Released: 2004, Spikefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Doom what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law?? Hands up folks ... who likes Doom Metal? I mean totally classic old-school Doom Metal without any female vocals or keyboards, without any pretending “we-are-so-fuckin’-true-Doom-Metal”, without any sort of cheesy lyrics about eating grass in a little village somewhere in ancient Scotland or anything like that. Just pure two-three chord Doom Metal as it originally sounded like. Heavily in the vein of Pentagram, Black Sabbath, Witchfinder General, Saint Vitus, Trouble, Dream Death, The Obsessed and the likes. Reverend Bizarre is the answer to your all prayers then.
I would be exaggerating to say that this band could be some sort of savior of the Doom Metal genre because they obviously aren’t, but letìs just say there can possibly be no real Doom Metal fan who could live without checking them out first.
As for some more detailed information, the band was founded almost 10 years ago in a small city called Lohja, Finland. Not particularly a good year to start a Doom Metal band as Speed and Thrash Metal were the mainstream thing at that time and bands from that particular genre got more headlines than Madonna did with her new album BEDTIME STORIES on the worldwide album charts.
When “Magister” Albert Witchfinder, the “no-rush-to-anywhere” vocalist and bassist moved to Turku in 1998, things really started clicking for them. The band recorded their 1st demo titled SLICE OF DOOM after spending only three days in a studio. After having done a relatively hard promotion campaign for that demo, a lot of interest and truly positive reactions were gained. A small Finnish label called Sinister Figure (a sub-label of Mastervox Records) stepped into the picture and noticed right away the sparkling potential of the band and decided to sign them. They eventually released Reverend Bizarre’s debut album IN THE RECTORY OF THE BIZARRE REVEREND in 2001. However, soon another Finnish metal label, Low Frequency Records, became interested in them as well and finally a license deal between them and Sinister Figure was done. The rest is history ... I mean, at least to that point until Spikefarm Records (a sub-label of Spinefarm Records) got interested in them and bought them off from Low Frequency Records.
Now to this double set of Reverend Bizarre though. The first disc of this double release is a digitally remastered re-release of the band’s astonishing debut album, IN THE RECTORY OF THE BIZARRE REVEREND. As for the music itself, like I stated earlier, the songs on it represent a very vintage sounding Doom Metal. These guys simply amaze me with their crawling, dead-slow true Doom Metal manifesto and their breathtaking, powerful and epic tracks. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, pays great tribute to the old Doom masters and I guess we should really bow to Reverend Bizarre and respect the guys for achieving such a huge slice of those magical Doom Metal moments for their killer debut album. This is the kind of Doom Metal I’d like to hear coming up more these days. Luckily we have Reverend Bizarre and a few other bands that have all the understanding and knowledge for creating an outstanding Doom Metal sound that really grabs the attention of a listener.
As for the second disc of this colossal journey into pure Doom Metal, this is bonus material we are talking about here. It includes six tracks appearing exclusively for this release. One unreleased song from the HARBRINGER OF METAL sessions and even a rare video shot in 2001 which unfortunately hasn’t been included for this promotional thing. Uh, kind of a pity … oh well! However, on the RETURN TO THE RECTORY disc the band cut their brave Doom Metal to even bigger slices, the songs being approximately 10 minutes long, but basically having the same spicy and juicy elements that their music has always contained since the beginning of their times. You can nearly even smell it … that faint smell of an evergreen Doom Metal! And the track “The Goddess of Doom” is a pure genius work of a Doom Metal art. Gotta fuckin’ love the song!
I’ll be dooming over the world together with these high Lords of a superb Doom Metal until the end of the world. Now join with me, each and everyone of you!!