Album Review: Roots of the Old Oak - The Devil and His Wicked Ways
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone
Old school pagan death doom trio Roots Of The Old Oak look to create a darkened atmosphere on The Devil and His Wicked Ways
Woeful opener “I Defy Thee” serves as a great opening narrative as it pertains to the Christian Monks first landing on English shores and retells the story of pagan ancestors refusing to convert which is immediately followed up by “Cheating The Hangman” which has some of the most captivating riffs and atmosphere of the entire release, its delivery is flawless and is an easy pick for highlight of the album.
Slow and prominent bass, crunching guitars and doom-laden drum patterns all come to the forefront on” Forestdweller” which gives the lister a broad landscape to discover though its musicianship. Short instrumental “A Ballad Of Ravens” adds another dynamic which starts of melodic and atmospheric but takes are darker twist in the later parts. Title track “The Devil and His Wicked Ways” really conveys what the band have already strongly delivered on but overall captures the aesthetic of the album and striking artwork created by Joan Llopis Domenech.
As the album moves onto “Cosmic Dark Age” its hard to shake the 90s nostalgia that this gives off, for me its almost as I am rediscovering the genre all over again, the spoken word elements gel well with the more aggressive style that runs through minute by minute.
“Allfather” (A Wanderers Tale) is a longer instrumental piece that swirls through its nearly seven-minute duration with a sense of celebration for the old gods, this is then followed by the majestic “Take The Throne” that compliments its predecessor tremendously serving as one final chapter in this dark delivery.
The albums roots linger from track to track and carry the message throughout in a dark web of both nostalgia and fresh delivery of the past. The Devil and His Wicked Ways moves from track to track, slithering with a heavy heartbeat and constricting a cacophony of chaos in its path. The elements of the album are all well-constructed and provide the soundscape to and album and subject matter that’s as rich in its regaling process as its slow and heavy delivery.