Domovoyd- Oh Sensibility

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, October 13, 2013

Svart Records has put out a lot of great doom and psychedelic rock this year, but Domovoyd’s Oh Sensibility might be the album on their roster that does the best job of blurring the lines between the two styles. The Finnish group has been around for about three years now, and their material seamlessly integrates the sprawling, denser riffs of psychedelic rock and space rock with the crunchiness and heavier tonality of doom. It makes a strong first impression, and while there is definitely room for the group to branch out further they already have plenty of great hooks to keep listeners coming back.

One of the first things that jumped out about Oh Sensibility was the way that it was structured. Domovoyd starts the album off with a sparse, drone style introduction track that builds in intensity before leading directly into the first main song. From there the instrumentalists throw two shorter tracks at the listener that establishes the overall style they are going for, which early on reminded me quite a bit of Electric Wizard’s hazier doom riffs mixed with more traditional psychedelic rock. While they could have left things there and maintained enough killer riffs to keep listeners coming back, the band showcases their ambition on the final two songs. These two pieces span 13 and 16 minutes in length, and heads towards sprawling psychedelic and space rock with plenty of louder freak-outs along the way. Although this may not be uncommon for either doom or 60s/70s psychedelic rock, Domovoyd proves that they can utilize these longer periods of time effectively and really pull the listener in with their fuzzed out hazy riffs. What did make them feel a bit different though was the amount of bite that was present, as even when the instrumentals mellow out and lull the listener into a relaxed state this only lasts for a brief moment before they head back into harsher territory. Oh Sensibility’s combination of these calmer, sprawling psychedelic soundscapes with darker, twisted arrangements works quite well and made it feel different enough from the standard psych rock or doom acts that only try and touch upon one of these elements. There does remain room for further integration of these two sides and I’m definitely interested to see where the band can take these ideas in the coming years, but there’s no denying that at their current level the ideas are still quite compelling.

The vocals utilize the same type of harsh/melodic mixture as the instrumentals, providing Domovoyd’s material with quite a bit of range. “Incarnation” starts things off with a much cleaner pitch that has been placed slightly behind the wall of haze, and my initial thought was that the group was going to continue along these same lines for the rest of the release. But as soon as the vocals kick in on “Lamia” it becomes clear this isn’t going to be the case, as the mellower singing gives way to harsher screams that sound almost psychotic at times. It’s a very appropriate transition that makes these particular moments feel much scarier and intimidating, which works in the group’s favor. I’m sure drug references are a bit cliché when referring to a band of this type, but it really feels like Domovoyd represents both the ups and downs of a crazy acid trip, taking listeners to mellower otherworldly places as well as downright scary and twisted ones. The vocals do a great job in reinforcing this, and while they tend to remain buried underneath the wall of sound a bit I liked this approach as it forced me to pay closer attention to the songs as a whole.

There has been plenty of great material in this genre released in 2013, but Domovoyd has enough distinguishing elements to make them another worthy addition. The combination of spaced out and psychedelic jams and heavy noisy doom made me want to keep coming back to Oh Sensibility and kept the group from feeling like they were merely falling into one particular category. As I said earlier, I do think there is room for further tweaks and combinations of the spacey and harsh elements and will be excited to see just where they end up in the coming years but will still find myself returning to this full length in the time leading up to that as it has staying power.

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