PENANCE rose out of the ashes of DREAM DEATH in the beginning 90s and those DREAM DEATH were pioneers in terms of Death Metal/Sludge/Doom with their “Journey Into Mystery” record. PENANCE now is a pure Doom Metal act in the vein of TROUBLE, OBSESSED or SAINT VITUS. A culty contribution on the legendary “Dark Passages” sampler activated the interest of Lee Dorrian (CATHEDRAL) and he signed PENANCE for his record label Rise Above.
They released their debut “The Road Less Traveled” in 1992 and nobody knew that time that there already existed an earlier, better edition of this record. This is now what I have here from the original master tapes and it has supposedly a better sound and better atmosphere.
I’m not familiar with the other record, so I have to rely on this work and I have to say, that it’s a great one! PENANCE are very, very gloomy, not always sludgy but also progressive, psychedelic and unpredictable. If you love older TROUBLE, you’ll love PENANCE, too. But this is even more evil and sicker. Especially the vocals of Brian Lawrence are full of wrath and rough and he’s not wailing as others on so much Doom acts. The guitar department loves it extensive and the guitar sound reminds really of original TROUBLE on their debut album. There are super heavy anthems full of desperation, sorrow and world weariness, complete with countless changes and breaks.
This is surely something, fans of the “straight” doctrine probably criticize on PENANCE… not me, as I like Doom with much variety as long as it keeps a morbid atmosphere… This is truly the case and it makes “The Road Revisited” to something special in the Doom genre! (Online November 18, 2005)