As I’ve said in the past, stoner doom can be a tricky beast. UK outfit Camel of Doom is a beast of a different sort, however. Bucking the trends of their counterparts, Terrestrial is an unsettling ungulate of trippy spaced-out doom metal.
The opening riffs of Cycles (The Anguish of Anger) kick off with some Conan-esque heavy riffing and a tortured yell from Kris Clayton. The song makes an abrupt slowdown and dips into the subdued spacy rhythm that pops up throughout the rest of the album before returning to the crushing beats a few minutes later.
After a brief instrumental interlude, the third track, Pyroclastic Flow follows the same basic formula as Cycles. Towards the end of the song, however, it goes into a slow groove typically absent from atmospheric doom.
Instrumentally, the standout performer here is Simon Whittle’s bass. It’s thick with just the right amount of reverb, which evokes feelings of being trapped in a metal space station and every clank sounding louder than it should be. It’s a major contributor to the uneasiness felt when listening to Terrestrial.
Camel of Doom do succumb to some of the meandering drone trappings at various points, however. Euphoric Slumber gets a bit repetitive at the end, and probably could have been shaved down a few minutes. While the sub-two-minute interludes between songs give the listener a brief rest before the next tune, they do feel superfluous in the grand scheme.
As with all music of this type, your enjoyment of Terrestrial is going to depend largely on your appreciation for stoner doom in general. For me, I found Camel of Doom quite enjoyable and just different enough to stick out from the herd of other atmospheric doom releases.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.