The UK is no stranger to quality metal acts, especially to the practitioners of arguably the purest and most solemn of styles—doom metal. Formed in London in 2010, Peacemaker follows a trajectory firmly established by the progenitors of the genre, which has been upheld by a long line of countless contemporary masters, without becoming shackled to convention. The band has already recorded eight tracks of unrelenting, sludge imbued doom capable of satisfying the most discerning of listeners while at the same time mercilessly stomping out their weak asses. The album sampler culls three tracks from their forthcoming debut and displays the band’s propensity for crafting impossibly heavy, doleful tunes.
The sampler opens with “Dead Man’s Keys”, a dark, mid-paced tune that finds a comfortable balance between lumbering groove and down-tempo plod. The song kicks in with the main riff to grab the listener’s attention before slowing down for Al Osta’s disjointed, spoken word narrative of a man’s ill-prepared descent into debauchery and its fateful consequences. The track picks up again and Al’s voice shifts from devilish commentary to harsh, menacing, sludge soaked shouts accompanied by siren-like lead guitar. The appropriately titled “Sorrow Trip” is another mid-paced tune featuring a main doom riff that is no less infectious as the previous track’s. Again, the vocals are delivered in a spoken world style as opposed to actual singing, but it works. “Sorrow Trip” avoids repetition by devolving into a brief, flanged-out, psychedelic instrumental excursion before resuming the doom. “The Siberian Problem” concludes the three song teaser by kicking in with a ferocious riff and propulsive drumming for the most straight-up metal track of the trinity. Peacemaker avoids monotony by changing up the tempo from the previous tracks and dropping the spoken-word vocals for a more feral, sludge-throated bellow.
As a teaser this album sampler totally works. At just over sixteen minutes there simply isn’t enough, though there is plenty of variety and ass-kicking heaviness on here to drive anticipation levels into the red. If Peacemaker is able to spread their blend of doom, sludge, and metal over the span of eight tracks without losing consistency or originality then they will have managed to create one of the year’s strongest debuts. Fans of Black Magician or Destroyer of Light, both of whom released strong debuts this year, should take note. Download the album sampler for free from Peacemaker’s Bandcamp page before it destroys you…
Words: Steve Miller