Album of the Month

The debut full-length from Greek band Automaton is weighty, sludgy, coffin-lid-slamming Doom perfection.
(Read more)

Random band

(read more)

Naked Star : Ancient Rites

Naked Star's debut full-length exhibits energy, and it maintains this drive throughout.

Opening with an acoustic riff, a gentle distorted guitar beneath, and ambient sounds in the background, 'Ancient Rites' is an album of upbeat Doom that does not fail to entertain - upbeat in tempo, not mood. This duo, comprised of members of Seamount and Vampyromorpha, sounds like a full band. The album exhibits energy, and it maintains this drive throughout.

The songs are mainly riff-focused, and being that the riffs are robust and satisfying, this serves the album well. Naked Star does a good job of not deviating from their main sound while giving each song the unique treatment it needs, a hard balance to achieve for any project. Structure-wise, the tracks mostly follow a standard back and forth between verse and chorus, with bridges and guitar solos breaking in once these parts have played out. Each song is about five or six minutes long, but they feel shorter - probably due to the fact the songs pace themselves well.

As for the drums and bass, the latter is drowned in the mix, but the former are loud and assertive. The beats are simple, but the fills truly pop, wrapping each measure up in a percussive cadence. The kit accents the guitar at all the right moments, varying its approach perfectly in line with the rhythm guitar. The track 'Alter Ego' is even given a few chimes in the arrangement, ones that enter during a small bridge in the middle of the guitar solo. Overall, 'Ancient Rites' has a great rhythm bed. You won't find much lacking here.

Vocally, the album is fun but nothing special. While the sung melodies serve their part well, they usually are not as catchy or as memorable as the riffs. Most of the time, the melodies only feel a few steps above the mundane. This is not to say their performance isn't excellent, but that the composition of the vocal part itself just doesn't match the creativity of the instruments - the track 'Necrolust' is the exception. There aren't any harmonies or back up vocals to help these naked melodies along, just some delay effects. Despite this, the vocals match the music perfectly and they add a lot to it - just not as much as they could.

With a great mix and a variety of riffs which seek to crush, Naked Star's debut is one to put them on the Doom-map. Fans of a more old-school Metal sound will appreciate this. 'Ancient Rites' is a solid effort; let's hope there is more to come.

Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.

Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Purgamantic
2. Stoned Demon
3. Spawn Of The Witch
4. Be My Sacrifice
5. Bound To Hell
6. After Ego
7. I Am The Antichrist
8. Necrolust

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Naked Star bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-01-17 by Alex Drozd
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com