Written by: The Administrator
Doom and thrash might not be the most common (or expected) bedfellows, but there's a certain appeal to the confluence of, say, Motörhead's breakneck bombast and Sleep's fuzzy weight. On their debut 4-track EP–Thrice Majestic, for those taking notes–LA's own The Cimmerian taps into the implicit speedy thrust and plodding gravitas of component genre parts, riding the pendulum betwixt the two with a delightful barbarism.
The tracks herein do an excellent job of maintaining variation in terms of sonic makeup, which makes avoiding a track-by-track analysis difficult. It also makes selecting a favorite track near-impossible, as everything feels fresh and essential to the overall picture. In that spirit, let's dive right in!
Rambunctious opener "Howls of Lust And Fury" piles on the speedy aggression, laying down ripping riffs that tear along with runaway train enthusiasm. The low end is mighty, and the chorus slows things down just enough to allow the verses bring back the rush. The inevitable shredfest is electric as hell. Nicolas Rocha's road-rashed vocals sounds like they were tied to a Harley and dragged unceremoniously down a gravel road. It's a thrashy tune, and sets the blood a-pumpin' accordingly. In contrast to the speedier approach of the opener, "Silver And Gold" is an overtly doomy number, complete with raspy vocals, a psychedelic solo, and an extensive instrumental focus on the back half. "Emerald Scripture" puts the pedal to the metal once more, with a churning momentum that recalls the sheer thrust of a band like Wraith. Torn vocal chords abound, and the track leans on a well-populated chorus. The doomier elements here and on the first half of final track "Neckbreaker of the Mountain" are less apparent in the tempo and the general aesthetic, ane more so in the undeniable weight of the instrumentation. This is no thin and tinny speed metal of yore. The Cimmerian embrace a bituminous and hefty presence, and if you slowed these riffs down a tad, they would feel damn near Iommian. As it enters its back end, "Neckbreaker of the Mountain" does relinquish the thrash for a more measured and crushing pace. The barbaric barechested blade-wielding bombast remains, and in the end, that's pretty damn endearing.
Thrice Majestic delivers exactly what I want out of a debut EP. It illustrates a unique sound and approach. It lays groundwork for a sonic and thematic aesthetic with significant room to grow–the potential is pretty wide open for the skillful application of doom and thrash with an adventurous backdrop in the world o' Cimmeria. Despite the deliberate and implicit rough 'n' rowdy appearance of their craft, The Cimmerian are seasoned musicians and clearly know how to operate as an imposing unit. Every just…clicks. Perhaps most importantly, Thrice Majestic has made me a fan of the band in very short order. Four tracks isn't a whole lot to go on, but should The Cimmerian release more in the future, consider this particular scribe the first in line to consume the fruits of their labor. Highly recommended!
The Cimmerian - Thrice Majestic was released June 17th, 2022. Find it here!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.