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Straightforward doom. Too straightforward doom. - 68%

mad_submarine, April 8th, 2013

Charles Bukowski, probably my most favourite author has said: "Don't try". When you see that something is not happening, don't force it. I'm a big fan of this saying, because it most definitely is true - some bands try too much and the result is most of the time pretty obvious. Take for example Manowar, maybe when they started the whole idea about the manly image and all was kinda innovative and worked out well, but these days they look more like clowns rather than Conan. When I first encountered Procession I honestly didn't like them - the guy's singing wasn't my pint of beer and their attitude was a bit too "made up", but I wasn't completely correct and the music has its merits. I thought thet were trying way too much.

New school, old school, which am I to choose? This is not a question upon which this band has wondered much. Wait, new school doom, what is that? No, it's not first April, this is old school doom.

While Procession is not your most innovative, super interesting band or the best at what they do, they most definitely are no posers. The singing is very reminiscent of Sir Albert Witchfinder, mostly on "The road to the Gravegarden", which is also the best song on "Destroyers of the faith". Maybe because I am such a hopeless fan girl of Reverend Bizarre, but only in this song the singing REALLY works. In all other songs it's just bad. I find it tormenting. Not tormenting in any positive metal way you could think of, no, it torments me, because these prolonged wails sound like an old woman lamenting over her deceased husband. There are many doom singers, which do this type of singing well, but I don't like the one in this record. The line between sounding like a majestic God and an old sorrowful lady is very thin. "The road to the Gravegarden" is one example of good singing, the other songs - not really.

The music is in the veins of traditional doom and heavy metal. Something like heavier Solstice. But there are no fat bass lines or greatly down-tuned guitars. It's not a stoner type of any way. I am just stating that because some people tend to relate to doom and stoner like two very common things, which I believe is not true. The best song for me is again "The road.." because it feels very majestic and eerie at the same time, the guitar tone is very rich and on overall there's quite some soul into this song. The solo guitar is really nice in "Tomb of doom" too, but as I said, this type of singing ruins it for me. Maybe some of you will enjoy it, but I particularly do not so much. If this was an instrumental song I would listen to it over and over again. It so transports me to somewhere rainy and bleak, but then the vocals wake me up.

All in all, this album is in no way bad, but once you've heard so much of the sort it's hardly so impressive. But it's also well done and deserves it's rainy Sunday time.

PROCESSION: "Destroyers of the Faith" - 70%

skaven, December 9th, 2011

It makes me awkward to review something like Procession’s Destroyers of the Faith because it’s quite a hyped record yet I have almost zero knowledge of traditional doom metal. Well yeah, I’ve heard a couple of Black Sabbath’s earliest albums and love many funeral doom bands, but when it comes to the most traditional and essential records of doom metal, I’m quite lost. So this is to be remembered whilst reading my review - perhaps it even brings a fresh perspective, who knows?

Destroyers of the Faith sounds massive. Despite being rather bare - meaning that it’s basically just guitars, bass & drums without any unnecessities - it becomes clear that they’ve spent a good deal of time in the studio making this sound this heavy and loud. At times, the loudness is brought to such levels that - though I’m not a proper audiphile so I’m not 100% certain - the album clips a lot. This kind of reduces the effect of the heaviness, but it’s just a minor detail anyhow.

The album is also epic as hell. This is thanks to the long compositions wandering from seven to nineteen minutes, always having an adventurous feeling to it. Felipe Plaza Kutzbach delivers his clean vocals convincingly and there’s nothing to complain about the rest of the instrumentation either, riffs and beats staying true to traditional doom. One of my personal favourites is the sorrowful guitar solo on ”The Road to the Gravegarden” that doesn’t try to hurry anywhere, backed up by a simple repetitive drum beat.

When the choral sounds of ”White Coffin” end the album, I’m left with mostly positive thoughts about Destroyers of the Faith. While not every second of the album is pure brilliance, it’s still clearly a strong whole that isn’t even prolonged (as could easily happen with slow tempo compositions, but this runs for just 46 minutes). The album inspires me, a doom metal newbie, to explore the traditional fields of the genre more deeply in the future, so indeed I would say that Destroyers of the Faith is a successful release. Bigger doom fans can add a star or half to my rating, without much doubt.

3.5 / 5
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Procession - Destroyers of faith - 90%

manos1, April 9th, 2011

Well, it's more than obvious that doom metal (and its hard rock version) is having a serious revival. Right after the (partially successful) reanimation of thrash metal, I think it was about time for doom to twist our guts, feel our souls with despair and drown us in its asphyxiating, deadly atmosphere...

These guys from Chile, with their latest album "Destroyers of the faith", can give you all the above! Crushing, ultra-heavy doom, from the darkest and loneliest pit of hell (if not a place even deeper).

The album consists of an intro and five (5) more songs, which are kind of long, but REALLY easy listening. The singer's (Felipe Plaza Kutzbach) voice is clean, yet passionate and astonishing, filling you in despair and darkness, and gives the whole band a special character. His guitar playing along with Claudio Botarro Neira's tremendous efforts in bass guitar are giving a solid - as - rock string section, being accompanied by Francisco Aguirre's extremely steady and crushing hammerings on the drums. The production of this album is deep, raw and heavy, just what a band like that needs. The result: DOOM.

There's no need for further talking, just listen to the album, and judge for your selves. I don't think that any fans of this genre will be disappointed.

Personal highlights: Destroyers of faith, Chants of the nameless.

Procession - Destroyers of the Faith - 80%

ThrashManiacAYD, February 26th, 2011

Resilient as ever, doom marches on into it's 42nd year and counting and shows no sign of abating. This debut album from Chilean's Procession actually came out at the tail end of last year but I thus now only review it. I've said it before and I'll say it again: doom metal, on average, manages a much higher quality of release than any other metal scene. There's something about the dyed-in-the-wool trueness of it's main progenitors and the honesty which is vital in the making of an even respectable album that not only ensures the genre has lived on this long, but that it also holds infinitely more relevance than every image-obsessed 'core' genre under the sun. Taking their cue from those who've come before them, Procession hammer out a Reverend Bizarre/Candlemass/Count Raven/epic Bathory version of the genre, ultimately sounding not unlike some of the other doom worshippers out there (Doomshine, Dawn of Winter etc). After the proud intro of "Hyperion", the upbeat "Destroyers Of The Faith" is a dominating mark laid down early on, melded from the fires of RevBiz's monolithic final effort, "So Long Suckers". "The Road To The Gravegarden" is an altogether slower, more plodding effort, even reaching a point of total standstill in the second half of its 10 minutes before bounding back into the life with a solid doom riff and rhythm, accentuating by it's wonderful bass sound and distinct g/b/d production.

Through the album's thoroughly listenable 47 minutes it is the impassioned, clean vocals of Felipe Plaza Kutzbach that are without doubt the band's strongest card. Like Pat Walker (Warning) and Albert Witchfinder (RevBiz), Kutzbach could breathe life into even the most turgid of affairs, though thankfully the compelling riffs of "Tomb Of Doom" and "White Coffin" merely allow for his vivid connection with the feel of the music to set Procession apart from others in the second division of doom. Kutzbach, not withstanding the impressively high standard maintained across all 6 songs, suggest that "Destroyers Of The Faith" is the first real step on the path of success for a band intent on keeping it true at all costs. Doom or be doomed!

Originally written for

Centuries are as nothing to those voices - 93%

joncheetham88, December 29th, 2010

Ah, Chile. In a year filled with warring peninsulas, depressing coalition governments, leaked diplomatic cables and colossal clouds of ash filling the sky, Chile was the home of the greatest moment of human triumph over adversity. The country's tourism boards were quick to pile clips of Mario Sepulveda and his merry miners emerging from the shaft into promotional clips for tourism into Chile, showcasing the country's poets, landscapes and culture. They just missed out one thing, which is that it is the home of probably the most tantalizing addition to the noble genre of epic doom metal in a decade.

Now this is supposedly their debut album. It is a minute shorter than The Cult of Disease, which they insisted was an EP. Never mind. After 'Hyperion', two minutes of crushing introductory Solitude Aeturnus -like riffs and some big wails from the always magnificent Felipe Plaza Kutzbach, it's straight into the first of four full original songs. That might seem a bit stingy, but the album also includes an expanded version of a highlight from the EP.

The band's approach is slightly different to the six epic tapestries of woe sprawled languidly across last year's record. 'Destroyers of the Faith' crunches hastily along with purpose and locomotion rarely found on The Cult of Disease, a classic epic doom opener in the vein of Count Raven, early and late Candlemass. It has the sorrow and pace of Solstice with the hard-edged, rocking doom riffs of albums like King of the Grey Islands. What with a new bassist and drummer joining Felipe's guitars and vocals, the group has a whole new bottom end contributing an even greater level of rich, heavy rhythm to the misery.

Felipe has also worked on his guitar sound. Although the original has a special place in my heart, the opening riff of 'The Road to the Gravegarden' is absolutely enthralling, so much heavier and sharper than it was on The Cult of Disease. Still with plenty of lovely fuzz. New drummer Francisco Aguirre's crashing percussion makes it's mark here, where comparisons are easy, and he drives this song along with a lot more brawn than his predecessor Francisco Vera. My complaint would be that with all this instrumental might, the wonderful pained vocals of Felipe and his passionate guitar solo are a little drowned. This doesn't seem such a problem elsewhere on the disc, but it's a shame that such a terrific composition couldn't fulfill it's full potential for a second recording.

After that handsome first half of muscled despair, I was looking forward to three straight new songs from the Chileans. 'Chants of the Nameless', previewed on Myspace to promote the album, features absolutely heart-stopping vocals and beautiful harmonized chugging guitars. Here the band create an atmospheric and despairing build of increasingly tragic, operatic vocals, dramatic guitar solos and booming drums: outstanding, and amazingly emotional. 'Tomb of Doom' likewise is a mighty metallic serenade to death and gloom, bursting into a propulsive, rocking mid-song climax with some truly awesome guitar chords thrumming past. The mournful strumming guitars that open the rain-spattered 'White Coffin' are gorgeous, rousing themselves into one final heavy, sorrowful last hurrah of a track. Solstice-like guitars wash across the almost tribally thumping drums. Almost entirely instrumental, it brings the album to a pummeling end.

Even on the EP they were loath to repeat themselves at any point, and aside from the rerecording the album sees Felipe and his new band enriching the sound they established. Despite a very (very very) slight inferiority to the stunning debut EP, this should be considered an absolutely mandatory purchase for traditional and true doom metal maniacs. Honestly I want it to be longer, however by the looks of it they're already on for a split with some German dudes called Mountain Throne. I can take as much of this stuff as Procession can record.