Once again, here we are for a doom metal review. This has been my area of musical enjoyment as of late, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Today we have a band that hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, and they are called Cities of Mars. They have an album called Temporal Rifts that came out on September 29th, 2017, and this trio of musicians pummels your ears with their Fuzz/Space/doom metal/heavy psych infused music. The band consists of Danne Palm on bass & vox, Christoffer Norén handling guitar & vox, and Johan Küchler playing drums & vox; they cite influences such as, Crowbar, Tool, The Obsessed, Sleep, Shrinebuilder, Mastodon, and The Sword. Per their Facebook pages Story section, “Fuzzed out doom trio from Gothenburg, Sweden. Follow the story of a KGB agent lost on Mars in 1971, uncovering a lost civilization.” I have always liked it when bands have an interesting plot line to their music, and while I don’t always pay attention to the actual words being spoken, that still somehow makes it more interesting.
The five songs on this release comprise all the elements are good doom band must have. The riffs are slow, heavily distorted, the vocals sound hypnotic, and when the guitar mellows the riffs are very interesting. I’ve always liked trios, because the bass has to pick up any slack due to only having one guitar playing. Danne fills the slack expertly, with interesting bass lines when needed, and just laying down a fat bottom end when that is called for.
Temporal Rifts opens up with a called “Doors of Dark Matter Part 1: Barriers”. The first 2 lines are echoed out, and add a nice atmospheric element to the section. There were words in this song that I had to look up to know what they meant, lixiviate being one of them; it means to separate (a substance) into soluble and insoluble constituents by the percolation of liquid. There were several others, and they all were in two lines of lyrics, and I still don’t know exactly what it means when put together…I’m sure they do, or they wouldn’t have written it. The music is slow, and heavy as a lead brick dropped from a 50-story high-rise. “Caverns Alive!” is another track that stuck out, and is actually the album closer. The intro is non-distorted guitar, with maybe some chorus and light flanger on it; it’s a very nice way to lead into one of the slowest riffs on the album. The lead section has some really good wah pedal work, not overbearing or overused (Kirk Hammett of Metallica could take a lesson from Christoffer on not abusing the use of wah lol). Black Sabbath had an influence on this band, because I can definitely hear that within this last track. The other 3 songs are all very good, but these two stuck out the most to me.
Cities of Mars’ Temproal Rifts is available now. You can get it on Bandcamp (which also includes the lyrics on the songs), through the band, from Argonauta Records, or on the web somewhere I’m sure. So, if you like doom metal, then give these guys a listen!!
- Tom Hanno
For more on Cities of Mars Check out: