Few subgenres in metal have as many abilities to express music like doom. How many different combinations of “doom ___” can you think of? How many different variations on the sound have there been? I can think of quite a few, and I know for a fact that the sound can be quite expansive. It takes creative musicians to do it, but doom seems to have that in spades. Chalk up another entry with Burning Vowand their self-titled debut.
London’s Burning Vow make a very sludgy version of doom that allows for a bit of psychedelic space so the songs can breathe. When everything on an album is drenched in reverb like it is on Burning Vow, it feels like the album is coming from a thousand miles away. Imagine how loud it is at its source! But these songs also have some drive to them. It’s not an exercise in plodding paces at all. It might be a little spacey but it doesn’t lack for percussion, and the drums are used well to help move the tracks along.
One thing to particularly love about Burning Vow: they have a very original guitar tone. It might not seem like anything special but take a look at “Walls Around Earth”. These dudes must be tuning down super low because they get that wonderful little skronk sound out of their strings. That warbling noise serves their sound very well. Bands that use psychedelic tones with a lot of reverb have the slightest air of mystery around them. Employing lesser used tactics like a solid skronky sound help drive that home further.
Despite a sludgier perspective on doom, or maybe because of it (it’s hard to tell), Burning Vow is also no stranger to the extended doom track. Though not a monumental length at just over eight minutes, “The Advocate” shows the kind of songwriting chops the band can play with. It fits along with the sludge as well. Bands using sludgy sounds tend to be more aggressive in one way or another. Burning Vow uses these strategies to make a stoner sound/diss track. “You are a monument to mankind’s failure” is not something one would find in a tribute song to someone and definitely goes along with the more aggressive ideas in sludge tracks. But the song is much more than that as it uses a super big sound to translate the idea. It’s not often you hear such knocks in an echo-laden doom track but it’s always nice to have your worldview shaken in such a way.
It’s always a thrill to get these promos with Heavy Blog. The best part is hearing new bands doing different things with metal. That’s exactly why we should all be pretty jazzed about Burning Vow. They combine a lot of different influences to make this cohesive sound. Take a little bit of sludge, dash in some heavy blues, and add in a tone of psychedelic doom and PRESTO: Burning Vow. I definitely look forward to hearing more from them in the future. It will be very interesting to hear how this sound develops over time. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.