SKULL306

ORODRUIN, Epicurean Mass (2003, Psychedoomelic)

The skull:
Though they originally issued the album with a terrible blue mirrored image on the cover, Orodruin wisely decided to retool with a Big Dumb Skull for the 2009 digipack reissue. This cover is also shitty and blue with a mirrored image, but at least there’s a skull dropped nonsensically on top. Epicureanism is often conflated with hedonism, or at the very least with gourmandism, but the teachings of Epicurus stressed moderation and self-control. Epicurus himself was vegetarian. His was also a materialist philosophy that rejected the supernatural and divine, so the very idea of an Epicurean Mass is a bit oxymoronic. But, having failed to do their research, Orodruin cooked up a fantasy of a gluttonous rite that ends in death for the participants, a kind of Masque of the Fat Death. Maybe they should have made the skull chubbier, then.

The music:
Sludgy doom with an epic feel, heavily indebted to Sabbath without being a slavish copy. Think: Gates of Slumber and Reverend Bizarre, although Orodruin work the trippy 70s vibe a bit more heavily than either of those bands, and incorporate less traditional 80s metal into their sound. I’m also reminded in places of Krux, although Mike Puleo is no Mats Levin. While I find this sort of music rather dull, I’m not about to say Orodruin are a bad band. If they were a little less fuzzy, a little less sloppy, and if their songs and singing were a little better, they’d almost be as good as early While Heaven Wept, which is more my kind of doom. This is also the band’s first album, and although it’s ten years old, it’s still their only full length release. I guess for some guys, it takes a long time to write a slow song, and with as much time as they’ve had to work on their follow-up, maybe the next one will be awesome.
— Friar Johnsen

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