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Anguish: Through the Archdemon's Head

Sweden's Anguish have arrived with their debut full-length release Through the Archdemon's Head. This is crushing doom metal, clearly influenced by Candlemass, Black Sabbath, Cathedral, and Celtic Frost, so if you love massive riffage, you've come to the right place.

Anguish really know how to put together huge riffs as well as tasty lead harmonies, which you can hear to great effect on the brontosaurus stomp of "Book of Fox" and "When the Ancients Dare to Walk". The twin guitar attack of David and Kribbe work wonders throughout this CD, really conjuring up a feel of dread & menace on crushers like "Dawn of Doom", "Morbid Castle", and "Illusive Damnation". On the down side, the vocals of bassist J. Dee are monotonous and grating at times. He delivers a scratchy croak that falls somewhere in between Tom G. Warrior and Shagrath and unfortunately does not mix in any variety at all. His tortured rasp would have been fine in spots, but he doesn't change things up one bit here, and there are many points on ths CD where some aggressive clean vocals or even some deep growls would have really improved matters.

Despite the vocal limitations, Through the Archdemon's Head is a pretty enjoyable slice of monstrous doom.

Track Listing
1. (Intro) Through the Archdemon's Head (2:44)
2. Book of Fox (6:07)
3. When the Ancients Dare to Walk (6:04)
4. Dawn of Doom (8:27)
5. Lair of the Gods (6:56
6. Illusive Damnation (6:52)
7. The Veil (7:08)
8. Morbid Castle (11:56)
Total Time: 56:14

Added: January 15th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Dark Descent Records
Hits: 2291
Language: english

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Anguish: Through the Archdemon's Head
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-22 22:50:12
My Score:

As if the killer seventies' inspired album cover didn't say it all already, the debut album from Sweden's Anguish offers plenty of massive retro-doom metal riffage to sink your teeth into. The likes of Black Sabbath, Candlemass, and Saint Vitus have clearly been a big influence to these young lads from Uppsala, and the music on Through the Archdemon's Head consists of crushing riff after crushing riff without any frills or unnecessary polish. Although the band's decidedly regressive attitude hardly offers anything new to the genre, they do demonstrate a sufficient grasp on how to create quality doom metal on this debut.

If you're the sort of person who likes a lot of really heavy, slow-to-mid tempo riffs in your metal, this is the place to turn. Every song contains enough pummeling doom riffs to satisfy any fan of the genre, and although some songs are more memorable than others, this is a solid listening experience all the way through. What Through the Archdemon's Head lacks in diversity is made up for in sheer power, and although monotony occasionally sets in, it's still a pretty fun listen.

Through the Archdemon's Head is a well-produced and properly executed homage to the golden age of doom metal, and while it isn't anything new by any stretch of the imagination, Anguish is one of the better acts on the retro-doom bandwagon. Although the vocals are a bit one-dimensional and the songwriting hardly strikes me as particularly excellent, this is still an entertaining and worthwhile debut. Anguish has earned a solid 3 stars this time around, and I highly recommend all fans of classic doom metal to take notice!

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