Doom – Complicated Mind – 4/5
Five Metal Classics you’ve never heard of: Number Four
Say hello to Doom. They’re a trio of Japanese musicians, which means naturally they have some sort of odd quirk; an avant-garde band of sorts, you might think doom might make up a healthy dollop of their sound, and you’d be wrong. With a sound rooted in thrash (I say rooted, its not really ‘rooted’ anywhere but thrash forms the bread and butter basis of their unconventional formula), they feel as much ‘Spiritual Beggars’ as ‘Sodom;’ with too much of a groove to their sound, a quirky bounciness to many of the riffs that almost feels stoner rock in its ability to create simple but ultimately addictive melodies that prove the perfect launchpad for whatever direction they desire.
The guitars deal much of the damage with their versatile attack, playing everything from a psychadelia-laden slow placed melodies, gently bending notes to create floyd-like rhythms, great care taken to demonstrate that brief period of melancholy only to break out into a blackmore-like shredded solo that feels perfectly in tune to the rapidly shifting sounds created. He is also responsible for the vocals, less growled as much as yelled frantically over the cacophany behind him, he lends his rough and ready tone to the proceedings with an unashamed willing to vary in style and aggression to suit the passage at hand.
Complemented superbly by the fretless bass work from Morota, doubling as both bass and rhythm (particularly during the solos) and the frenetic drumming, both are superbly produced (the bass is perhaps a little too quiet, heard but rarely prominent) in this foray into unfamiliar territory. Whilst many strong thrash influences emerge, it never feels as though it was trying to attain that same rebellious attitude, instead utilising that same energy in a flurry of broken english and varying tempos to demonstrate a dissonant internal struggle of emotions, chaotically fluctuating like a stroppy teenager going from melodramatic to weepy back to bouncy all in the space of a minute.
You couldn’t pin a better album title to this; a ‘complicated mind’ describing precisely what you’ll find within, all the time shifting and transforming from all out aggression to melancholy, the cheery face you put on in the company of others all too readily shifting into something more sinister. If this had been the origins of ‘groove metal’ I dont think anyone would have minded, and the only real disappointment from these nutters are the closing moments, taking a further step into the bizarre and losing much of their insatiable groove in the process, resulting in a somewhat disjointed finalé to an otherwise superb release.
R.I.P. Koh Morota (1999)
Highlights: Complicated Mind, Bright Light, Can’t Break My Without You