GREENHORN - THE PLAGUE DOCTORS MASK EP
Since their inception into the UK Metal scene mid way through 2012 Dorset based Greenhorn have been making huge strides in both sound progression and impact. Their debut three track EP entitled 'The Plague Doctors Mask' holds the attention well and does more than just hint at the bands promising sound. Opening with 'Snakes' the band opt for an almost mainstream opening that could have easily gone down an 'Alternative Metal' route but which blessedly soon gives way to more groove laden riff-age and a faster, more aggressive Sludge influence. In slower moments the down tuned Doom underbelly of Greenhorn rises to the surface to reveal their true nature. Personally I feel that 'Snakes' doesn't not accurately represent the true sound or intent of the band, a theory further bolstered by the next track... 'Witches Bridle'.
'Witches Bridle' for me the epitome of the Greenhorn sound. With a stereotypical lyrical content (Thanks the Pagan Gods for that one, who listens to Doom for originality?) and a bass heavy sound, 'Witches Bridle' produces imagery into your mind straight out of the film 'Witchfinder General' but without the audio clips such as used by Cathedral. Very much influenced by the North Berwick witch trials in the year 1590, Greenhorn use a little of Cathedrals own sound but merge it with their own, using amazing song craft to build suspense before letting loose some of those sweet crushing riffs that all true Doom fans want to hear! Lyrically 'Witches Bridle' tells the story of a typical witch dunking and burning superbly and in a way that will hook you directly into the song and have you singing along within moments.
"Confess your sins for goodness sake, we'll take you down to the side of the lake, when you float we'll pull you out of the ditch, light a fire...'
Musically Greenhorn also excel during 'Witches Bridle' and flick effortlessly between lighter moments and truly earth shattering thick riffs aided at all times by confident and prominent bass play. To my mind the Cathedral influence remains throughout but who cares? What a song!!
Greenhorn end proceedings with 'Women and Children First' which picks up the pace and increases the intensity and aggression in the vocals and in the riff-age. Indeed Greenhorn embark upon many moments of building up their sound to crescendo before bringing it all crashing down again from a great height in true monolithic Doom style. On a sound and production note Greenhorn's debut does have that new demo feel too it but that only enhances the listening pleasure in my opinion. Give 'The Plague Doctors Mask' a few spins, I don't think you'll regret it!
3.5/5 [Luke Hayhurst]
3.5/5 [Luke Hayhurst]