2006-7 has been a damn good year for Doom Metal hasn’t it? In 2006 we saw the release of CELESTIIAL, NORTT, OF DARKNESS, AHAB, Thee Kvlt ov (((Ouroboros and ROANOKE while 2007 is already off to a brilliant start with BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL, and now MIDDIAN. Damn I love Doom Metal.
MIDDIAN is a newer band that plays a style of Doom and Stoner metal akin to YOB. This should come as no surprise really, as MIDDIAN was formed from the ashes of YOB and frontman Mike Scheid carried the singular/drugged/pulsed out sound to his new band when he joined. Does MIDDIAN outperform YOB? Well, yes and no. No in the sense that YOB creates a much larger headspace and drugged out atmosphere which while MIDDIAN isn’t lacking it just can’t compete; and YOB just rocks harder…..that’s a really big deal. But on the other hand MIDDIAN is much more approachable and much less of a sort of mind nectar like YOB is/was. But, I won’t judge this album solely on MIDDIAN’s connections with YOB and I don’t think any of you should either.
Opening up with one hell of a riff “Dreamless Eye” made me do a double take, not because I thought I was listening to YOB (last comparison I swear…) but because it’s just so damn groovy I had to make sure I didn’t put in “25…Tab”. Yeah “Age Eternal” is actually that good. What gets me really hooked on this release is the shear power every single song on the album is presented, hell even the quite opener of “The Blood Of Icons” is just so damn intimidating it’s hard to smile as the notes creep along. Another example is that fucking a’ introduction in “Sink To The Center” It scares me to death….and I love it. This power is exactly what A LOT of band are missing now, be it Black, Death, Power, Doom or Neo-Classical/Folk/Pagan/Techno Metal. Energy is just missing, and it’s that E word that brings a lot to the table.
The music is awesome to say the least, as mentioned the power of this release can be felt at all times but another shocking aspect is the varying nature of each individual song. Every song can be recognized and has distinct movements and pieces, and they never get boring. That’s a feat kids, when your shortest song is six minutes and your longest 16 and the whole album never EVER gets boring. Damn I love Doom Metal.
The lyrics are in the vein of YOB (d’oh) which means they deal with the Spiritual side of man, the Esoteric nature of man and various Cosmological ideas or equally Cosmological proportions. I mean damn….everything about this album is huge, from the music and lyrics to the cover art and production. Speaking of which, the production is very heavy, with chugging and crushing guitars, the clear and precise drumming and the killer vocals, the production lets every aspect of “Age Eternal” shine through.
What’s great is that MIDDIAN is so new, yet so experienced, or at least sounds experienced. “Age Eternal” oozes over with professionalism and sublime workmanship. Considering this is a debut album, and with no other known works, this aura is a damn impressive one. So I have no other choice but to recommend this fine piece of Doom to anyone with any interest whatsoever in the slower side of music. Already a contender for album of the year along with other doomster BLOOD OF THE BLACK OWL; highly recommended to both listen to and experience. Damn I love Doom Metal.
P.S Check out their Myspace (provided as the homepage) and take a listen to the edited (for length) songs. You can thank me later.
(Online May 31, 2007)