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Cardinals Folly : Deranged Pagan Sons

Cardinals Folly knows what it takes to sound like Trad Doom, but misses the mark in memorability.

So I pop the CD into my player, start to kick back as 'Worship her Fire' comes blasting through the speakers. I smile and go to make up a coffee that just finishes brewing…Then suddenly the record is ending and I'm kinda struggling to put into words just exactly what everything sounds like. Cardinals Folly serves us up some very energetic Traditional Doom that falls shy of giving it to us with their own voice.

I get the impression that these guys know and love Trad Doom like scholars but kind of like many people who spend their lives studying other peoples works, they struggle to really say anything that hasn't been said before. This recording was only released a year since the last one and I get the impression that just a little more work on these compositions would have put them over the top. The biggest offender here is the vocals. Mikko sounds A LOT like Albert Witchfinder from Reverend Bizarre but never captures the grandeur, emotion, or even the bit of hooks that the aforementioned vocalist does. So what we end up with are a bunch of dry sounding riffs that plug away nicely without any meaty hooks to really dig in to.

That's not to say the songs aren't put together nicely, but it just seems to run out of steam about halfway through. After 'The Island Where Time Stands Still' I really struggle to remember much of what happened. What really saves this from being disappointing is the energy that everything is performed with. There are multiple time changes scattered within, sometimes in the same song and it really elevates otherwise plain tunes. And that's a damn shame, there is potential in a lot of these, they just needed more than the insert riff after riff approach (which often works fine and dandy if your riffs are full of hooks, which sadly these are not). For example 'Suicide Commando' starts off with some excellent riffing and building but kind of loses its way during the second half with the band content to recycle what came before. If it had some more memorable vocals and developed those riffs on the second half a bit more there could have been a bonafide classic song here. Instead it kind of overstays its welcome despite clocking in at just 5:28, and again the energetic performances save it.

It sounds like I'm being kind of harsh and if I am its because I really wanted to love this. Everything sounds perfect, down to the tone of the guitar, for what they are going for but Cardinals Folly don't push themselves to elevate these songs past just passable. It's the kind of record that you can pop in at a party and no one really notices or minds whats playing because it sounds nice and never really challenges you to look up and take notice. Which I guess is good if you don't want people spilling their drinks. Me? I'd rather sacrifice the carpet.

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Reviewer's rating: 6/10


Tracklist :
1. Worship Her Fire
2. Dionysian
3. Deranged Pagan Sons
4. The Island Where Time Stands Still
5. Three-Bladed Doom
6. Suicide Commando
7. I Belong In The Woods
8. Secret Of The Ruins

Duration : Approx. 48 minutes

Visit the Cardinals Folly bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-12-03 by Eli Elliott
Vanha - Black Lion
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