Tue 5th February 2013
Do you like Candlemass? Would you prefer it if they had a few more catchy tunes? Well then we might have the band for you.
Faith, on their new album Decades of Despair, are that unlikely sounding combination of Swedish doom and the last couple of Europe albums. If that sounds like the sort of thing that has you rushing lemming-like to the edge of a cliff then just hold your horses for a minute or two.
I too was dubious on first listening, but then after I gave the album another spin I started tapping my foot and on the third I was even humming along (as far as you can call the dreadful noise that emanates from my larynx humming).
On songs such as Ashes to Ashes they manage to combine some decently heavy guitar riffage with poppy sounding keyboard to good effect. Whilst the singer (rather like Michael Monroe) sounds like he learned English by watching endless hours of cheesy American TV.
It isn’t perfect. On occasion it gets caught between two stools being neither authentically doom laden or sufficiently catchy. There are also a few overused cliches like the “heard it a million times before” tolling bells on Hwila.
It’s not often an album with songs in minor keys, some of which last 11 minutes, is called catchy, but it definitely has a few memorable moments. I suppose the outstanding question is who is this album for? Is there a market for doom lite? It is probably unlikely that Faith are poodle haired sex gods a la Joey Tempest. On that basis it also seems unlikely that hordes of hormone crazed teenage girls will be tracking their every move and have their posters on bedroom walls.
Whilst they have a ballad of sorts- Hollow - again, I find it hard to imagine many lighters being held aloft at a gig. That being said Decades of Despair is certainly a bit unusual and worth a listen or two.