Doom Side of the Moon - Doom Side of the MoonIn the royal chamber of overrated albums, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon sits atop a burnished throne that has cradled its posterior for many decades. I’ve tried countless times to love DSotM, bouncing between the CD, the SACD remaster, and an 180g vinyl pressing in desperation to discover what it is about this album that has resonated with so many people. Alas, illumination eluded me, and while I found portions of the record appealing, I struggled to generate more than a shrug when consuming the album as a whole. Not everyone shares my ambivalence, least of all Kyle Shutt, who has decided to honor the 50 year anniversary of DSoTM with the self-titled Doom Side of the Moon. Shutt draws a steady pay check as the guitarist for The Sword, another band guilty of receiving effusive praise by an over–enthusiastic press, so it’s no surprise that doom’s indolent chords are the weapon of choice on the record. Still, the idea of a metal band adapting Pink Floyd’s opus is a tantalizing enough prospect to pique my curiosity and fuel my hopes that a formula exists that can turn my indifference into joy.

A reinterpretation of a classic requires a different approach to that of a standard review. Whether the music merits praise or otherwise is moot considering that any potential reader will already be familiar with the source material. Instead, criticism hinges on two main points: is the music different enough to stand apart from the original and is it executed in such a way that it bears the hallmark of the musician’s main output? Judged by those metrics, Doom Side of the Moon is a profound disappointment, struggling to justify its existence beyond serving as a distraction for curious onlookers.

The first thing that stands out when “Speak to Me” begins is not what’s different but what’s missing. Gone is the iconic heartbeat and pained screams and in their place, we’re treated to reams of feedback; a pallid substitute that does little to set the tone for the ensuing tracks. “Breathe” is practically the same as the original, only a little slower, a little heavier. In fact, take the statement “a little slower, a little heavier” and apply it to the rest of the album and you have a succinct summary of this hobbled project. Worse, the exclusion of elements like the aforementioned heartbeat, the cash register ringing on “Money” and the dearth of female vocals is an omission that drains Doom Side of the Moon of any character.

Doom Side of the Moon 2017

The critical failing on the album is just how unimaginative the arrangements are. Nearly every track begins and ends exactly how you expect with scant few asides or inventive interpretations. “Time” is the only song on Doom Side of the Moon with any real identity to separate itself from the original, marching to a febrile beat with some quality drumming and freak-out riffs. On the other hand, “Money,” the only song on DSotM that I unequivocally enjoy, sounds like Monster Magnet after a stint in rehab. When Type O Negative and Celtic Frost covered a song you were given an interpretation that was both unique and steeped in the band’s signature sound. Doom Side of the Moon has no personality to call its own, the tone indistinguishable from the litany of Southern-tinged retro-doom bands that litter the landscape. Considering how derivative The Sword are, it’s hardly shocking that this is the end result.

Bands have to be held to a higher standard whenever they try their hand at a cover as they are riding the coattails of established greatness, doubly so when we are talking about an entire album. If the music doesn’t offer an innovative take on the original then what justification is there to waste someone’s time and money when they could be listening to the genuine article? I had hoped that Doom Side of the Moon could address my issues with DSotM, namely the awful pacing that makes a 40-minute album simultaneously feel both rushed and an absolute chore to sit through. Instead, I’m left with a timorous adaptation that strips the original record of its few good points and a botched opportunity to produce something special. I suppose some measure of thanks is owed to Shutt, et al, as it took an uninspired, waxen facsimile of DSotM for me to grudgingly acknowledge its merits beyond serving as the mating call for unkempt stoners.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Self-Released
Website: facebook.com/doomsideofthemoon
Releases Worldwide: August 4th, 2017

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  • Nukenado

    It’s about time for Treble Yell to be writing an Indefensible Positions.

    • Bas

      Yes!

      • Oberon

        Sounds like the best way to review Henry Rollins spoken word

  • El_Cuervo

    50 year anniversary? Do you guys not use the Gregorian calendar in Australia?

    • Treble Yell

      Bah, you’re right. I was thinking about their debut. Ah well.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      Their called colanders mate we use em for prawn salads and jousting.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I just love those Gregorian colanders!

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          We just use aluminium ones

          • Name’s Dalton

            When you pour pasta into the Gregorian ones, the starch sticks like cement and is a bitch to remove.

          • Master of Muppets

            Plus you get the plague and die. Every time.

      • The Unicorn
        • Eli Valcik

          When did we get a picture of Steely’d himself?

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            I don’t like the idea that Steely D looks like my mum.

          • Master of Muppets

            Legend tells us that the only way to gaze upon the earthly visage of Steel is to utter His name backwards into a mirror after making peace with one’s deity of choice.

          • I’m not that olde. Check back in 10 years.

          • herrschobel

            Steely D looks like ALL our mums …

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          How did you get that photo of my mum!

  • Bas

    I also dont get what is so great about the Dark Side of the Moon. I like their earlier stuff a lot and also Wish You Were Here etc but not that one…

    • Kronos

      Wish you were here is by far the better album in my book as well.

      • Master of Muppets

        There is far too little love for The Final Cut in the world. “Not Now John” is probably my favorite, most criminally underrated/unknown Pink Floyd track. “On The Turning Away” is also right up there, pure post-Waters greatness.

        • Wilhelm

          Don’t forget High Hopes which might be the best PF song ever written.

          • Master of Muppets

            I actually agree, and cry your pardon for my error. That song is just achingly beautiful, more so with each new year I add to my collection. That outro… Just damn.

    • Ferrous Beuller

      WYWH and Animals are exceptional and superior, but “Time” alone is worth the price of admission for Dark Side of the Moon.

      • Sentyneli

        WYWH / Division Bell / DSotM / Meddle are the good (studio) Pink Floyd albums. In that order. I’ll also listen to the first couple. Animals and The Wall suck.

        I realise some of these choices are controversial. fite me irl.

        • Ferrous Beuller

          U wot m8

        • El_Cuervo

          You always find new ways to disappoint me.

        • Pimpolho

          I can agree with The Wall sucking but c’mon, that riff in “Dogs” is just from another world.

          • Sentyneli

            I think I have the same reaction to Animals as Treble Yell does to DSotM – there are good bits on the album for sure, but I listen to the whole thing and it’s just never engaged me.

          • El_Cuervo

            But “Sheep” man?! Never have I heard such an accurate representation of an animal in musical form as the opening keyboard on “Sheep”. It’s just such a great song, and the outro riff is incredible.

        • Master of Muppets

          Division Bell is wildly underrated. As was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, “High Hopes” is pure fucking perfection, a better and in some ways heavier song than anything they ever did with Waters. I acknowledge that it was his band in many ways, but Pink Floyd made some absolutely killer music sans Roger Waters. The end solo of “On The Turning Away” never fails to give me goosebumps, even “Learning to Fly” is dope and that one was deemed simple enough for radio play. I blame drugs and the media for The Wall‘s otherwise unexplainable fanbase, there isn’t much else for a viable explanation as it really is one of their weaker efforts in many ways. A great album, sure, but far from their best. This, of course, is all just my opinion, but that makes it fact to me, and that’s really all I care about.

          For making it this far through my ever so slightly opinionated rant, I reward you, Random Reader, with a badass metal suggestion or few.

          Orwell – AVoHfaSiH
          Fjoergyn – Lvcifer Es
          Cascades’s self-titled debut
          Negative Voice – Cold Redrafted
          Nexul – Paradigm of Chaos
          Green Druid – Ashen Blood

          Something in there for everyone, if you made it this far then I say thankya and hope I’ve made it worth the while.

        • Sean Sky

          Animals is fucking great what the fuck

    • Mollusc

      DSotM has some good moments, but the whole thing doesn’t do it for me. People bang on about the guitar solo in Comfortably Bummed for some reason. WYWH is better and has Roy Harper on it!

    • Wilhelm

      Dark Side is phenomenal, but so is WYWH, Animals, The Wall, Meddle, Division Bell, etc. It’s the album everyone thinks of when they think of Pink Floyd – Is it the best? not really – is it my favorite? probably not, but it’s genius no matter how many times they play it on every classic rock station across the globe on a daily basis.

      • Bas

        I didnt mean its bad. I just think the others, minus TheWall, are much better. Anyway… Nobody mentions the early albums.. Am I the only one here that likes their Syd Barret stuff?

        • Wilhelm

          I do, but for the legacy and the hype, Barret sang on only one Floyd album and it’s a completely different style of what they’re best known for.

          • Bas

            I agree, quite different in style.

      • FelixtheMetalcat

        No, Dark Side is not the album EVERYONE thinks of when they think of Pink Floyd, at least not the majority of the music fans i know of. That distinction goes to The Wall even though Wish You Were Here is and always has been where my mindset goes first. I enjoy Dark Side but have never worshipped it like some.

    • Eli Valcik

      The great part about Dark side of the moon was syncing it up to wizard of Oz and smoking some weed.

      • Master of Muppets

        Eh, cliche but undeniably enjoyable. Proud of you for being obedient and buying Pillorian’s Obsidian Arc by the way. I can’t believe I’m just now discovering that, tell all yo friends! I honestly see potential there to be better than Agalloch, I really, REALLY hope they can keep it up.

        • Eli Valcik

          Yeah, it’s a pretty dope album. Very much enjoying it right now.

  • Oberon

    I streamed this on Metal Sucks, when they posted it, and, I still don’t know how I feel about this.

    This isnt a case of where Metallica covers Tuesday’s Gone, this is more like Manson covering Highway to Hell… The good intention is there, but, the excution leaves much to desire

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Doom and psychedelia go together like peanut butter and chocolate or beer and barbecue. Still waiting for someone to deliver the triple whammy of psychedelic Doom-Death.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Or Psychedelic Death-Doom.

      • Master of Muppets

        Green Druid, Destroyer of Light, or to a less psychedelic extent Horrified are all strong choices to that end. Spirits Adrift too, I suppose, though they’re less deathy. Either way, what you’re looking for is out there somewhere.

    • Paul Stella II

      I think Acid Witch fits that bill.

    • SloRED

      Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard
      … and thats one band not four.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Yeah I would pick Acid Witch as an example too; they’re great.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Easy Star All Stars

    • FutureBeyondSatan

      As a veteran of this institution you mention, I take umbrage!

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        Yes thats right they’ll look after horrendous Horrendous deniers too!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Hey Treble, did you realize you made it sound as if the cash register ringing on “Money” was “Dark Side Of The Moon” only redeeming value?

  • Wilhelm

    Unless you’re a metal band with a big Pink Floyd influence (mid-era Anathema, In The Woods, Tiamat, etc.) or Voivod, please do not cover an entire Floyd album, geesh!

  • Dark Side of the Moon is the Pink Floyd album that audiophiles think they need to be into to justify their investments their equipment. It tends to be more ‘demo material’ (FLAC rips of quadrophonic masters, that kind of shit) than any kind of real passion for the album.

    Wish You Were Here is better.

    • FelixtheMetalcat

      I couldn’t agree more…I’ll gladly take Animals over Dark Side also.

      • Artander

        Definitely. Love me an Animals lover.

    • Vice-President of Hell

      Pink Floyd ended when Barret left the band. so Piper is best

  • freecoastin

    A review by a guy who doesn’t like/doesn’t care about the original and seems to already not like the musicians involved in the project. Yeah, that’s gonna be a fair review. Maybe I should start reviewing country music.

    • h_f_m

      Once you get past that initial transparency about their feelings towards the original material and the musicians involved in the new material, it’s not a badly written review.. Just one person’s opinion though.

      I had the same thoughts when I read the initial paragraphs.

      I usually just choose to listen instead of paying too much attention to reviews. This site is great for exposure to new stuff, but I don’t agree with every review. A decent number of them though.

    • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

      Already liking something is absolutely not a prerequisite for a review. I do not understand this mentality at all. How would it be more “fair” if the reviewer were predisposed to like Pink Floyd or (gag) The Sword?

      • freecoastin

        its not that he does not like it, but that he is admittedly going into it with a negative predisposition to the whole thing. I’d rather someone go in ambivalent to it, but when it boils down to it h_f_m is right.

  • John Mosley

    Death Side of the Moon would have been more fun.

  • ozzyzak

    Pink Floyd is (and has been) my favorite band for some time and a lot of these comments make my heart hurt :(

  • Matt Risnes

    Just because Dsotm doesn’t resonate with you in no way means it is an overrated album. It’s a timeless goddamn masterpiece whose impact and relevance will still be felt decades after our bones turn to dust.

  • RuySan

    I wish The Sword were better than just decent because Warp Riders has possibly the best cover art of all time, to justify the purchase of the vinyl

  • Here’s Johnny

    ‘Dark Side of the Moon overrated’?! Massive LOL!

  • Master of Muppets

    Personally, the best metal PF interpretation I know is Mushroomhead’s “Empty Spaces”. To the point and true to the song, it captures the essence of the original perfectly while still sounding like Mushroomhead. Their cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” had the same impact. Really, Mushroomhead was beyond on point back in the day. Oh, that they could have stayed in the vein of XX forever…

  • Tofu muncher

    can’t read the band’s name (and album title) without groaning.

  • Dudeguy Jones

    I’d just like to see someone do a metal version of Meddle.

    j/k. That would be meddlesome.

  • lrn2swim

    It’s that’s your opinion of Dark Side of the Moon, any review you’ve written in the past or will write in the future are now null and void. Thanks for the heads up about how awful your musical tastes are, much appreciated.

  • lrn2swim

    No joke, go on youtube and play this whole album at .75 speed. Sounds much better and way more DOOOMY, especially in the heavier parts.

  • Sean Henry

    I just read through the comments. Seems nobody remembers Ummagumma or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn :(

    • sir_c

      I do remember Ummagumma, but the CD just sits there in my drawer. I don’t like to hear someone walking on a pebble path for music.

  • sir_c

    This sound more like Stoner side of the moon, tbh.
    Meh.