The Order Of Israfel – “Wisdom” (Napalm Records)
Formed by ex Church Of Misery guitarist Tom Sutton and bassist Patrik Winberg of the Doomdogs, The Order Of Israfel are apparently named after the angel of music, and whilst I doubt any divine intervention, I certainly can’t doubt the excellence of this debut. Combining the early seventies doom of Sabbath with its nineties descendant in the form of Cathedral interspersed cleverly with folk elements, most of the songs clock in around 10 minutes a piece with varying tempos from classic plod to more dynamic tempos even rocking out Zepp style occasionally. The style itself remains true to the genre(s) in the form of church hymn vocals, trippy multi layered harmonies and a twin guitar assault with heaps of fuzz n reverb as well as some far out soloing that if it went any higher would launch the band into space! Most of all though, its the sound on “Wisdom” that truly takes songs like the 9 minute doom monster of ‘The Noctuus’ or the 15 minute psychedelic love of ‘Promises Made To The Earth’ and the fast rockin ‘The Black Wings A Demon’ into the realms of ‘classic’. Thoroughly organic from Winberg’s crunching bass to those aforementioned guitars and Hans Lilja’s big drum sound, this debut is an excellent achievement in bringing the sound of nature to the mind, yet also being incredibly colorful and most of all, re-awakening that magical feeling in that dark doom heart of mine.