Wednesday, 23 August 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Blessed Realm - “Doomography 1993-2002”

By: Richard Maw


Album Type: Compilation
Date Released: 14/07/2017
Label: At War with False Noise



This is a lengthy and worthy collection from one of the unsung bands of British doom- from an era when doom was not in anyway commonplace.  This is an essential and extensive release, which will fit nicely onto the shelf right next to your Sabbath and Cathedral albums.





“Doomography 1993-2002” CD//DD track listing:

1). Red Dawn
2). Where Winds Whisper My Cry
3). Lost Horizons
4). Circle of Misery
5). Wasted (Rehearsal ’99)
6). Bleeder
7). Black Hole
8). Two Time Loser
9). Crawl
10). Jezebel
11). Before My Eyes (Rehearsal ’99)
12). Spiritual Solitude

The Review:

Blessed Realm hailed from Northern England, emerging as a doom band in a time when doom bands numbered in single figures in the UK. Going for the classic doom line-up (you know the one) of Sabbath, Vitus et. al. This compilation brings together all the band's studio recordings from their nine years of existence.

As a document of British doom in that time, it is as genuine as it gets. This is a band that never made the big leagues and remained underground, but with a keen influence on the genre (much like, say, Unsilence from the North West) and other bands who sprang up in their wake. Naturally, as this is a compilation of demos from a time when Pro Tools was not the standard recording methodology, the sound quality here is varied. The “Redemption” demo of 1995 has plenty of hiss for all you old schoolers who remember it on tape from twenty years ago not to mention epic song lengths which would become standard for the genre.

“The Chasing The Dragon” Demo of 1996 features a drum machine- the material is worthy, but the feel is lost for me as the mechanical element of using a machine takes some of the life out of the songs- for me, anyway. That said, the performances of the rest of the band are strong and the programming is solid- particularly for its time.

“The Return To Zero” demo of 1998 is a step forward for the band and features live drums once again with strong songs such as the sinister “Bleeder” and the punchy “Two Time Loser”. “The Crawl Demo” of 2000 is the strongest selection here for  me- I note that it may be a little further from their pure doom roots, but this takes in an almost Iron Man/Trouble sound along with the dark moods of earlier material.

Alongside the official demos there is a sprinkling of rehearsal tracks from different eras and the superb finisher “Spiritual Solitude” from 2001. This is a lengthy and worthy collection from one of the unsung bands of British doom- from an era when doom was not in anyway commonplace (remember the snide comments Cathedral used to get for playing slow and “looking 70s”?!).

This is an essential and extensive release, packaged in a luxurious digipack with photos and liner notes, which will fit nicely onto the shelf right next to your Sabbath and Cathedral albums.

“Doomography 1993-2002” is available here




Band info: facebook

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