Company: The Miskatonic Foundation Release: 2008 Genre: Doom Reviewer: Raising Iron
A dazzling Doom debut
The Lamp of Thoth have finally lit the world of doom up with their much-anticipated, long-awaited debut, Portents, Omens, and Dooms. For those still in the dark regarding this occult obsessed trio, they are a newer UK based doom outfit building their cabal on The Miskatonic Foundation (is there a bad band on that label?!). With just one 3-song EP available before this, its great to get a full-length, 10-song, 65 minutes of old school doom. Throw 222 parts Pagan Altar, 222 parts Witchfinder General, 111 parts Cirith Ungol and 111 parts late 70s NWOBHM stylings into a cauldron, stir it up and let sit for an hour (and 5 minutes!) and youíll get a fairly tasty concoction resulting in The Lamp of Thoth. Hell, even the vocalist/bassist, Simon Strange, has one of those characteristically unique voices thatíll remind you of such luminaries as Mark "the Shark" Shelton, Zeeb Parkes from the aforementioned Witchfinder General, or Cirith Ungolís Tim Baker. The trio is rounded out by Randy Reaper on guitar and Emily Pentangle on the drums.
Now, there are a ton of doom bands out there right now shooting for that old school sound, but only a few of Ďem are reaching their goal to any respectable degree. Witchcraft are a good reference on how to do it, and soon The Lamp of Thoth will be a current benchmark as well. The production on here is brilliant, the instrumentation and effects quite minimal, making things lean yet thereís plenty of punch from the guitars and drums. Nothing is drowned out, and the vocals are bright, moving from nasty to melancholic as needed by such doom offerings. There isnít much to be found in the way of guitar leads here (although they do appear sparingly), the heavy riff coming first, plodding menacingly and mystically to and fro, daring the virgins and the innocent to join it in its venture toward the dark moors.
The nods to the ancient days of dark metal, doom and the NWOBHM arenít just limited to the music, but the lyrics contain cryptic nods as well. A line in the first song, "I Love the Lamp", says, "because smoking and tripping is all that you do". Where have you heard that before? Other lines found throughout are, "come, come, come to the sabbat", and "in league with Satan", Iíll let you see if you can figure out where they come! Dig in, you may find some more!"
In any case, this is a dazzling debut, chock full of calamitous incantations culminating in a caustic chimera that few would dare entertain!
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