The Indian metal scene is worth keeping an eye on. Over the last five years or so, several metal releases within a number of subgenres have been released by very talented artists, like Albatross or Heathen Beast for instance. More and more interesting artists seem to emerge from the Indian scene. One of India's representatives of doom metal is Djinn And Miskatonic from Bangalore, who released their debut album Forever in the Realm was released last year.
On their debut, Djinn And Miskatonic display a bit of an eclectic approach to doom metal in the sense that, while staying within the boundaries of that genre, they draw on several subgenres within doom metal. Thus, a track like '7 Year Witch' treats the listener to death doom and stoner doom elements as well as a handful of Iommi-esque riffs, an 'Book of the Fallen' is a lesson in traditional doom metal. 'Vulcan's Forge' is a psychedelic celebration of bass and drums, while 'Voice from the Tomb' is more of an arty filler, featuring backwards spoken words. 'Weird Tales' takes us back to stoner doom territory, offering some heavy grooves and a slight sense of psychedelia before morphing into a more traditionally oriented doom metal song, which eventually explodes into an uptempo death metal passage akin to early My Dying Bride.
Forever in the Realm is a pretty good doom metal album, and the band shows a lot of potential. I particularly like their adoption of traditional doom metal elements, and they are very good at churning out strong doom metal riffage. I do think, however, that the album would have been better without 'Voice from the Tomb' and 'Vulcan's Forge' – which strike me as mere filler material; they should have been replaced with two songs of the same high quality as the rest of the album. I also find the spoken word monologues that pop up every now and again a bit annoying, but that's probably just because I generally am annoyed with such aesthetics, so this is not a slight at this particular band. The songwriting is pretty good, and Djinn And Miskatonic even have a couple of surprises up their sleeves in the form of unexpected tempo changes and the like. The vocals are probably an acquired taste, as they interchange between a singing style akin to that of Mik Mentor from Altar of Oblivion and growls.
Overall, this is a good doom metal album which shows a lot of promise. It could be stranger without the filler material though. Still, fans of Cathedral and My Dying Bride should find it a very enjoyable listen, and Djinn And Miskatonic do show that they can make important contributions to doom metal. I look forward to further output from this band.
1. 7 Year Witch
2. Book of the Fallen
3. Vulcan's Forge
4. Voice from the Tomb
5. Weird Tales