4 May 2014
Listening to Reclvse is like discovering a dusty, cobweb-covered tome of magic spells in the furthest, darkest corner of some long-shut library. This demo is more old-school than a really, really old school – it’s traditional doom metal that successfully mixes the slow and sorrowful with the spectacular and groovy. There are lovely warm guitar tones, strong vocals, big riffs and galloping solos that add light and melody.
Opening track ‘Temptress!’ is a bona fide, 9/10 doom beast. Heavy as a house, slow as a stone (except for the fast bits) and catchy as a cold. And as the band hails from the UK’s drizzle capital, Swansea, these guys should know all about that. ‘Temptress!’ suffers slightly from some structural clunkiness, but that is easily forgivable when they launch into another gigantic chorus. And after all, this is a demo, a place for the band to begin to identify and iron out possible glitches. Maybe some smoother transitions next time.
The only problem with the second, slightly rockier track – ‘Of Many Names’ – is that it’s too brief. Another two or three minutes of this would have been welcome, as it’s a great, characterful Jex Thoth-style yarn, featuring breezy guitars and plenty of other bells and whistles to tickle the listener.
The demo fades away on the third and final song, ‘Bewitch The Sky’. Slow and sombre, this Pilgrim-style track drags on a bit – it might have been an opportunity for the drums or bass to come even more to the fore to add some energy. Drifting away into an acoustic finale, it leaves you pining for that great opening song again. The demo’s production is slightly boxy, and while that does not damage its dusty, retro vibe, it inevitably diminishes a small percentage of the music’s energy.
Aside from the mildly irritating deliberate typo in their name, Reclvse seem to be the real deal. They have concocted some original compositions, added some pleasingly glum vocals, tied it all together with some suitably unpleasant artwork, and overall have demonstrated a huge amount of promise for a doomed future.