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EP not representaitve of Reverend Bizarre's best - 67%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, June 28th, 2012

The Thulsa Doom EP consists of two very different tracks "The Tree of Suffering" and "Children of Doom" with the differences being in style and pace: "Children of Doom" is a relatively fast track and quite heroic / epic in style whereas "The Tree is Suffering" is slow and more depressive in a Black Sabbath vein.

"Children of Doom" starts off slowly and in a subdued and morose manner; it's only about halfway through the track or some time after that it speeds up and reaches its majestic potential. This is one track the listener has to sit through all the way to the end to appreciate the treasure lying within. The lead guitar melodies are the best part of the song: they have a sinister, bewitching, almost heathen-ish air as they help launch the music into a fast and urgent middle section. Vocalist Albert Witchfinder adopts a half-spoken / half-singing style which doesn't quite suit the short song and its basically low-key nature; he seems trapped here and needs lots of space to stretch out and show people what he's really made of.

"The Tree of Suffering" is a much better track and begins with a vivid and tortured intro of voice and instrumentation simulating a scene of a man having nails banged into his hands and feet (or wrists and ankles) in preparation for a crucifixion. The song proper is repetitive with a fairly basic percussion rhythm, minimalist looping riffs and a slow lead guitar solo with long wobbling tones that create an oppressive, almost overwhelming and suffering ambience. The vocals follow the music note for note and are almost chanting; the slowness of the music allows Witchfinder plenty of opportunity to show off his operatic singing prowess. The lyrics are interesting in that they turn from despair and pain to defiance against death.

As an EP, "Thulsa Doom" doesn't represent Reverend Bizarre at their best: "Children of Doom" is an awkward effort especially and both songs are too short for the band's dramatic style of doom metal. Reverend Bizarre are at their best playing songs of over 10 minutes in length in which entire cycles of sword-and-sorcery fantasy might play out and heroes undergo trials of hardship, pain and despair as well achieve feats of bravery, strength and overcoming evil. I'd recommend the EP only to die-hard fans who must have everything the band has ever done and who have the money to spare.