Doomraiser - Reverse (Passaggio Inverso) (BloodRock Records)

Release Date: 
12 Jan 2015 - 11:30pm

Living in that splendidly bombastic area on the borders of trad metal, and crushing, sludge-infused Sabbathian doom, Italians Doomraiser bring one hell of a noise to the 2015 metal party.

Elephantine riffs, jackhammer rhythms and hauntingly off kilter vocals are the order of the day, and when all three of these ingredients are mixed correctly, there seems to be little point trying to stop this doom juggernaut.

Opening brace Addiction and Mirror of Pain lay the Doomraiser template bare for all and any to see; With a refreshing reluctance to resort to mindless death grunts or cookie monster growling any more than is absolutely necessary, vocalist Nicola "Cynar" Rossi is a fine singer cut from the cloth of latter day doomish heroes such as Robert Lowe,  whilst the guitars of the enigmatically-monickered Montagna and Serpico, whilst obviously bowing down to the altar of Iommi often take their cues from more classically metallic sources such as Marcus Jidell as a source of inspiration. And of course, with a name like Serpico you can be sure there are no criminally poor riffs to be found here...

This gives the sound a nice, sleek sheen to go on top of the seventies bombast, though rhythm section Andrea "BJ" Caminiti (bass) and drummer Daniele "Pinna" Amatori both keep the bottom end resolutely anchored in a lumbering early eighties groove that takes no prisoners and offers no hostages to the modern day at all. Amatori, in particular, shines throughout, hammering seven shades of the proverbial out of his kit in best, lumbering Vinnie Appice fashion.

The chugging Ascension 6 to 7 is almost – wait for it – uptempo, the band breaking into a trot as Montagna peels off a splendid solo,  but the band loses it’s way slightl;y with a pointlessly meandering mid section which drags on and on until it becomes the end section and the song rather peters out whilst Amatori clatters away on his kit. It’s a lost opportunity given the strong nature of the start of the song, and evidence that the band still has a way to go as far as learning to self edit is concerned.

Still, the chug returns for Apophis, and it’s accompanied with some judiciously-applied double kick action and some aggrieved howling from Rossi, making this song the most ‘modern’ sounding in the set. Think of a slightly-less-miserable-than-usual Triptykon and you’re getting some way to conjouring up visions of the desolate majesty of Apophis

In Winter continues this misanthropic diversion, being a nine minute journey into crushing despair and bottomless ire, paced slower than it’s predecessor and thus hitting even harder. True sounds of misery indeed.

Final track Dio Inverso (Reverse) hammers home the point, if any such clarification were needed, that Doomraiser really are a very fine band indeed, a band who deserve the attention and adoration of committed doom fans everywhere. Splendid stuff.