Olde, a band from the greater Toronto area, have a mission statement to fill your soundscape with crushing Doom metal. They sent me a copy of their recently released EP, Shallow Graves for me to see precisely how crushing they are!
Absurd Conditions opens the EP and smacks you between the eyes with wrecking ball heavyness. You're introduced to Doug McLarty's vocal which is a controlled growl that's delivered so well. An enjoyable track, and just at the point when I thought, this either needs to end or go somehere else, we get a nice lead guitar line to see out the song. A good straight Doom track.
When I first heard the next track, Endless, I was just pulling away with my daughter from a kids party in my car. When the riff started I shouted "that's fucking brilliant" much to the bemusement of my daughter and the parents leaving the party with their kids. I don't use swears in front of my girls, but like the brown note that makes you shit yourself; this was a natural reaction caused by the deep heavy southern tinged brilliance of this track. If she repeats it in front of my wife I'm sending her Olde's way. Simply brilliant track.
Limb from Limb is a heavy bluesy, rock n rolling cover of Motorhead. Lemmy may have been quite impressed by the vocal delivery on this, with McLarty's bluesy growl, different in style but carrying a similar attitude and grit the world loved Lemmy for. A fine cover that captures the Rock 'n' Roll of Motorhead, but keeps a clear Olde identity.
Olde then use final track, The Turning, to show their diversity, and it's good. Again immensely heavy, but with that it is also thoughtfully composed with some great riff work and a standout strong drum performance. Along with the usual formative Doom style they add pace in parts and musical ambience in others.
In terms of their promise of delivering crushing Doom, Olde succeed on all counts. It's as heavy as a dead elephant carrying Bill Gates' wallet. But there is still an emphasis on delivering great, listenable music. The riffs stay in your head long after you stop listening and the rythm section is on point throughout.
This is a very enjoyable EP and for less than £3 on Bandcamp it's a great addition to any Doom collection and worth a spin for all metal fans. I'll be treating myself to the CD version of this one for sure.
Olde are:Ryan Aubin - Drums
Doug McLarty - Vocals
Chris Hughes - Guitar
Greg Dawson - Guitar
Cory McCallum - Bass