Shadow Kingdom Roundup: Excuse And Weird Light
In the kingdom of shadows, the only god is the riff.
Excuse – Goddess Injustice
Readers of this here Toilet-b(l)og keep trying to find new records to shred their faces in vain hopes of one day finding that ultimate face-shredder, leaving behind only discreet pieces of torn skin – impossible stitch back together. Well you’ve found that one record, you can pack up and go home. There will be no consolation prizes, no pats on the back or anything else to make you feel better about your sorry self. You want justice – you won’t find none here, boy.
After having struggled through numerous delays to release your EP a year after intended, most bands would just opt to waste no second and thrash away with all the fury and might they could muster – and I would thank them for that. But not Excuse. “Obsessed… With The Collapse Of Civilization” open up with some Escape From New York-esque synths, before slowly morphing into a mid-tempo banger rounded out by heavy, clunky and very prominent bass that gives the technically proficient songwriting a raw and almost sloppy feeling that puts a smile on this veiny old face.
“Breaking News (We Told You So)” makes the punk-influence apparent combining Oskar Lindstrom’s raw shouts with simple, aggressive riffs and Atte Aaltonen’s bass playing that rivals Ripper‘s in fun and prominence. Whereas the seven-and-a-half minute closer, “Baphomet” explores darker moods and territories without ever forgetting the almighty riff. Goddess Injustice features a band not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, but with a face of their own (waiting to be shred). Meaty riffs, Anselmi Ahopalo’s blazing leads and flashing solos and a chock full of headbanging fun is what makes Goddess Injustice one of the best thrash records released this year. Can we please get a full-length next year already?
You can also check out their demo right here.
Weird Light – Doomicvs Vobiscvm
Weird Light was a French doom metal band found in 2004 by bassist Faust and guitarist/vocalist Blackford. Over the course of the four years they existed, they went through a long string of drummers and recorded a split, and two demos, though only one of these, titled Doomicvs Vobiscvm, was released. For years Shadow Kingdom Records and the band members were in communication over the release of their long due debut In Nocte Taliones, but eventually it became obvious there would be no seeing eye to eye and plan fells through. Which is a bummer and a shame, for Doomicvs Vobiscvm gave promise and displayed great potential. It was re-released by SKR back in June, with two added songs (originally scheduled for the split and demo), and if your bones are weary and restless for that doomy goodness you shouldn’t miss it. For any price.
They’re being sold as a mix of the “eerie drama” of Candlemass and “molten weight” of Reverend Bizarre, as a descriptor it’s as accurate as exhilarating, though Weird Light is heavier on the latter than the former. Each of the four songs moves at a slow pace, but avoids the droning plodding over extreme lengths that RB became synonymous for. Likewise the duo (Blackford recorded the drums for the original demo tracks, no info of the lineup had been stretched into a trio for the bonus songs) barely ever raises the tempo above a (slow) mid-pace – only “Stare In The Dark” speeds up towards it’s latter half – but switches between the two just enough to prevent Doomicvs Vobiscvm from falling into the pits of disinterest. As a vocalist Blackford has hints of later Scott Reagers and Messiah Marcolin among others, in him, but his style is more overtly dramatic wailing than singing – a few steps below theatrical. Much like Quorthon he has more passion than skill but pulls through with sheer determination. The almost complete lack of discernible vocal hooks will undoubtedly prove too much for many but he sounds like he belongs exactly where he is.
Despite being the less apparent influence, Edling & Co.’s (think Epicus Doomicus Metallicus) influence can also be heard on the songwriting. More “traditionally riffing” than RB, a lot of the time Doomicvs Vobiscvm sounds like super-slowed down trad. (and power) metal with a flair to build upon atmosphere and drama without delivering big, melodic payoffs. With four songs clocking at over 40 minutes this isn’t an album that will get you into doom, it’s a rarity. A might’ve been for the aficionados, and I for one enjoy the hell out of it.
Goddess Injustice comes out on Sep 30th, Doomicvs Vobiscvm is out now. Like Shadow Kingdom Records’ page on Facebook and tell them the Toilet says “Hi.”.