I must say I'm very happy about all great doom metal albums we're getting lately. I like to say doom metal was the first metal genre ever. Since Tommy Iommi had accident with his fingers and had to tune his guitar low, everyone is getting crazy about those juicy riffs. Where would be not even metal music but modern rock now without the "Paranoid" riff? More and more bands are coming back to these classic sounds, full of groovy guitars and gloomy vocals.
The freshest forbidden fruit of atmospheric metal I got is a project of Victor Arduini and Brian Balich named simply Arduini/Balich. You don't have to be a metal expert to know if album is signed with not one, but two names of musicians you'll get something which is a bit out of the box. If you are more of a metal expert you'd probably recall names of those lads too. Victor Arduini known mostly as a one of the founders of Fates Warning, then Freedoms Reign, magician behind the wall of riffs. Brian 'Butch' Balich of Child of Fire, Penance but mostly the epic Argus. So yes, it is not just a doom metal project. It is an extremely complex, progressive punch in a face. Their debut album titled Dawn of Ages was released in the end of February and it's merciless.
Since the very beginning we're hit by a wall of sound. Groovy, juicy riffs are so thick and airless but somehow they are a carrier of beautiful melodies. If after phrase "progressive" you were expecting finger braking solos, mathematical drums, you will be disappointed. What you will get though is a lace of melody braided between the bricks of wall of riffs. Victor's guitar sounds brilliant, many young guitarists and sound engineers now a days should listen to it to have an idea how overdrive should sound like. Brian's voice lead us through this album with an epic style. His emotions are so true, kept me listening this record from the very beginning to the last note.
It is a retro style album. It is a doom metal in a style of deep '70. But you can't mistake it. It is definitely a modern piece. '70 was a date of birth of this kind of music yet it was immature at that point, artists were still looking for the sound they'd like. These two gentleman knows exactly what they want. They found it years ago and this is just masterwork of years of experience. Somehow reminds me Sorceress by Opeth. Bit different music itself yet same spirit behind it.
Dawn of Ages was released in two formats. As a CD in a six panel digi and as double LP on blue vinyl with white splatters. I wasn't sure about the cover first. It was bit too simple comparing to the complexity of the music behind it. But with time I like it more and more. High quality matt gatefold. I love the records themselves. They sound terrific and looks splendid. Whenever I look at one spinning on a platter I smile and then just remind myself there is another one waiting to play after. Beauty of this kind of records is that every copy is slightly different. Like a fingerprint. I do like upright lyrics inside of gatefold. Great job indeed. Must have of every classic metal collection.