Monday, 22 July 2013

Peacemaker - Cult .45 (album review)

Artwork by Jen O'Brien.
Peacemaker are another solid entry into the world of doom metal from the next wave of British doom bands.  After teasing audiences with a three song EP which promised great things last summer, the band finally dropped the full album's worth of material (all three sampler songs are on this album).  Peacemaker doom is streamlined and groove oriented.  If you like metal and you're into doom, then I think you'll like this album.

'Cult .45' is best described as a gallery of power.  This album is a headbanger's dream, showcasing a manly penchant for doing as much with as little as possible.  Simplicity is key here, no need to make things too complicated.  However, within that cloak of simplicity underlies a profound largesse and a pool of ideas that has verily boiled over.  It's like the effect that Ritalin has on a racing mind, it speeds things to overwhelming levels, producing a seeming, exterior calm.  But what appears simplistic and straightforward on the surface is actually roiling with purpose and heavy handed reason.

Riffs topple headlong one after another with all the horrible beauty of unstoppable machines and power grooves filter out any unnecessary movement with mechanical precision.  'Cult .45's 33 minutes are nothing if not economical.  Peacemaker shrugs and hillsides crumble, mountains quake and re-shape the land.  The best riffs are the most simplistic ones and when those riffs are coupled with anthemic vocals the effect is earth-shaking, mountain-moving and relentlessly groovy.

Vocals are deep and gruff while remaining 'realistic', un-effected for the most part and maintaining a naturalistic toughness.  Once again this thing rolls on big wheels, rolling riffs on a relentless rotation within songs and throughout the album.  Orphan-making wheels within wheels.  "Sorrow Trip" takes the general feel of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and gives it an update for the doomed era.  If the riffs all seem classic, it's because some of them really are.  The band is somehow handling archetypal metal riffs and ideas and doing it with a level of control and (again) economy that is truly impressive, especially for a first album.  It would be so easy to take a hamfisted approach to these ideas and overcook them or smother them in the ketchup of over-exuberance, Peacemaker knows what they have on their hands and know what to do with it.  And though the band exercise an impressive level of control on this album, they retain a looseness to the performances.

At the end of the day I think it's fair to say that, if you are not in a doom band, that this is the kind of music and the kind of style that you would want your doom band to play.  Achieving a zen state of Headbanging simplicity with the air of old school metal wisdom and beer can crushing sensibilities but every inch a doom band, Peacemaker have now made their presence known.  And mountains tremble at their approach.

Highlights include: "Follow the Rats" and "The Siberian Problem"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 33:05

Guitar - Sam Taylor
Vocals - Al Osta
Drums - Rich Maw
Bass/Wizard - Al Lawson
From: London, England

Genre: Doom, Metal

Reminds me of: Beastwars, Demon Lung, Desert Storm, Diesel King

Release Date: June 24, 2013

Better Reviews:
Heavy Planet
Ech(((o)))es and Dust
Welcome to the Void (in Greek)

Peacemaker on facebook

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