Yet another doom masterpiece from the realm of Finland, Garden of Worm's debut full length is a very nice album with everything to please my appetite. The country is rarely producing sub par material and this trio from Kangasala (near Tampere) is no exception, I only hope they won't fall into obscurity and release a sophomore album. Taking their name from a song on King Crimson's seminal release ''In the Wake of Poseidon'', the band is no stranger to progressiveness themselves as they mix the traditional doom approach with a shitload of prog influences.
I don't know what established Finland as a powerhouse for doom made for my particular being. Perhaps the bleakness and coldness of the sound intertwined with the mournful emotions. It's evoking the classic doom sound but with a darker yet immense approach usually found in black metal bands. You know the likes: candles burning, incense spouting its smell, big livid eyes looming at the lifeless prey.
Contrary to a band like Wandering Midget (definitely worthy of your time and money as well), they're not exclusively praying at the altar of the deceased Reverend Bizarre. Songs like “Psychic Wolves” or the lengthy “Hollow” can recall the Albert Witchfinder's touch but they have this added charming weird feeling that you can find on the more obscure RB releases such “Return to Rectory”.While there's a clear influence both in the vocal department and some of the doomier riffs, Garden of Worm is more of a apostle of label mates Revelation, the cult American progressive doomsters. They have this laid back musical approach with lush riffs varying in speed but always deeply atmospheric.. They also have this romantic and epic influence more obvious on fantasy inclined tracks like “The Alchemist's Dream”, a song recalling the Germans of Atlantean Kodex.
The prog influence is subtle but we can feel the European influence, be it kraut or the Jethro Tull influenced instrumental track “Rays from Heaven” with its flute part and its folk feel. The album, in my opinion, can be divided in two parts, the first three songs has this faster pace and its ending with this short interlude mentioned earlier. “The Ceremony”, the fastest track on the record is a groovy number with nice melodic vocals. The vocals have this operatic feel found in many European doom bands since the arrival of Candlemass, we can also feel the touch of Solitude Aeternus often. Even though the singer is not in the same league as Robert Lowe, his voice is pretty nice.
The band is a trio and they keep things relatively simple and smooth, although it's proggy there's no blistering leads or mellotron solos here. It's pretty much all in the songwriting and incorporated in the sound. Well presented and produced for its genre, the band controlled its delivery and served an album with subtleties and it's an impressive debut. I'd admit I haven't heard their Eps but I wouldn't be surprised if they were pretty good as well.
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