DOOM METAL | LISBON/ PORTUGAL
RELEASED VIA UNIVERSAL TONGUE IN 2012
“Doom Over Invicta” – that is, doom over the unvanquished – is a live album from Portuguese doom outfit Dawnrider. Recorded in March of 2010, the setlist spans the band’s entire eight-year career. While similar to Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath, they also draw inspiration from sludge punk and 70s-era psychedelic rock; an interesting combination, especially when you add in the tortured screams of singer F.J. Dias, whose lyrics often deal with struggles of good against evil.
Opening track “Divinity Revealed” sets the tone for the whole show with its slow, chunky guitar riffs, but many songs throughout the show are punctuated by punk-esque guitar and drums, and even the occasional guitar or drum solo (see the pounding drum intro to standout track “Evil Deeds”). Also worthy of mention is the 13-minute epic “Irinia,” which begins with more slow, crushing doom-metal riffs and a chanting crowd, but becomes mosh-worthy before the end of the song.
The production of the album is decent, if not excellent, but that’s to be expected considering their underground status – doom metal is not especially popular in southern Europe. The original release was badly produced, and was re-released with a different cover after being remastered; the original release may be considered something of a collector’s item now.
The highlight of the album comes with the final track, or rather, the three-song medley comprised of the studio versions of “Walking Blind,” “Poison So Mean,” and “Under the Spell,” three songs which were released with split-EPs with War Injun and Apostle of Solitude, respectfully. As much energy as the band puts into their live performance, this 17-minute outro – ranging from heavy metal to psychedelic rock – does a better job of showcasing the band’s true potential.
Overall, I’d say that this live album is a must-have for any fan of Dawnrider, and definitely something I’d recommend for a doom metal fan looking for something that deviates from the style of most “true doom” bands. However, it does tend to get repetitive (both in the guitar riffs and the vocals) and lose the listener’s interest after a while. With a little more ambition and variety, I would expect to see great things in the future from this band. [7/10 – JESSICA RODGERS]