The title alone made me want to love this album. Recognition of and homage to the late Syd Barrett, founding member of PINK FLOYD and primary composer of that band's debut release, “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” demonstrates a reverence for the early experimenters in Rock music, and leads on to expect (or at least hope) that the music contained herein will push genre boundaries to some extent. Alas, such is not the case, and “The Piper At The Gates Of Doom” delivers standard CANDLEMASS and SOLITUDE AETERNUS worship that treads no new ground.
Technically, this is a decent outing. The vocals are particularly strong, and Tim Holz delivers a powerful performance that lifts the music into decidedly epic territory. The timbre of his voice fits somewhere between Messiah Marcolin and Geoff Tate, though here he doesn't demonstrate a strength that can match either of these giants. Still, it is good, and his work accounts for much of the dynamism that exists on this album.
The problem is that this is very much a by-the-numbers release, touching on most of the archetypes of Traditional and Epic Doom and Traditional Heavy Metal, without doing anything different enough to put a new spin on any of them. By itself, this problem would not be fatal, since there have been many enjoyable albums that are purely derivative. What dooms this release (pun not intended) is that the songs all overstay their welcome. DOOMSHINE seem to have no restraint in the songwriting department, as most of the song lengths needlessly surpass eight or nine minutes, accumulating into a total album running time far in excess of one hour. An album of such length, delivering standard material, and like this one rarely varying in tempo, soon makes for a tiresome listen.
Performance-wise, these guys have talent. However, if they want to make a more lasting impression, DOOMSHINE must first both cultivate their own unique voice and develop a more economic (or at least dynamic) approach to composition.
(Online November 13, 2010)