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Oh Lord, have mercy on my soul! - 77%

Weerwolf, April 25th, 2008

If you buy their debut chances are high you'll find Return to the Rectory enclosed. While this is labeled officially as being a EP, it hardly looks like one with a play-time reaching again over 60 minutes. Return to the Rectory starts off with a immensly heavy droney track that goes by the name of March of the War Elephant. A suitable title if you ask me. It serves as a good intro and prepares the listener for a heavy onslaught of delicious doom. After the rather heavy starter things take a more mellow turn when The Festival kicks in. The first two minutes an acoustic guitar serves as the perfect intro and helps create the mystical ambiance in which The Festival is drenched. Even when the acoustic guitars are replaced by electric ones it never loses its mellowness and creates a very gentle atmosphere complemented by the charismatic voice of Albert. The Festival takes a noticeable turn at around 6 minutes when things again get quite heavy mainly due to some shattering bass lines. Albert also puts a little more power behind his voice. A little bit further an excellent and as quite often is the case with Reverend Bizarre emotional riff enters the mix. Meanwhile Albert lets loose of the words "Oh Lord, have mercy on my soul" further enhancing the melancholic ending of The Festival.

Goddess of Doom starts off with a bang and some serious kickass bass-lines. Goddess of Doom has a lyrical content which is just awesome. First time I heard Albert singing about Christina Ricci I was stupified! But then I remembered Sleepy Hollow and well she may just be a fitting Goddess afterall! Goddess of Doom most of the time progresses in a more up-tempo fashion with some slower sections in between and the usual excellent pack of riffs. After the first half, Goddess of Doom takes take again an interesting turn in the lyrical departement as Albert begins singing about more than a handful of Doom bands (Saint Vitus, Warning, Candlemass and Witchfinder General amongst others) before letting them all kneel at the altar of the almighty Goddess of Doom, Christina. Brilliant! It ends with Albert blessing the Goddess followed by again a more up-tempo part marking the ending of one of the hightlights of Return to the Rectory. The second part of Return to the Rectory remains of equal standard with some surprises ahead. As always Reverend Bizarre delivers quality and a more than enjoyable slab of doom.