Of Spire & Throne were a local band who supported Yob when I went to see them live last night. I gave them a listen before the gig, but I was sufficiently impressed by their set to consider returning my ear to them. I don't get the chance to review bands I've seen live anything like as much as I'd like, so I'm grabbing the opportunity to review them now, having had the whole experience.
Like all respectable doom bands, Of Spire & Throne deliver a slow-tempo, crushing set of tracks in "The Trial of Failure" their debut EP. Having listened to a lot of "epic doom" as opposed to the more brutal, extreme-metal influenced doom which this band, and the others involved in the show, delivered, I found the style a very refreshing change of style. The lower end is massive, although I fear that perhaps the production doesn't do it justice compared to the tone of the live performance, although, pleasingly, all of the live elements are nicely congruent with the EP. The vocals are conventionally brutal, in something of a death-metal style, which fits nicely with the music. Interestingly, Of Spire & Throne seemed to be the most vocally dominated of the bands playing, and there was a pleasing emphasis and strength on the vocal attack which gives the music a lot of punch.
The atmosphere that the band create is sinister and dark, but also beautiful, and along with the band's aesthetic, suggest a reasonable black-metal influence - the band certainly appeal to me on the same lines as a black-metal band of similar tempo and style, although the dominant doom-metal strain in the music entirely outweighs the black-metal influence which I can perceive, although it certainly adds flavour to the songs, and while the band were probably the least experimental band to perform on the night, and are generally quite conventional in their sound, their impact is profound and thoroughly enjoyable - doom metal as it was meant to be, with an extra helping of heaviness thrown-in by the lower end and the vocals. All in all, it's a solid release.
Listening to the music again makes me wish that I'd gotten a copy of the band's EP at the gig, but I'm sure I'll run into a copy again at some point. The band seems to have a reasonable amount of potential, and I could certainly envision the band achieving a good degree of success - certainly getting signed, at the very least. With slightly better production, the tone and intensity of the music could be captured excellently. I look forward to that day.
I'm going to give "The Trial of Failure" a 7/10, but I anticipate when the band's sound matures, I'll be giving them higher ratings.
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