Carcolh – “The Life And Works Of Death” (Sleeping Church Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Formed by former members of Marble Chariot, Carcolh is a doom metal band named after a mythical beast from French folklore. The quintet released their debut “Rising Sons of Saturn” 3 years ago and now return with more pulverising material on this 6-track sophomore that mixes traditional doom with lashings of true metal to create one mutha of an album! With the songs starting around the 6-minute mark, there’s plenty of time for Carcolh’s heaviness to reverberate your soul, and as the thick ‘n’ crunching guitars of Olivier Blanc (ex-Oyabun) and Quentin Aberne (ex-Marble Chariot, Sun Preachers, ex-Hyrgal) warble and drone in on ‘Works Of Death’, vocalist Sébastien Fanton (ex-Marble Chariot, ex-The Council) serves it up beautifully through his melancholic tones occasionally moving into trippiness while elsewhere power screaming out his agonies – superbe! Likewise, Blanc and Aberne follow suite through a plethora of somber melodies, wailing leads and true metal soloing straight outta the traditional doom text, complemented by Benoît Senon’s (ex-Hexenjäger) pounding drums and the shit heavy bass of Mathieu Vicens (ex-Degraded) to ensure that despite the song’s 6 1/2-minute length, there’s never a dull moment as they play out the full range of their musical talents. Indeed, as Vicens’ rolling bass rumbles in on the near 6 minute ‘When The Embers Light The Way’, Fanton’s singing shines alongside the shimmering guitar melodies as the massive grooving chorus hits until mid-song when things turn very dark indeed for a headbanging piece of power riffing and growls from Fanton before lightening it up a tad through soothing guitar wails and soulful croons. Slowing it down to near funeral death pace on ‘The Blind Goddess’, the 10 minutes of the number allow its dark atmospherics to set the mood as the biting guitars come powering in as Fanton bares his soul through his near hypnotic vocals amid clanging melodies, and while the cycle repeats, it does so to mesmerising effect, such is the composing talent of Carcolh, who near enough write mythical works akin to their namesake beast.