Prophecies Of Doom

Written by: EW on 04/01/2009 17:37:32

One of my albums of 2008 was Bilocate's "Sudden Death Syndrome", a release that mixed death metal, passages of doom and authentic Arabic flavour hailing from Jordan. Well now here I have Dethroned, a young band from Lebanon that have gone for a similar direction, but where Bilocate originally drew inspiration primarily from Opeth, Dethroned's debut demo "Prophecies Of Doom" bears closest resemblances to "Turn Loose The Swans"-era My Dying Bride. For a self-released demo it is worth pointing out the professional and excellent sound on "Prophecies...", and the fact that the album's cover and design is done by none other than MDB's Aaron Stainthorpe. A mighty scoop for such a young band.

There are only 5 songs on offer here but enough time in opener "Grief" and "My Eternal Love" to relish in the lovelorn misery propagated in the aforementioned classic period of death/doom legends My Dying Bride. The slow piano interludes, somber sections of spoken word and the appearance of growls atop gritty death metal riffing should prick the ears of any fans of the 'Peaceville Three' as the similarity is quite striking. Whereas this could sometimes be misconstrued as plagiarism, for a band doing it with such conviction and youth still on their side, well one would have to be pretty stuck-up to complain. Arabic flourishes are more restrained against Bilocate's opus and that of stand-out Middle Eastern band Orphaned Land, with only "Prophecies of Doom" featuring any serious hint of where the band might be from, nestled as it is amongst a well constructed and thoughtful use of dynamics to vary the tempo between slow and mid-pace in the space of each song and across the demo's 30 minutes. We are treated to both clean and gruff male vocals across all, and then in closer "... And Darkness", pretty female vocals of the kind I am not usually a fan of, but in this context it works well enough.

And then that’s it. It is only a demo so we shouldn't expect too much, but a debut release of any kind and an average age of 17-18, "Prophecies Of Doom" is a mature and confident release, promising the band a future of some potential if they work hard enough and of course get the bit of luck any band requires. It seems amongst all the well-documented oppression in the Middle East there are some exciting young bands worth watching out for.

Download: My Eternal Love, Prophecies of Doom
For The Fans Of: My Dying Bride, Bethlehem, Orphaned Land
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 06.09.08

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