SWAMPCULT - An Idol Carved of Flesh (EASTERN VOICE Productions - CD 2014)
Some weeks ago I was contacted and asked if I would like to review a CD of band called Swampcult, hailing from The Netherlands (but the CD was released on Malaysian label!!!). Well, I hardly ever say “no” to such offers, unless it feels like I won’t be interested in the music or I simply don’t like the band… In this case, I did not know the band before, but I saw that I can expect some doomy black metal with a total Lovecraftian conceptual content. “Sounds promising, so bring it on!” I said and some days later I found the CD in my mailbox. Cool. It’s always nice to know that there are bands, which still promote their music with a collectable, physical copy of their release and not only want you to listen to damn mp3 (which I hardly ever do actually).
But hold on… doom / black metal? Hmm, honestly such description of the music would bring the early Katatonia albums to my mind. On the other hand there are many so called depressive, suicidal doom black metal projects like Shining, Forgotten Tomb… and even such Agalloch is often described as doom black! So, which of these would fit Swampcult and would be a nice comparison to introduce you to the music from “An Idol Carved of Flesh”? None of them haha!! Firstly because I think there’s hardly anything from the black metal genre in their music, at least not from the black metal we usually know. But doom metal… yes, doom metal is the great fundament of Swampcult music. But think of the mournful, dark and sinister doom, with very obscure and eerie sound… and if I was going to make any comparisons then loosely I would bring forth the final opus of Celtic Frost “Monotheist” and obviously also Triptykon. Atmosphere wise there’s a strong resemblance, of this utterly evil, creepy, occult music, dark as the hell itself! There’s also sort of psychedelic trance, which the music will awake in the listener... with the slow, repetitive riffing, quite weird sounding vocals (or incantations, as some would rather call it) of A. and so on.
And it’s fine, really. I can surely say that the aura around “An Idol Carved of Flesh” is quite attractive and surely Swampcult have some potential. But as far as this debut album is concerned, I think it’s still only a solid and good effort, but nothing what I would easily call a masterpiece. It’s not the highest quality yet, but some promising beginnings for sure. Swampcult has some killer riffs, some nice arrangements and ideas, but it’s still not quite as awesome as one would hope. Or maybe it’s just because it’s quite specific music, one which may find as many supporters as people, who won’t like it? I don’t know. Anyway, personally I’ve listened to “An Idol Carved of Flesh” several times and well, I guess the thing, which bothers me the most would be the monotonous aspect of this album and that after some time I simply couldn’t recognize which song is which, etc. Not a major problem, especially if I already mentioned that it’s rather solid and enjoyable music… but damn, this is something just too close to boredom, I wish the drummer would squeeze out some more energy from his hands sometimes haha! So… very specific album, rather unusual music, so who will dare to check it out?
Oh, obviously the concept around the Ancient Ones (“The Pits of Yog Sototh”, “The Unspeakable Beyond”, “Mysteries of the Worm”) always works brilliantly.
Final rate: 65/100