Review Summary: Introspective Doom Metal
Are you a metal fanatic looking for an LP that goes easy on the violence, gore, religious and anti-religious undertones, rape, murder, famine, war, plague, cannabis, genocide and or nuclear fallout? Good news for you. This album doesn’t only skimp out on said topics, it completely forgoes them. The debut LP from Essex-based doom trio 40 Watt Sun goes a path that has been predominantly forgone by metal bands outside of the prog world since the end of the 80s, writing about the complications and obstacles of romance and love. Now that may not offer a lot of promise considering these kind of hardships are being preached all over the Hot 100, but one must believe that lead vocalist and former Warning fronter Patrick Walker knows how to use introspect correctly since he has been working with it since the mid-nineties.
The five tracks that grace this album are all lengthy overdrive-laden compositions that detail love and sorrow in a truly heartfelt and earnest devotion; using some seemingly dark and remorseful lyricism. Almost to a point where it becomes hard to tell of the partner being sang about is alive or dead. With lines like “Seven years seem so far” and “Sometimes I’ve never known silence of this kind” the possible spiritual bond gives this album a very tortured personality. But this kind of personality would come off as corny or pretentious if it wasn’t being delivered by a professional in the field like Walker.
The sound of the album is, as previously mentioned, very much overdriven with the guitars high in mix, with no holds barred on the listener. The approach for a louder, messier and grainer palette gives a contrast between the lyrical component. In a way, the album feels like being serenaded and pummeled at the same time but in a very satisfying way. This is a listen for any doom fan in need of a record both promising in style and in substance.
My Score: 8.4