Early Moods - Spellbound (EP)
Dying Victims Productions
Doom, Heavy Metal
5 songs (26:29)
Release year: 2020
Official Bandcamp
Reviewed by Goat

It's surely something of a golden age for metal when even random doom metal EPs you pick to review are beyond solid! Californian foursome Early Moods may have an eccentric name but their music is anything but; enjoyably throwback doom complete with Sabbathian guitar tone and a wailing frontman/bassist. Spellbound is more than mere Iommi-worship, however; the opening title track has a lengthy instrumental section where you can hear shades of early Iron Maiden and there's more than a NWOBHM vibe to the rest of the songs here, too. There's some light keyboard work here and there, rarely obtruding beyond giving the backdrop that bit of extra spice as the guitars from Eddie and Oscar generally do more than enough to provide melody and headbangs.

Otherwise, all the focus is on the players, who do a terrific job and have great band charisma - guest soloist Alan Jones of Pagan Altar barely makes an impression on Isolated, which has more of a sped-up Electric Wizard vibe and sits comfortably in the middle of the tracklisting. Although there's a general absence of ear-snagging hooks the band are pleasant to listen to, the slower, moodier Desire having a more upbeat second half with plenty of proto-metallic bluesy soloing. And closer Living Hell begins with almost Alice in Chains-y wailing before chuggy riffs push it back to heaviness. Even the murky production gives the music a more authentic feel, as if this was some late 70s underground gem that you've stumbled across! A great start to Early Moods' career in doomland, let's hope their debut full-length (apparently due next year) builds on this and shows their promise fulfilled.

Killing Songs :
Isolated, Living Hell
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