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Doldrum - The Knocking, Or The Story Of The Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance review

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Band: Doldrum
Album: The Knocking, Or The Story Of The Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance
Release date: May 2022

01. The Knocking
02. The Visitor
03. The Abduction
04. The Offering
05. The Disappearance

- Knock, knock…
- Who’s knocking?
- The best black metal album of 2022’s first half.

Then again, calling Doldrum simply a ‘black metal’ band is largely underselling them. This music is best described as progressive, avant-garde black metal, with some folk Americana, and horror synths thrown in for good measure. It mixes the experimental character of Ved Buens Ende, the primitive quirkiness of Master's Hammer, the malevolent theatricality of Cultes Des Ghoules, and the Clint Eastwood aura of Wayfarer into songs that are groovy, free-flowing, and harrowing all at the same time.

What we have here is a concept album and essentially a short play in five scenes, unravelled during the course of the five songs. The entire musical opus flows effortlessly, despite the off-kilter character of the compositions. The authenticity of the music and the pitch black ambience both create a very personal experience that is haunting, mysterious, and frightening.

As far as performances go, the vocals are very versatile and they take strange forms, as if different spirits possess the singer at different times. The bass lines are mischievous and meandering, and battle the deranged and twangy guitars riffs in a contest to decide which of the two instruments adds more hooks to the occult atmosphere. The drums are beating to ghostly rhythms, as if they jump in from different corners of a haunted room.

The mix is fantastic and organic; everything sounds loud and clear but there is also that gritty element that goes well with the darkly music and lyrics. The eeriness of the synths is accentuated when there is a need to do so, and the impact of dat pulsating bass is immense. In fact, I could spotlight any musical aspect of this splendid release, but, in my opinion, it is the bass that takes the album to a whole new level of awesomeness. Very fittingly, this trippy specimen of horror was recorded in Salem, a place famous for its witch trials and the related executions.

The Knocking, Or The Story Of The Sound That Preceded Their Disappearance reminded me a lot of one of my favourite black metal albums of all time, Cultes Des GhoulesCoven, Or Evil Ways Instead Of Love. You can see the resemblance just from the titles alone. But, unlike Coven’s whopping 100 minutes of runtime that can be overwhelming for some people (you, plebs, know nothing), The Knocking clocks in at just under 37 minutes, which means that it leaves you begging for more immediately after it’s finished. And we’re in luck, if my fortune-telling abilities serve me right; the outro of the closing track “The Disappearance”, is crafted in such a way that gives the impression that Doldrum have a sequel in the works…

In the meantime, this is one hell of a debut album.

“I am the knocking
That breaks apart thy soul
I am the spirit
Of mud and salt and bone”

Written on 26.07.2022 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 8   Visited by: 120 users
26.07.2022 - 11:19
Alright, you got me hyped, I'll check it out
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
27.07.2022 - 02:04
Rating: 8

Great review. The description in the first paragraph is especially apt. The Wayfarer comparison is one that I hadn't put my finger on.
27.07.2022 - 03:52
A Real Monkey


Man, I'm loving this wave of Americana folklore black metal that's been coming out lately, like Wayfarer, Panopticon and now this. Just hook it into my veins.
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
27.07.2022 - 14:46
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I once said about radu review, this light most interesting release of the year, I changed my mind, I said about this one.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
27.07.2022 - 15:58

This is sooooo good. I love the vocal variety in this, sometimes even sounds like a proggier Primordial
28.07.2022 - 02:06
Seeing that abstract on the front page made me excited enough to check out the album before even reading further. This is pretty badass, it's groovy and accessible enough but has a wonderful uncanny vibe throughout... I love me some basstastic black metal, but the passionate vocals are what really brings it all home. These guys are definitely on my radar now.
"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
28.07.2022 - 13:45

Sounds good, I'm rightly excited!
30.07.2022 - 21:24
Rating: 8
^ What Netzach said. This is a great release that came out of nowhere, at least for me. So thanks nik for bringing this too our attention.
"You have the right to believe in what you want. I have the right to believe it's ridiculous." - Ricky Gervais

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