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Death Penalty: Death Penalty

Following the demise of UK doom legends Cathedral in 2013, the metal world has been waiting for the reappearance of riff master Gaz Jennings. Well, the wait wasn't a long one, as he's returned with a new band in tow, calling themselves Death Penalty, and this is their Rise Above Records self-titled debut. Alongside Jennings are vocalist Michelle Nocon and drummer Fredrik 'Cozy' Cosemans, both from Belgian doom act Serpentcult, and bassist Raf Meukens. As to be expected, Death Penalty have that heavy influence of classic Black Sabbath & Trouble, with Jennings' crushing riffs front and center, providing the main firepower throughout the album. "Golden Tides" and "Howling at the Throne of Decadence" contain some mighty riffing, and when you toss in the soaring vocals of Nocon, the results are quite amazing. There's also a strong hard rock and NWOBHM feel throughout some of these songs as well, as you get hints of Thin Lizzy, Satan, Witchfinder General, UFO, and Tygers of Pan Tang popping up here and there. A few tunes have a certain catchy nature to them, such as "Into the Ivory Frost" and the crushing "She Is a Witch", mainly thanks to Nocon's angelic vocal delivery, but she also kicks it up a notch on the rampaging "Immortal by Your Hand" and the punishing "The One That Dwells", each one chugging doom fests that deliver on all fronts. Michelle screams to the heavens over some truly memorable Tony Iommi styled riffs on the epic closer "Written by the Insane", a tune that also features some tasty harmony lead guitar work from Gaz.

This is some really powerful stuff that not only solidifies just how effective a doom metal riff master Gaz Jennings is, but also signals the arrival in a big way for Michelle Nocon. I'm sure we will be hearing a lot from Death Penalty in the months and years to come.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing

  1. Grotesque Horizon
  2. Howling at the Throne of Decadence
  3. Eyes of the Heretic
  4. Golden Tides
  5. Into the Ivory Frost
  6. Children of the Night
  7. The One That Dwells
  8. She is a Witch
  9. Immortal by Your Hand
  10. Written by the Insane

Added: August 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Rise Above Records
Hits: 2011
Language: english

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