Before the Rain - ...And With the Day Dying Light

Before the Rain - ...And With the Day Dying Light (demo 2002) - 2/5

While I find Doom a limited genre in terms of directions that it can take, there have been various bands that have endeared themselves to me, and become indispensable cornerstones of my collection. Apart from the mighty Sabbath(really, do they even need mention?), Candlemass, Cathedral,Pentagram,sHeavy
,Paul Chain, and a bunch more pay regular visits to my sound system.

Before the Rain's demo displays all of the trademark doom traditions laid out by these bands, with a little bit o' death(ala Cathedral) thrown in for good measure. While this can be a good thing for most bands, I feel that Before the Rain come up a little short in execution.

Kicking off with the feedback drenched "Be Mine", I was immediately reminded of Gothic doom lizards Type O Negative, especially in the sullen, vampy vocals of Carlos D'Agua. Utilizing standard fuzzed doom chord patterns, the band does invoke Iommi proud crunch circa '70-'71, but the track never really takes flight until around the 8:00 minute mark when a stirring doom chug kicks in. While I felt that the track had its moments, it's snail pace(until aforementioned tempo change) and over length wore me out. An overall lack of originality(not surprising for the genre) was not a major stumbling block for me, but this track came off as too derivative and pandering for my personal tastes.

Tracks two and three(You....My Ruin & The Swansong) continued with an obvious trend towards feedback overload, spoken word passages and a luded pace. However, the band did mix it up with some death growls and I must say that it did add a little zip when it was most needed. But again, I was underwhelmed. I just never heard anything I hadn't before, and waited in anticipation for a sign of life that never appeared.

While I'm sure more committed doom heads will find some value from this demo, I am of the opinion that while potential is displayed, more spit and polish to the band's overall sound is in order. And yes, I am aware that this is merely a demo,but I am in possession of many other such releases that crap all over this from 10,000 feet. 2 points for some stirring riffs and the seed of something more promising.

By J. Costigan