Marie's Sister's Garden
posted on 12/2007 By:
A number of months ago I found myself in the midst of a serious doom bender. Doom of all sorts, really, but the most serious pangs were felt for the more rock/blues-based style from the Wino end of the genre’s spectrum: the Spirit Caravan’s, Obsessed’s, Vitus’, and Hidden Hand’s, which of course led me to loads of other bands of a similar ilk. It was during this time that I stumbled across a sample track from this (incredibly) strangely titled record over at Hellridemusic.com – a cozy haven for doomheads from around the globe. A minute into the sampled title track was enough for me to realize that the music laid forth by Germany’s Voodooshock would make a cozy companion for my snug little bender. A smattering of coins and a number of days later, I was excitedly spinning my own copy of Marie’s Sister’s Garden, but something wasn’t quite right. The music was hitting directly on target, but something was afoot that sadly kept me from immediately enjoying this record as much as I’d initially hoped: the vocals of founding member/guitarist, Uwe Groebel.
Folks, I’m no stranger to distinct vocalists. Whether it’s King’s falsetto, the warbled wackiness of Woe J. Reaper, or the slightly odd styling of Witchfinder General’s Zeeb Parkes: I consider myself to be quite open to crooning that pushes beyond the threshold of other folks’. And to be perfectly honest, Uwe’s vocals really aren’t that bad. They’re just a bit flat when he pushes his limits. Think Witchcraft’s Magnus Pelander after about 6 pints and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what to expect. It actually gives Marie’s Sister’s Garden a very “live” feel, only without the jibber-jabber-clapping-whooting of a crowd between songs.
The funny thing is, despite Uwe’s occasional strain, this sumbitch is really pretty damned infectious, which is a true testament to the fine songsmithing contained herein. Tunes such as “Please Let All Truth In Your Heart”, “Diamond Queen”, and the aforementioned title track not only have the type of choruses that’ll stick to your brain for days, but they also showcase Uwe’s penchant for crafting really contagious, buttery-smooth, Wino-esque riffs. Conversely, “Truth” and “I Need A Rest” minimize the doom in favor of a much more up-tempo rock angle, and “Warm Knives Cut Deeper” boosts the ballsy blues formula to even further add diversity to the record. Hell, there’s even a couple trips into sloooow Warning-styled doom with “Funeral Farewell” and “Miserable Mercy”, but both tunes honestly fall short of that band’s ability to really draw the bloody heartstrings – again, due measurably to the less inspiring vocal delivery found here.
So, after spending a fair share of this review highlighting Uwe’s vocal foibles, I’d like to wrap things up by stating the following: don’t fucking listen to me. I now find myself returning to Marie’s Sister’s Garden on a fairly regular basis. It’s not something I’d consider to be a necessary purchase, but it’s a solid slab of infectious doom that's well suited for fans of the old style. I'd definitely say it’s worth a trip to the band’s myspace page to get a taste of what they’re laying down. Give ‘em a shot.
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