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Review: Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf - Doomsday Deferred
Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf
Doomsday Deferred

Label: Black Doomba Records
Year released: 2021
Duration: 39:10
Tracks: 10
Genre: Doom Metal


Review online: October 20, 2022
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
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Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (6 Votes)

Tommy Stewart is best known for being the original songwriter, vocalist, and bassist for cult Speed Metal act Hallow's Eve, but he's been fairly busy since those days after he started his own label specializing in old-school bluesy Doom. It's not too surprising that his current band, the self-named Tommy Stewart's Dyerwulf (presumably laying claim to that particular misspelling before anyone else) works in a similar vein. That said, Tommy has more ideas than just paying tribute to the classics and takes a novel approach to the style, and while I'm not familiar enough with his work to tell you how successful it was with past albums, I can say that his latest, Doomsday Deferred, almost knocks it out of the park.

Far from the messy, unrestrained thrashing of Hallow's Eve, this project is all about working in the same vein as Ozzy-era Sabbath, Pentagram, and Saint Vitus, back when the line between Psychedelia, Hard Rock, and straight Doom were ill-defined and sometimes indistinguishable. What makes this band stand out from all the others is the fact that it lacks guitars and instead consists of bass, drums, and Tommy's vocals. That by itself isn't exactly new, but where other acts mostly just mix the bass upfront to make it akin to a really down-tuned guitar, Tommy actually multitracks his bass lines to cover all ends of the music and even harmonizes and counterpoints with himself to create an encompassing sound that, when mixed with some pounding drums and his hollow, nasally singing, is very familiar while being much more than just mere imitation. This would be gimmicky if the songwriting couldn't back it up, but after a brief and pointless intro, the music proves to be varied and interesting throughout, ranging from traditional doomy stomps like the proper opener "Shadow of the Well" and the moody "Not Prey to Yourself," more experimental and atmospheric numbers like the claustrophobic "Indiscriminate Trepidation" and the pounding album closer "By the Blood of Mars," and even more upbeat rocking numbers like "Rolling My Own," the careening instrumental "Madness for Two," and the infectious album highlight "Two Trog Yog."

For as strong as the good material here is, there are a few duds like the tolling but dull "Stars Flee in Pain'' and the middling instrumental "Why the Rotten Sun Speaks in Tongues" that hold the album back a little. Further, Tommy's singing only really works as an accent, so when it's given too much room and has to lead, it goes from charming to mildly annoying, especially on the slower songs. These flaws aside, Tommy manages to take a novel approach to a classic sound to make something massive and exciting, proving that even after all these years, he still knows how to make killer music.

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