SHEPHERD (The Coldest Day) CD
This is the final life sign and testament of SHEPHERD, who decided to split-up in 2004 due to the usual reasons of musical differences between the members. While listening to "The Coldest Day" it's sad that this German band will be no more, because this album offers a lot more than the debut "Laments" that was more in the vein of traditional Doom. A greater variety in sytle and a thicker production (done by Bruce Falkinburg/The Hidden Hand) are only two of the outstanding facts of the latest SHEPHERD album. I remember when Andreas Kohl, vocalist of SHEPHERD told me months ago that this album will come closer to the Obsessed and I can only agree with him, after listening to "The Coldest Day". But here's more, what simply means that this group have written excellent tracks and hadn't lost their own identity, although it was never the goal of this four guys to add something new to our beloved style of Sabbathian heavy rock we mostly call D-O-O-M! The album contains eight songs, which are based on the Christian concept of the creation of this earth, and so the songs are titled from "Monday" to "Sunday" while the last track is "Doomsday".
Gladly, SHEPHERD aren't belonging to the preachers of the Christian church, and so the lyrics are intelligent and uncompromising statements about the current state of western civilisation and culture. Enough background informations, it's time to lose some words about the music. Here are some brutal heavy high-class riffs to find, forceful rythm patterns and when Scott 'Wino' Weinrich is featured on three of the here included eight tracks one must know that SHEPHERD have written some real strong material. Just check out "Sunday" where Wino's vocals and playing adds the extra plus to the entire song, while his guitar playing on "Thursday" and "Saturday" isn't that special. Apart of the contribution of the Maryland legend, here are more interesting things to discover, and especially the surprising turns in a few of the songs and the incorporated different musical sytles are very enjoyable. One of my personal highlights is "Doomsday", where Christoph Clüser of the mighty Bohren & Der Club Of Gore is featured as the second guest musician. This track is a fine cross between Khanate (bow down!) and Grief (godz!) and to be honest I wished SHEPHERD have included more tracks like this. To sum it up, every doomsters shoud check out "The Coldest Day".