French trio Surtr delivers proficient doom
metal numbers on Pulvis et Umbra, its second full length release.
The tempos are of the right proportions of
being sluggish and of being driving, creating a heavy scenery that is also
packed with incidents. There's hardly a dull moment here, as the songs are
compound, evolving from one mammoth riff to the next, with the appropriate
rhythmic twists to support the transition.
The dark, abandoned abbey motifs of
Candlemass are successfully resurrected (church bell like cymbal chimes and
all), and singer Jeff Maurer more than hints at Messiah Marcolin in his
attitude and tones. While Maurer's vocals are not as impressive as Marcolin's,
they are functional, ranging from clear, pathos filled singing (the main form
they take), to occasional shrieks and even growls.
The nearly eight-minute closing piece,
"Fred Karno's Army," is remarkable in its catastrophic buildup, and
take notice of the bass playing here, which also boosts some of the other
tracks with creative, little moves.
Pulvis et Umbra is unlikely to convert new
followers to doom metal, but those who are already adherents of the genre will
surely get their fix here. (7.25/10)
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