Bassist/vocalist Doomstress Alexis and guitarist Brandon Johnson from doom trio Project Armageddon are not a pair content to let the grass grow under their feet and so with the addition of Venomin James guitarist Tomasz Scull on the drum stool have embarked on another "project" this time flying under the banner of Doomstress.
Doomstress continue along the path of doom first trodden by Alexis and Johnson's other band but weave into those rich tapestry's of gloom threads of majestic classic rock and stonerized hard rock all of which can be heard on the bands latest EP "Supernatural Kvlt Sounds" available at Bandcamp and DHU Records.
"Way Of The Mountain" is first up and comes straight out of the traps on a thunderous staccato doom riff driven by Scull's pounding drums and bolstered by Doomstress Alexis's massive bass lines and strong distinct vocal tones. The songs traditional doom core is flavoured by touches of old school metal that in parts recall the heady days of the NWOBHM movement and in others the heavier side of Uriah Heep, something that leads the listener nicely into the next track, a storming cover of Heep's "Rainbow Demon". David Byron would be a hard act for anyone to follow , his smooth semi-operatic tones and astonishing vocal range defined early Heep's sound, but the Doomstess Alexis makes a bold and wholly acceptable fist of capturing Byron's spirit in her vocal. A touch more intense and with a doomier edge than original , the song allows the band to stretch out a little and put their own distinctive stamp on things while still remaining true to the source
The Ep's second original "Sleep Among The Dead" boasts a deliciously devilish guitar motif from Johnson as its main refrain around which Alexis wraps another sterling vocal performance. As with any good doom/occult groove worth its weight in despair, the song travels through a series of differing time signatures and tempo shifts touching on elements of epic, classic and traditional doom on its way.
Doomstress finish things up with another cover, this time from pioneers of occult rock Coven and their 1969 song "Wicked Woman". Doomstress avoid the obvious trap of trying to recapture the psychedelic groove of the original instead opting for a more stoner doom approach with Alexis and Scull laying down a chugging foundation of drum and bass for Johnson's guitar to scream and wail over. Alexis does not attempt to match Jinx Dawson's Joplin-esque vocal pyrotechnics but stays within her own, but just as impressive, vocal range and in doing so gives the song a fresh new dynamic.
All in all a damn fine EP from a band concentrating on the future but not afraid to embrace the past.
Check 'em out ....
Note ; Doomstress will be on the bill at ENDHIPENDIT Festival on October 22nd, try to catch them if you can....