Here at Don't Count On It Reviews, you can read reviews from different artists from different styles.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

SubRosa - No Help For The Mighty Ones (2011)

Band: SubRosa
Country: Salt Lake City, Utah
Style: Sludge/Doom Metal
Label: Profound Lore

Like the previous review, this is another sludge/doom metal group featuring females, the only difference being that this one is on one of my favorite labels. While I'm not too keen on the fact that that's how I discovered them, through the label, I realize that the label has a high quality output, so it can't be bad. From the samples I'd heard before getting this, I was mildly surprised by their sound.
Unlike more simplistic doom/sludge acts, the use of a violin in the band does give the band a much more unique sound. Sure, the main instrumentation, guitars, bass, drums, do have a fairly typical doom sound, but maybe it's the repetitiveness of or the simplicity of the riffing gives it more of a dreamy quality when used along with the violin. In fact, this band brings to mind a group like My Dying Bride, early in their career anyway, when their sound was very heavy and doomy but contained melody and a sort of class to it. The vocals are also done cleanly and don't make use of growling very often. Now, I don't want to give off the impression that these guys are gothic in any way, because you won't find anything on here that resembles that genre, but you'll definitely be able to draw comparisons to a more romantic style of metal music.
There's also a very drone-influenced sound on a few of these tracks, hear Beneath The Crown, which I actually found very meditative and ritualistic sounding. It's usually during the longer pieces where this occurs, where heavy riffs don't take precedence over atmosphere, it's not something I find a lot of bands do all that well, but it's what makes me enjoy this. The use of additional instrumentation on here also really added something special to this album, such as the tribal percussion and harmonica on Attack On Golden Mountain, or the Irish a cappella track House Carpenter. Plus, despite this album being made of up fairly long songs, none of them ever really felt all that long, even the epic Stonecarver. Despite a more ritualistic vibe, to me anyway, there's still room for heavy tracks, as songs like Borrowed Time Borrowed Eyes and Whippoorwill definitely bring the heavy grooves of doom metal.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album, and there really wasn't a dull spot on here. It's not often that doom metal intrigues me like this, or manages to channel the spirit of old and sound unique and modern at the same time. If you are at all interested in a unique sounding doom metal group, definitely check this out.
Overall Score: 9
Highlights: Borrowed Time Borrowed Eyes, Stonecarver, Dark Country

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