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Count Bizarre... Reverend Raven! - 92%

Doominance, June 9th, 2015

What do you get if you put an Englishman, a Swede and a couple of Finns into a room? Lord Vicar - that's what you get! These guys are seasoned doomsters and their Lord Vicar project could in a way be looked upon as a "super-group", though, I dislike using that term, because the term has previously been thrown around before, but the so-called super-group hasn't really done anything super, so to speak.

Lord Vicar, however, managed to release something special with their 2008 debut album 'Fear No Pain'. Guitarist Kimi Kärki; also known as Peter Vicar - from his Reverend Bizarre days - plays his simple, yet powerful, melancholic trademark sound made famous with Reverend Bizarre to put a very "Finnish feel" to Lord Vicar's sound. They say Finns are somewhat melancholic and mysterious, and Kärki's riffs certainly reflect those adjectives pretty well. The riffing is indeed similar to what Reverend Bizarre did, but the songs are different in the sense that they're not extremely long, extremely slow and with Chritus' Ozzy/Zeeb Parkes hybrid-like vocals, Lord Vicar becomes a very different animal than Reverend Bizarre.

There is a decent variety of music present on 'Fear No Pain'. There are crushingly heavy, traditional doom metal tracks such as "Down the Nails" and "The Spartan", groovier and more up-tempo rockers such as "Pillars Under Water" and the epic "A Man Called Horse" that boasts some neat melodic hooks and some simplistic, but decent solos that compliment the rhythm well. Kimi Kärki's musical influences also become more prominent with Lord Vicar than they ever did with Reverend Bizarre. Acoustic parts in somewhat progressive-built songs (as far as doom goes) in "Born of a Jackal" and the sorrowful "Funeral Pyre" are proofs of this. The outro to the crushing "The Spartan" is a very soothing acoustic bit that furthermore adds to the mysterious and medieval, folksy elements present on 'Fear No Pain'.

Although the Lord Vicar project is relatively new; the seasoned veterans that man the group have all the experience needed to create a solid doom metal record. The band members' past bands' souls are well-engraved into Lord Vicar's sound; and if one ever wondered what Count Raven would sound like if they merged with Reverend Bizarre, then look no further, because Lord Vicar is the result of that. That; alone, should make fans of traditional doom a la Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Black Sabbath and indeed Count Raven and Reverend Bizarre, want to give this album a spin.