Friday, January 17, 2014

Talbot: Scaled (2013)

Increasingly, I find myself in the mood for some good sludgy doom metal.  I am not sure what that says about my current mindset.  Maybe it's okay though because my usual choices are death and thrash metal.  Lately I have been listening to a lot of Cianide, Morgion, Lord Dying, and High on Fire.  So this one hit me at just the right time.

If you haven't guessed already, Talbot play some sludgy, murky doom metal.  What is most impressive though is the varying influences that can picked out of it.  At times they have the poppy sensibility of Type O Negative at their Beatles-obsessed best.  At others, the music is almost terrifying, true doom.  At still others, the band is heavily groove-laden and gallops along at a frenetic pace.  In short, there is a lot going on on this release.

Talbot is a very promising doom metal duo from Estonia, which is honestly not one of the first places I think of when I think of doom metal.  Such is the proliferation of metal in general I suppose.  And that is one of the most fascinating aspects of being a metal fan, finding metal from different countries.

The majority of the album is made up of some hard-hitting doom riffs.  There is the occasional bit of experimental and almost psychedelic moment here and there, but for the most part it keeps thundering away.  The vocals are impressive, typically clean and shouted, but once in awhile they are performed with a decently frightening death growl.  The real star of this album though is the bass.  It is high enough in the mix to be constantly heard and sounds amazing.  More bands should make this effective use of the often-overlooked instrument.

The only real complaint is that the second half tends to drag a bit.  The psychedelic and slower parts are almost all relegated to that half and it does tend to lose focus at times.  The title track in particular drags and the vocals take on a Perry Farrell-esque quality.

Nevertheless, this was a fairly impressive release from an up and coming band.  It definitely fit my recent mood.

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