To me traditional doom metal has always been a genre of imperfection – it is in this imperfection and passion where thunderous doom riffs, enveloping atmosphere, and passionate yet often flawed vocals coalesce to some of the best metal out there. With their full-length debut, Purification is perfectly emblematic of this quality.
Japan’s fascination and adoration with Traditional Heavy Metal is well documented and a boon that has provided us with a veritable buffet of incredibly passionate and well executed metal. Comparatively (and to my disappointment) the country’s abilities or interest never really made their way to doom metal. The Metal archives lists only 86 doom metal bands in Japan of which traditional and epic doom metal makes up only a small percentage. Outside of notable bands like Bellzlleb and Church of Misery, very few ever gained any real attention. Despite the massive influence that Black Sabbath has had over heavy metal, it seems that doom metal just completely failed to draw the attention that heavy, thrash or black metal did in Japan.
Cauldron Born – Born of the Cauldron is perhaps the best 90s US power metal release there is. It’s a truly harmonious blend between Fates Warning and Helstar with incredible riffs, vocals, and a fine mix of the aggressive and progressive styles of USPM. So what happens when Howie Bentley, the mastermind behind this standout USPM release, decides to try his hand at what is essentially the polar opposite – old school traditional doom metal. Very few musicians are able to traverse multiple genres, but what we have here is quite honestly my favourite modern Traditional Doom album and a release that not only pays respect to the masters of Doom and Old School Heavy Metal but truly stands alongside them as an equal.