Purification – The Exterminating Angel (Rafchild Records)

Friday, 6th August 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Prolific output comes to mind when looking at the brief history of Oregon doom metal trio Purification. Evolving out of the ashes of heavy/doom/speed outfit Thrown, these musicians have released a demo, EP, and with The Exterminating Angel their fourth full-length since 2018. Using a mixture of layered guitars, bass, keyboards, drums and different vocal textures, you’ll hear a musical cocktail that incorporates psychedelic, spacey, and mammoth passages as the sound envelopes the listener through a mixture of epic and shorter arrangements.

Absorbing slower tracks does take a measure of patience and understanding – calm sequences give chase to heavier, moving parts with longer instrumental set ups before singing takes place. “On Earth as It Is” represents one example of introspective clean guitar strumming and ambient heaviness going back and forth for the first third before the lower/mid-range theatrical melodies from Field Marshall William Purify mesmerize the aural landscape. Over the course of this 8:39 timeframe you’ll hear tranquil rhythms before the twin guitar/Viking-ish harmonies evoke a bit of NWOBHM/Saint Vitus magnificence. Exotic/acoustic instrumentation and tambourine play allows “Sublime Thrones in Kaaba” a bit of spiritual cleansing and reprieve from the regular metal programming, setting the stage for “Dreamtiger” – another down tuned head crusher, featuring big drum grooves from Count Darragh, Heathen Conjurer, the lumbering guitar harmonies and distant vocals alluring in ideal doom drama. The veritable musical stew approach diversifies Purification from other doom outfits as of late – unafraid to add outside the box instruments or left-field recording techniques/effects to get their point across song to song. Occult themes add more chills to the content, the cover art (and band logo) leaning more towards something one would expect in death metal than this type of atmospheric, psychedelic/traditional doom.

Relatively tidy at six songs in 46 minutes, The Exterminating Angel has ideal appeal to those who love Reverend Bizarre, Saint Vitus, and a bit of the NWOBHM/psychedelic angles. Intriguing to see if Purification will continue their healthy release schedule going forward, as it seems to open doors for long-term doom followers.

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