I have been aware of traditional doom metal band Hour of 13 for some time, having picked up their debut eponymous album some time back. The band achieved recognition with their 2007 debut album which brought to mind a time when Black Sabbath was really the only metal band. Their old school take on the oldest metal subgenre was refreshing and impressive. Now, a whole lot of other bands are playing in the same style.
Kicking things off with the ominous intro "The Gathering", the album immediately shows the listener that this is old school doom metal done right. The heavy riffs lead the charge on the second track and this is the sound that Hour of 13 would use over the next several tracks. Third track "Naked Star" is surprisingly upbeat for a doom number. The guitar solo in the middle section adds some surprising melody as well. From there, Hour of 13 settles into more of a mid-paced crunch for the rest of the album.
The vocals by singer Chad Davis are sort of a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and the singer for Cirith Ungol, sort of nasally but still powerful. The instrumentation is impressive and the songs are catchy. This is definitely a solid release.
Hour of 13 do an admirable job of sounding like an old-school doom band without sounding like they do not have their own sound. The band should continue to improve. This is one band to watch.