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THE WANDERING MIDGET (From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams) CD/LP

If you have been in the Doom scene long enough, you know quite a certain amount of "professional" doomsters and a lot of bands. Then someone comes along and tells you that the new The Wandering Midget does not sound like Reverend Bizarre and you wonder when you look at the rather strange motive of the cover art, put the record in... and....to me they still do. Sure they do not sound exactly like their long deceased Finnish peer-band. But singer Samuel Wormius is pretty damn near to Albert Witchfinder's pathos-filled vocals. That given fact and their love for the slow slow side of the traditional doom sector make it hard to not draw the obvious link. And if you love Reverend Bizarre, you will at least like this album that offers just 4 tracks (there's a bonus track on the vinyl edition), but 55 minutes of pure Doom.

But I do not want to make it that easy for me. I gave it a lot of listens and see if you dig a little deeper, you can find some more. Especially in the opener 'Prince Of Fire' with nearly a hookline in the refrain, Manowar-shouts and a flashing of The Gates Of Slumber's slower moments. And this song is not even 6 minutes long. Remember that the album clocks at 55 minutes? Right. Now we got three epic long tracks to follow the opener. The music than shifts between total minimalisms like the verses in 'Temples In The Sky' and more mid-tempo riffs.

But every now and then the band tries to incorporate a bit of psychedelic feeling with calmer guitar parts and wah-effects even on the bass. These are the moments that fit the album cover most, I would say. The best example are the last few minutes of the song 'She-Wolf' that kicks off with a nice rocking riff and a stomping mid-tempo reminding of 80s Pentagram. No wonder I like this side of the band best. So, The Wandering Midget, though not being the top band of this genre, have something to offer for most of the traditionalists out there.

(Thorsten Frahling)