Age of Taurus - Desperate Souls of Tortured Times (2013)Release ID: 8436
Well Age of Taurus are early evidence that doom metal might just be for me after all. Desperate Souls of Tortured Times is a hefty slab of epic doom metal that stretches its legs in terms of varying pace over seven tracks of lengthy yet never arduous duration. At their best they are a psychedelic-edged doom behemoth and the standout track by far for me is the mournful and dank Walk With Me My Queen which is superbly situated in the middle of the album. At the same time they are guilty of the odd meander as well with penultimate track Embrace the Stone not really bringing any value during its eight minute runtime despite a really promising start.
The racy Desperate Souls is an example of where the band can comfortably ditch the traditional doom metal tag and go a little more up tempo without sacrificing that looming menace that those twin guitars bring to the table. The vocals are actually a great fit for me and I like how the bass is just as audible as everything else here. It is albums like this that cast my recent history with heavy metal in a new light. I have a feeling that if I had pursued this path sooner with the more epic doom metal sound then I could have tied together the two sub-genres better without now having to explore one at the expense of the other. There is a rumbling coolness to DSoTT that sacrifices none of the youthful vigour of true heavy metal yet in fact manages to add a great level of esotericism to proceedings and although it is early on in my exploration of The Fallen clan this realisation of where my path has perhaps come to a premature end with heavy metal is certainly causing much reflection of my listening habits over the years when doom has gone largely neglected as a listening option.
There are lots of Master of Reality style structures here and this can only be a good thing in my book. That slumbering groove to the guitars scratches a real itch for me and when in full flow this is a razor sharp unit. I can see they underwent something of a line-up change for album number two (which is on my radar) so will be interesting to see how consistent these guys are, but with Leo Smee of Cathedral fame in the band there is an element of real promise ahead of me checking out their sophomore release, built from this solid foundation stone also.
Great album of meaty trad doom that reminds me why I got so into this music in the first place. Epic-sounding songs, amazing riffs and vocals that will never be considered great, but fit the music so well. There's also a nice trade-off between the melodies and the heaviness that results in a more positive sounding album than is maybe usual in doom.