The style of Djinn and Miskatonic’s second full-length album is made abundantly clear as soon as the sixteen-minute opener “I, Zombie” comes droning in. The dominant bass presence in conjunction with the full guitar and occasional vocal grit recalls Church of Misery’s more recent outings. References could also be made to Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard’s first album, thanks to the drawn-out grooves and almost mantra-style clean vocals.
Thankfully the Bangalore group lives up to its aspirations in terms of musicianship and production. The production job is phenomenal, offering a sound that is simultaneously polished and organic while allowing every instrument to stand out. The guitar-bass balance is tight no matter what shifting tempos or additional instrumentation is on display, and the vocals fit in regardless of the chosen delivery.
The songwriting also manages to be pretty solid. While the material is all stock stuff without a standout lyrical aesthetic, the songs all manage to stand out as each one seemingly explores a different side of doom. The chanted vocals and keyboard solo on “Doombringer” live up to the title, “Frost and Steel” offers a more straightforward mid-tempo hustle, and “Harvest of Kings” is the best of the longer songs due to its more warrior metal flair.
While Djinn and Miskatonic doesn’t play anything that will be alien to doom connoisseurs, they offer more than just a delightfully punny band name. Their brand of doom is all-encompassing, raw but melodic and offering a good amount of variety while staying consistent. The fact that Djinn and Miskatonic’s idols are all either dead or taking their sweet time between releases makes them a solid sell but the quality presentation makes it worth checking out regardless.
“Frost and Steel”
“Harvest of Kings”