Fangtooth - Fangtooth

Last year Doom Metal audiences were blown away with the promo disc's from the likes of Yidhra and Orchid, this year has had seen some exceptional debut albums and promo's/demo's being released also but this one from Italy's Fangtooth has got my early pick for debut release of 2010. Fangtooth was formed after Sfack (Vocals, Guitar), Grendel - (Drums) and Painkiller (Guitar) from Death Metal band Exhuman decided to play again together after 3 years from the split of their former doom band called Karnstein. They quickly started work on putting together their debut disc and when bassist Joseph Reginson joined at the end of 2009, everything was complete. They spent a total of five months writing the material for the debut so it wasn't just slapped together like many other newer Doom albums and that extended writing process has produced a total classic album for the Doom Metal aficionado.

They have taken the blueprint giving to us by the likes of Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Trouble, Witchfinder General, Count Raven and blended that with a classic 70's rock ethic but while that sounds like countless other bands, Fangtooth put their own stamp on the Traditional Doom Metal sound with a remarkable fuzz-driven guitar sound and incredible, majestic vocals. Every song on this 40 minute masterpiece is essential listening as each song has its own twists and turns so there is nothing too obvious about this monolithic recording. Some of it plods but with soaring melody lines and exceptional searing guitar work and vocals that climb into a magical realm all of its own. The opening track "The Eye Of God" has a churning, plodding riff to kick things off but its the following guitar leads which push this tune to the top of the Doom mountain. It soars with a psychedelic rawness and is pure ear candy, the kind of sound that raises the hairs and immediately grabs your attention. The vocals are equally stunning and impressive but when the song kicks into mid-tempo overdrive to take the song to its conclusion, the end result is sonic ecstasy.

"Rise Again" is even more doomier with a Reverend Bizarre kind of vibe and arrangement that is forever climbing and changing. There is guitar squeals, crushing slow-downs but its that monster of a guitar sound that shines throughout. "Father" heads more in the Candlemass direction, only heavier than anything they have ever done. Big claims maybe but this is a album you really have to hear to understand its greatness. Great Doom Metal has always been about the riffs and every song on this self-titled album has a least one riff which leaves you floored, not to mention thrilling guitar solo work and melodious vocal arrangements. Four tracks in and you are greeted by the majestic charm of "In Depths We Lie", this beast of grooving, sludgy riffing has all the elements for "true doom" and the vocals which convey suffering, depression, fear, grief and death are essentially what makes Doom Metal what it is and should be but Fangtooth are not a band to simply follow cliches, the lyrics are both introspective and personal.

"Martyr" is a menacing, crawling slab of titanic metal, a little repetitive for the first half but the second half is a driving mid-tempo pounder mostly with gigantic drumming and soul-stirring solo work. The epic album closer "Cry Of The Nephilim" is the slowest track overall especially in the first half, this tune crawls along like a snail on quaaludes and even when the tempo change that kicks in, although faster, still has a creeping, writhing feeling about it. When its all over, you get the sensation you have been given a gift of something truly exceptional in the world of Doom Metal. Even though my own personal taste wants to give this album a perfect score, i also have to be subjective and admit to myself and you, its not terribly original but the distinguished way the songs are constructed and played make this one of the essential recordings of the year. The album is self-released on a black CD/R so contacting the band through their Myspace or via email at may be the way to go on obtaining a copy of this. Whatever the method, this is essential.

1. The Eye Of God
2. Rise Again
3. Father
4. In Depths We Lie
6. Cry Of The Nephilim

Self released
Reviewer: Ed
Jul 21, 2010

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