Dwell_Vermin and AshesDoom/death is a genre that’s really gotten under my skin over the past few years. And it seems to have left some kind of egg or parasitic hanger on, since I hunger for it more and more. That however, comes with a big caveat: it must be utterly doused in mood and atmosphere or be so insanely heavy it causes sinkholes. It’s just not enough to growl over slow cords anymore. No siree, Bob, I need a whole lot of darkness, menace and enough dread to satisfy even the Dread Pirate Roberts. Dwell‘s Vermin and Ashes debut is a solid beginning that gets a lot of things right (as you might expect from a band made up entirely of members of well-regarded doom death act Cerekloth), and has all the requisite Celtic Frost and Winter influences, but sadly, there’s something missing here that keeps it from making the soul-crushing impact I expected.

The boys reveal their playbook early with opener “A Collapse Sublime,” which is paint-by-numbers doom/death offering nothing new at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective and enjoyable. Jens Pedersen’s raspy death croaks are as effective here as on the Cerekloth material and the man knows how to sound demonic and agonized. The dirgy, Celtic Frost riffs are heavy enough, and the band weaves in some nice counter harmonies that recall old Cemetery. All things considered, it’s a convincing product.

Then things get weird, as follow up “Pathless and Dormant” is an ambient piece a lot like what Lustmord was doing on material like “Blackstar.” It’s a collection of weird noises, insect buzzing and distortion and it’s surely creepy, but at over five minutes, it’s way too long to wait for the band to get back into the game. This ambient vacation is repeated later with “Become the Void” and again, it feels like an overlong distraction from the actual business of dooming and deathing and it disrupts the album’s flow.

When they do get back to the metal, “Vermin in My Arteries” is solid enough, mixing faster riffs with the traditional grinders as Pedersen goes apeshit on the mic. I’m a fan of the melodic but glum melodies they work in, some of them sounding rather Cirith Ungol-fied, but the main riffs suffer from sounding, in the words of one Lars Ulrich, “kind of stock.”

The highlight is “Plunging Into Ash Tombs” and its blackened atmosphere and intensified Celtic Frost adoration. The Tom G. Warrior note bending near the end is a joy and the song benefits from an oddly epic feel and a deranged urgency the rest of the material lacks.

Unicorn2

At a mere 37 minutes and just six songs, this is a short album. I’m all for that, but the inclusion of the two ambient pieces makes it feel more like a padded EP. If they had worked the ambient elements into their sound in a more direct made more sense. As separate pieces though, they feel like attempts to cover a lack of material.

Pedersen does a fine job on vocals, though I could do without his little chirps and woofing sounds. Allan B. Larson’s  (Cerekloth, Altars of Oblivion) guitar work is interesting, but a bit inconsistent. He seems better at crafting ear-pleasing melodic harmonies than central riffs, but he gets the job done more often than not. I absolutely love the drum sound here, which is crisp, punchy and organic, though neither of the two session drummers are asked to do a whole lot behind the kit.

I’d describe Vermin and Ashes as a partial victory, as it leaves me curious where the band goes from here, but the material is a fair bit below Cerekloth‘s output. Since this is essentially the same band, I’m at a loss why they even bothered with the name change, but they did, and here we are with something respectable but non-essential in the state of Denmark.

Editor’s Note: Henceforth, when a band is too kvlt to provide band photos and we’re unable to find suitable images on the interwebs, we will resort to unicorn shaming. Harsh, we know, but they brought it on themselves.


Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Hell’s Headbangers Records
Websites: dwellperdition.bandcamp.com  |  facebook.com/dwellperdition
Release Dates: Out Worldwide: 02.10.2015

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  • Pimpolho

    god, a love doom/death, sadly i don’t know that many bands, quite a lot of them turned into gothic metal, which is not necessarily bad, but still…

    • Hooded Menace, October Tide and Daylight Dies are good, as is Mythological Cold Towers.

      • And Kuolemanlaakso too. They are quite good.

      • Wilhelm

        The Fall of Every Season is pretty amazing

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Ophis is really good, as are Vastum and Vainaja. There’s an old band called Mangled Torosos that do a weird Symphonies-era Carcass take on the genre that’s worth hearing once too.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I don’t know if Deathtrip’s Deep Drone Master would fit the bill. They’re kind of Doomish, with BM and Gothic touches, but man I love the vocals, and the heavy, crushing sound.

    • Pimpolho

      thanks for the suggestions!!

    • I support every recoomendation already made and I push Coffins and Inverloch as well.

      • Jean-Luc Ricard

        Yes, Inverloch! I hope they do some more stuff soon.

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    It’s amazing the quality of artistry you get when you place Paint and unicorns in the hands of an AMGer. Unarguable talent and a keen sense of beauty and majesty. Well done.

    • I wish I could take credit for this heartbreaking work of staggering genius, but I’m no Brian Williams. I merely found it on the webs.

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Well, the fact that you have chosen this esquisite piece of art suggests to me a genius eye for the beautiful.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Ah, AMG: come for the Metal; stay for the Unicorn art. However, I think Jorn on a ‘Corn would have been better.

      • After the last Jorn review and subsequent webpage outage, AMG ordered a Jornitorium.

  • Wilhelm

    I love doom/death metal, gothic and atmospheric doom (or bands that seem to mix all) This sounds alright, derivative of the genre but not exciting at all. I found in recent years, there have been few bands that capture even the slightest hint the greats of the genre (Anathema, MDB, Paradise Lost, Morgion, etc.). In recent times, I’m thinking that besides song writing, which is crucially important, that what is missing from the genre is Analog (or DAT) recording, which creates a more atmospheric sound – and of course dynamic compression…or maybe I’m just an old man.