This British doom duo's debut in 2008 as being Sabbathy doom metal with a particularly druggy, spaced-out vibe... well they've returned and are even more druggy and spaced-out than before! This isn't doom that crushes you (though they can get quite heavy) but rather doom that envelops you, doom you sink into... like the warm embrace of sleep - or like Atlantis sinking into the ocean, the mythic cataclysm about which it appears this is a concept album (that's doom!). Thus, 'tis dark, majestic, mournful. With that mood in mind, the cover art and font used really capture the look of '60s paperback pulp sci-fi / fantasy novels, and we do know The Wounded Kings take much inspiration from both literature and the occult. They also cite several of our '70s proto-metal and prog rock faves: Night Sun, Museo Rosenbach, Hairy Chapter, Gracious, May Blitz, Alphataurus, Earth and Fire, and Van Der Graaf Generator, among others. Though what we hear could possibly best be described by suggesting one imagine UFOmammut, Witch, or Electric Wizard, ultra qualuuded and heavy lidded, at their most '70s proggish and beauteous. Also, this being on I Hate Records, it occurs to us that Jex Thoth fans (and would-be fans, those turned off by the singing in that band) ought to dig the music here.
The first track is called "The Swirling Mist" and is aptly named, describing the Wounded Kings' sound altogether. Their doomy gloomy guitar riffs are sluggishy smeared across this whole disc, almost becoming one continuous psychedelic downer drone stretching from song to song; songs which trudge forth in gorgeous glorious misery, driven by plodding drums, embellished with eerie Goblinesque chiming of keys, ofttimes gothically graced with vocal lamentations delivered a spooky shivery deep voice, reverb effected, all contributing to this album's very much haunted and melancholic feel. As does the trance inducing slo-mo psych guitar soloing and comforting organ buzz throughout. Also, some of our favorite moments are the most mellowed out ones: the gentle piano/drone interlude "Into The Ocean's Abyss" is both sad and beautiful, one of two brief instrumentals here (the other, "Deathless Echo", among the much more epic, heavier tracks. We'd certainly recommend this Wounded Kings album to not only our true doom and doom-drone regulars but also folks into current indie psych and even cold wave acts, you might find something to grab you... and envelop you... and dreamily doom you, here!