Thursday 15 September 2022

ALBUM REVIEW: Gargantuan Blade, "Gargantuan Blade"

By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 04/09/2022
Label: Independent

“Gargantuan Blade” DD track listing:
1). Necromancer’s Blood
2). Black Lotus
3). Dungeon Lord
4). Spectral Pillagers
The Review:
Well, this is a pleasant surprise! This is 35mins of pure traditional doom metal from these Finnish defenders of the faith. This is not stoner and it does not have death metal inflections. If the cover art makes you think this might be a trad-metal fest or an old school DM outing, think again. This is, simply, doom metal.
Looking at the song lengths and titles, it’s clear that the spirit of The Gates of Slumber is alive and well; “Necromancer’s Blood”, “Black Lotus”, “Dungeon Lord”, “Spectral Pillagers”… that’s the track list and the vibe. Conan infused, Robert E Howard worshipping doom!
The sound is of course epic, maudlin and mournful. You get the massive and drawn-out riffs of huge weight; you get the faster passages (see “Necromancer’s Blood” and “Black Lotus” for the up tempo coda trick) and solos. This is a perfect crystallisation of how the genre should work and how it should sound- massive, raw and epic.
The four-piece line up makes for a satisfyingly thick sound- two guitarists mean that the solos are backed by rhythm playing which bulks things out and allows for a little interplay elsewhere. The sound and production is good- well suited to what is on offer. Even the bass can be heard correctly (as it should be in doom). The vocals of Samuel Wormius hit the right sorrowful notes while the mountainous beats of Rex Torr again capture the true spirit of the genre. They hit the right epic note again and again- “Dungeon Lord” has a touch of “Dark Avenger” about it- excellent.
If the above makes it seem that Gargantuan Blade are wholly derivative, that would be a little disingenuous to the band. Yes, this is doom metal- and only doom metal. However, this is not a pastiche or homage: it is doom in the purest form. When a genre is done so well and with such sincerity, issues such as originality are very much secondary compared to the quality of what is on offer. Quite simply, this is a perfect example of what traditional doom is and what it should always be. Highly recommended.
“Gargantuan Blade” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp