Friday, 15 June 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Age of Taurus, "The Colony Slain"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/05/2018
Label: Rise Above Records

Age of Taurus still have the hunger and riffs to compete with the very best of the genre and the very British delivery elevates them far above their American counterparts 

“The Colony Slain” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. From the Hills to the Halls
2. Taken to the Tower
3. The Trial of Blackwynn Chaise
4. In Dreams We Die
5. The Lost Garrison
6. Beyond the Westward Path
7. For Treason We Rise
8. The Walls Have Ears
9. To Seal a Mountain
10. As Ice Into Blood
11. The Colony Slain

The Review:

Age of Taurus return with their second full length release, some five years after “Desperate Souls of Tortured time”. The Londoner's appetite hasn't dimmed, even if line-up changes have seen metal stalwart Alastair Riddell depart the ranks and the bassist Richard Bruce also leave. The band still deliver doom; no fuss, no branching out- just a very traditional British metal/doom sound.

After a mood setting intro, “Taken to the Tower” brings a surprising turn of speed and the familiarly mournful sounds of Toby W Wright's vocals. The NWOBHM influences are still firmly present here as are the much more downbeat doom stylings- “The Trial of Blackwynn Chaise” being a solid example of the latter.

There is a lot of reverb in the mix this time around, maybe even too much in places, but the quality riffs and arrangements are still easy enough to hear. Amongst the more rocking material, traditional doom can be found (“The Lost Garrison”) and once again, the lyrics and themes are historical, mythical and magical. By the time of “For Treason We Rise”, the album's pattern is fairly firmly established; slow doom intros often abound, faster riffage and galloping rhythms often replace it and the atmosphere is one of melancholy.

Truthfully, there is nothing new here and certainly nothing that you won't have heard, but that is not to say that the delivery is convincing and the performances absolutely committed. Yes, Wytch Hazel are doing this type of stuff with more subtlety- but Age of Taurus are just as effective as on their debut and take on the mantel of bands like Witchfinder General (probably their closest older brother) with deftness and aplomb.

For doom rock in 2018, look no further than this album. “The Walls Have Ears” and “To Seal A Mountain” are solid proof that Age of Taurus still have the hunger and riffs to compete with the very best of the genre and the very British delivery elevates them far above American counterparts trading on occult themes and something to do with biker gang films from the 60's.

The title track closes proceedings with three and a half minutes of convincing NWOBHM flavoured doom- much like the tracks that preceded it. There is much to recommend here and if you like the style of either of the bands mentioned above you cannot go wrong by getting hold of this. Doom on compatriots.

“The Colony Slain” is available here

Band info: facebook