Norwegian doom act Age of Taurus first launched themselves on the metal world with their 2013 debut Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times, and here in 2018 they are back with their follow-up, The Colony Slain, for Rise Above Records. Band leader, vocalist/guitarist Toby Wright has assembled a new, revamped line-up, featuring bassist Leo Smee (With The Dead/ex-Cathedral) drummer Darius Claydon and lead guitarist Daniel Knight. Once again dipping into the saga of the Taurean Empire, Age of Taurus take their Candlemass/Trouble influenced style of doom into epic waters on this latest effort.
Highly melodic and with plenty of heavy riffs and tasty twin guitar harmonies, The Colony Slain is a highly listenable album, led by Wright's high pitched, almost prog-rock like vocals that at first, are almost an odd fit for the music, but you quickly get used to his style and it proves to give the bands sound an added dimension that you don't hear from most doom bands. Tunes like "The Lost Garrison" and "In Dreams We Die" have a good amount of gallop to go along with the crushing dirges, while slower cuts "Taken to the Tower" and "Beyond the Westward Path" have that 'epic doom' feel not unlike early Candlemass. The best tracks however are the serious riff crunchers like "The Walls Have Ears" and the rampaging "To Seal a Mountain", tunes with some serious heft that will appeal to any fan of potent doom.
If I have one complaint with The Colony Slain, it's the vocals of Wright, as they are mixed quite high and at times overpower the music. They are fine for what they are, but in spots I just wanted to hear the riffs up front and his high pitched wailing drowns everything else out. Still, a fine album from this little band from Oslo, and easy to recommend.
01 - From The Hills To The Halls 1:13
02 - Taken To The Tower 5:09
03 - The Trial of Blackwynn Chaise 4:24
04 - In Dreams We Die 4:25
05 - The Lost Garrison 4:02
06 - Beyond The Westward Path 4:36
07 - For Treason We Rise 6:41
08 - The Walls Have Ears 4:58
09 - To Seal A Mountain 6:11
10 - As Ice Into Blood 1:02
11 - The Colony Slain 3:38