Saturday, 24 August 2013

Children of Doom – Doom, Be Doomed or Fuck Off (2011) | 86%

The Baguette Doom Series pt. IX : Bataille de la Somme

To complete my portrayal of the traditional French doom scene, here's one of the most well known bands : Children of Doom. Their sweat reeks of doom metal, they are a good embodiment of the spirit of the genre and knows the whole Handbook of Doom by heart. Named after the Saint Vitus (probably the worst record the Americans did), they're obviously inspired by the seminal band but they thoroughly read all the other chapters of their sacred book.

Composed of six tracks, the album is damn good and has a lot of interesting things going on. Akin to Rising Dust ((reviewed here: CLICK ME  ), they're also a power trio but compared to the other band, they do have a potent bass presence. And while the vocals here are also very good, they also play a prominent role in the band's music. Even if their sound is tainted by booze and bikes, it's still a pretty intelligent and well crafted piece of engineering.

The fuzzy sound of Vitus is never too far and the soloing is obviously an important part of their sound, as it should be since their guitarist is pretty good. The songwriting can adventurous as demonstrated by the epic instrumental closer “Mia's Desert” which has saxophone solos that would make John Zorn proud. I would actually welcome a full album of this kind of experimental doom jams not too dissimilar to the Italians of Ufomammut and the likes. The five other songs are still very interesting, they're all between five and seven minutes, no time is wasted anywhere. It's pretty damn groovy and catchy, from fast to mid-paced doom, it fucks you up and pushes you around the bar.

It's very fun music full of frivolity. It transpires to be nothing else than an adequate testament to doom and what it represents to the trio. Fighting the disparagingly modern music of the occident, it's conservative for its own sake and worships at the altar of Iommi and Chandler erected somewhere deep down the collective minds of all doomsters alive and dead. From the heavy drum fills to the powerful clean soaring vocals, it's doing a fine job at pleasing the ancient spirits.

Bombastic, feel good doom is the music you'll find here. From the first notes of the weirdly distorted leads of Mr. Nasty, you know you're gonna listen to something exciting here. The music is in fact very focused on the presence of leads, more than your usual trad doom band. Even though there's only one guitarist (Étienne Testart, who's also the singer), there's enough riffs to give the advantage to the French against the Germans during the Battle of the Somme. There's a real symbiosis between the impressive musicality of the songwriting and the towering vocals. The only thing that feels forced is their fist in your face.

Although I really like the vocals, they're pretty hard to understand at times, even on the only track in French “1916”. Maybe it's because of the production on them (adequate but a bit underwhelming) or the fact they're so soaring. Anyway, it's perhaps because I really want to sing them like a mad man, they're so catchy!

I think this album is a good starting point for the French doom scene. Ignore the mediocre band named Surtr (I know I did for this series) and check out Children of Doom. Be doomed or fuck off.

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