A short review for a short EP – four tracks, though each very much not short in length. The shortest clocks in at a shade over seven minutes, the longest at over seventeen. The band’s bassist, Oli, defines them as “experimental end of doom metal I guess” and I can run with this. All four tracks are slow, sonorous and instrumental. In fact, to paraphrase the world’s greatest war poet, Private S. Baldrick:
…only with more… stuff.
Anchorite is a tricky EP to review as it’s a little out of my comfort zone. Would I go and see the band live? No. The music is too long, slow and shoegazey for me. However, I have listened to the four tracks on offer multiple times and not just as I was reviewing it. Anchorite makes for great background music.
Occasionally you find yourself nodding along to the beat or tapping your foot without knowing you’re doing it. I try to do a lot of reading, and I’ve found these four tracks to be perfect to kill background noise while I’m doing so, and over time they’ve soaked into my skull.
The production is superb and the only criticism I would make is that some sections are a little too light and breezy to really class as doom. But Oli did say they were experimental which means Warrior Pope can get away with anything and just that they were buggering about and being creative. Damn right, too.
I know some people who’ll find this sort of thing right up their dark, miserable musical alley. Warrior Pope are certainly an interesting crew – currently a three-piece with a session guitarist for live shows – and unlike many bands of this ilk their music has genuinely held my interest. It’s not too extreme in its “doominess” and actually contains some great riffs that other more mainstream bands would love to rip off (and speed up a little, and perhaps not repeat so much). They’ve also not downtuned to a ridiculous degree. I’m one of those old-fashioned farts who likes to hear more than just a rumble.
Oh, also, the cover art… wowsers. Love it.
The best thing to do is give it a listen, so scroll down and hit play. If you like it, throw pennies their way for a downloadable version. Or even better, sort them out with some live shows – I know this is something they’re after.