Monday, June 18, 2012

Brother Ares' "Devourer of Worlds" debut EP review

I've been meaning to review this album for at least a month. Apologies to everyone involved, I've had a great many things on my plate this last month, from attending weddings to battling bouts of depression and bad sunburns. Without further ado, let's get to the EP!

The album opens with pounding percussion and feedbacking guitar. Another guitar comes in, and both begin to play around in antithesis of any parallel ideas. The guitars battle over top of the continuing plodding drums. The guitars meander and mosey, but never really reach a focal point. It's an interesting effect, but one that leaves me wondering what the point is.

The drums transition nicely into the next song, "Hands like Salt". The guitar comes in softly, hintingly, and then gives you the overdrive that it makes you want. Excellent grooving riff at this point. Delightfully distilled doom. Then- hark! Are those screams I hear? The vocals come in nicely, albeit buried beneath the burly guitar tone. Then, back to the groove, and the drums become more elaborate. Man, that tone is great. More buried vocals! What I can hear is great, but dammit I wish I could hear them better. Everything falls away except for the guitar. Then Bam! Even more guitar crunch is added, and the drums explode back into the sound as well. Ooh! A tasty litle, almost acoustic-sounding guitar break, and then right back into the fury. Brazen drums, thundrous guitars, and screams. Love it. That riff. That fucking riff. As repetitive as it is, I don't think I could ever get tired of it. And now a delayed guitar foray? Dig it, though it does feel a tad overlong, until it echoes out. Very nicely done.

Song three, "Brother Ares" starts with a hi-hat, a little feedback, and then down comes the riffs. Heavy stuff. Then suddenly, the guitar is muted, and the drummer begins to scream! Almost a whisper at first, it grows until a full shout until the riffs return. These vocals are somewhat buried too. These guys must really worship the Riff; they surely don't let their vocals get in the way of it. Crush crush crush, and then everything stops. Wait, is this the next song? Nope, my mistake. The break here is enough to make you think otherwise, and the change in tone only adds to that notion. After the small silence, the guitars come in very softly and understated, almost deceptively, for after a few bars, down comes a slice of some quite crushing doom. And then back to the same riff as before, almost triumphantly, as though Brother Ares has laid his foe to waste, and his dirging battle march continues on. Delightfully droning outro here. Feedback is had, and drums are beat seemingly at random.

And then, it goes right into "Already Dead" without even a blink. The riffs here feel the most menacing out of any song, and the vocals too. Now everyone is screaming! This song is a powerhouse. And way too short! They definitely leave you hanging.

Overall, pretty damn good album. Great doom, good vocals, and great fucking riffs. My only complaint is that the first song feels too meandersome and unfocused. Otherwise, I'd highly recommend it if you're a fan of doom metal.
8.5 out of 10

Footnote: After comparing the version on their bandcamp, it appears the vocals aren't as buried as I thought. Either the CD sounds different, or my new headphones are to blame. You should buy the CD and then listen to their bandcamp below to see for yourself.

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