New Dutch band Dool are here with their début Here Now, There Then (Prophecy Productions), and while they may not be a super-group per se, this group definitely comprises a bunch of experienced musicians. With the rhythm section formed by drummer Micha Haring and bassist Job van de Zande, formerly of Occult Metal band The Devil’s Blood, and guitars provided by NickPolack (Gold) and ReinierVermeulen (The New Media), musically this band is set up for great sound in a variety of genres.Add the phenomenal Ryanne van Dorst (Elle Bandita) on vocals, and this is a magical mixture of occult, hard-rock, pop, and psychedelic, as well the occasional progressive edge.
Opening track ‘Vantablack’ is very atmospheric, in the darkly mystical sense. Clean-ish guitars lead to an accentuating electrical accompaniment, with the full electric sound kicking in at the same time as the vocals. These are husky and perfectly balanced to the music, neither lost in nor overshadowing the impressive sound. The layering and backing vocals further improve on that mystic chanting quality, while the guitars sometimes touch on that tranquil style found in bands like Alcest.
‘In Her Darkest Hour’ also captures that mystical post-rock feeling to some extent, especially in the outro, and this song would not sound out of place on a movie soundtrack. ‘Words on Paper’ sounds like a delightfully modern take on grunge, while ‘Oweynagat’ is reminiscent of The Music, and contains an excellent instrumental section. The intro of ‘Golden Serpents’ is very reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult‘s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper,’ and has quite an optimistic feel to it, an element that surfaces on the album from time to time. And though ‘She-Goat’ is the most proggy song on the album, ‘The Death of Love’ is more mind-boggling; it features funky bass over guitar triplets, making it at once one of the lower tempo and higher energy songs of the album.
One of the highlights is ‘The Alpha,’ from the wicked intro to the very end – the drums and riffs form a perfect driving force, and the vocals match so well – not afraid to vary their volume, yet keep the intensity, the multi-vocal parts are epic and the solo balances on the edge of dissonance and matches the mood of the song.
All in all this is a highly varied album with strong lines from all musical angles as well as outstanding vocals that have a unique sound while never feeling out of place.