Land of contempt...
Genre: doom, evil dark doom
Doom metal is one of the oldest metal genres around and, while the constant in releases within the genre is a focus on slow tempos and heavy beats, it is also an incredibly varied genre covering epic doom metal, stoner doom, doom rock, black-doom, death-doom, gothic doom, sludge doom, drone doom and what not. The US duo Rigor Sardonicous represent a more raw type of doom metal, which is certain to scare the living feces out of any pop fan and to unsettle even seasoned fans of doom metal.
Ego Diligio Vos features seven tracks, which, while not the slowest doom metal I have heard, express bleakness and are crushingly heavy. The tracks are built around simple doom-laden droning guitar riffs whose primitive rawness which perfectly reflect the sense apocalypse and overarching hopelessness of mankind that Rigor Sardonicous' artistic vision evolves around. Not only are the riffs heavy and primitive, the guitar distortion borders on the extreme, definitely contributing to the rawness of the album, while the fat bass has leviathanic proportions.
The gargling vocals are so inhumanly guttural that it has led some to claim that Rigor Sardonicous must have digitally processed them, which the doom duo has officially repudiated. Processed or not, the gargling vocals are one of the elements of the album that makes it really creepy. Listening to the album is like walking through a forest of dead trees alone at night while a cloud slowly covers the moon, eventually leaving you in utter darkness with a feeling that some threatening presence is watching you.
So, in terms of expression and artistic ideas, this is a very successful doom metal release. There is one thing, though, that disturbs my listening experience – and that is the drums, which I suspect are programmed. There certainly is a mechanical feel to them which does not sit well with me. I cannot help but wonder how a more organic drumming style would have contributed to the overall sound of the album, but I imagine that a drummer with the power of Vinny Appice or Cozy Powell could insert some really heavy fill-ins that would make music sound even heavier.
But, in all, Ego Diligio Vos is a creepy and unsettling doom metal release which shows that primitive rawness can definitely be an asset in the universe of doom metal. Fans of harsh and super apocalyptic doom metal should definitely check it out.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)