“You can only die once. After that, nothing and nobody can harm you.”
Cardinal’s Folly are a relatively new band to me, despite being active in the underground doom metal scene since 2007 (the band actually formed in 2004 as The Coven changing their name to Cardinal’s Folly in 2007).
They’ve been around for over a decade, but for some reason it was only a chance visit to the Shadow Kingdom Records website (link below) that drew my attention to them.
The band hail from Helsinki, Finland, and right from the opening riff, comparisons with their fellow countrymen Reverend Bizarre are inevitable. The most obvious similarity is the vocals, which have that signature Finnish sound established by Albert Witchfinder (Reverend Bizarre vocalist) that is also favoured by fellow Finns The Wandering Midget and Garden of Worm.
The sticker on the front of the CD case describes their music as doom with a tinge of punk and black metal. I heard the punk approach from the first couple of riffs (in fact, I said out loud “this is a bit punky!”) but I’m not hearing the black metal quite so much. No bad thing, as it’s not my favourite subgenre. It goes well with sludge but doesn’t have much of a place in traditional doom metal in my opinion. Feel free to disagree.
The punky, Saint Vitus-esque riffing style employed by Cardinal’s Folly keeps things fresh and helps to avoid the turgid, quite frankly boredom-inducing doldrums that formed at least 50% of every Reverend Bizarre record . I’m halfway through a Finnish doom CD and I’m not bored yet! A rare treat indeed. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of these Scandinavian bands, but they do tend to drag on a bit. On this album, Cardinal’s Folly have employed shorter, snappier songs that get the listener’s head nodding rather than just sitting there contemplating the bleakness of existence for an hour, or worse, falling asleep altogether! I’ve yet to sample their earlier works, so I can’t confirm if this is a new direction or whether they have always taken this approach to songwriting.
The band have a new album out this year, so now is the ideal time to check out Holocaust alongside their previous recordings.
Holocaust of Ecstasy and Freedom is out now on Shadow Kingdom Records.