Bretus’s third full-length album sees the Italian group adhering to their established meat and potatoes approach to traditional doom metal. The guitar takes center stage with a riff style and tone reminiscent of The Gates of Slumber and Place of Skulls while the rhythm section provides a basic but sturdy foundation. In addition, the pulp horror theatrics are aided by a flamboyant vocal performance that is a dead ringer for Reverend Bizarre. These elements were in full force on Bretus albums past but …From the Twilight Zone may be their strongest usage of them thus far.
This album’s biggest source of strength in comparison to previous efforts is its polished production job. While Bretus has always been a melodic doom band making its best assets known, there’s a lot more clarity on here that makes the riffs even punchier and gives the bass a more melodic backbone. The vocals also sound a lot more confident than before, reinforcing the idea that the improvements are based on more than a mere superficial makeover.
It also helps that the songwriting has a lot of variety to it. The riffs and vocal lines aren’t always the most attention grabbing but each song finds a way to stand out. “Terror Behind the Mirror” is the strongest track thanks to its acoustic opening transitioning to its bombastic riff set in an appropriately sinister fashion though the borderline balladry on “Danza Macabra” makes it another highlight. Also, a Tony Danza-themed doom band called Danza Macabra seriously needs to be a thing…
Bretus may not be at the heights of the doom metal pantheon just yet but the improvements on …From the Twilight Zone suggest that they may well be on their way there. Fans of the genre are sure to find this to be a pleasant listen that highlights everything there is to love about old school doom. And in a scene that is stereotyped for its emulation of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard, I’ll be more than happy to try out a Pentagram rip-off any day!
“Terror Behind the Mirror”
I went to Ball State University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing. Currently specializing in writing album reviews when I should be working at my day job.
My Grading Scale
A: An essential classic regardless of genre preference
B: A good album recommended to fans of a given genre
C: A flawed album with elements that are still enjoyable
D: A dull album that may only be redeemable for fans
F: It is a goal of mine to never review an album like this
I also play in a couple different bands and take it as much as I dish it out. Feel free to check them out!