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Review: Faces of Bayon - Heart of the Fire
Faces of Bayon
Heart of the Fire

Label: Ragnarok Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 52:05
Tracks: 6
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: September 11, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.8/5 (76%) (5 Votes)

Most people don't like to listen to tortured, endlessly depressing music obsessed with the emotional perils and turmoil of life. Good for them. Let them cling to their sanity as they avoid the music that makes it slowly wilt away. For the rest of us, the ones who drawn-out doom metal that gradually makes us non-functional members of society – well, then – you might like Faces of Bayon. This is the type of brutalized doom that punches you in the gut, forcing you to remember your pained follies in life, while the vocalist recounts his own.

The band is fronted by Matt Smith, longtime New England metal musician, and former member of the equally morose and pained Warhorse. After a long musical hiatus, and fighting off serious personal demons, Matt rebounded with the band, and their first album Heart of the Fire. Even when it isn't lyrical, you can hear Matt's struggles on the album. They manifest themselves in a somber, sometimes riveting, and often beautiful manner. Combining near funeral-doom tempos with a stoner metal base, Matt and the boys venture off into psychedelic rock later in the album, providing an ethereal, even resigned feeling. Usually these songs drain on and on with one frightening, towering, riff that carries each of them like a good theme in a novel. This is doom for those who aren't going to get bored, and can appreciate music at its most drained and uncompromisingly depressed.

Long, pummeling, and terribly honest, Heart of the Fire is a slab of eerie, sometimes wondrous, but always pained doom metal. Matt Smith is onto something here, and I for one am very eager to see where this band goes.

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