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Fangs Of The Molossus : Fangs Of The Molossus (Reissue)

Well-executed, if lacking some originality, this is Fangs Of The Molossus' reissued debut.

I have to admit to being completely unaware of what a ‘molossus’ was, but a quick search online suggests that it was the name of a now extinct breed of dog used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for fighting and hunting. Indeed, the cover art of Fangs of the Molossus’s self titled debut (originally self released in 2013, now on vinyl on Italian Doom Metal Records) prominently features what can only be described as a ‘hound of Satan’, so I can only assume that I have stumbled on the correct definition. As the name of the record label suggests, Fangs of the Molossus hail from Italy and play heavy Stoner/Doom ala Electric Wizard and Ufomammut.

When I was younger, Stoner/Doom was my thing, but I became increasingly jaded with it as it seemed to be losing more and more elements of the psychedelic, with the once heavily populated pedal boards of the genres guitarists being seemingly replaced with a single fuzz pedal. As the sound became easier to achieve, musicians and fans flocked to the genre in their hundreds, leaving me cold as the genre achieved popularity by sacrificing the elements that I enjoyed most – heavy psychedelic effects and all round trippiness. There was, however, an exception to this trend, with several Italian bands, led by the aforementioned Ufomammut who layered effects on synths on more effects, coming to prominence.

Fangs of the Molossus follow in these well trodden footsteps, and whilst not exactly brimming with original ideas, they do a pretty solid job. There is plenty enough wah, flanger, phaser, delays and reverb to keep a hardened psych-head like me happy. Vocalist Acid King Khanjia is clearly not the most talented natural singer, but he has adapted and found a style that fits the music very well. Production-wise, you would once again have to say that the band owes a lot to Ufomammut, with a very similar guitar tone, and a layer of reverb over everything that serves to maximise the spaciness without sacrificing clarity. I especially enjoyed interlude track ‘O Fera Flagella’, as the most unique and interesting sounding track on the album. It would be nice to hear more variety of this nature on the record.

The main issue I keep coming back to when listening to this record is that I have just heard it too many times before. The vocal lines in ‘I Drink Your Blood’ match almost exactly those of Sleeps ‘Dragonaut’, whilst the riff itself sounds like any number of songs found on Ufomammut’s Idolum album. The second half of ‘Cult of the Witch Goddess’ is simply an underpinning for an extended sample from 1960 Italian horror movie Black Sunday. As far as I can tell, the same is just lifted, unedited from the movie. While it certainly sounds pretty cool, it just comes across as totally lazy and uninspired – whilst this record is actually a couple of years old now, I feel that even in 2013 wholesale sampling from horror movies had been done to death in the genre.

However, this is undeniably a good record, and one that for the most part I do find enjoyable to listen to. Whilst I would certainly like to see more in the way of fresh ideas, I would certainly recommend this without hesitation to fans of Ufomammut, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and right now there seems to be many of them, so Fangs of the Molossus should do well.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Caligula
2. Cult Of The Witch Goddess
3. I Drink Your Blood
4. O Fera Flagella
5. Dead King Rise

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Fangs Of The Molossus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-05-10 by Kris Clayton
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