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Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf : Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf

The bass/drums/vocals-only of Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf make for a stripped-down no-nonsense Doom sound.

I'll be the first to admit that the words 'Two Piece' almost alway leave me in a state of reluctance. More often than not the band is simply just layering the music to give a sense of whole or just does not have enough there to hold my attention. Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf is definitely not that band. Not having what some may call a full band does not stop them from sounding absolutely HUGE. The band themselves say this album was meant to be listened to loud and who am I to question that?

The opener shows you just what you're getting into by immediately introducing a few familiar traditional Doom tropes. A few simple droning traditional riffs backed by an equally simple clean vocal line doing just enough to provide a hook. And that's it really. It's not necessarily a negative though considering the band is clearly versed in the ways of the doom. There are a few surprises sprinkled throughout though with both 'Porpoise Song' and 'The Man Who Sold The Rope To The Gnoles'. I have to say I wish 'Porpoise Song' wasn't here. It just completely derails what the band spent building with the last three songs. It's far too cheery and silly sounding and has no business being here. It also suffers for being completely reliant on vocals to drive it home rather than the lead-filled doom before it. Immediately the band sounds uncomfortable rather than confidently plying their craft. 'The Man Who Sold the Rope to the Gnoles' fares far better building on the strength of the last song and giving us a truly heavy interlude before rumbling into the album's twin coups de grāce ' The Prince Of Fools' And ' With Darkened Eye'.

Apparently the instruments were recorded live and the sound itself reflects it. Basically if you can imagine watching a band rehearse before a show then you should have a pretty good idea of what you have here. It's like you're in the room with the band drinking and smoking whatever is getting passed around, except you're not. You're at home drinking coffee, wishing you were going to see a crushing doom band instead of walking your dog. If the band wanted to give you their live sound then ultimately they have succeeded. You feel the room it was recorded it, you can hear the band feeding off each other and you can feel the energy off the music. Slow to mid-tempos be damned, the energy and care has to still be there. It's like, if you can imagine a bunch of kids who have a bunch of really awesome tunes inside a garage jamming them out, but have become veterans and know exactly what they need to do to make the songs crush. That's what this reminds me of, with just enough production polish to take off the high end of the drums and push that bass out so when you turn it up it completely envelopes you.

I cannot stress how nice it was to hear some no nonsense, Traditional Doom that's been stripped away of the polish and melodrama that a lot of other bands do. Nothing sounds fake or processed in the slightest and that makes me a happy (un-happy?) doom fan. I may have rated it slightly higher if 'Porpoise Song' wasn't here. I guess it isn't a huge deal being the shortest song but it kind of separates the album in two. If it wasn't here then the album would just build and build until it reached its climax. Oh well, I think doom is no place for porpoises but what do I know?

Editor's note: 'Porpoise Song' (by Gerry Goffin & Carole King) was originally recorded by The Monkees as the theme to the film 'Head'.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Lilith Crimson Deep
2. Behold! Your World Now Burns
3. Through A Dead Man's Eye
4. Porpoise Song
5. Horrorshow
6. The Man Who Sold The Rope To The Gnoles
7. Prince of Fools
8. With Darkened Eye

Duration : Approx. 43 minutes

Visit the Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-10-10 by Eli Elliott
Aesthetic Death
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