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April 2015
Released: 2015, Lost Pilgrims Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Up until now Finnish doom rockers Boar’s output has been all EPs and splits, but in VENEFICAE they’ve finally managed to root out a full length debut. Considering they first started out back in 2009 I think we can be forgiven for making some sort of dig about how this must be one of those rare but oh-so-fabulous truffles you hear about.

Well actually VENEFICAE is pretty good, whichever way you slice it. ‘Old Grey’ with its sludge vocals and noisy percussion may give an initial impression that this is not a quiet and considered doom, but by its own halfway point shakes off that image.

Slow starter follow up ‘Witch Woman’ continues that work, its psychedelic stoner jam giving way to runs of almost classic rock guitar, whilst the rhythm section takes long easy strides between. Here the vocals swing towards clean, with the noisy stuff reappearing for ‘Sand’. See, there are two guys up front, but handily they’re both called Petri so that makes things easier. (Although we have to say we narrowly preferred the clean vocals. Sorry Petri.)

Six tracks, but nothing less than six minutes, makes for a nice run length, and actually we could pick out all of them for one reason or another. The aforementioned ‘Sand’ is a highlight, almost entering Sabbath land at certain points, with a sweet-as guitar bit going into the final third. What you can say about all six is that they each use those same core elements - doom, stoner, noise, krautrock, sludge - but play with and work them in different ways. And they’re all heavy as fuck.

There’s something really ‘undone’ about the whole record – the vocals are quieter in the mix, seemingly coming from some way off and everything feels softer, blended, rather than made up of hard lines. It’s nice though, that bit of texture. Makes you think of a living breathing animal.Makes you think that’s how all music should be. Makes you forgive them the wait.

Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Track Listing

1. Old Grey
2. Witch Woman
3. Sand
4. Veneficae
5. Trees
6. Wolf Lord


Petri Saarela – Vocals and Guitar
Petri Henell – Vocals and Bass
Kalle Huttu-Hiltunen – Drums and Electronics
Jari Montonen – Guitar

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