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Quick Review: DESTROYER OF LIGHT Chamber of Horrors

Posted by on July 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Austin has a pretty good metal scene, but man do we favor that stoner shit: much of it of the sludge-infused hardcore variety, but in the case of Destroyer of Light we also don't mind fucking with some straight up doom. In the past, Cathedral and Candlemass were the obvious touchstones, but for Chamber of Horrors the band have added a heavy layer of contemporary fuzz and throatier vocals to the clean, melodic guitar lines exhibited on recent releases like the Bizarre Tales Vol. 2 EP and their split with Tucson's Godhunter.

Not so much a departure from previous work as a substantial broadening of scope, Chamber of Horrors shows us a lot of looks but never comes anywhere close to pastiche; the vocals on "The Virgin" may recall occult rock but the riffing is still unmistakably doom. Ditto for the percussion: whereas most modern sludge bands seek to offset the monotony of the riffs with hyperkinetic, erratic drumming, Destroyer of Light are confident enough in the strength of their riffs and continuous forward movement of the song structure that drummer Penny Turner holds down a restrained, complementary beat that serves the composition rather than improvises over it (see: "Lux Crusher", "Prisoner of Eternity").

"Buried Alive" closes the disc with the band's closest nod to Black Sabbath yet – or "Black Sabbath" in particular – with ten minutes of simmering soft/loud interplay, but in spite of some pretty lengthy songs Chamber of Horrors feels a bit brief at 45 minutes. I wouldn't have minded one last mid- to uptempo tune to close out the album, but I can only assess what's actually here, and Chamber of Horrors is definitely a milestone step up for a doom band on the rise.

Score: 8.5/10

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