Dool – Here Now, There Then (Prophecy Productions)Thursday, 19th January 2017
Darn right there’s a tremendous void left by The Devil’s Blood, who sadly folded after the 2014 death of leader/guitarist Selim Lemouchi. The Devil’s Blood was the cream of the occult rock/metal crop, led by a true witchy-woman out front, Lemouchi’s sister Farida, able to channel the ‘70s without it sounding like some forced bell-bottom/Crowley cash grab. Because there is such a void, bands are going to try to fill it, like Dool, who feature ex-The Devil’s Blood members bassist Job van de Zande and drummer Micha Haring. Alongside singer Ryanne van Dorst, the template originally laid down by TDB is replicated on Here Now, There Then.
van Dorst’s range and vocal aura (if you will) aren’t terribly far off from Farida Lemouchi. van Dorst probably has more range and control, while Lemouchi could be considered a “feel” singer, probably unconcerned with vocal particularities. Nevertheless, van Dorst is given ample leg room here, like on the driving “Words on Paper” or the slow-building “In Her Darkest Hour.” Lead single “Oweynagat” is easily the best cut here, rife with those lush melodic chords and a pulsating back beat, making it a true rocker.
Then again, there’s somewhat of a dearth of agile hooks and occult shapes and angles. While “Golden Serpents” moves in and out with a similar TDB push, its chorus is a non-starter. The dingy, almost doomy “The Alpha” never quite gets off the ground, and “She-Goat” sort of wanders around without direction until its hard-driving conclusion.
The similarities between what Dool is currently doing and what The Devil’s Blood used to do on a far better scale are obvious, and are the limiting factor here. Any time you try to replace what once was, there’s an inherent risk. While Dool should be commended for taking such risks on Here Now, There Then, they made be forever relegated to living in the shadows of The Devil’s Blood.