The release of their debut album The Unholy just over a year ago brought Canadian occult metal/horror punk band Doom’s Day into a closely inspected view and though in many ways the release was more promise than substance it was a thoroughly enjoyable encounter sparking intrigue and anticipation of greater things ahead. Their second full-length The Devil’s Eyes, easily justifies those expectations and hopes with its eight gothically atmospheric striking songs. With a maturer sound and better production than its predecessor, the release unveils a band with still plenty more surprises and potency to come you suspect but in the midst of an impressive evolution.
Hailing from Quebec , Doom’s Day has been on a steady and recently rapid ascendency in grabbing attention, locally through their live shows and more widely with The Unholy. Originally released as a hand numbered CDR consisting of just 50 copies, the album drew the attention and enjoyment of PRC Music owner Remi Cote who proceeded to give the record a wider re-release. Certainly no stranger to strong and positive responses, the album made a good base for the band to move on from which their new album, again out via PRC, has explored to impressive success. Continuing with a sound seemingly seeded in the likes of Mercyful Fate, Venom, Ghost, and at times early Misfits, The Devil’s Eyes brings a stronger unique voice to the band, one arguably more heavy metal spawned and a big pleasing step on from their introduction.
The Offering sets the listener off on the occultish stomp of the album, strikes of drums and guitars cutting through the wash of the atmosphere casting keys. Immediately ears and imagination are led into a shadow clad mausoleum of blackened intent and demonic provocation, an evocative and expressive caress darkening the soul. Into its steady gait the track expands with strong vocals, singular and as a dual persuasion, and a sonically hued guitar enterprise ripe with acidic colour, all adding greater adventurous intrigue to the narrative. It is a magnetic start, an infectious lure setting up album and appetite impressively.
The following Cathedral Of Lies provides a warmer enticement to its temptation, mellow vocals and harmonies almost chant like in their beckoning within the spiralling web of guitar endeavour and forcibly grabbing rhythmic frame. Like the album, it is a song easy to immerse within and feed thoughts and visions off of, haunting keys and chilled melodies the strongest bait to sculpt adventures with. Also offering an emerging throaty bass sound as appealing as the riffs and invention of the guitars, the track makes way for The Outsider. Sinister from its first breath, and certainly the initial caustic stroke of vocals, the song stalks the senses with a predatory gait and enveloping gothic keys. It constantly probes and provokes the imagination, again with dark scenery and noir lit enterprise. The best song on the album it pushes it and band to a new plateau with irresistible invention.
The release continues to stir up the passions with firstly the title track which rattles cages with its antagonistic almost violent rhythmic agitation and flowing keys, a vault of malevolence and anguish unleashed to embrace and taunt the listener. Its bordering on insidious tempting is matched and surpassed by Watery Grave, a song which takes longer than some to seduce but emerges as another highlight. Slow in its taking of the imagination, laboured in its preying of the ears, the track is a deceptively contagious submission from the release. It seems to evolve before the ears turning from a strong emotive menace into a highly seductive consuming of heart and soul. Those earlier mentioned influences seep through across the album but equally here you feel a stronger psychedelic essence which flickers up whispers of The Doors.
The additive lure of The Devil’s Eyes never waivers as the final trio of songs set up home in ears and thoughts. The first Lost Soul is maybe less dramatically gripping as previous songs but is rich in stimulating riffs, commanding rhythms, and expressive keys. The vocals equally impress, and across the album to be fair, like the music and invention, standing much stronger than on the band’s first album. Offering an excellent solo, the song is followed by the dark ‘hymn’ Ave Satanas, a predominantly instrumental psalm of melodic excellence and evocative ambience. It is an outstanding piece of composing and craft which is ousted and contrasted by the closing track, Crush The Cross. In quality and excitement the song is easily the equal of its predecessors but whereas the previous song was an enveloping of melodies, this is an all-out charge of harsh riffery and rhythms, an almost thrash honed blaze of sonic corruption to end things on a high.
As stated earlier Doom’s Days’ debut pointed at a strong chance of greater things to come from the band but The Devil’s Eyes easily outshines any expectations and hopes. There is still improvement to come you feel but there is little to defuse the pleasure from and praise for the release. Doom’s Day is now a band you can confidently say is going places.
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