@planetmosh reviews Black River by .@DoomsdayOutlaw
Doomsday Outlaw are a five piece from Derby who went into the studio to produce this, their debut album after reaching the East Midlands finals of Metal to the Masses but narrowly missing out on a spot at Bloodstock Open Air in 2014. Fast forward a year and the album Black River is out and the band are back at Metal to the Masses. They’ll be competing in the East Midlands semi-final in June. On the evidence of Black River I’d say they have a good shot at reaching the finals again, and maybe even getting to Bloodstock this year.
Debut albums can be a bit iffy, the band hasn’t quite got their sound down yet, or they can play great live when no one really notices the mistakes but can’t do it in the studio. Having only been together since late 2012 Doomsday Outlaw might have been expected to fall into this category, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Black River is an incredible debut. From the beginning of title track Black River, as doom-laden an intro as you’ll ever hear, through the riffs of Down and Judgement Day you’ll be three songs in and arguing with anyone who’ll listen that there’s no way in hell this is a debut. It’s so polished, so brilliantly produced, but also as raw as hell and so powerful you just want more. Carl Batten’s vocal comes straight from his boots. It’s deep, rough, but each line is sung in such a way that you feel he’s trying to teach you a lesson, like you must listen because he’s telling you something important. It’s a quality that reminds me of Neil Fallon, and a comparison to Clutch is always a positive coming from me. The band’s Facebook bio states, “Groove and feel are as important as power and volume. We aim to leave you wanting more!” I love that sentiment, there’s no point in just making people’s ears bleed. Be as loud as you want, sure, turn it up to eleven, but if I can’t hear the melody I’m not interested. This is an album so full of “groove and feel” you think they must have taken that statement as their mantra. The slower tracks, New Salvation and Hallelujah show off the vocals but the tracks which stand out for me are the ones where the guitars really go for it. The tone is such that you’d almost believe this was a band straight out of the South, Skynyrd-esque riffs that can’t get any more amazing until all of a sudden they do. Thin Line is my standout track of the album, I defy anyone to listen to it without instantly wanting more.
Doomsday Outlaw will be at Metal to the Masses East Midlands semi final at the Intake Club, Mansfield on June 20th. Planetmosh will, as always, be at Bloodstock and I hope Doomsday Outlaw will be too. On the evidence of Black River there are huge things in their future.
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