Dool - Here Now, There ThenI’ve begun this year somewhat jaded. I’m not feeling the negativity in the same way as at 2016’s end but I’m disgruntled at many things. January failed to impress me musically and I selected a couple of promos for bands with which I’m unfamiliar, in the hope that I’d experience the joy of the unknown excellence. Dool‘s debut album, Here Now, There Then, promised to at least be something with note-worthy subject matter: the enigmatic blurb on their website describes an exploration of the seediness of their hometown of Rotterdam through the medium of “dark rock.” But my reactions to music in recent times requires quality to pique my interest. A sincere dearth of quality could even work as those albums are entertaining to tear down. But you can’t submit to me an average album. Those encourage my ennui and I’ll only be sadly despondent in response. No-one ever bought an album on such grounds. So how does my first review of the new year fare?

This ‘dark rock’ tag basically amounts to something between hard rock and doom metal. While some tracks bridge these styles, the opening duo of “Vantablack” and “Golden Serpents” adopt these sounds separately. “Vantablack” is a bold opener as the longest and darkest track with thick doomy chords. It has that moroseness one would expect of the genre but it, unfortunately, manifests with more lethargy than ominousness and more dreariness than atmosphere. It struggles to justify its length and retain the listener’s focus which becomes a problem evident through a lot of the album. However, it’s contrasted by the relative jauntiness and immediacy of “Golden Serpents,” the combination with which demonstrates the range of sound used by Dool as a whole. This one is fresher and melodic which makes for a more engaging listen.

The remaining tracks essentially fall between these 2 though none are as good as “Golden Serpents.” By “Oweynagat” around the middle of Here Now, There Then, I was irritated by the frustrating tendency of writing songs which feature all the better guitar licks and memorable vocal parts in their first half while either repeating these or dragging out monotonous simplicity over their second. It ensures that no song is completely satisfying. “Vantablack” and “Oweynagat” are particular victims to this but it’s annoyingly prevalent. “The Death of Love” is an exception and unsurprisingly one of the few highlights. The heavy and emotive climax re-energizes the song and demonstrates why this is a lazy song-writing technique.

Dool 2017

As for other positives, I do like the almost funky feel in a few of the guitar passages. The band cites 3 guitarists so I couldn’t say who it is but there’s a fairly unique style of play in these moments which suggest to me a single player. “Golden Serpents” and “Words on Paper” incorporate such parts and they’re far better than the standard atmospheric rock guitars more typically employed. Otherwise, the instrumentation is competent if unremarkable much like the majority of this music and the bland production aesthetic. Here Now, There Then isn’t fundamentally terrible but neither is it sufficiently enthusing to even somewhat recommend.

Despite the positives I know I won’t return to any of this album. It has 3 tracks bridging decent and good but  also has 7 bridging sub-par and forgettable. Dool attempted to forge an intriguing examination of Rotterdam’s underbelly but it’s the upbeat material which is most effective and the rest is painfully average. My 2017 apathy remains.


Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps MP3
Label: Prophecy Productions
Websites: dool.com | www.facebook.com/dool
Releases worldwide: February 17th, 2017

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  • hallowed

    Dooldrums.

  • herrschobel

    Tool is already taken so let´s set for DOOL

    • Bas

      There was also a band called Wool (with the singer from earthlings? and Goatsnake). I remember that they once actually replaced Tool at dynamo open air…

      • herrschobel

        lol…the crowd must have been very confused

        • Bas

          Back them most people didnt care too much. Tool was not high on the bill (i think only opiate was out). Most poeple came for mercyful fate, annihilator, anthrax etc

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        They could ask Steel Druhm to front the band and rename it Steel Wool.

    • Eli Valcik

      I came here to make a Tool joke but you beat me to it.

    • RuySan

      GOOL
      FOOL
      ZOOL

      There were many better options available

      • Name’s Dalton

        Let us not forget Zuul.

        • antitayyip

          amon düül is my fav band ever…

        • Thatguy

          Zvvl

    • JJnetZach

      How about !D.O.O.H.!

      • herrschobel

        why not adress the white Elefant `??? say it !!! POOH !!!!!

    • ZEbyiUWvbe

      “Dool” comes from Dutch “dolen” which means “to roam around, to wander”.

  • Frost15

    The embedded track does not deserve a 2.0. It’s a 3.0 in my book. I don’t know about the rest of the album tough…

    • Monsterth Goatom

      It’s got a kind of TexMex sound to it that reminds be a bit of Black Twilight Circle’s last release. Good vocals, but, yea, a rather repetitive structure.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        TexMex Black Metal? And I thought they had already come up with everything that was possible…
        What release are you talking about?

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Desert Dances and Serpent Sermons.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            I sampled it expecting Black Metal spiced with something along the lines of Freddy Fender or maybe accordion ladden polka, but instead I got the answer to the never asked question “What if Ennio Morricone wrote Black Metal?”

          • Monsterth Goatom

            BTC has quite a unique sound going there. I rather like it. Maybe it’s a sub-genre and there are others out there like them.

    • El_Cuervo

      Try listening to 8 songs’ worth. It’s dull.

      • Frost15

        It’s “dool” actually… #thehumor

  • Bas

    There is, if I remember correctly, a link with the devils blood. The embedded song sounds ok, not great but good enough to give it a listen.

    • lennymccall

      Yeah weird this is not brought up. It’s kind of a selling point for a lot of people. It’s the old DB rhythm section.

  • defjam

    A unicorn someone?

  • The embedded track is nice, shame it sounds as though the rest won’t measure up. Good vocals.

    • lennymccall

      Yeah I’m torn now. I really liked this a few days ago when I heard it, bummed the whole thing is not up to snuff.

  • Mr T
  • The Unicorn
  • tool

    I really liked two of the currently available tracks (She Goat and Vantablack) and am okay with the other two. I think I’ll have to give the whole album a chance.