I am, I supposed, a peculiar kind of metal fan. I like a lot of metal but one of the things I love about great music is particularly un-metal: variety. So every time I encounter one of these bands that practices within a very specific metal sub-genre, I find my love of variety challenged by the band’s stylistic devotion. It should come as no surprise, then, that I don’t like many of the bands that have spent their careers perfecting their niche.
I find myself in a particular dilly of a pickle when it comes to a band, like this one, that is credited with essentially inventing a genre. On the one hand, I love versatility. On the other hand, I try to go out of my way to extol those who broke with tradition and established new forms.
It’s a lot easier for me to do the latter when I like the specific genre enough. Here, I find I’m on the fence. I appreciate this, and I get why it’s significant (though I would assume the debut is more significant) and there are some aspects that I really enjoy, but the whole thing is quiet samey (as you would expect) and the cliches that this record helped establish are perhaps a little too widespread at this point.
The other fascinating thing is that Doom Metal has gone so far afield now that this band’s sound has to be called “traditional doom,” because it’s way too traditional (not loud enough, not extreme enough) to sound like 21st century doom. That’s kind of hilarious.
Without having heard the debut, I have to assume this is less important than that first record, and so I must hedge on the side of the lack of variety being a problem than hedge on the side of influence.
But I really don’t know.