HIGH INQUISITOR WOE
Self-released (Nov 2015)
Inspired by the likes of Reverend Bizarre and a passion for epic, heavy music with clean vocals, this Belgian trio has created three tracks of solid, often compelling traditional doom metal.
Formed in early 2015, this is clearly a new band looking for its sound and personality – and as a result much of the music on display here is slightly muddled. Rarely do the various parts of the songs flow elegantly into each other, and between the sinister, gloomy riffs there are often awkward transitions or unnecessary tangents.
‘Liquid Times’ is let down by some shaky vocals, particularly towards the end of the opening song ‘Drink Her Blood, Black Serpent’ when singer Smalle van Suuz bursts into Experimental Mode – his falsetto is particularly, er, surprising.
However, when they do get it right, such as during the second half of ‘Neptune’s Trident’, this Belgian band sounds quite magnificent. Likewise, when the flamboyantly lengthy ‘Lady Saliva’ finally gets going, the listener is treated to some timeless doom metal merriment. Then things get a bit confused again, and the vocal stylings continue to digress.
At their most decisive, High Inquisitor Woe deliver some meaty, pounding misery – and when they fully spread their wings they should be an impressive sight to behold.