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Procession - On the way to Greatness - 95%

ThrashManiacAYD, May 9th, 2013

Buried deep in the annals of metal history is the true doom lineage, a timeline of an immortal genre existent since 13th February 1970 - the release date of "Black Sabbath". There have been many wonderful bands since then but few deserving of the echelons created by that Birmingham foursome - read Candlemass, Pentagram, Trouble, Reverend Bizarre and few others. It is time to consider adding Procession to that list.

"Destroyer of the Faith" was but a sign of things to come; the "first real step on the path of success" as I said then continues here on "To Reap Heavens Apart". As the opening chords of "Damnatio Memorae" strike and the foundations are laid for a lead riff that is befitting of Primordial's much heralded compositions, "Conjurer" introduces Felipe Kutzbach's despairing vocals to a musical performance that reveals depth and intrigue. The rumbling bass sound and performance of Claudio Neira is a defining aspect of the album; ever audible and just as keen to court attention while the two guitars vie for leads and rhythm domination, he floats free of the supposed structure for bass to imitate guitar, increasing the well of emotion and scale of composition at a stroke.

Right down from the vastness of the artwork (which begs for vinyl purchase) the huge scale of this album continues with "Death & Judgement", its stomping Candlemass-ian opening ably matched by Kutzbach's pleading of "There's someone calling at my grave / I can't believe I am dead" in tones of revential penance. The subsequent solos, which rise and fall with the tempo, round off a true great. Into the album's title track and Procession move in a faster vein on a true epic; the vocal structure around the chorus brings me goosebumps even after multiple listens as Kutzbach leads his comrades high into the heavens with a classic searing procession of lines and lead riffs. Even those less effected than I cannot doubt the effectiveness of the frontman in stirring the metal soul in true Alan Averill (Primordial) style as if a commander on the eve of war.

As an album this is rich in positivity if you know how to find it among the courage and strength that bleeds from every riff, but in "The Death Minstrel" there is a true spirit crusher in classic doom fashion. Mournful acoustic guitar leads into a funereal march of a riff, each snare hit sounding like a hammer to heart of skinsman Uno Bruniosson. Such morose sentiments wash into epic closer "Far From Light" which peddles the expertly simplistic feel of Reverend Bizarre to fill an endless void of time with a cascading voluminous pounding sent straight from above.

Doom metal in 2013 has many great acts in its diverse and disparate guises but in Procession it has an act beyond mere 'great'. This band have it - that magical, elusive quality immediately endorsing of a band who don't just play their music but stand for its virtues and become a figurehead for others to look up to. True doom metal has that in Procession.

Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net