Ramesses We Will Lead You to Glorious Times

As heard on last year’s We Live from UK doom stalwarts Electric Wizard — unsurprisingly available only as a pricey import — the band went through a considerable line-up change. Longtime drummer Mark Greening and bassist Tim Bagshaw quit, Bagshaw switched to lead guitar, and formed the dirge-doom outfit Ramesses. After a few singles and a comp appearance, the band finally releases their debut EP, though only one of its four songs is brand-new. The unreleased track, "Witchampton,” is taken from the same 24-hour recording session as the rest, and is an appropriate example of their plodding gloom outlook of repetitive chords, unintelligible growls, and muffled drums modeled after Winter’s Eternal Frost. Suffocating doom like Sunn0))) covering High On Fire, "Master (Your Demons)” and "Ramesses II” (both from the split single with New York’s Negative Reaction) offer little diversity in songwriting, though bassist/vocalist Adam Richardson does vary his singing with throaty yelps. Replete with oppressive riffage and buried vocals, "Black Domina” (from the Dreams Of What Life Could Have Been comp on Psychedoomelic) is more like Sleep slugging it out with Boris. Even remixing and remastering by Billy Anderson only polishes the EP to a dismally dull sheen. Extras include videos of "Ramesses II” and "Master (Your Demons)” with their requisite images of tombstones, dark clouds, explosions, and firestorms. Since Oregon’s Yob have already cinched up the neo-doom stakes worldwide, Ramesses’ most glorious times are yet to come — and hopefully they’ll take more than one day to realise them. (This Dark Reign)