Olde - I

Olde - I

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Hypaethral Records
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$18.00
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On the Toronto doom-metal band's debut album, I, the five members approach their sound as if they're trying to corral a herd of woolly mammoths into a tractor trailer — every minute of tape is saturated with in-the-red guitar distortion and full-bodied drum fills, topped off by singer Doug McLarty's gravelly bellow. While they're clearly working with the same sonic DNA as Black Sabbath, rather than simply recreating a familiar musical behemoth, Olde add their own mutations, maximizing the impact of every riff by slowing down the tempos and letting those big open chords ring out whenever they get the chance.

It helps that all this massiveness is expertly captured by guitarist/producer Greg Dawson (it was recorded in his BWC studio), who balances natural sounding warmth with biting clarity — you can almost feel every note punching its way out of the speaker.

As their name suggests, Olde are veterans of the local heavy music scene — the band members have played in Moneen, Sons of Otis and JAWW, among others — but with age comes wisdom and, in this case, the ability to craft some timeless doom metal.

-- Chris Bilton - Exclaim