Wednesday, 29 November 2017
PILLARS ~ PYRES AND GALLOWS ...review
Sometimes a band releases an album or EP through a site like Bandcamp only to find it gathering dust in the lower reaches of that sites vast catalogue of artist and bands, however sometimes that same album gets picked up by an independent record company a while later and is given a second chance. This was the scenario with French doomsters Pillars, Disaster (bass), Djé (guitars). JJ (drums) and Klem (vocals), who released their EP "Pyres and Gallows" through Bandcamp in April 2016 only for it to slip quietly under the radar of many of the scenes bloggers, podcasters and doom fans, thankfully this year Seeing Red Records have seen fit to give the EP another spot in the twilight by re-releasing it as a limited edition hand numbered cassette.
"Pyres and Gallows" is essentially a doom album, not so much the doom of the present with its guttural growls (although those tones are are touched on) and bass strings tuned so low they could be classed a tripping hazard but more the coffin creaking, sacrificial altar, old school doom once the territory of bands like Candlemass and Lord Vicar. This is not to say "Pyres and Gallows" is a throwback to another era, far from it, there is plenty about "Pyres and Gallows" that is bang up to date and "current" but the band balance these more "modern" elements out with more than a smattering of old school doom atmospherics and proto-doom dynamics and groove. Black Sabbath are usually the yardstick by which we judge anything with even a hint of proto-doom classification but Pillars veer more towards the Electric Wizard end of that spectrum with songs like "Green Magik Ritual" and "Dirty Whoreshippers" having a much more visceral attack than anything Ozzy & Co ever came close to, thick layers of grainy distortion and fuzz pushed hard by growling bass and powerful percussion all topped off with a mixture of strong classic doom and harsher "modern" doom vocal tones.
All in all "Pyres and Gallows" is a coming together of some of doom's sub-genres cleverly stitched together so that the join is virtually invisible, old and new blended and mixed together to create a sound that is familiar and comforting yet still fresh and challenging.
Check it out ....
© 2017 Frazer Jones