Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moonless: Calling All Demons (2012)

Rockin' Doom

Rock 'n' roll has been around for over 60 years now. Doom metal, for over 40 years. By now, every possible rock or doom riff has been explored. But there are still bands out there playing it as if it's something new. It's not shocking that people want to do that. A good doom riff is always great to hear. But how could anyone take something that's been done 1000 times before and make it sound fresh and relevant?

Moonless is a Danish band formed three years ago. Their debut Calling All Demons raises that very question. Like Lord Vicar or The Gates of Slumber, they have that indefinable something that makes you care about some unoriginal doom metal that could have been pulled from a 1975 Pentagram rehearsal tape.

What makes this work? It's not the tried-and-true sound of the instruments and production, because that's been replicated by some really boring acts. It's not the riffs themselves, because those could have come from anywhere. It's not even the competent songwriting, with the tempo changes and memorable hooks. No, it's something tougher to pin down. It's the attitude, the swagger in those gruff vocals and the blues-rock solos. It's the groove, the way you can really feel what the band is doing because they feel it too.

It all comes down to the drummer. You can hear that best when the rest of the band pauses a moment for his spectacular, yet unoriginal fills. They say a band is only as good as its drummer, and there's some truth to that. He sets the rhythm, so if he feels it, the rest of the band feels it. That translates into you, the listener, feeling it. And I'm feeling Moonless.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Moonless have what it takes to make doom exciting, to get your head bobbing and toes tapping. They get in that groove, so you can't escape it. They make you feel those 40-year-old riffs once again.

Doomentia Records

This review originally appeared on

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