(Steel Gallery 2014)
I don’t suppose I need to begin this review with any kind of description of what style of music this band plays. The name Doomocracy is not very subtle. It proudly proclaims to all the world that these five Hellenic warriors play epic doom metal. In my mind, there’s a vast chasm separating the first tier purveyors of epic doom (the likes of Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass, Memory Garden, and Solstice) from the many lesser acts treading similar ground. On their debut album, ‘The End is Written,’ Doomocracy make a compelling statement that they are (or someday soon may be) worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of doom elites, particularly now that masters like Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass appear to be out of the game, at least in terms of new music.
Doomocracy excel at so many aspects of this genre. They know when to lock into a slow mournful plod and when to accelerate the tempos and increase the energy. They have a singer, Michael Stavrakakis, who is blessed with a powerful and charismatic voice. Whatever shortcomings he might have in his English pronunciation he more than compensates for with his rich, emotive delivery that only occasionally dips into screechy territory. Mercy, just listen to how he belts out the line “I am the glory, the sun and the water” in “Emissary of Vengeance,” and feel the chills run down your spine. Tracks like the awesome “Faceless” (with its towering riff and haunting refrain) are nearly perfect in construction and execution. And they know how to avoid repetition and boredom in their songwriting, crafting concise songs and throwing in just enough off-kilter rhythmic changes and progressive twists (think Memento Mori) to keep the listener on his toes on tunes like “Sins,” all the while remaining comfortably within the parameters of classic doom metal. At 8 songs and 45 minutes, ‘The End is Written’ never outstays its welcome or tests the patience of the listener as so many doom albums do. Finally, the suitably apocalyptic cover artwork captures the spirit and vibe of Doomocracy perfectly.
I loved Below’s ‘Across the Dark River’ album that came out last year. I have exceedingly high hopes and expectations for the forthcoming Sorcerer opus, ‘In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross,’ due out on Metal Blade this spring. But Doomocracy have made an outstanding contribution to the epic doom genre on ‘The End is Written.’ It’s not a perfect release, as some songs could be more memorable, but Doomocracy emphatically and resoundingly deserves the attention and support of doom mavens all around the world.
~ Review by Kit Ekman~