While various uninformed/unintelligent people out there may actually think that Doom isn't the best genre ever made, those of us with an IQ over 10 know that when you want excellent music, it's the slo 'n' lo that delivers most often (though I'll say that Thrash and Black Metal comes close from time to time). Muddy Waters (purveyor of a different kind of Slo 'n' Lo) put it most eloquently (this is pretty close to the quote, anyway)- "I'd play slow blues all the time if I could get away with it. The slower you go, the deeper you get into the heart and soul of the blues." Basically, get that approach and supply distortion, and you've got that awesome thing called Doom Metal.
GRAVEYARD DIRT supply us with a very effective form of Doom. Lots of big riffs yet also plenty of synth and piano action- treading the line nicely between an epic, cliched-fantasy-story atmosphere (which is always a VERY GOOD THING) and the sort of slo mo heaviness that Doom provides so damn well. The end result is a brilliant, all too short EP full of fantastic Doom riffing that the whole family can enjoy.
Yeah, I know I'm raving like a fanboy, but damn, this is good. The somewhat dry, high in the mix vocals might put a few people off at first, but soon you'll be forgetting about that and just drowning in the massive waves of guitar. I can't really pinpoint where exactly the riffs are from- it's not Stoner Doom, nor Funeral, nor the dirty kind of ST.VITUS style of Doom. It's probably ripped off from some band I haven't heard yet. It's slow, really melodic and with a very elegant vibe. It's an intoxicating sound that's probably completely unoriginial, but I haven't heard anything like it yet so I'm loving it. The first song gets it's riffs on with some epic crunching stuff for the first couple of minutes, before everything gets all melancholic and slows down whilst some sort of flowing clean guitar line slow flows it's way through the song. (River metaphors definitely come to mind here.)
I can't really stop saying just how good this is. There's enough variation in the tempo to keep most people interested, the solos are melodic and yet there's still a little bit of fancy fretwork here and there, and everything has just been arranged and composed in a way that can honestly be described as perfect. The atmosphere is thick, the riffs are chunky, melodic and enjoyable, and everything just flows so damn well. The last Doom record that got me this excited was possibly THERGOTHON's debut. Elegant, beautiful, yet still very satisfying with it's big riffs- I'm really, really excited to see what's going to happen when they put out a full length. Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you all the best doom record of 2007, and possibly the decade- and from an unsigned band, at that!. BUY OR DIE.
(Online March 2, 2008)