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Demon Incarnate: Leaves of Zaqqum

Here’s a band that blends 70s Black Sabbath with the classic doom of bands like Candlemass and The Obsessed. The band released three albums over the last six years and are now making their major label debut with Metalville Records. Although I haven’t listened to all three of those earlier releases, I can say that this album stands out a little more than some of the earlier music because of its big and beefy sound and strong production. The guitars have that warm and bright distorted sound that should appeal to fans of this style for sure.

One of the first things listeners will notice about this album is the way it opens with the steady hum of an organ, the crash of a gong, and then the explosion of doom-soaked guitars. This is definitely a band that worships at the altar of the riff. The guitars also play around with some different scale patterns that I thought was kind of interesting (listen to “Longing for, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2). But things begin to change when singer Lisa Healey enters the picture. Her vocals are clean and deep and strong, but they lack that grainy sense of mania that other doom bands have. This might not necessarily be a problem, but I’m confident that some listeners will want something grainy or rough instead of clean and clear. To be fair, there’s nothing obviously wrong with Healey’s voice, but it does sometimes work against the band’s overall style. There’s also an occasional pop sensibility to the songwriting that listeners might not appreciate. I’m thinking specifically of parts of “To Resist,” but there are other places where the doom elements move aside or get a little watered down.

Overall, this album has a few cool moments but never quite delivers on its original promise. If you’re curious, check out “In Disguise” and then maybe “Over the Under.”

Track Listing:
1. In Disguise
2. The Liar’s Tongue
3. To Resist
4. Longing for, Pt. 1
5. Black Veil
6. Lunar Majestic
7. Over the Under
8. Longing for, Pt. 2
9. Serve the Cause
10 .Grave Worms

Added: July 9th 2021
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 458
Language: english

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