Gates of Flesh

Lord Vicar

LORD VICAR seems to be a doom metal super group of sorts, having members from […]
By Lauren Fonto
August 9, 2016
Lord Vicar - Gates of Flesh album cover

LORD VICAR seems to be a doom metal super group of sorts, having members from SAINT VITUS and REVEREND BIZARRE. These Finnish musicians have released their third full-length album in their nine years together. "Gates of Flesh" opens with the trippy "Birth of Wine", which has an interesting jam part. It would have been good to have another jam or two on the album, since this is a high point of the album. "The Green Man" is a track I kept coming back to; I enjoyed its simple, yet catchy riffs and Chritus's nasal vocal delivery (which works well for him). "A Woman Out of Snow" is a moody track which is fairly different from the others. Kimi Kärki's delicate acoustic riffs and the vocals combine to create the right atmosphere.

Chritus has a vocal style which has a creepy, almost gothic doom metal feel, which adds to the atmosphere of the tracks. It harks back to classic doom band such as BLACK SABBATH and PENTAGRAM. The vocals vary between a looser, stoner doom style and a more contained, gothic style. Besides jamming out, Kärki also adds in a beautifully sad solo on "Birth of Wine", which is joined by a harmony. Besides the aforementioned "A Woman Out of Snow", he also brings in some delicate acoustic playing on the instrumental number "A Shadow of Myself". The esoteric feel on the latter is enhanced by the chanting, harmonized vocals. In contrast to the delicate acoustic playing, the fuzzed-out, heavy, typically doom metal riffs are just as awesome. The versatility of Kärki's playing was one of the strengths of this album, as well as the ability to mostly keep repeating musical passages interesting. The wheels fall off somewhat on the epic closer "Leper, Leper", which feels slightly too long. The haunting chorus, however, has inscribed itself onto my brain.

Another high point of the album is Gareth Millsted's drum performance. He does just as well in the ride-cymbal-drenched, heavy doom parts, as he does in the sparser, subtle parts on the softer numbers. And rounding everything off rhythm-wise is the bold, honeyed tones of the bass guitar, played by both Millsted and Kärki during recording. "Gates of Flesh" is a solid album overall, with some brilliant moments. Their traditional style is entertaining, but I'd also be interested to hear the results of them expanding their style a bit. I highly recommend the album to doom fans, or fans of old-school heavy metal in general.

7 / 10









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"Gates of Flesh" Track-listing:

1. Birth of Wine / The Green Man / A Shadow of Myself / Breaking the Circle / Accidents / A Woman Out of Snow / Leper, Leper

Lord Vicar Lineup:

Gareth Millsted - Drums, bass
Kimi Kärki - Guitars, bass
Chritus - Vocals

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