Doomster Reich – Let Us Fall (2015)

A bit of an older release, but still worth mentioning, this EP marked what was the Polish doomsters last recording for a good while. As of right now they have a single entitled “Seven Seals” but that one comes nearly two years prior to this recording. It is interesting that the band’s debut album The League For Mental Distillation, comes just one year prior to this release, no that some of the pieces here could have been cast-offs from that release. Three of the seven tracks are covers as well, so that’s worth keeping in mind. Covered here are pieces from Pentagram, Bedemon and Saint Vitus, which are all fair efforts as far as I’m concerned, with the real treats being delivered later on in the performance.

“The World Must Die” starts us off with a mixture of what sounds like doom mixed in with a sort of bleak sludge as frontman Rasz (Deathlust, Flagvm, Persecutor) offers up a kind of unexpected and rowdy vocal performance. It almost comes off a bit ravenous here, which adds a nice touch. “Hidden Path” comes next, with a bit of a dirtier and slightly more frightening vibe. That remains until the band become trippy, which is where they truly excel. Rasz and guitarist Markiz (Architect Of Disease, Deep Desolation) shove a fistful of acid blotter tabs into the cut, which only serve to accentuate the piece even though it sands down the spikes a little. The Pentagram cover of “Forever My Queen” rolls into groove and pumps in a rather prominent solo section amidst some hefty jamming. It’s a relatively short song that comes in and out quicker than a radio-play number. The next original piece is a literal goliath that seems a tribute to LSD and all of the trippy zippy things about fuzzy doom metal. It’s also quite lengthy, coming in at nearly eight minutes. The track sounds like a literal drug-trip and only continues to ride with the vibe until it seems to find Jimi Hendrix on some floating rock out in the middle of space, where Rasz and Markiz work to channel him. Not surprisingly, it has a sort of “jam band” nature to it, but I honestly feel like I’m getting a buzz just from listening to it. Works for me!

Though I’ve enjoyed the original having heard it admittedly not so long ago, the band’s cover of the Saint Vitus classic “One Mind” sounds much better than the original. As much as I enjoy the cheesy camp of lengendary frontman Scott Reagers (and I do mean enjoy it), there’s just something about Rasz’s vocals here that change the whole song for me. I’ve listened to it four times today, because it’s taken on a sort of new life for me. Reagers was trying to go for a bit of a psychotic tone with some of the vocal lines and there are a few outlandish howls here and there, but I really like what Doomster Reich have done with it. You see, Rasz already has a bit of a raspy voice and it feels like he has a throat full of razor blades at times, which brings an unexpected sort of anger to the performance. Go ahead, read the lyrics again if you’ve forgotten them. When you tie that sort of anger and frustration to these lyrics, it seems to work better for the song. I feel the passion here and it just works. I love how during the repetition of “no one understands your mind” the vocal tone just seems to lead more and more towards insanity, which I think Reagers was trying to do (and did manage to hit perfectly on a few songs) but Rasz seems to have taken the microphone from him at this point, and really delivers something new, fresh and a little disturbing. It’s just the delivery and vocal tone behind it that really starts to reverberate in my head, no doubt I’ll be listening to this one a great deal because I always feel like that guy in public that no one can figure out. Everyone is always talking about something different than what I’m thinking at the current moment and it almost makes me think that I might be crazy, as I certainly don’t think on the same flight-path as everyone else. As the lyrics reverberate over and over in my head, the dark and bluesy overtones of the piece seem to demonstrate my own lack of sanity. I simply love it.

The next track performed here is the band’s last original recording for the album, but it is a real whopper and shows that they should very well have a more fitting place at the table of doom. It is essentially a mixture of the genre at it’s darkest and most satanic, but with an added psychedelia that spikes the satanic punch bowl with a little more LSD. Then things sort of get a bit bizarre after that, which again – is a plus. It might sound like your CD player is on the fritz and about to explode, before the next track comes in. The final cut we have here is a cover of Bedemon’s “Serpent Venom.” I’m not familiar with Bedemon as much as I am Pentagram and Saint Vitus, so let’s learn a little about them. First of all, these US based doomers have been bootlegged for years and it wasn’t until ’05 before a compilation of all that good stuff was released from the original master tapes, which happens to include this song. They are known for featuring former members of Pentagram, The Obsessed and Macabre. The track itself is very dark and dreary, drawing heavily on Sabbath before they “lightened up a little” and that too, is a good thing (there have been quite a few of those on this album). It’s a short piece, but nonetheless effective and makes me wonder why this Polish act haven’t gotten as much attention as they should. Clearly, I’ll be listening to their cover of “One Mind” an awful lot, but there are no doubt myriads of trips in which one can partake with this recording. Doomster Reich just plain known how to play good, memorable and downright meaningful doom. There’s no doubt about that. The album is a bit longer than most EP’s and feels like a full-length album. Even if some of these were cast-offs from the earlier released debut, I’m sure as hell not going to complain about it. Good doom is good doom, and Let Us Fall gives me the right amount of creepiness, trip factor and even some unexpected angst that comes off as a very fulfilling release in the genre. Wish I’d heard this one a bit sooner.

(7 Tracks, 43:00)

8/10

https://doomster-reich.bandcamp.com/album/let-us-fall-ep

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