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REINO ERMITANO (Veneración Del Fuego) CD

My favorite band from South America is back with a new album. The Peruvian doomsters Reino Ermitaño release their first album with the new guitarist Eloy, which is their fourth full-length already. Reading the label info, there is talk about the lyrics not only dealing with personal topics, but also man's need for magic and ritual amongst others. But do not get fooled but these words or a song title like 'El Rito' as well as the bell-like sound to open the album. All fears the band might have turned more into 70s terrain and occultism to maybe gain a little profit of the trendy Retro-Occult-Female-Fronted-Dark-Rock thing are completely unnecessary. The ritualistic themes dealt with are closely connected to the life of the native people of Peru. Furthermore, this band is still Doom Metal. Nothing more, nothing less. And in times when every second band that is loosely labeled as Doom, and often enough look, like they never left the 70s, it is damn good to listen to a band that just does not give a shit about that.

Recorded as analogue as possible, 'Veneración Del Fuego' comes along with a raw guitar sound that makes me think of American east coast Doom and so do some of the riffs. Certainly they have listened to Revelation, Penance or Blood Farmers. Add some more epic riffs, a bit of old school Heavy Rock and some weird sounds and you get some really good Doom to bang your head to. Songs like the stomping mid-tempo groover 'Sobre las Ruinas' is just one example of the bands capability to write a good song to mosh to. This is where the band is really good at. Raw mid-tempo riffing combined with Tanja's beautiful and sometimes eerie vocals, especially when she begins to sound like a female verison of Mike Scheidt of Yob fame, blend together perfectly. But there is more to the album.

Slower songs like 'El Rito' work well with its simple yet effective riffs. Or 'Cuando la Luz te Encuentre' starts as a real slow Doomer which shifts into a short noisy part before we get to hear a drum solo. When was the last time your heard a drum solo on a studio album of a Doom band? Made you think? Me too. I really cannot remember when, hell I cannot remember even ever having heard one at the moment. The addition of a violin and the traditional Peruvian instruments used in the folky 'Sangre India' add a bit of diversity. There is something about the album, a slight imperfection, that makes it even more enjoyable, because in combination with the rough production it gives you the feeling of visiting the guys and girl at their rehearsal space. And I like albums that are like that.

(Thorsten Frahling)