Released: 2013, Inferno Records
This month will be reviewing a number of releases on the small, but very cool French label, Inferno Records. There have a decent roster of about 20 bands from around the world that they release on vinyl, Cassette and CD. This month I will be reviewing releases by Axecutor (Brazil) Clenched Fist (Brazil), Death Rides a Horse (Denmark), Elvenstorm (France), Lady Beast (USA), Prime Evil (USA), Rampart (Bulgaria), Razorwyre (New Zealand). Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
By far the most Doom-laden record in this feature, TREE OF WOE is one mighty slab of Metal. This Danish quintet Death Rides A Horse (not to be confused with the American band A Pale Horse Named Death) has just released their second EP. This version is actually a reissue of sorts as Inferno have combined the three-song, 24 minute TREE OF WOE EP with their previous 2010 EP, PANTOKRATOR (4 songs 27 minutes) and they have added one more cut bring the whole ‘EP’ to 9 songs and 57 minutes.
Led by the charismatic vocals of Ida, the Danes play a classic form of original Doom and perhaps subtle hints of Stoner type Metal, but mostly Traditional Metal and Doom. Ida’s vocals are strong and minimalist as she doesn’t over-sing or try to overpower the lumbering songs. The pace is mid-pace to slow with lots of hammering on the bell of the ride and big crash cymbals, by drummer Anders. The guitar tone is thick and fuzzed out and there are not too much in the way of blazing solos, the songs are understated but still compelling to listen to.
The album ends on a bit of an odd note with a Scorpions cover ‘Fly To The Rainbow’, albeit a decent version that slows it down and adds a new dimension of heaviness to the early 70’s cut. Lastly there is a song called ‘Dominion Of Metal’, which is an informal tribute to Accept with a much more anthemic marching tone written in the style of Accept that doesn’t quite fit the rest of the album/EP but it is a great song nonetheless.
I feel that building on the strength of these two EP’s DEATH RIDES A HORSE have a lot of offer in entertainment value. I’m not sure that young Metal fans in 2013 will catch the reference to the 1967 Western film starring Lee Van Cleef… even the font in which the band write their name is an exact copy from the old movie poster! Regardless of inspiration, TREE OF WOE is a great EP and this Inferno version gives you those nice bonuses to start your journey with this band that I predict will one day be respected by many.