Saturday, 24 August 2013

Rising Dust - Rising Dust (2005) | 91%

The Baguette Doom Series pt. VIII: Dust of Paradise

This band is yet another hidden gem found in France's doom vineyard, furthermore this album is perhaps the grand cru of the batch. While many of their brothers like The Bottle Doom Lazy Band are playing a dark, traditional sort of doom often inspired by Reverend Bizarre, Rising Dust plays a very groovy kind of doom with extra stoner overtones.

The sound of Cathedral's “The Ethereal Mirror” is noticeable and as one of my favorite albums of all time, it's always a joy to hear it as an influence. Their sound is thick, heavy as fuck and perfect for their sound. They have this bluesy accent intertwined with this heavy rock sound but it still stays cohesive throughout the album. It never stops to give you a breather, it's a full blown doom attack on your senses in the purest Pentagram tradition. Seven songs for forty five minutes, there is no time wasted, from mid paced to fast doom, it's blistering and hard hitting.

Musically, it's nothing quite new but if you're accustomed to the genre, you shouldn't expect anything else. It has heavy, catchy riffs and cool lengthy distorted solos. The drums and bass are rather underwhelming though, they do their job but the guitar and the vocals are essentially the focus. The songs can be long but they're always interesting. The eight minutes “Dark Wild Lady” doesn't deviate from their sound, it's simply pushing the boundaries of their genre towards completion, perhaps with added epicness. Even if it's not adventurous, the songwriting is very solid and it's all killer, no filler. Sure, perhaps a little diversity would had been appreciated, maybe a darker atmosphere and some additional time to develop some riffs here and there. But overall, I only have minor complaints about the music. Oh! And good use of samples, I believe they're from that Witchfinder General (1968) movie but I'm not quite sure.

The vocals of David Guittonneau are superb, he has a real intuition for melodic vocal lines that are utterly catchy. I'm drawing a blank here, his delivery is hard to compare but he's definitely one of the best doom vocalists I heard who's not involved in a epic doom band. I guess he can be compared to Ben Ward of Orange Goblin but more talented and cleaner. He has a lot of range and power and he's the opposite of subtlety but that's totally fine. If you dig the raw power that traditional doom vocalists can deliver, you'll be pleased by his performance. The band reminds me of The Obsessed in spirit as well, Guittonneau also plays the guitars so he's like the French wino! There's a drunken vibe to find in his delivery, it's rough without being gritty and not weird like Lee Dorrian could be. It wouldn't be out of place on an heavy metal album or even on a pure stoner rock one. Speaking of stoner, some members of Rising Dust formed the band Hangman's Chair, it's pretty decent, albeit not as good as Rising Dust, it's stoner/doom with some grunge influences, worth your time as well.

All in all, “Rising Dust” is one of the best modern French metal releases, even if it doesn't feel French at all, it has this pristine and inspired sound that's still actual almost ten years after its release. 

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