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History of Hell - 85%

Muloc7253, August 8th, 2007

Classy! This is a great doom album. Very slow and deep, with the vocalist(s?) alternating between a distant, moaning clean voice (like a twisted version of Ozzy) and a tortured, agonised cry. I believe these guys went on to later form Sunn O))) - this isn't quite as slow and minimalist as Sunn O))), but it's still pretty damn slow and grinding.

The highlights, i'd say, are the first and fourth tracks, but the album doesn't really work like that. It flows as one body, like a flow of heavy lava slowly crawling down the edge of a volcano, ready to devour an innocent village below. As far as I can tell the lyrics are of a Christian nature as apose to a Satanic philosophy. Doom metal has always seemed to take this stance, possibly to differenciate itself further from the speed and thrash metal of the 80s. When Slayer and Venom were donning pentagrams and upside-down crosses and speedily blasting through odes to devil worship and hellfire, Saint Vitus and Trouble crawled slowly through treks of dark revelation passages, sombre confessions and sermons of hell-to-sinners - arguably a much darker philosophy.

The structure is brilliant - it's a semi-progressive album, quite often going off and doing it's own thing as apose to following a song-like pattern, but then returning to certain bits to make sure it's hammered into our heathen brains. Definately an essential doom album, and very underappreciated it seems. Get it if you can.