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Into the Occult - 65%

Witchfvcker, July 4th, 2015
Written based on this version: 2015, CD, LVX MorgenStern (Digipak)

Russian doom metal duo Lord Of Doubts was the brainchild of Art, who covered bass, guitars, and vocal duties. Having disbanded in 2013, their sophomore album Into The Occult was posthumously released exclusively on cassette, and is re-released for the convenience of those of us without tape-decks. A familiar mix of bass-heavy tunes, occult imagery, and hazy psychedelia, Lord Of Doubts adorns the mantle of stoner luminaires Electric Wizard, cutting thick slabs of sex, drugs, and satanic vibes from the mountains of madness.

Musically hailing from the same murky cesspools as Swedish ritualists Saturnalia Temple, Into The Occult brims with grim incantations and thrives on bizarre esoteric chants. Swathed in black distortion, the slowly crawling riffs are atmospheric and ominous, although there’s not many original ideas being thrown around. On cuts such as “Rites Of The Awakening” and “Luciferian Dawn”, the band plays to their strengths, with hypnotic basslines throbbing beneath ceremonial vocals, invoking a dense air of sinister incantations. Speaking of which, the three “Incantation”-tracks interspersed throughout Into The Occult provide instrumental psychedelic solos, with a tinge of eastern mysticism.

None of the above observations are likely to sway listeners who have a passing familiarity with occult doom metal, and the repetitiveness of Into The Occult outstays its welcome well before the one hour mark. However, things end on a high note, with album closer “Luciferian Dawn” clocking in at 20 minutes and featuring a sitar, painting additional soundscapes that could have lifted the preceding 40 minutes into something truly special. That being said, Lord Of Doubts have a good take on an established sound, sowing seeds that unfortunately never amounted to much else than a decent effort.

If Saturnalia Temple’s stellar To The Other left you craving more, Lord Of Doubts provides adequate companionship. In many ways Into The Occult feels like it’s setting the stage for greater things, but the band’s recent disbandment put a cap on that. If frontman Art doesn’t resurface with a new project, this stands as a promising though by-the-numbers effort that plays competently yet by the book.

Written for The Metal Observer