Where The Old Gods Play - Act 1
Review by Michael on August 13, 2023.
Dun Ringill hailing from Sweden just released their third full-length album Where The Old Gods Play - Act 1 and I must confess that I didn't know the band before and accidentally stumbled over them while reading a review in a German zine which made me curious about them. So what can I tell you about them? First of all they play a very interesting and innovative mixture of doom and Celtic folklore elements. Second, I must say that their music caught my attention right from the beginning. Why? Well, let's start with another band to explain my thoughts. I have liked Skyclad for many years, especially the early albums up until 1996 where the really glorious era ended with the fabulous "Oui Avant-Garde Á Chance". I liked the folky touch the band always had and the raspy voice of Martin Valkyier. So when I checked Where The Old Gods Play their stuff instantly reminded me of them. Not the pace they play their music but the similar approach to combine metal with violins and folk music. Also the voice of lead singer Tomas Eriksson (who was the drummer in Grotesque, maybe the one or other older metalhead reminds themselves of that band) is quite raspy and rough when he screams and shouts. As a cool contrast, drummer Neil Grant does the clean vocals that make out a very appealing counterpart to the harsh ones.
But now let's talk a little bit about some of the songs. One of my faves on the album is 'The Devil Wears A Papal Tiara' with the theatrical and very well sung vocals and the hypnotizing guitars. Here you can clearly hear the folky touch in the chorus and at least for me this song has a very iconic effect. What I really like is how the guys increase the tempo in the course of time that makes the song one of the most interesting ones on the album. 'Baptized In Fire' is another really catchy one with some casual guitar solos and some riffing which reminds me of the last Spiritus Mortis album. This is their rock song on the album and a fantastic banger. I wouldn't actually define it as real doom, maybe more classic heavy metal. The guitars sound heavy as hell and this one kicks ass. But if you want to listen to some real doom stuff, just skip over to the next track called 'Nathaniel's Hymn'. Here we have the folky approach right at the beginning again but soon it's just some classic doom. What makes the song so interesting is the very melodic chorus and again the fantastic guitar work.
But I don't want to give away too much concerning the songs, I think there is so much to explore that you just need to find it out on your own. Just let me assure you that the album is very diverse and multi-faceted and even after several listenings I still discover something new in the seven songs. And if the guys (who are on tour with Pentagram at the time) come to your town, be sure to attend the show – they are awesome!
Rating: 9 out of 10419