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An Epic Journey - 85%

metaldave66, March 14th, 2014

The most difficult challenge faced when constructing a review on Cult of Herodias is how to categorize the music; a welcomed problem to have. Known mostly for being an experimental doom project, Cult of Herodias (formally Herodias) defies the limits of genre with their self titled album. Founded in 2012 on Long Island, New York by husband and wife duet Kristina and Michael Rocco, COH changed the doom metal game by way of Kristina's voice alone. The structure of funeral doom, the sub genre in which the band is sometimes considered, has craved a fresh approach by many fans and COH has delivered.

From the opening track "An Exit," the listener is immediately thrown into the haunting power of Kristina Rocco's classical voice, accompanied by her partner's brooding de-tuned melody. This song envelops the overall tone and instrumentation of the album, but in a more positive light then what follows. By the third and title track, the beauty of Kristina's singing remains, but the whimsical piano atmosphere is replaced by Michael Rocco's peace-crushing guitar work. At times, the energy of the album slows down, but the ominous texture never subsides. "Mala Gente" is one such piece, exuding clever piano work and sinister ambiance. The overall production value is strong, yet appropriately muddy at times. The only real criticism of the album is its redundancy after awhile. I would have liked to have heard more deviation from the slow, down trodden rotation. More lead guitar work as in "The Tower" would benefit the composition (it's very clear Michael can play).

For doom fans looking for something new, Cult of Herodias might be your masterpiece. This unique work displays the contrast between light and dark seamlessly and takes the listener on an emotional adventure that runs deep into the soul. COH is a true pleasure to indulge in, so put on a pair of headphones and enter this enigmatic dreamworld.