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Rituals Of The Oak - Hour Of Judgement

Rituals Of The Oak
Hour Of Judgement
by Maria Voutiriadou at 09 February 2010, 9:02 PM

"How many rituals an oak has"’? Maybe the lovely voice of Rebecca Vernon gave us some thrills, back to 2008 and SUBROSA’s "Strega" album, but what about a traditional doom release that follows the steps of WARNING and MOURN? Only this time, this comes from the far and dusty land of kangaroos. It is not a bad joke though, while it could be one; the debut album of the Australian doom Metal quartet is a fact and I consider myself lucky for acquiring it in the excellent double LP version. "So far, so good", you think; but what happens with the rest of it? A single listening could convince you for good, so, let’s take RITUALS OF THE OAK’s story from the very beginning.

It seems that the band found its nightingale in the voice of Sabine Hamad and decided her to be a powerful card, considering the fact that all five compositions of the debut album fit perfectly to her reading and her looming vocal abilities above all. From the opening title till the last one, "The Spell Of Doom", you will definitely find whatever a true and traditional doomster wants from his (desperate) life: slow/ epic tempo, clear guitar riffs, emotional bombastic bass, plus a female voice that could accompanied you to heaven and further far. Note that my favorite track, remains still the second one, "Drown The Wood In Blood", because of its solid temper and the inspiring chorus that sticks on mind for days and days. It also reminds a little of BLOOD CEREMONY’s scent (the very opposite of "Hymn To Pan" though)- comprising an excellent performance from Ms. Hamad (just remember this name). It’s not only JEX THOTH on earth, you know!

I could say that "Hour Of Judgment" begins a fresh era for the label of Eyes Like Snow Records and all those releases following after, during this year, promise to open our appetite for more; and ’more’ will come soon. Just be patient and the gallant beard bearer God of Doom will reward you generously. This goes straight to top of the latest Doom Metal releases so far, and is one of the best debut efforts- nor poor, neither immoderate.

P.S.: Bear in mind the following lyrics:

"The good Lord weeps upon my remains
I am not a witch - God knows my name"

("Drown The Wood In Blood")

4 Star Rating

  1. Hour Of Judgment
  2. Drown The Wood In Blood
  3. Standing In The House Of Suffering
  4. Childhood’s End
  5. The Spell Of Doom
Sabine Hamad - Vocals
Shane Linfoot - Guitars
Matthew Shriffer - Drums
Nathaniel Smith - Bass
Record Label: Eyes Like Snow


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Edited 08 August 2022

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