little (to my ear) “Freezing Moon” a la MAYHEM vibe with all the background descending arpeggio-ic tinkling.

That being said, I am not of the opinion that Psychedelic Doom Metal is exactly a great idea. It’s not bad, but it isn’t great either. It would be like having Punk  / Thrash Metal or classic Symphonic Metal – it just isn’t very necessary or current. In fact, it is a bit of a repetition. Doom Metal already has a very sludgy sound. Psychedelic Rock on the other, is all about stoning and zoning out. Couple the two together and it is like trying to get a fit between like-charged particles. I’m not trying to say the two styles repel each other. However, the Psychedelic influences do get too easily absorbed into the vibe of Doom Metal, making it an overtly subtle and not very effective stylistic choice, especially when the songs are rather long.

For a Doom Metal record, the band definitely took a risk and experimented. Kudos to them for being standouts in the scene in terms of style, but they have become less listenable with that experimentation. This is not a bad album, it is rather good, and this is probably one of those “to each his own” situations. I would give the album a 6/10 review because I acknowledge that it is a commendable effort, I just didn’t enjoy it fully from beginning to end. 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Routine of Life
2. Dirty Game
3. Down the Drain
4. Dregs
5. Cause Follows Effect
Lineup:
Irina Drebushchak – Flute
Yury Kozikov – Guitars
Sergey Vagin – Guitars
Alexey Kozlov – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Solitude Productions
     


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