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The Wandering Midget : I Am the Gate

This finnish three piece holds a musical style which nails down all the basics of traditional doom metal. As such they have a musical standard which they go by. However, their lyrical influences must come from several very different sources. The cover art is an ideal illustration of this. It's a pentagram with the star pointing upwards, which is a pagan sign. To this there is a topless woman crucified. The crucifiction is usually a christian reference, but the woman might have something to do with the hard rock/heavy metal tradition or sex magic (I'm merely speculating). Finally there is a Lovecraftian element, and if the womans octopus head wasn't enough then the text on the inlay leaves no doubt: "Ja, Yog-Sothoth". The only sign that I cannot identify is the symbol on the octopus head, but it seems to show water, an island and someone who lies down (sleeps?). If so then the riddle is easily solvable for Lovecraft fans.

The music follows in the vein of Reverend Bizarre but with an even stronger Black Sabbath nostalgia. This means less heaviness, but also more groove. The deep, yet epic vocals of Samuel Wormius fit this perfectly. The odd track off is the slightly lighter 'The Wandering Midget', which has strong similarities to the calmer Abdullah tracks. The subject of the song is somewhat sorrowful, but I must admit I have a hard time understanding whether there is something deeper to the lyrics. The midget has used his life searching the world for meaning only to have grown old and then to feel death call his name. It's so futile, but then again if the midget is a metonym for the living person, then the futility of life might be the point of the tale. In either case, the remaining lyrics yield much to ponder on, and I believe there has been much thought put into them. But I'll leave it to the future listener to interpret the remaining.

This is one of those albums which I'd readily reccomend to anyone who wants heavy traditional doom with epic vocals. I can't find any tracks on the album (not counting the intro, 'Inquisition Arrives') that doesn't catch me. At least in my album collection, this is in real danger of becoming a classic.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
I. Inquisition Arrives
II. Urk The Conqueror
III. Black Figure Follows The Burial Company
IV. Wolfslayer
V. The Wandering Midget
VI. I Am The Gate
VII. Wasteland Shrine

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes.

Visit the The Wandering Midget bandpage.

Reviewed on 09-04-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
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