Review by Stefan: I don’t see myself as a passionate doom metal fanatic but rather an occasional listener of this genre. Everything depends on the mood I’m in, the time of the year also plays an important role in this. Like now for example, we live in the darkest period of the year and sometimes, I feel quite depressed. Has to do with my physical problems that increase as soon as it gets winter. The cold, the rain, the sun that goes down early keep me indoors for a long time. Music has always been a good remedy to give me the strength to make life as pleasant as possible and so, I occasionally spend time on a good doom metal album.
The Belgian band Cult Of Scarecrow fits perfectly into this explanation, they bring a very cuddly form of doom metal upwards with the release of a self-titled EP that is filled with four songs. Independently released, this is a doom metal effort that knows how to embrace me, even it sounds as dark and sinister as can be. The topics are about the destruction of our planet, the eradication of humanity and so many other nauseating facts. Things we must face with dead staring eyes and the only thing we can do is to scream out our displeasure and hatred against the stupid bastards who cause it all. I seek my salvation in music and this band knows how to treat me well, four songs with an average playing time of seven and a half minutes. Let this dark music be an inspiration source to accept life as it is.
COS consists of six members who were, back in the 80s and 90s, active in metal bands like: Explorer, Trial, Dead Serious, Die Sinner Die, Battering Ram, Ramses and Innerface. A selection of musicians who know well how to approach their music. FYI: Ex-Mindruin, Die Sinner Die drummer Jeannot Schram left the ranks at the time the EP was released. Meanwhile he was replaced by ex Shogun, Tears Of Colossus drummer Nico Regelbrugge.
Although they used to be more active in the heavy metal circuits, they have now opted for a totally different direction so called doom metal ! This musical turnaround has apparently been a good choice because their songs radiate passion and knowledge, COS bring good food to the table !
Recorded at the Oceanside Studio in Ostende, Belgium and engineered/mixed by Ace Zec, all of the song were mastered by Carsten Bucher at Track 1 Recording Studios in Bremen, Germany. Finally the logo has been manufactured by Black Space Graphics, located in Greece. The cover looks extremely ominous and expresses my approval, as I also want to express my appreciation for the good sound quality !
Opener ‘The Hour Of Blood Run’ begins inert with a certain form of threat increasing step by step. The ultra-heavy guitars come upfront what makes the threatening atmosphere real, nice to hear and very appropriate, the clean vocals of Filip De Wilde dipping the whole composition into a true and pleasant doom scenario. The pace is steadily being pushed up, but the general rhythm remains irrevocably low which places the entire band into a bright spotlight. ‘The Cult Of The Scarecrow’ adds a little extra, listen carefully to the keyboard actions that play an important role during this song. In combination with the heavily loaded guitar riffs and monstrous bass lines I have to say that the slow but very hard drums and good accompanying vocal lines to bring on the good vibes. And this statement also applies to the two following songs, ‘Last Words From Black Bird’ and ‘Adrift And Astray’, where dark forces are always lying in wait to strike !
Cult Of Scarecrow wants to express their discontent with regard to world conflicts by playing music and they do it real good; hard, dark and sinister…. similar bands that creep into my memory are; Solitude Aeturnus, Krux, Memory Garden, While Heaven Wept and the likes. Doom metal supporters do not think twice about considering a purchase, don’t hesitate and proceed the order now at: https://www.facebook.com/thecultofscarecrow/ / https://cultofscarecrow1.bandcamp.com/releases
My rating: 84/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)