Primarily the work of guitarist Tom Sutton (Church Of Misery) and bassist Patrik Andersson Winberg (Doomdogs), Gothenburg-based The Order Of Israfel (TOOI) is a pretty straightforward doom metal band with folk music accents and a progressive touch. This keeps things interesting, and not sounding like the self-important or preachy stuff that tends to ruin much of the retro offerings out there. Otherwise, Wisdom - the band's debut album - takes a page from the classic doom metal playbook.
[Black] Sabbathy tunes that have all of the customary weight of the ominous abound, as in the epic plodding of The Noctuus. But the particular aforementioned mix of styles gives the more introspective parts of songs a nice Opeth feel, as on the [Ennio] Morricone-flavored The Earth Will Deliver What Heaven Desires. But to show it's not all rubbery necks and closed-eyes, TOOI shows its more peppy side with tracks like Born For War or Morning Sun (Satanas) which call to mind the groovy chug of Black Label Society, or The Black Wings A Demon, which comes off like a thrilling version of The Doors meets Motörhead.
The Bottom Line: Don't let my mention of the word retro (which is becoming pretty stale these days) scare you off of this Swedish doom metal band's impressive debut. This is some damn fine metal. I dare say Zakk would approve.
- Genghis never did understand what the all the fuss was about The Doors...