Camel of Doom are a long-standing metal band rooted in doom, with flairs of black, prog and stoner elements. Their most recent album Terrestrial previously released to a limited audience, but will be re-launching in full fervour later this year.
Unfortunately, for all but the most dedicated doom metal connoisseur, there’s little of note here. Whilst Terrestrial is built on a strong base of distorted guitar, understated growls and often indistinct vocals, it comes across largely as a mismatched collection of textures sewn together in an often unwieldy manner.
Beginning with Cycles, a first track of ambitious length, the song trudges through it’s thirteen-minute length without breaking stride, but with little to distinguish it but for a symphonic section bridging the track. Whilst somewhat distorted vocals are a staple of the genre, some more coherence to the guttural growls and chants could render this song, and the album in general, far more enjoyable. Following Cycles is a track of purely instrumental filler which has little to give to the record – no sufficient tension has built to warrant a break.
Pyroclastic Flow slogs it out in a similar manner to Cycles, in fact there is not a great deal to distinguish between the two. Something Terrestrial significantly lacks is a sense of progression, be it within songs or throughout the album. Singularity spices things up somewhat with a heavier attitude from the off, despite featuring some cleaner vocals which work well. Another interlude track, Nine Eternities consists only of growing white noise. It’s disappointing, breaking any mood the record had managed to achieve thus far.
Euphoric Slumber makes more prominent use of some electronic textures, which mix up the sound Terrestrial has to offer. Regrettably, the remainder of the album passes in a similar fashion: broad, slow track with little sense of direction.
Terrestrial is lacking the passion to make it a truly enjoyable album. Some of the structural decisions were also questionable: some of the longest tracks on the record feel like two separate tracks bridged by an indistinct mid-section. To massive fans of doom out there, some of Terrestrial‘s subtler nuances might offer a passing nod, but there’s little of substance to invest in here.