Friday, 4 September 2020

The Baguette Doom Series XIX and XX - Le Strasbourg Spécial with Monoatomic God - Astronaut Witch Bootcamp (2020) & Dionysiaque - Dionysiaque (2018)


Monoatomic God - Astronaut Witch Bootcamp (2020) / 75%

The Baguette Doom Series pt. XIX: Strasbourg I

The oddly named quartet impressed the hell out of me when I was working on the undying Band Queue of the Metal Archives and I knew I had to tackle their debut release for my Baguette Doom series. The band guided by the powerful vocals of Laetitia Convertini (great Astérix name!) was able to bring three condensed, strong but atmospheric nuggets of groovy doom/stoner on Astronaut Witch Bootcamp.

While probably inspired by the spacey themes and name of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (or maybe a stoner metal name generator, who knows?), the French band doesn’t mess around with long psychedelic movements and approaches things differently. There’s still some cosmic touches here and there such as the synths on “Effroyable Sphère” or “Funeral Orbiter” but the songs are mid-paced and dynamic with riff driven tempos. In spirit, I was reminded of High Priest of Saturn but without the Om/Sleep worshiping. I’m surely mistaking here but the mix of ethereal female vocals with a psychedelic doom vibe reminded me of the Norwegian band. Monoatomic God incorporates strong 70s vibes in their blend too (Deep Purple, Rush?) with modern stoner sensibilities and it works pretty damn well. Sure, proto-metal plus stoner isn’t new (Spiritual Beggars, The Sword) but I felt their formula was fresh and somewhat exciting, especially for a debut extended play. Don’t expect something like Windhand or even Blackwater Holylight either, it’s not that sort of trance inducing doom/stoner with dreamy, fey vocals. We’re in groovy tight doom territories, the energy, the type of riffing and the vocal delivery reminds me of Castle as well and that’s certainly a good thing.

All in all, Monoatomic God delivers the goods on their debut EP, it’s hard rockin’ doom/stoner with strong melodies, catchy and well delivered vocals and a legit familiar but enjoyable spacey atmosphere. I’m stoked to hear more from them.

Monoatomic God on Bandcamp

Dionysiaque – Dionysiaque (2018) / 85%

The Baguette Doom Series pt. XIX: Strasbourg II

Probably named after the philosophical ideas (from Nietzsche) rather than a reference to Dionysos, the god of wine, Dionysiaque are one hell of a band and they're much too sad to be about parties and celebrations. Their first release comes off as a strong foray into traditional doom territories with overt dark atmospheres. Like some other French bands like Barabbas, they’re able to create a fairly unique take on a genre that’s too often at ease with worshiping the greats.

While their riffs are very good and the two guitars do bring an extra oomph to their compositions, their moods are perhaps the best thing about them. They have this occult, crypt feel akin to the best style of black metal. Some riffs (check out “Doctor Kerjentsev”) can almost bring us back to the proto extreme metal days (see Mortuary Drape, Celtic Frost) in their execution. The first two tracks (about four minutes each) are mid paced goodness while the third brings us something more solemn and slower but still full of fucking heavy riffs. The vocals of Nathaniel Colas are extremely good and fits the intent of the band like a glove. He alternates between some madmen cavernous clean chanting and some more putrid harsher tones. He sounds like he’s underground while the rest of the band is vanquishing the undead in the graveyard. I'm not asking for much more in life.

I don’t usually like cover songs but Dionysiaque picked an interesting one from an obscure 70s English band called Tractor. The hard rockin’ vibes fits their style well and it’s a cool ending for the demo, it's full of catchiness while having a quasi goth rock vibe, very nice. I’m pretty sure their debut full length will propel them to the doom metal Mount Olympus. Essential demo.

Dionysiaques on Bandcamp

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