Thu 1st September 2005
Any band that proudly proclaims in its short press release that they have "introduced many people in our local areas to the sounds of stoner and doom who previously knew nothing more than death/thrash metal" are okay by me. Lucky Leicestershire then, for that is from where Cosmic Vortex of Doom hail.
The first thing to say about this demo - and it has to be said because it is obvious immmediately - is that the production, to be frank, is shit. The sound is tinny, the guitar is too low in the mix, and it deprives us of the depth and 'meatiness' that the music obviously deserves. Right, there, that's that done with then. Because what's beneath is actually rather good. The fact that you can even tell despite the hinderances says a lot.
The three tracks put down on this demo display a more-than adequate skill at creating stoner, doom and sludge hybrids. Opener 'Twenty Two' mixes classic doom with Raging Speedhorn singing assault, and the riffs keep the head nodding throughout. 'The Purple Piper' then slows things down with Morrow-esque, pained vocals. The final track, the grandiously titled 'Magical Carpet of Mystical Hypnosis' is described by the band as their masterpiece. Across it's nine minutes it showcases all their styles, the heavy beginning giving way to a more groove orientated jam towards the end.
'Woe Betide Thee...' isn't the most original demo you'll hear this year. Add to this the production problems and you could utterly dismiss it. Persevere, however, and the quality reveals itself. I swore never to write this in a demo review because (a) it sounds patronising and (b) when I read it elsewhere I take it to mean "this is crap but I don't have the balls to say so", but, bare with me - I bet they're good live. By this I mean without the recorded restrictions, if they get into a flow where they can truly express themselves, Cosmic Vortex of Doom could well and truly shine. With a few more years experience and, of course, a better produced release, they'll definitely be a force to be aware of.