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Leather Nun America : Buddha Knievel

If you're a fan of any sort of Proto/Trad Doom, Leather Nun America should have something to please you.

I do remember having written a rather good review of 'Absence Of Light' some 7 years ago. For after all, who doesn't like well-done classic US Doom once in a while? And the guys in Leather Nun America know the tools of their trade, which made the listening session a most enjoyable experience (not mentioning thare was a sexy leather-clad satanic nun on the artwork: call me a pervert if you wish, but I'll always sign up for such artworks!!).

So 7 years later, after one more album I haven't listened to and a bunch of singles and splits, 'Buddha Knievel' ends up in my letter box. Now, here's one unusual title, and have the US doom bikers suddenly decided to go all Stoner? As the artwork and the song titles show, it seems they have more rediscovered their European roots: gone are the satanic B-movie references, and enter the Viking and Celtic ones. Fear the wrath of the Northmen, and let's go war-riding over some helpless peasants, shall we?

A small bad bad little voice inside my head is saying: now they're going Conan Doom like The Gates of Slumber did, them bandwagonners... . SHUT UP, I SAY !! Of course, the themes here can be linked to some songs from the Indiana Doom warriors, but the same can then be said of bands like Cold Embrace, The Flight Of Sleipnir, Ereb Altor or even Candlemass. So that's a false problem. In fact, to me it's not even one: for the Traditional Doom style, with its natural links to traditional Heavy Metal, it's more than fitting to talk about pillaging warriors.

Which brings us to the music: it's heavy. No, wait: it's HEAVY!! Actually, it's walking the fine line between Traditional US Doom and Epic '80s US Heavy Metal, with some 60's psychedelic/prog' influences to stick the whole together. The result ends in a weird crossover that is part Cirith Ungol, part Manilla Road and part Wino (insert the name of whatever band the guy has been playing in outside of Saint Vitus here, you'll hit the mark anyway).

If you're a fan of anything Proto/Classic/Traditional/Maryland/Epic/some-but-not-too-much-Stoner Doom, you'll have trouble not finding something to please you here. From the Black Sabbath-ish 'Into Abyss' to the NWOBHM-infused Doom Rock epic 'Irish Steel', from the sludgy 'Winter Kill' (by far my favourite track on the whole record) to the Cirith Ungol worship that is 'Warwolf', you'll get riffs worth your money and your time. Even in the lesser tracks like 'Priestess', the band manage to get it good enough for you to not throw the track in the trashbin.

Considering that the end of 2015 will feature a full-on Funeral Doom and Doom/Death assault (just take a look at the list of records being released), 'Buddha Knievel' will be a fine shield for the defenders of the Old School of Doom to withstand the attack. Right on, Leather Nun America have simply released their best album so far: let's just hope we won't have to wait another 4 years to hear its follow-up.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Prologue
2. Into Abyss
3. Warwolf
4. Bourgeois Pig
5. Interlude
6. Burning Village
7. Barghest
8. Priestess
9. Gloom
10. Winter Kill
11. Irish Steel

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Leather Nun America bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-08-16 by Laurent Lignon
A Dream Of Poe - The Wraith Uncrowned
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