Release DetailsLABEL Mainstream
RELEASED ON 8/16/2004
The Coldest Day
posted on 9/2004 By:
"Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday", "Sunday", "Doomsday". This is the tracklist for Shepard's latest release, The Coldest Day. Hah. That's amazing. Apparently this German doom outfit has since broken up, but not before they've left us with a solid and enjoyable 66 minute release.
I'm actually really surprised and impressed at how much this sounds like Black Sabbath at times. Even Led Zeppelin in some of the riffing, like on "Friday", or even the climb on "Sunday". When you pick up a stoner/doom album, you have to expect a little bit of Black Sabbath or Pentagram worship - but this actually surprised the hell out of me at times; ringing power chords, epic song structures, bluesy hammer-ons, and dreary bass riffs. The vocals, which are subdued, gritty, and powerful, are safe but interesting. There's just enough feeling in them, but in the true spirit of sluggish riff-based metal, there's enough apathy to convince you he might not even know he's in a band. Generally played at a sluggish pace, Shepard shine at the rare times things actually get going. The final track, "Doomsday", however, is certainly more of the Southern Lord style of doom. The 60's cheesy horror-samples, the echoed and tortured screaming, the sparse and desolate riffing, and slight drumming - here is where Bohren & Der Club of Gore arrive to spread their bizarre brand of misery alongside the band. And yes, this track is almost 32 minutes long.
Hopefully the guest appearances of Wino Weinrich (St Vitus) and the mighty Bohren & Der Club of Gore will attract a few people to The Coldest Day who otherwise might've passed it up. Unlikely though, as those who are into doom seem to have a pretty good grasp on what everyone's doing and when. The album's doom and doom through - even in the recording, which is handled by The Hidden Hand lead vocalist, Bruce Falkinburg. Needless to say, there's a bit of The Hidden Hand throughout the entire release.
Shepard have done themselves a favor by going out on such a strong note. Although I wasn't clued into them until listening to The Coldest Day, I'm going to miss them. Silly as that may sound, I say it because I know I'm going to end up listening to this album quite a bit and kicking myself for not caring about them while they were actually around.
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