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Malice of predictability - 80%

Arkkiperkele, March 7th, 2009

When you have a band of the character such as Lord Vicar, there's some soft ground to be trodden on. We are essentially facing a doom metal supergroup, with former members of doom essentials like St. Vitus, Count Raven, Reverend Bizarre and Centurions Ghost teamed up together.

Personas who make up Lord Vicar have such a vast and longterm backgrounds on the fields of doom that this seriously begs the question; Is there anything left to offer by this band? Chritus and Vicar have served lengthy and significant tours of duty. Chritus participated in Vitus and Raven during the bands downtimes, or so I've understood. Yet he's got remarkable experience and a past spent with doom metal groups of the highest standing. Vicar, well, I think it suffices to say was the most audacious remnant of Reverend Bizarre.

Musical foundations for Lord Vicar have been laid over the years and it has been an enormous process. It is very much unspeakable to the doom fanatic to embrace the slightest possibility that LV would blow their first full-length effort. Given the cards we've been dealt, this should not stand a chance. With some sneering, this is the Crosby, Stills and Nash of doom.

Lord Vicar's Fear No Pain is altogether good traditional doom metal. There is nothing overtly negative, nothing that bothers, obscures or otherwise disrupts the experience. The arrangements, execution and performance by the members is pristine and worthy of the legacy of their former groups. May be Chritus's voice becomes a liability after sustained listening.

The record shines with examples of some of the toughest and finest shit in terms of true doom to be found. Pillars Under Water is Devil Rides Out and Cromwell allover again. Crushing, infectious riffage, merciless heavy metal pwnage. The final two tracks, A Man Called Horse and The Funeral Pyre instigate such a whirlwind that there's no helping...the aftertaste of this album after the immediate listen is brilliant at the least, orgasmic on the extreme.

The orthodox, loyal and attentive doom metal disciple is faced with an effort that as a one off demonstration of aptitude and excellence is recently unrivalled. But what if you are looking at the first album of a new band, with possibly and hopefully an extensive and fruitful future. Well, then it is unfortunately a major *meh*...

Greatest, most unforgiving and ultimate flaw that is dealing the head shots on this one, is that Lord Vicar could not simply have been anything else than that it is. Fear No Pain has turned out to be painstakingly predictable. It stumbles and fucks up where you expect it to stumble and fuck up. It rocks and pwns you with no mercy just when it should.

Riffage is crushing, the bass is crawling and it's graveyards and crosses...just when it almost grinds to a painful halt, you'll fly like a fucking patrol of angels all over again. It's heavy-fucking-metal, man-o-fucking war, no questions asked.
You can hear all the greatness vested with its makers due to their legacy and background. The influences blitzkrieg you through your speakers, and you arepummeled to the ground by the same rhythms, riffs and barrages that have done so before.

Basically, what we have is a tribute album of the highest order. Good luck for the follow-up...