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Old 07-05-2015, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rampton - Teeth Of Lions Rule the Divine

Rampton
Teeth Of Lions Rule the Divine

Released: 2002
Genre: Doom Metal, Drone Metal
Position In Discography: Debut album
Personnel: Lee Dorrian, Stephen O’Malley, Greg Anderson, Justin Greaves.

Tracklist:
  1. “He Who Accepts All That is Offered (Feel Bad Hit of the Winter)" : 29:26
  2. "New Pants & Shirt" : 7:01
  3. "The Smiler" : 17:53
Doom metal is one of the most flexible and varied styles of metal. It can be one of the most aggravating styles to explore for this same reason. Doom metal is considerably more varied nowadays than in the 1980s and even earlier with Black Sabbath, and now extreme doom metal albums are relatively common. It is only natural that the more "extreme" releases of doom metal tend to be the most detracted and underrated in the style. This is the hole in which Rampton lies and rightly so, for Rampton confroms to no standards, it is hard to listen to, the production is purposefully ****ty, the vocals are putrid, and it has a track that lasts twenty-nine minutes and twenty-six seconds. Even Electric Wizard is not this intense.

Let me make this clear: I do not have the knowledge of doom metal as some of the other members on here, but I consider this to be a doom metal album. It is a drone metal album, but it contains a heaping of despair and evil that I have yet to hear a bona fide doom metal album replicate as well as Rampton.



Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine is a super group composed of famed extreme metal vocalist Lee Dorrian, the legendary Sunn O))) duo Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, and Justin Greaves, soon-to-be (in 2002) drummer for Electric Wizard. Speaking of Electric Wizard, this album is doomier than anything they have released.

What is so profound about this album is how evil it is. Similar to Reign In Blood, this album paints a picture of despair by shouting out disparaging situations. Compared to Slayer though, Teeth Of Lions Rule the Divine take their work much more seriously. Between Lee Dorrian's toxic, heavily distorted shouts, O'Malley's siren-like guitar tuned down to 'A', Greave's suffocating drumming, the indiscernible, fuzzy, grainy, grayscale album sleeve of a group of shadowy, robed figures transporting a coffin, and the album being named after a psychiatric hospital located in the city the band formed in, this album fits into doom metal like a glove.


“He Who Accepts All That is Offered (Feel Bad Hit of the Winter)", the lengthy twenty-nine minute first track, is by far the highlight of this three track, fifty-five minute album. This song is frustrating to discuss because there are SO many areas this song does well, but few are capable of being dissected with words.

The lyrics are one of those few. In a bizarre departure from doom metal pioneers and stoners Black Sabbath, the song is about the terror a drug addict experiences. It is much more than an anti-drug song like "Master of Puppets” though.

Towards the middle of the song, the mood noticeably shifts to a much more darker and disparaging tale of this addict's downward spiral into oblivion. 'He' begins to hate being forced to take drugs. He hallucinates, and his hallucinations turn terror-inducing.

Are you strong enough, to feel real pain
C'mon take it
'Are you man enough?–****ing coward'
You thought you were evil
Could take on all the world–big man
But now you're feeble, a scared little child
In fear of your life–weakling
The pantomime's begun–for you
...
Not so cool anymore-consumed by-hatred
Crawling on the floor–pleading
...
Your friends have become savage–monsters
Hands covered in blood
And **** now fills your mind–take it–more
Your skull a plastic coffin–empty

This song deserves to be in the hall-of-fame of doom metal with the lyrics alone. Another notable characteristic among this track, as well as the entire album, is the use of negative space. The long passages of lyrics are balanced by a ringing note, or lingering distortion. These moments of droning instrumentation along with the exceptionally slow tempos, perpetuate the evil atmosphere.

As far as the other songs, "New Pants & Shirt" is more filth. In quite possibly the first appearance of it ever in doom metal, an organ is used in the song, and that adds to the song being noticeably more mellow than the other tracks. This respite appears to be intentional, because the next track is the most evil of the three.

Lastly, there is "The Smiler". Clearly, Dorrian still made an attempt to 'sing' (if you can even call it that to begin with) somewhat well up to this point, because he makes no attempt to follow any known vocal style. The dude sounds possessed. These vocals are disturbing even for experienced extreme metal listeners. Dorrian catapults "The Smiler" to being a leading choice for the soundtrack for hell. If not he, then the guitar tone certainly does.

/5
If there is a doom metal album that holds the title of most evil and disturbing it is Rampton. This band is too good to not get another release. Over 13 years later though, it appears this will never happen.

Last edited by Wpnfire; 07-08-2015 at 10:32 PM.
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