The Long and Short of ItThe slow tempos and long runtimes of doom records can be trying for some. While it's something I personally seek out, I understand the trouble. It makes the EP a perfect format for those only dabbling in the genre, or just looking for a quick fix of the slow crawl.
Fire in the Cave: Fire in the Cave (2012)
Fire in the Cave contacted me about reviewing their two-song self-titled EP. The band's name refers to a famous thought exercise by Plato, questioning the nature of our knowledge about reality. I've always thought Plato's philosophy was stupid, but this music isn't. It's raw, heavy sludge/doom out of Florida, with a blues flavor and extremly angry growls, plus some black metal influence on standout second track "Aeden Carr." That one is plenty dynamic in just about every way, so this EP is definitely worth checking out. I give it 4 out of 5 stars, and look forward to hearing more from this promising band. It's a name-your-price download, so get on it.
My Dying Bride: The Barghest O' Whitby (2011)
My Dying Bride pioneered death/doom, before going on to craft their particular brand of gothic doom, one of the most distinctive sounds in all of metal. They've thrown plenty of curveballs in their two decade career, like the divisive 34.788% . . . Complete and last year's symphonic reinterpretation Evinta. For such a forward-thinking, adventurous band, can they be allowed to simply go back to where they're comfortable? Just for an EP? The Barghest O' Whitby is just that, your typical My Dying Bride gothic doom, without any experimentation. It won't alienate fans or win them any new ones. I just can't figure out why it's all one 27 minute track when it's clearly two different songs, but whatever. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Hesper Payne: The Strange Tale of Samuel Gonzalez (2012)
I reviewed Hesper Payne before, praising their attention to album art, craft, and originality, but lamenting their weak production job. New EP The Strange Tale of Samuel Gonzalez is more of the same. You'll still find doom with threads of Acid Bath and Nile, blended beautifully into a coherent and distinctive style, but you'll wish they had someone else twiddling their knobs, so to speak. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. This is another name-your-price one, so you'll want to be checking it out forthwith.
Yes, this should have been 2/3 of Metal Briefs: Bandcamp, Part 7, but I couldn't figure out where else to put this MDB review. Sue me.