Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Djinn and Miskatonic: Forever in the Realm (2013)

Man Gin and Doom Tonic

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

If you start your album out with a cool spoken intro from an English professor type talking about witchcraft and its influence throughout the ages, you have my attention. If you gradually introduce a drum roll and a slow but heavy Electric Wizard style riff, you have held it. If you bottom out the end, let me hear the cymbals clash, and sing in a discernible but monotone drone-like chant, while keeping my head nodding in a slow doom march you have earned my respect. When you bring back the spoken word sample at about eight minutes in a break down, to return to even heavier riffs and a doom conclusion, I want to know who you are, learn what you are about, and to hear more.

Djinn and Miskatonic are from India, the country. I think they are probably the only band in my catalog from the world's largest democracy and former cold war ally of the Soviet Union. On this evidence, I should have more. Because this band's Forever in the Realm is all about the riff and building on that the riff and another riff.

Following the twelve minute opener, D&M don't relent. The riff on "Book of the Fallen" is even better than those driving the excellent "7 Year Witch". If it were the riffs alone the band would be worth paying attention to but what sets them apart is the vocal delivery. It's definitely not growling but it's also not quite singing. I'd call it moaning but it's not sexual or denoting pain. It's meant to be chanting, I think, and it's almost goofy but D&M pull it off to add and not detract from the music. That music is not all riffs, as D&M have a good sense of balance and album pacing. They have the good sense to milk a great riff but build it into something better. Closing out, "Book of the Fallen" actually builds the tempo, which is why references to Electric Wizard are fair but not the end of the discussion. This is taking your idols' work and shaping it, making it your own. After 20 minutes the band shifts gears and gets its psychedelic on with "Vulcan's Forge" and it works only because of the chanting vocals. I could do without the reverse message "Voice from the Tomb," but the "Weird Tales" that follow put us right back to the greatness that started the record. A slow build 17 minutes temple of doom, that crushes like a Robert E. Howard Conan tale, ends this weird but wonderful tale of Forever in the Realm doom. It's a tasteful 44 minutes of your time, well spent.

4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. oh wow. Thanks a lot for the review. Was just browsing your blog like I normally do and stumbled on a review for my band. and you liked it. awesome. Thanks again. \m/