Dec 3, 2012
Peacemaker - "Album Sampler" ...
Those of you who happened to see UK death metal band Ravens Creed recently, for example at the last edition of the Live Evil Festival or in the new album, may hardly believe that frontman Al Osta can be any tamed. But Doom can do miracles, even if actually Doom sometimes sounds like or stands for the voice of a sleeping volcano. The volcano can always wake up …
Peacemaker is an emerging heavy old school doom band based in London, UK. The quartet includes founders guitarist Sam Taylor and drummer Rich Maw from the death metal band Infliction straight form the 90s, bassist Al Lawson from Satanic Fatwa, and Leeds-based singer Al Osta, from Ravens Creed and previously in Satanic Fatwa as well. Well, the “doom” tag is OK for this band but you have to expect also other shades. In any case, these lads can play hard indeed …
You can test, or better, taste what Peacemaker are up to in the Album Sampler spread around by the band during these last months: three tracks definitely stating that Peacemaker are a most welcome addition to the British doom scene. The three tracks of the Album Sampler are part of an 8-track full-length album that is being completed right in these very days. So the Album Sampler is just a slice but enough for arising great expectations, as the three teaser tracks developed over substantial time lengths (between 4 and 7 minutes) and therefore adequate for displaying the potential of this band. Peacemaker is not a doom band singing about wizards, witches, ghosts, mushrooms, occult rites in old foggy cemeteries, even if they are from UK. Give a look to the old photo with three hanging men in the cover of the Album Sampler and/or go through the synthetic explanations of what is behind the lyrics, as reported on the band’s Facebook page. All this hints to a band that employs a powerful, dark form of heavy music for telling about adversities in life, both when doing hazardous or foolish things and when Fate is ruling. This is the case for the first two tracks, “Dead Man’s Key” and the almost 7 minutes-long ballad “Sorrow Trip”. Or else heavy music is there for telling about the halo of mistery possessed by some populations even if they live nearby, like in the third and final track “The Siberian Problem”. Music-wise Peacemaker appear to be much inspired by the very early Black Sabbath and old-school doom, right from the beginning.
As a matter of fact, in the opening track Dead Man’s Key, huge, distorted fuzzy riffs and crushing drums and cymbals build up a bleak, Sabbathian slow, and massively plodding rhythm where even the silent intervals between the downtuned riffs are toxic. In those intervals Al Osta is just whispering over a note of piano. Well, let’s say, Al is growling in whispers, but whispers have never been more menacing as they sound like the narrating voice in a old, sinister tale where outcomes are bound to be baleful. With the progression of the song Al’s voice will eventually also burst into expected, impressive roars and screams, like with an imprisoned wild beast. The explosions of Al’s roars backed by the outbursts of the distorted riffs plus the contrast with the first half make the second half of this stunning opening track no less than overwhelming to me. But this is Sabbathian doom, so the magic blend of wicked heaviness and heavy metal groove keeps the tunes attractive and intriguing. There is much affinity between the first and the second track, Sorrow Trip, as the leitmotiv is again the plodding, slow leading narrative rhythm where Al Osta’s raucous, sludgy voice again tells a tale. But the plodding melody here is more somber or moody than horrific, due to a general Southern-flavoured bluesy vibe. A sudden, brief but effective escape into strained, atmospheric psychedelia in the core of the track and the periodical riff-driven accelerations make this long track flow easily.
The third and last track “The Siberian Problem” displays what else these guys are able to do. This track is lead by a remarkably dynamic pace and a high tension, as if all musicians unleashed their energy previously compressed. The time for tight headbanging has come, with loads of faster riffs and bombing drumming like in High on Fire, continuous tempo changes and Al’s vocals as tortured and fierce as ever. Kickass and evil …This preliminary but solid, polyhedric display of doom tunes by Peacemaker is provided with a mastering/production that duly enhances dirt, rage and the vibrations of downtuning that doomsters love. And speaking about recording, mastering etc., how cool is when you read on the wall of Peacemaker’s page that they were doing final rehearsing while Serpent Venom were playing in the next room of the recording studio? How cool is to have such doom-drenched Rooz Studios as neighbour? Get hold of Peacemaker’s Album Sampler, in case you haven’t done it yet, keep these British doomsters under your radar, and stay ready for more yummi tunes coming soon via Peacemaker’s full-length album, called “Cult 45” … \m/
Words: Marilena Moroni