The U.K. has had a long history as one of the prime metal scenes that created the true and authentic sound of doom metal. Ever since the legendary doomsters Black Sabbath set up the roots and the essence of this sub-genre 50 years ago, many bands then became affected by the resonance. These influences were later embraced by many other bands. Yet the constant evolution of the doom metal was modified throughout the years. The second era of doom metal music in England was brought into existence by the likes of Pagan Altar and Witchfinder General. During the early era of the ’90s, we have witnessed the birth of many qualitative bands such as Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Cathedral, Anathema and etc.
These groups of outfits modified the core structure and made some microscopic arrangements to the sound of doom metal. This golden era marked the evolution and the expansion of doom metal and it established the third era for this extreme sub-genre. The firm and immovable roots were attached to the musical philosophy of U.K. doom metal bands back then. One of the modern outfits that convey the quintessence of epic doom is the British trio Godthrymm, formed in 2017 by the ex-members of My Dying Bride, Vallenfyre and Anathema. The trio is consists of Shaun Tylor-Steels (drummer), Hamish Hamilton Glencross (vocals, lead guitars) and Sasquatch Bob (bass guitar).
Reflections is an outstanding illustration of epic doom metal that showcases the artistic and exceptional talent of the trio. Through the dirge full tempos of the opening track, Monsters Lurk Herein is where the aural requiem is laid upon the rhythm guitars. The U.K. based doom veteran’s music is based on the classic gems of the early 90’s when pioneer bands such as Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride led this sub-genre. Godthrymm emphasizes the slower tempo and the melodious patterns, the guitars are soaked with heart-wrenching melodies. The vintage fashion of gothic and epic doom metal sets the funereal mood, with the variety of the monumental riffs and the sweeping angelic vocals.
Among The Exalted is thoroughly soaked with mournful guitar passages and the sullen melodies. While the guitars bring the mournful quality, the soulful vocal abilities of Hamish Hamilton perfectly contrast to the heavy riffs. Reflections also encompass the vocal style of Nick Holmes (Paradise Lost) the nostalgic reminiscence to albums such as Icon and Draconian Times are immense. The grace of melody that ornaments the flow of the music evokes the sentiments, while the sprawling rhythm guitars and the hammering drums create an aural effigy.
Godthrymm incorporates various riffs on the debut album, whereas the gloomy atmosphere that surrounds the layering guitars on The Sea as My Grave is full of mesmerizing moments. Massive guitar riffs crafted by creativity and the slow menacing tempos adds a gloomy effect. At times the trio verge on the doomy gothic sensibilities portraying a sorrowful and atmospheric feel throughout the album. We Are the Dead is textured with the fuzzy guitar riffs and led by the exquisite vocal performance.
The rhythm and lead guitar are the core structure of the songs while the roots of the riffs are attached to the essence of doom metal. Despite the mournful atmosphere, there are many catchy choruses that are full of melodic hooks. Efficiently the dark vocals obfuscate the haze of the atmosphere allowing the gloomy mood to flow through the music. On other tracks such as The Light of You, the trio emphasizes the notion of the slow melodious chords and the crushing power of the riffs.
The natural devotion to the old school doom metal is honed by the fine abilities, Reflections is mainly achieved by the dramatic melodies, and therefore, songs like The Grand Reclamation contain beautiful lead guitars. For instance, the guitars paint a gloomy picture during the moments when the vocals are absent. Godthrymm gives us a lesson in epic doom metal. Cursed Are Many overflows with the humming bass guitar whereas the layered dirges of the harmonious guitar lines create such a sorrowful tone.
The dark and morose delivery of the melodies creates a perfect contrast with the crushing riffs. Reflections contains eight tracks balanced between the heaviness of the guitar riffs and the slow mid-paced dirges. The closing instrumental track Chasmic Sorrows broods over deep melancholy. Through the 55:00 minutes of pure epicness, the trio maintains the consistency of the songs and delivers an unadulterated quality of doom metal. Without losing the grip over the rhythm sections, anthemic vocals, and the guitar harmonies. This is a great album dedicated to the fans of Candlemass, Paradise Lost, and My Dying Bride.