Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: Black Capricorn - S/T : The sorceress' cauldron is tempting - 75%

What we have here is a very cool fuzzy doom band from Sardinia and contrary to their famous cheese full of flies named Casu marzu, it's quite tasty. They are signed to the American label 12th Records and just like the previous bands (Yob, Ocean Chief...) of this small label, they are quite psychedelic. It's dark, bewitching and full of heavy riffs made of 10,000 tons of lava (listen to the song of the same name!). 

The veil of smoke obscuring the mightiness of the vocals reminds me of Electric Wizard, quite obviously one of the biggest influences of Black Capricorn. Another band influence by Oborn people will say? Yes, absolutely and I have no problems with this! You shouldn't necessarily skipped this band if you're bored of this genre though, while not bringing a lot of new things to the table, they use novelty and fantasy in their music. The passion is there, waiting for you to simply dive into the sorceress' cauldron and let her spellbending music do its magic.

The Italians are more direct and less inclined to the stoner induced sound of the British masters. This band is very talented, melting subtle songwriting and bludgeoning riffs to create an intricate blend of powerful and emotionnal doom metal. The vocals of the guitarist Kjxu are priestly, check the song The Maelmhaedhoc O' Morgair Prophecy for a good example of this, the sample at the start reveals the intention of making music with a grandiose religious vibe, only the organ solos and the (inverted) crosses are lacking, but eh, there's a sorceress on the album art and she's preparing an evil mixture! The vocals are lacking power and originality, but they fit the genre well, some improvement are needed here. Another great example of the particular church like vibes we can find on this album is the second track, Perpetual Eclipse. The track has a very strange introduction with some kind of flutes or oboe, maybe a traditional Sardinian instrument (if you know what is it, feel free to let me know)

Despite being on an island in the Mediterranean, we can't hardly link these Sardinians to their Maltese doom friends (Forsaken, Nomad Son). There's no keyboards, it's not a christian band and they are not epic, both their lyrical themes and overall sound. They sound more English or American. Albeit being a very psychedelic doom band, they don't forget their Sabbathian roots and indulge Iommi riffs all over the record, check the instrumental track at the middle of the release. The sound is dominated by the guitar, I can't really say much things about the bass and drums, they do their job carefully without frills (both played by pretty Italian girls too). It's quite riff based, something true to doom, but the solos could be better as well, something that will be improved on the next release based on the lineup changes.

I can see why the band decided to improve their lineup and based on my Italian friend Uncolored, their new stuff is pretty good. They added a vocalist and a second guitarist to the band, I really think it will pay off and create a more sonic and rich psychedelic atmosphere. Yes, the songwriting is quite good, but there's some limitations to their vision, the new lead guitarist will bring some uber heavyness to the band and transcend to new heights. 

If you enjoy doom metal with an emphasis on huge fuzzy riffs, buried clean vocals with hints of psychedelic influences, check Black Capricorn, you won't be disappointed. Along with Holy Martyr, they are a Sardinian force to reckon with and they have lots of potential.

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