Hour of 13 - _Hour of 13_
(Shadow Kingdom Records, 2007)
by: Chaim Drishner (5 out of 10)
Not sure why this entity called Hour of 13 proclaims to be "true occult original doom" metal, for if to judge by their debut album, they are neither original, nor occult, nor very much doom; _Hour of 13_ is, however, very much metal indeed.

Taking their influences from epic / traditional doom metal, but also from traditional heavy metal as well as from NWOBHM, at times they do remind of Black Sabbath's Ozzy years -- albeit a more thin, pale and anorexic Black Sabbath, what with the lack of musical depth, due to the almost absent lower frequencies, i.e. chunky and fat bass guitar sound that would have added an extra dimension to the somewhat bland musical concoction here.

The riffs are simple, unmemorable, linear and uninspired for the most part (almost tediously exhausting for their endless repetitions) but due to the dynamic recording and song structures, they seem more powerful and almost thrashing at times.

The vocals are clear, but lack power or character and at times, due to their frailty, they almost drown within the waves of distortion. There are too many bands Hour of 13 resemble, sometimes dangerously so, but there's hardly any unique voice or statement to be heard from this bunch that will separate them from the masses.

Bottom line: Go listen to some Solitude Aeturnus or Reverend Bizarre instead.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/hourof13doom

(article published 24/2/2009)

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