Rise Above – Out Now.
London has long been the breeding ground of all-things Metal in the UK, but it is specifically its Doom Metal community which seems to have been more active in terms of output these last few years. One of the latest bands to emerge is the Heavy Doom quartet Age Of Taurus – an outfit that began life as a one-man Doom Metal proposition back in 2009 and which is now about to release its debut studio album “Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times” through Lee Dorian’s specialised label Rise Above Records.
Based on the press release info sheet which accompanies the promo of the album, Toby Right (vocals/guitar), the founding member of the band, is quite open about the influences for this album which include, amongst others, giants of the genre Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Trouble and Candlemass.
Mixing the groove and Doom aesthetics of such great bands with the power and urgency of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal scene means that the seven compositions on offer contain enough character and variety to be attractive to most fans of classic Metal. There is, however, one small thing that some of you (and I include myself), may take issue with – and that is Toby Right’s somewhat limited vocal range.
In Sabbath/Pentagram influenced material such as the opener “A Rush Of Power” or the riff laden “Always In The Eye”, Right’s Ozzy-like performances are both fitting and pleasant. The problems begin, however, the moment the material becomes more epic/atmospheric in nature, such as the six minute opus “Walk with Me My Queen”.
This massive composition, whose riff shares many similarities with Candlemass in their all-time classic opus “Samaritan”, could really do with more soulful vocal support. The same applies to both the Mercyful Fate-inspired “Desperate Souls of Tortured Times” and the epic-sounding “Embrace the Stone”, the latter featuring a beautiful guitar melody reminiscent of early Trouble (these two tracks being by far the best compositions of the album).
So, now that the pros and cons have been laid out, how much do I really appreciate “Desperate Souls of Tortured Times”? Well, a vinyl copy of the album is already on its way to me, which certainly says something.
Despite this, though, I truly believe that with vocal performances of a more varied and perhaps emotionally powerful nature we would now be talking about one of the most impressive Epic Doom Metal debut albums in recent times! Let’s see what the future holds for these guys…
Rating: ***1/2 (3.5/5.0)
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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