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2017-02-20

DOOL - Here Now, There Then

Finally! After one long year of teasing with the fantastic "Oweynagat" video (and later the 12" single), Dool have now released their debut album. And man, it's worth every fucking day of the wait!




DOOL - Here Now, There Then (LP) (2017)

I won't deny that I'm coming to this record pretty biased. I've already witnessed these songs in live action at probably one of the most legendary Roadburn shows the Cul de Sac has ever seen.

To make this beast of a band fail with these compositions; how should that ever happen? Things would have needed to go so horribly wrong in a multitude of clusterfucks of bad luck to ruin this album, it's nearly unimaginable. To await anything less that at least a very good album would have been... let's call it alternative expectation.

The other thing which shouldn't surprise anyone, is that you just cannot avoid comparisons to The Devil's Blood. Not only is their DNA embedded deep in singer / guitar player Ryanne van Dorst's songwriting, which inherits the typical use of three guitars. It's also the line-up, which besides "Elle Bandita" herself and former members of Gold and Herder also consists of The Devil's Blood original rhythm section, which probably makes Dool the most legit band to carry that flame.

So you have the guitars, the unmistakable powerful groove, and on top of that there's also none other than Farida Lemouchi singing backing vocals on two of the eight tracks. So yes, there is at least some Devil's Blood sprinkled over every single song here.

But that being said Dool are far from a tribute act. Every song draws from other inspirations and it's never possible to pin it down on just one particular influence. There are definitely leanings to wave, gothic, post punk and several genres in their periphery. Within the mantle of "dark rock" the band shows a wide stylistic range, but always remains cleary distinguishable in their very own defined and confident identity. In fact the most amazing thing about the overall picture here is how perfected this identity already displays itself on the whole album.

An integral part of it undeniably are Ryanne van Dorst's unique vocals, for which I can't really find a fitting equivalent. For the most part she sings in a raw and charismatic rock voice, which is always grounded in substantial emotional depth. And as soon as you think you have figured out her range, she manages to throw in something unexpected. Maybe there's no bigger cliché than that, but just like her stage presence the performance on this album just screams that this woman was born to rock.

 

Dool live at Roadburn Festival 2016
"Here Now, There Then" starts with a very bold choice for an opener. "Vantablack" is by far the longest song of the batch, an epic, very doomish composition, which mixes evocative TDB vibes with post rock bombast, thus resulting in a grandiosity not too far from Subrosa.

The following "Golden Serpents" starts in "Don't Fear The Reaper" fashion and is a much more typical representation of Dool. It is however the "weakest" track (if you can even say so) on here. That is not because of the certain amount of pop appeal here, which is perfectly fine. No, there's really nothing bad about the song really. It's just dwarfed a little by the shadow of the huge opener.

After the straight forward "Words On Paper" and the eerie "In Her Darkest Hour" (which has some Goblin and Avatarium qualities to it) Side B opens with the familiar long track "Oweynagat". The song is still my personal favorite, mainly because I've been listening to it for so many more times than any of the other tracks now, and it's still as addictive, captivating and hypnotizing as on the very first listen. A masterpiece for the ages.
But on the other hand I don't have the impression that anything an this album has to hide from it.

One of the best proofs is "The Alpha" immediately afterwards. The second song with Farida Lemouchi is built upon a stomping Ministry groove and a super heavy uroboric Tool riff, which brings to mind a facebook comment asking if Dool were a Tool cover band from Saxony. (Germans will get the dialect joke.) It also features some of the strongest dark wave influences.    

"The Death Of Love" then dives deep into gothic territory with some surprising, almost chelsea wolfish vocals, before the occult hard rock hymn "She Goat" closes the album and leaves you wanting more, more, more.

Good thing I'll see them on stage again in two weeks, when they will open the second day of the Hell Over Hammaburg festival!

Conclusion:

"Here Now, There Then" is a future classic and will go down as one of the most powerful debuts of this decade. That's not an opinion, it's a promise!


 


Highlights: Oweynagat, Vantablack, The Alpha ... Honestly - I could list almost every track here.

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