July 14, 2017

Destroyer of Light - Chamber of Horrors

By Karen A. Mann. Austin’s Destroyer of Light weave riffadelic melodies and ominous lyrics to create a personal brand of Texas doom that’s dark, smoky and not afraid to boogie. With two full releases and a split EP with Tucson’s Godhunter under their belt
By Karen A. Mann.

Artwork by Adam Burke.

Austin’s Destroyer of Light weave riffadelic melodies and ominous lyrics to create a personal brand of Texas doom that’s dark, smoky and not afraid to boogie. With two full releases and a split EP with Tucson’s Godhunter under their belt, the band now takes a creative leap forward with Chamber of Horrors, out July 14 on the band’s own Heavy Friends Records.

The album begins with the sound of heavy doors clanging open, followed by guitarist/vocalist Steve Colca’s feedback wail. This intro song, “Whispers In the Threshold,” is just under a minute and a half long and it’s basically instrumental (though you can hear ominous voices underneath the murk), but it offers a preview of what you can expect in this particular chamber: plodding, dirge-like rhythms, fuzzed-out melodies, and vocals that are always ominous, whether they’re being sung, bellowed or whispered.

Photos © John Mourlas. All rights reserved.

From there, the album quickly segues into “Into the Smoke,” which showcases Colca’s powerful, expressive voice at full throttle. The band lists Mercyful Fate and Electric Wizard as two of its biggest influences, and it’s easy to hear why, especially in Colca’s lyrics and vocal delivery. He’s angry, terrifying, and fearful, as he delivers enraged threats and dire admonishments.

“The Virgin” begins with a sample from the 1973 B-movie thriller Satan’s School for Girls, which adds to the dreadful occult atmosphere. But Chamber of Horrors isn’t completely dark and despairing. Mid-way through the album the instrumental “Twilight Procession” offers a slow, floating respite, with delayed psychedelic melodies that turn almost bluesy at the end. That’s part of what distinguishes this album among others in the doom genre -- the band’s willingness to go in unexpected directions, including adding a bit of Texas swagger.

The album comes to a close with “Buried Alive,” a 10-minute wah-drenched dirge with Colca sounding particularly portentous. The song chugs to a wail of feedback and the sudden sound of those same heavy doors clanging shut. It’s a fitting bookend to an enjoyably dark musical journey.

Tagged with 2017, Destroyer of Light, doom metal, John Mourlas, Karen A. Mann
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