SubRosa - _No Help for the Mighty Ones_
(Profound Lore, 2011)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (6.5 out of 10)
At this point in the year, albums which were initially hidden come surfacing with vengeance and stern purpose. I know on December 27th, the best album of 2007 will make itself known. SubRosa is a doom band based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their second record _No Help for the Mighty Ones_ is the the first for the venerable Profound Lore Records. Just by album covers alone, SubRosa has seemed to align itself for one interesting record which somehow passed my reader earlier this year.

SubRosa's approach to doom is unsurprisingly a throwback style. However, the type of throwback is interesting and unique when compared to the genre as a whole. Taking the downtempo attitudes, SubRosa incorporates moody alt rock / goth / shoegaze into their delivery, making it a composite character of the early '90s. Starting somewhere around _Gish_ by the Smashing Pumpkins and ending somewhere around Ride's _Nowhere_, SubRosa defines a period in doom's history which is far removed from its mid-'70s counterpart.

The charm in _No Help for the Mighty Ones_, as well as SubRosa in general, is the narcotic vocal work by Sarah Pendelton. The female presence amid heavy riffs is hypnotic, if not slightly exciting. Pendleton's voice is cleaner than Acid King's Lori S., but comes nowhere near the melodic qualities of other female fronted metal bands. Pendelton's voice is full, yet weathered with years spent with doom.

While I just praised the qualities of this album for breaking free of doom's obsession with the '70s, _No Help for the Mighty Ones_ is more difficult to embrace. The lava lamp riffs which dominate the majority of this style are initially pleasing and enticing. An eleven minute violin led descent into metaphysical meditations on existential separation is harder to grasp than songs about dragons and custom vans.

Still, _No Help for the Mighty Ones_ marks a bold step in doom's future with some interesting choices for background material. The band has all the makings of a great album in its near future. Whether it is here today is another story.


(article published 1/11/2011)

3/2/2014 P Azevedo 9 SubRosa - More Constant Than the Gods
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