Saturday, 10 August 2013

Horrors of the Black Museum - Gold from the Sea (2008) | 85%

The Baguette Doom Series part III: Scooby Doom!

This band is simply something else. They managed to sound completely spooky while playing something that could be considered traditional doom. As shown with the cover art, the band was influenced by vintage horror movies and pulp culture and it's also vivid in their sound. Actually, their name is an old English horror movie from 1959. Their sole album before the band's dissolution, “Gold from the Sea” is a pretty good release with an awesome atmosphere. Three members formed the sludge Eibon (to be reviewed during this current series) but the 2 core members have remained silent since the release of this album in 2008, a damn shame.

The album only has four songs but it's still forty minutes, it has two pretty long ass tracks that are everything I want from lengthy numbers. Merely atmosphere. The fifteen minutes title track starts with the sound of waves splashing the sand of a beach. The music itself is very dark and quite bass heavy, almost noisy. It's nothing very spectacular and relies more on the feeling it creates more than anything else. It's really pushing the limits of how traditional doom should sound and even borderlines the sludge, drone and stoner genres while always pushing their dark agenda forward. It uses samples too and quite well might I say. There's an heavy use of a cheesy keyboard, it has this tongue-in-cheek scary atmosphere found in Scooby Doo haha and it gives the album a nice laid back sound. Slow, distorted, mesmerizing, the music transports your mind into its own black and white movie.

Their sole album was recorded as a duo and based on the booklet credit, there is no guitars but only a bass and I wondered why it was so distorted. I guess it's doom heaven for Albert Witchfinder since the bass can't bury the guitars since they're already deep down in the catacombs (aka they left the band 3 years before the release of “Gold from the Sea”). The bass is fucking loud, slow and gives this psychedelic drone feeling that is only supported by the haunting keyboards and the simple drumming both played by the same dude. Even though they cover “Hiding Mask” from the seminal release Lunar Womb of The Obsessed, the band is nowhere near as bombastic and blistering as Wino's band. 

The vocals are clean, kind of buried under the thick production. While it can be seen as detrimental to their sound, I think it fits the atmospheres explored on the album. The voice is almost operatic, sinister and very good. A nice match to their thoughtful lyrics that you never knew could be written by a Frenchman! There's some catchy vocal lines such as in the The Obsessed cover and depressed sad guy stuff on the sublime eleven minutes opener “The Voodoo That You Do” recalling the Finnish scene.

It has this slow, uneasy way to make you feel sorrowful. Probably the darkest stuff you can find in a traditional band and it's real hidden gem. The album is quite cheap on the internet, grab it for Lovecraft's sake!

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