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DE LÄMENDEYSHN OF DEIR VIMMIN - 60%

TheStormIRide, June 13th, 2018

Though metal wouldn't spring forth until more than thirty years after his death, Robert E. Howard created one of the most metal characters of all time during a roadtrip through Texas in 1932. Conan the Barbarian is probably known best as the films starring Austrian bodybuidling hunk turned movie star turned California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but there are a whole trove of novels and short stories following the titular character. What better character for an Austrian five piece metal band to take influence from? Enter Tulsadoom, a band that has been active since 2007 and currently has two full lengths under their belt. Yes, the band misspelled Thulsa Doom, dropping the “H”, and it may have caused irreparable damage to my interpretation of their music.

Storms of the Netherworld is the band's second full length album, released through Nihilistic Empire Records in June of 2015. Tulsadoom's style is some type of galloping heavy/thrash metal with a few blackened spatterings here and there. The musicians are extremely talented, with solid performances all around: blaring solos, stomping, rollicking percussion, gnarly, palm muted riffing, and extremely prominent yet not overly flamboyant bass lines fill the album with what should be a spectacular ode to the Hyborian Age. Despite this, something feels off with Storms of the Netherworld. One can listen to it in its entirety and come away not remembering much from the album. It's competently played, with lots of high speed, galloping power/thrash rhythms and hook-laden riffing and some really cool, sweeping solos.

Unfortunately, some parts delve into some form of grooving, stoner-ish metal at times, not unlike something you would hear from The Sword or Fireball Ministry. On top of that, a lot of movements feel strangely power metal heavy, sounding really light, especially with the barbaric growls that serve as vocals. I'd feel remiss if I didn't warn of synthwave sounding “Dustlands”, which would be fan-freaking-tastic on its own, but mixed with everything else is more out of place than Mike Pence getting his haircut in Norristown during the Trump campaign. Thankfully, these parts kind of breeze over and the band moves back into their slightly black-ish heavy/thrash metal. It's interesting that the band throws so much into the mix, but where they sound best is during the few primordial, first wave influenced section of caveman metal. These barbaric, no frills moments, like the entirety of closing track “Final Cataclysm”, show that Tulsadoom can write fantastically savage metal, so one could be left questioning why they don't do it more often (though what the hell were they thinking with that falsetto?).

Give the band's imagery and lyrical content, one would except a primitive homage to swords and sorcery. Like mentioned, some moments are top notch, but overall the album feels lackluster. The talent is there, but the energy and creative spark are lost. It's a ho-hum effort despite all the technical proficiency. People turn to Conan to see their enemies crushed, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women. Storms of the Netherworld needs more passion! And that freaking “H.” And more barbarians.