Formed in late 2009 by Dana Ortt (guit/voc) and Pug Kirby (bass), joined a bit later by Pale Divine’s Darin Mc Closkey on drums, BEELZEFUZZ is in the opinion of many wise people (which doesn’t include me, just because I’m not wise !) one of the most interesting new Doom Metal bands that came out from the US for a long while…
Ok, they’ve been signed by the almighty Church Within rds which is in itself a sufficient proof of quality, but what’s so special in that band to predestine them such a bright future ?
Are they hooded or wearing flashy clerical costumes ? do they need two or three guys on vocals to enhance harmonies and melodies ? are they occult or retro-proto ??? is that an incredible mix of Black Sabbath and The Beatles ? many questions like those will find a unique answer : NO !!!
Origins from Maryland then ? well, physically just partly as only Dana lives there ; Pug ‘s from Delaware and Darin from Pennsylvania … but being logistically based in that state and having given countless gigs with local heroes, there’s no doubt that the contact with their local musical environment played a role in their self-confident identity and take-off ! didn’t Dana said in these pages last year “I want our music to be a reflection of the powerful energy and inspiration from the people around us” ?
BEELZEFUZZ doesn’t need any vestimentary subterfuge or opportunist thematic to catch attention, BEELZEFUZZ is just simply a talented trio, serious, authentic and devoted to provide you very unique and identifiable sounds served in old recipes which they kind of revigorate with an amazing amount of fuzziness and dynamics. Yes, they’re just three, but with malicious and inventive wizardry - pedal effects play an important role in the distinctive sound of the band - often give the impression to be twice more, just as the regular doubled vocals effect used by Dana add a lot in intensity.
BEELZEFUZZ blend 70’s Hard and Progressive Rock with Doom like no others… Do you know many bands who clearly assume references to Genesis and Yes, along with the more traditional Deep Purple, Uriah Heep or Pentagram ? Proportions vary from song to song but the basis remain pretty traditional and the band avoids long repetitive structures.
If you already heard both their demos, you gotta know that there’s a great part of them in this debut album : “Reborn”, “Lotus Jam” – what a killer beginning with those both already classics linked here -, “All the Feeling Returns”, “Hypnotize”, “Lunar Blanco” and “Light that Blinds”… (holy shit, where’re “Peace Mind” and “Contrition” ? hahaha !!!) 6 songs on a total of 8… just 2 new songs you gonna tell me !? well, naturally they all benefit from a stronger production but in their execution all those old songs have been - moderately to significantly - improved with more guitar tones, enriched vocal parts and stretched harmonies who give more radiance to the overall.
What about those both new songs “Sirens Song” and “Lonely Creatures” ? They are aptly placed at the heart of this debut and already show a slight progression in composition. Ortt being more audacious on soloing, Mc Closkey dispending some splendorous solemn hits on the latter and Kirby’s bass wailing and always combining perfectly with his rhythmic partner; Beelzefuzz grows fast, much faster than any common band !!!
In between those new pieces, you’ve got the highlight of the album “Hypnotize” with its mysterious and hauting first two minutes introductive part which leads to an outstanding wall of massive fuzziness where the band reveals more than ever its kinda black and white facets… believe me when Dana says “ hypnotizing, mesmerizing, old in power, soul devoured”, the guys join acts to his words!!! there’s small details vocally wise on this album that are simply amazing, just listen the way he says “pushed” in this same song… this guy has a golden voice really, he puts so much soul and feeling in his performance, that it’s at times epic and very emotional !
Enjoying this for a few weeks with a constantly growing addiction, it is now kinda cruel to know that they’ll be soon crossing the Atlantic to play a single date at the next Hammer of Doom which is not among my yearly pilgrimages (and I know it’s a mistake) but I’ll patiently wait for a more extensive coming next year… I’ve always heard awesome comments about their live sets and I would be so happy to meet them, feel and share their positivity both humanly and musically of course ! This Beelzefuzz is an exceptional album, without being fun at any times, this refreshing form of Doom gives an enormous banana when listening it but it never forgets to remind you that rock’n roll has always been an affair of lost souls ;)
Ice on the cake is the stunning quality of the artwork and packaging (another great addition to the label previous pieces of art as a whole that were the 1st Orchid and Serpent Venom !), this is absolutely ESSENTIAL !!!