Doom metal is supposed to be ugly and unkind. If it’s not, you’re probably doing it wrong. Anyone who says he or she goes to doom metal to feel happy and alive is a liar, because the very name of the sub-genre tells you what you need to know. Doom shouldn’t be perceived as friendly or kind.
Florida-based Weltesser have that thinking down pat. They come from the land of scummy, brawny death metal (and there is some of that in their DNA), but they instead dwell where the ugliest of doom crawl. The band’s debut record “Crestfallen” is a massive, brooding effort that’s as unfriendly a collection as you’re going to find. The band—vocalist/guitarist Nate Peterson, bassist Ian Hronek, drummer Mike Amador—are veterans of groups such as Rotting Palms, Landbridge, and Sky Burial, and here, they expose a menace and terror that not all doom artists understand. If there is a negative, it’s that the band still could infuse more of their own identity and personality into the music. Not a huge negative at all. I feel like as Weltesser grow and develop, this part of their craft will come around. They have the doom part down, but making it a part of them is their next step.
The record opens with “Regret,” where grimy doom mixes with harsh feedback, and guttural growls join the fray. As the song goes on, the pace is beaten into the ground, as the thing slows to a violent crawl, wild howls erupt, and the track comes to a tortured close. “Guide” has thick bass plodding along, as the blows are delivered in a calculated pace, and vicious growls rip at the skin. Soloing pulls out and stings, and then the tempo changes up just a but before twisting to its finish. “Living to Try” unleashes scorching noise before hitting a Sabbath-style mauling that turns slurry and sludgy. The track clubs away at you, sure to leave bruises, while unhinged growls pound away as the song bleeds out.
“Terminal” rips at your ear drums, as the track spills into a noise rock-style assault, as the blistering tones do optimal damage. Throaty howls and a newfound level of nastiness arrive, kicking up sparks and spiraling out on an echo. “Rats” is smothering and terror-infested, with noisy and nasty torment gnawing away, the bass thickening and flexing its muscles, and the band making you feel the weight of their power. The closing title cut is the longest at 8:05, as the song unfurls slowly, absolutely brutalizing everything in front of it and rumbling forward like a steamroller sans operator. Later, the song goes cold and icy, but out of that comes monstrous growls, penetrating doom filth, and the song ending in a bed of scraping noise that pushes blood to your surface.
Weltesser show a lot of promise on “Crestfallen,” and as the doom world evolves, bands such as this will be counted on to push things forward. This band has the right mentality and psyche to do this right, and as this record goes on, there’s no doubt that Weltesser have the right tools to establish themselves as real contenders. This debut is a really strong start for them, and as they gather levels of filth, they should get scarier as they progress.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/weltesser
To buy the album, go here: http://store.prostheticrecords.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://prostheticrecords.com/