A new Canadian album carrying the banner of doom? It caught my attention instantly. The genre’s popularity is rising, it is trendy to refer to it, and ‘doom’ is used by way too many bands to describe themselves. Nonetheless, this is still an underground and unpopular style in the canadian metal landscape. With that being said, let’s see what we have here…
This is Doom’s Day’s second album. In 2012, the Montreal band released us The Unholy, an album dressed in the most standard heavy metal leather jacket; not bad, but nothing special about it. Less than two years later, I was skeptical when I saw PRC Music promoting this album with a ‘doom’ tag. My first reaction: we aren’t anywhere near the italian doom or any other purist/doom tradition. There is however something doom about it, something round in spirit and straightforward which reminds me more of the Dio era of Black Sabbath; that is to say that Doom’s Day keeps a firm foot in heavy metal and its modern form (for example, Therion without its symphonic edge), while looking into doom territory. The beautiful artwork reminiscent of Mercyful Fate and the occult/satanic flavour of the song titles are good indicators.
Having said that, on The Devil’s Eyes Doom’s Day uses a different formula than on The Unholy. This time around, it seems to be drinking at the Ghost B.C. fountain (who drinks heavy doses of Mercyful Fate liquor). The church organs are omnipresent on The Devil’s Eyes, and so are the catchy chorus and riffs. If this is a formula, Doom’s Day adopts it very well and makes it way heavier than the Swedish entity. At certain times, DooM’s (doubled) harsh vocals reminds me of Jamey Jasta (Kingdom of Sorrow, Hatebreed). The guitars are also central to the music, rather than being hidden in the back of a pop album. They have this warm tone characteristic of lamp amplifiers after a few hours of jamming. The production is also eons away from the previous album: on The Devil’s Eyes, we acknowledge a Professional effort to present the band at its best, achieved through a relatively commercial mix (in a good way) without being overproduced. Take any of the songs separately and admit that the production enhances the songwriting qualities.
In short, this album convinced me. Yes, there is a Scorpions-like interlude towards the end of the album and many riffs sound familiar, but in my opinion this is one of the strengths on The Devil’s Eyes. We get hooked on a first listen. In two years, Doom’s Day was able to develop its attributes and write a very compelling album, distinct from the other Quebec metal bands in particular. Congratulations.
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