The Wandering Midget - I Am The Gate
Eyes Like Snow
Stoner Doom
7 songs (54'06")
Release year: 2007
The Wandering Midget, Eyes Like Snow
Reviewed by Alex

Doom must be getting to be back en vogue these days with Candlemass picking up the fresh wind in its sails and Solitude Aeternus resurrecting back from the ashes. Finnish The Wandering Midget is catching the wave and presenting their first MCD, running no less than some 50 min, good enough for full-length for many. I have searched my mind high and low, scratching all around its corners, trying to remember whether the band’s moniker, as out there as it seems to be, to be borrowed from some famous band’s song, but could not come up with anything definitive. I would love to stand corrected, if your memory rings a louder bell …

Decidedly retro in their approach, The Wandering Midget sound exactly like they look in the band’s picture. Touched with a touch of stoner, I Am The Gate has the warm, analog production, honest with all of its hisses and hiccups, recorded as if in one take, miscues and errors be damned. Here and there folk flavored solo (Urk the Conqueror) or melody (Wolfslayer) will creep in to remind us of the band’s origin. Other than that I can safely assume The Wandering Midget hold Candlemass’ early records in very high regard.

Technically I Am The Gate is the result of the combination of two demos, 2006 First Encounter and 2007 eponymous product. That happens to be a good thing, as the record takes its time to really get going, with the better tracks pushed towards the end. Black Figure Follows the Burial Company is initially slowed down, its melody fitting the title, with the tempo picking up towards the end on the strength of some hooky riffs. Wolfslayer lays it down forcefully, with lamenting guitar and hammering chords. Grungy, very much Soundgarden The Wandering Midget, the song, I could do without, but the MCD’s title track is a true gem. Riffs rumble along, the band almost breaking out in thrash, by doom’s standards. The final harmonic lead and rolling drums are outstanding. This track also allows Samuel Wormius to use melodic inflections in his voice to take him wherever the hell he wants to go, out of tune with the rest of the crew or not. In fact, I find his voice to be close to that of Johan Langquist, Candlemass’ original vocalist. Samuel has this tinge of trembling tear hidden in the back of his throat, something that makes Epicus Doomicus Metallicus immediately distinguishable. If The Wandering Midget ever picks a tune to cover I would recommend Solitude without hesitation. The closer Wasteland Shrine takes us on an epic 17 min trip through the desolate wintery desert, its gloomy monotonous baseline interspersed with crazy jam-like leads and vocals working themselves up from monk-like chanting to the dementia filled heart-rending frenzy.

Essential this record may not be, but those in search of from-the-bottom-of-your-stoned-mind candid booze-touched doom, I Am The Gate would be very enjoyable.

Killing Songs :
Black Figure Follows the Burial Company, I Am the Gate, Wasteland Shrine
Alex quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by The Wandering Midget that we have reviewed:
The Wandering Midget - The Serpent Coven reviewed by Alex and quoted 80 / 100
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