Chilean doom metal act, Procession came out of left field and surprised me with 2013s To Reap Heavens Apart. It was an intriguing mixture of Candlemass, Primordial and trve metal acts like Visigoth and Argus, brought to us by members of such diverse acts as Destroyer 666 and the late, great In Solitude. It worked well despite being rough around the edges, gritty and unpolished, and made me eager to hear more. It’s been quite the wait, but late 2017 finally brings us their third album, Doom Decimation, adorned with godawful album art that looks like a gaggle of demonic sperm descending with bad intentions upon a blissfully unaware ovum. Artistic shortcomings aside, the Reap Heavens Apart lineup is intact, and the sound is mostly the same, though there’s an increased trve heavy metal influence. The best news is the band hasn’t lost a handle on their sound as they deliver a platter of rough-hewn doom with equal parts despair and testosterone. Not too common that.

After an able instrumental lead in, “When Doomsday Has Come” abruptly kicks into gear with more of a trve metal stomp and gallop than expected. It’s a rousing battle standard with grit and punch; riff-driven and given extra heft by the rough, raspy vocals of Felipe Kutzbach. It’s very much in the Argus line of vintage metal and benefits from some top-notch guitar work. “Lonely Are the Ways of Strangers” is more the classic doom tune, plodding, heavy and unhappy, but there’s a fair amount of To the Nameless Dead era Primoridial influence, which is always a good thing. Kutzbach does the most with his gravely roar and conveys a good amount of emotion as the riffs pound away like a fine-tuned machine.

The highlight is the muscular “Amidst the Bowels of the Earth,” which brings aggressive yet doomy riffage to the table along with commanding, in-your-face vocals that’ll have you strapping on the poser hammer before you know it. The chorus is a winner and the song feels tough enough to fuck a rock. “As They Reached the Womb”1 sounds like Sacred Reich doing doom, which is both amusing and weird. Epic closer “One by One They Died” introduces a stronger Pentagram and Black Sabbath influence over its 9-minute run, which is approximately 3 minutes too long.

No song is bad, but things do decline in memorability as the album plods to conclusion, with the final two-songs feeling too long, less thought out and refined. Even these have their share of inspired moments however. As always, less is more and editing is a lost art.

Felipe Kutzbach is a limited vocalist, but he does a lot with the range he has, and his roughness is more a strength than a hindrance. He and Jonas Pedersen swing a mean double-headed ax, digging through the dusty, cobwebbed vaults of doom and epic heavy metal to assemble a nifty collection of hardened riffs that get the blood and fist pumping. It’s the riff-craft that elevates and maintains much of the material’s interest levels, even when things run too long.

Doom Decimation isn’t on the level of To Reap Heavens Apart, but Procession still delivers a solid and interesting collection of hybrid trve doom sonnets while maintaining their unique style. It’s a grower of an album, improving with every spin, and it gives me hope for the band’s future endeavors. If you prefer your doom unrefined with extra testicles and backhair, this is that weird thing. Don’t feed it after midnight and avoid zippers at all costs.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: High Roller Records
Releases Worldwide: October 31st, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Obviously related to that dreadful sex-ed. cover.
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  • VikingSchism

    Well, that album art certainly is… Something. Definitely something

    • Frost15

      Yeah, the album should have been called the evil sperm.

      • Tofu muncher

        Or Fuck a Rock

      • Nukenado


    • Brutalist_Receptacle


      • André Snyde Lopes

        ^ My reaction to nearly everything.

    • HeavyMetalHamster

      I think thats Chuck Norris’s sperm

  • Septic
    • Brutalist_Receptacle


  • Monsterth Goatom

    That cover art, while funny, is a head scratcher, as it seems quite out of character with the music these guys play. It’s one of those Smell the Glove moments when the band should have known better.

    Only a 3/5, though?

  • John Stormbringer Demiris

    Why is everyone so baffled about the album art? It’s a metaphor of evil impregnating the world *philosopher John*

    • I agree, I thought they were atom bombs with sperm tails on them and the demon head was a mushroom cloud. I happen to like it.

  • Bas

    I hope you’re right that its a grower, the two songs on youtube were a bit disappointing to me… lacking a bit punch and power, something that especially the song ‘to reap heavens apart’ from their previous one does have.

    Does anyone know, has the news that Pilgrim’s Jon ‘The Wizard’ Rossi died been confirmed?
    James Fogarty of In the woods.. told the news during their performance at the Dutch Doom Days last Saturday.

    • PapaRay

      Yeah, that is unfortunately true.

      • Bas

        Its sad and a big loss. Pilgrim was so good !

    • Yeah, it’s true and it sucks. Way too young to go out.

      • Bas

        I was hoping it was one of those internet/facebook rumors gone out control.. Yes, its really sucks (poor family and friends)…

  • manimal

    And that, kids, is why I stay away from beetroot.

  • The embedded track is quite good. I was a big fan of To Reap Heavens Apart, and while it’s not perfect, its better than the last few Candlemass albums in my opinion. Agreed with everyone here, this is a very poor choice of artwork, but that’s not really important. I will say that 2017 started off quite slowly for me, but the second half has been picking up with these great new releases by Procession, Crimfall, Ne Obliviscaris, Nocturnal Rites, End of Green, and Enslaved!

  • sir_c

    This is the movie poster for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new movie The Sperminator

  • Sergio

    I too fuck rocks while slaying posers to the sounds of true metal.

    Looking forward to listening to this. To Reap Heavens Apart was a great album and the title track has one of my favorite choruses ever. I am intrigued by the more aggressive approach.