Sound: Stoicism, cynicism(either modern or the original), all fine schools of thought but nothing could have prepared me for the initial shock of Portents, Omens & Dooms. Hearing the album for the first time was like taking a nice walk with your wife and kids through the park and then suddenly being stabbed, violently in the back. An extreme analogy, I know. But you see I was expecting another hour of early 70s Sabbath worship and what I got was an American Doom band from England. Beyond the obvious influence of Black Sabbath(from which most other bands just copy the structures) The Lamp of Thoth sound a lot more like Saint Vitus but without the guitar effects. Each member brings something different to the band, a trait which is now rare, so the bass player/vocalist The Overtly Melancholic Lord Strange attempts to give the bass a bit more active role, the drummer and her constant bass drum fills give the band a choppy rhythm, in this extent that's rare in doom. The guitarist has a warm distortion tone, again very rare in any form of metal today. The album also has a number of mid tempo songs like "You Will Obey" which are more in the vein of NWOBHM further more those songs give the album more range and keep it from getting boring after the first listen. All in all The Lamp of Thoth have made a doom metal album which is slow and heavy but not oppressive, now you might say "Isn't that the point of doom?", yes but since so many bands are already doing that a change is more than welcomed. // 9
Lyrics: Lord Strange's vocals are for the most part hit and miss and in the first listening there was a lot more missing than hitting. For an example "The House", the first verse is, for a lack of a better word, scary. In sharp contrast "Wings Of Doom" is sung more than properly.
That being said, Lord Strange's vocals and his evil Northern accent give the band a touch of mystique. Lyrically the main focus is actually seducing virgins and then the usual occult-mystic-I'm-trapped-in-my-grave stuff. // 7
Overall Impression: If we just ignore the vocals, when they start to annoy, we will get an impressive album, and even with the vocal mess it's a formidable release. Perhaps you will not be as surprised as me but you will definitely be surprised by Lamp Of Thoth's Portents, Omens & Dooms.
A couple songs worth mentioning are: "Wings of Doom", "Victorian Wizard", "You Will Obey" and "I love The Lamp". // 8