The House Of Capricorn - In The Devil's Days
Bubbling up from the swamps of New Zealand (I need to brush up on my geography, apparently) are the collective known as The House Of Capricorn. A relatively young group, the style and substance offered up on The Devil's Days mostly belies their youth with a strong thread of chemistry and atmospheric overbearing. The sound delves deep into the realm of doom, while the occasional shifts in tempo allude to some stoner rock influence. You've got signs of Kyuss, signs of Candlemass, but mostly signs of a sinister and satanic orchestra playing a nonstop dirge to the devil himself. Something wicked this way comes...
...you may be initially fooled into thinking this album is tethered to the catchy hooks and tumultuous percussion that "All Hail To The Netherworld" introduces. While the track certainly stands out, it is two-faced in it's insinuations. The agonizingly down-trodden and morose "Les Innocents" is proof of that. This one takes it's sweet time building into an increasingly epic crescendo, before bottoming out again and leaving your appetite only briefly sated. Vocalist Marko Pavlovic deserves props, and I'll get that out of the way, right away. His form and style lend credence to the obviously profane and sacreligious lyrical nature the band takes up. Furthermore, his work on standout "Coffins and Cloven Hooves" is only overshadowed by the veritable buffet of riffs, both catchy and corrupted by an otherworldy presence. It's tough to truly pick out favorites, as the album is expertly (if a little predictably) crafted to center around the lengthier, more depressive and doomier tracks (Veils, Horns), while interchanging with shorter, more up-beat tracks. The title track closes the album out on an altogether different note, and the fascinating vocal melodies are at once moving and terrifying.
This was one enjoyable experience, front to back. I'm not the biggest purveyor of doom metal, but when an album like In The Devil's Days crosses my path, I often wonder why. The atmosphere is thicker than blood, the theme a little typical for the style but it certainly fits the sound of The House Of Capricorn like a glove. Here's a band who I would love to see pursue the conceptual path on their next record, to flesh out a much more grand tale of darkness so as to fully embrace their ability to musically wrap you in an atmosphere. There's something special in the works here, and whether or not New Zealand is known for their doom metal has nothing to do with it. Bands like this should change that perspective.
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