When you hear Doom Metal passed around as a genre it’s easy to sneer and assume the worst, but with Dirt Forge’s debut album Soothsayer the band have managed to bring an enlightened twist on the genre and it’s far from just a compilation of stereotypical attributes the genre dictates.
‘Rust & Copper’ has that aged feel like you would find in a band like Black Sabbath or Pentagram however here they display elegant verses, which break up the chaotic choruses and violent vocals. Something that can be found with new bands is the lack of thought put forward for instrumentation, this is far from the case for Dirt Forge.
‘Fortress Burning’ is undoubtedly the highlight from the album, it’s punchy and has a killer riff. The kind of riff you’d expect only a select few bands to be able to write but they pull this off with ease. It took me straight back to playing Pro Skater on PS2 and it’s the kind of track that deserves a spot on those amazing soundtracks.
‘Bring Me Good Noose’ and ‘Stone’ are classic examples of the genre and even pay homage in style towards GWAR and CKY. They feature that nineties US feel with enough difference in the vocals and instrumentation to keep you interested.
‘Intet Tabt, Intet Haendt’ is something new altogether and deserves its own praise, it falls somewhere between the tropes of Doom Metal and Hardcore Punk. It has the doom riffs and vocals, but turned on its head with a jarring bpm choice and man does it take it to the next level. Fans of Sick Of It All will feel at home here.
‘Soothsayer I: The Blind’, ‘Soothsayer II: Die Waiting’ and ‘Soothsayer III: For Our End’ bring the album to a close. Soothsayer I is nothing new and plays off as an average addition to the album however Soothsayer II takes a hold of your ears and blasts you to a dimension you weren’t expecting, Iron Maiden styled riffs and instrumentation paired with the doom style lyrics and vocals. It works like a charm. ‘Soothsayer III’ is a fitting end, blending all that is good about the band into one mixture. Ambient parts that move to heavy choruses.
The album has partial replay value, and it’s easy to find yourself enjoying it more a second listen round and missing things on the previous listen. They perhaps do not offer much new to the genre but the bands talent and grace is enough to place them high amongst the competition and I think as a result this release is worth a listen for any fan of the genre or metal in general.
The production is great and a massive highlight making the band more accessible, but the talent of this Doom metal outfit is unquestionable, a good debut and the start of an exciting career for sure.