Released: 2004, psycheDOOMelic Records
Orodruin have made quite a name for themselves in the doom scene with only one full length release to their names. Many people are already putting them in the top tier of current doom bands, myself included. EPICUREAN MASS was released two years ago and now we have a new ep (as well as a split release with fellow doomsters Reverend Bizarre), CLAW TOWER AND OTHER TALES OF TERROR. For this ep Orodruin went and pulled out demo material with two songs from the first demo, one song from a 2001 demo, and another two from the original master of EPICUREAN MASS. As well the band added four songs that were specifically recorded for this release (although only one of these recordings is a new song).
Orodruin take the more traditional route for doom metal, with a sound not too far removed from a band like Saint Vitus or many of the other Wino projects. There definitely isn’t anything tying this band to the more goth-tinged or death/doom styles as Orodruin play a style that they categorize as “true doom”. True doom or not, if you’re a doom fan you’ll enjoy Orodruin.
The first chapter of the album entitled “Order of the Claw” opens with “Claw Tower”, the lone new song on the album. “Claw Tower” is definitely what I had in mind for a new Orodruin song with its heavy riffage right off the bat. This song isn’t far off from Black Sabbath in their prime, Mike Puleo’s vocals being soulful and desperate. The song definitely takes an interesting change during the middle section, with its slower pace and more pained vocal approach before sliding back into the more rocking opening riff and godly solos. This song makes the disc worth the sticker price alone. “Creation Through Death [reprise]” is a newly recorded version of a song that was previously only available on the band’s first demo (although that version also appears here). This second version of “Creation Through Death”, to me, is a bit below the original as I enjoy the original’s pace which is slowed down to about a hair above a crawl. Vocally it’s on an entirely different plain but overall I happen to prefer the original, although I’m sure there are many out there who will enjoy this more doomed up version. “Unspeakable Truth” from the first full length release also gets a new recording here in a supposed “live” take and I don’t really see the reason for the rerecording of this great song, it was done more than adequately on EPICUREAN MASS. “Stand Up and Fight” is the last song that was recorded for the release and some may recognize it as a Quartz cover tune, a slightly different choice for a doom band to cover but it definitely works as Orodruin do a masterful cover which may be one of my favourites of all time.
The second chapter of the album, entitled “The Beginning”, may be the most interesting for fans of the band that have only heard EPICUREAN MASS as it contains 5 songs from previous demos. One can definitely see a progression in the Orodruin sound as the band started off in 1999 very much resembling some of the NWOBHM greats. Then one can compare that to the original masters of EPICUREAN MASS which are just bone crushing heavy doom. The only problem I have with this demo material is that because of it we end up with two separate versions of the songs “Epicurean Mass” (one on the 2002 Demo and one on the 2001 demo) and “Creation Through Death” (the newly recorded version and the 1999 demo version) which kind of hurts it for me as I generally like to listen to albums as one whole experience and an ep like this kind of hurts that experience.
CLAW TOWER AND OTHER TALES OF TERROR is just another chapter in Orodruin’s rather short existence and I hope that we can get a new full length release from this band in the near future as “Claw Tower” makes me drool at the thought of a new album.