Speedblow - Fields Of Doom

Speedblow from Athens, Greece are back with the follow up to their excellent self-titled EP released last year. "Fields Of Doom" should have enough grooves and old-school Heavy Metal energy to keep both the Stoner Rock and old-school Heavy Metal community entertained. If you are unaware of the band up to now, they haven't been around too long but in a short time built up a loyal but underground following. Speedblow combine the galloping Stoner/Sludge style of High On Fire, the Stoner/Doom riffing of The Sword and Down,the old-school Metal sound of Black Sabbath and throw in some Motorhead as well into the mix. There is even times when the old-school Speed Metal style of Slayer and early Metallica comes into play, Speedblow certainty cast a wide net when it comes to influences. The first thing that hits you between the eyes is the massive production and chunky guitar sound that is warm, rich and thick without sounding over produced in any way. Then comes the various timings and riff changes which seems to be the trademark of the band's sound.

The album starts off with "Visions Of Demise", a subtle acoustic intro kicks the track off before it descends into a mid-tempo, galloping riff-fest similar to what High On Fire are doing right now. "Silence Is Breaking" begins with a sledgehammer riff before breaking into another mid-tempo burner complete with twisting and turning riff changes. "Black Sky" charges out of the gate next with a grinding riff at first before its changes into a melodic section that echoes the sounds of early Iron Maiden. A classic, wailing solo in the middle of "Black Sky" harks back to the guitar shredders of the early 80's. "Last Of The Fools" is one of the more Doom Metal sounding cuts on "Fields Of Doom", the riffing is a perfect hybrid of Sabbath, Maiden and The Sword. "Lower Ahead" is a epic of old-school Heavy Metal headbashing, a killer riff again is the main feature of the tune as is the classically inspired guitar solo work that takes a large part of the last half of the track. "As Night Becomes Day" and "Evil Spirits" are up next, the former is perhaps the weakest track on the album but "Evil Spirits" is one of the highlights on this slab. Heavy, shredding riffing sits comfortably with the melodic chorus section and the whole track comes off like a kick in the nuts, simply punishing to the last seconds. "Blood Of The Innocent" keeps the mid-tempo riffery going but by this stage of the album you may get the feeling it is getting a little samey, still a great track all the same. "Food For The Wolves" sounds a little too much like The Sword for my liking, its done well but with even putting in the sample of Wolves howling is a little too close to a Sword rip-off.

"Along The Mindfields" is the first track on "Fields Of Doom" to take any sort of musical detour at least from a riffing standpoint. Its more of a straight-forward groove based rock and roll track but even then it still has the mid-tempo driving energy that the whole album is full of. The final track "Doors To Redemption" is a instrumental that begins with a mellow but dramatic intro before it heads into the most diverse track on here. With a flanged guitar effect in one part and a groovy bass interlude in another, its a colorful chunk of Heavy Metal to close the album. Despite being a real good album overall, i find a couple of negative aspects with "Fields Of Doom". One is the vocals which are alright but extremely one-dimensional, every tune is sung the exactly the same way. The other problem i see that some people will have is the album running time which is 11 tracks taking up to around 54 minutes of the basically the same thing over and over. Being such a old-school sounding band, maybe cutting it back to 40 minutes might have been more appropriate. The first half of the album is awesome but during the second half the tendency to want to skip tracks becomes a issue. Regardless of all that, Speedblow have a delivered a solid, heavy album of killer energy, high-octane guitar riff workouts that will excite many of the more old fashioned headbangers out there but lovers of the more mainstream Stoner Doom bands should find something here to get their rocks off to. As far as i know while writing this, is Fields Of Doom along with their EP are up for free download from http://speedblow.bandcamp.com/. Its also available on vinyl with a high quality gatefold sleeve. Fields Of Doom is not exactly original, not exactly mind-blowing but still a hell of a good riff-rock album, for that i can't really complain too much.

1. Visions Of Demise
2. Silence Is Breaking
3. Black Sky
4. Last Of The Fools
5. Lower Ahead
6. As Night Becomes Day
7. Evil Spirits Of The Mind
8. Blood Of The Innocent
9. Food For The Wolves
10. Along The Mindfields
11. Doors To Redemption

Self released
Reviewer: Ed
May 5, 2010

Share this: