Early Moods - Official Website

A Sinner's Past

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Last Hour
2. A Sinner's Past
3. Walpurgis
4. Unhinged Spirit
5. The Apparition
6. Hells Odyssey
7. Soul Sorcery

Review by Vladimir on April 4, 2024.

Rarely do I take a chance to check out newer metal bands, especially that of the doom metal branch, however my friend Zmaj from PustoŇ° recently recommended checking out the US band Early Moods. Once I finally decided to give it a listen, I was not remotely ready to face what awaited me. If you are a hardcore fan of oldschool doom metal, stick around and follow me along as I dive deep into the fires of hell to take a look at the second full-length album by Early Moods titled A Sinner's Past, released on March 8th, 2024 via RidingEasy Records.

From the get-go, the shadows slowly arise as the sombre mood is set with the oldschool doom metal output that Early Moods incorporates. Their songs consist of traditional elements that include heavy catchy riffs, mid-tempo drums and melodic singing vocals that are like preachings of a true doomsayer or a crazed madman. Aside from the standard riff ideas and doom metal song templates, there is a handful of exceptional moments on this album that provide a nice element of surprise to the music, going from superb melodic guitar work to the harsh and almost black metal-like vocals on the second track 'Blood Offerings'. Throughout the entire album, you will hear a lot of musical influences coming from various genre-defining bands such as 70's Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Witchfinder General and Saint Vitus, along with many significant others that played a crucial role in the development of doom metal. The driving force of the music isn't just the solid riff work, but it's also the strong suspenseful atmosphere created through the music, very much like in a 70's horror movie where something frightening is about to happen and you are just not ready to face it. As the album progresses from one track to another, you truly feel like this is just moving one step closer towards an apocalyptic event with each song, as the riffs get heavier and the tone of the album gradually darker. The journey throughout the entire album is super engaging and mesmerizing to the point where the epic finale of the last track 'Soul Sorcery' gives this a grand payoff.

Even though doom metal is considered to be less dynamic than other metal subgenres, Early Moods surpasses that limit with the strong use of dynamic arrangements where songs consist of smooth transitions between every section, all the while building up the anticipation of the current song, as well as the next one. This is perhaps the biggest highlight, as I was quite often left on the edge of my seat wondering what may come next and I was not disappointed. The best example I could give you regarding these build-ups is the third self-titled track 'A Sinner's Past' which has a slow section that prepares you for the heavy and catchy galloping finale of the song. Their songs are certainly packed with heavy doomy riffs, but the inclusion of melodies, bluesy guitar solos and clean guitar sections, really make the songs feel rich and powerful. Each time a new song comes up, I always think to myself that there is no way that it's going to get heavier, but yet it always manages to outsmart me once it comes to play. It is truly musical suspense at its finest, and I love it. I adore the fact that Early Moods is going for that authentic oldschool 70's occult rock album direction with their cover that displays the entire band in a frame with a logo and title slapped on top of each other, which I think is effectively executed for this album and it's very faithful to the albums of that era. The album has a superb organic production with a rocking guitar tone, heavy and thundering distorted bass, beautiful drum sound and clear vocal mix. During my listening, I started drawing a lot of comparisons to Lucifer's recent album "Lucifer V", as both albums sound closely similar due to having a very organic heavier rock production. I guess both could be considered as "brother and sister" albums.

This album turned out to be such a big and pleasant surprise that surpassed all my expectations and simply left me without words. A Sinner's Past is an exemplary album which proves that doom metal albums can still be catchy, heavy, and incredibly imaginative at the same time. It's simple yet effective, slow yet heavy, but most importantly, dark and foreboding throughout its entirety. I consider this album as a spiritual grandchild of Black Sabbath's "Vol 4" that rocks out in all its glory, and you should definitely check it out. Big thanks to my friend Zmaj for recommending this album, because it was indeed worth it!

Rating: 9.1 out of 10