One of the best parts of writing for this website is the obscurity in the descriptions of the music we’re reviewing and how that leads you to find wonderful flavours of sound analogous to your own taste. I’ve never much looked into the occult side of doom, yet Kabbalah has certainly won me over to check it out more with their latest album The Omen. Despite its dark ethos and twisted lyrics, the record is a fun and enjoyable one to throw on, with plenty of energy being driven through its doom riffs.
This occult rock grimoire does speed through with short song lengths, yet each track is memorable, either thanks to a killer vocal hook or a brilliant instrumental section. The instrumentals often set your mind wandering, really compounding that mystical feeling when the bewitched lyrics kick back in. And although it comes from just the three of them, there is a brilliant depth to Kabbalah‘s sound, the riffs really hitting you when they drop in.
Opening track “Stigmatized” showcases this with lovely thick riffs that surround the tantric lyrics. The flow is magical and electrifying, allowing you to settle into the groove of the song very quickly. Likewise, the group vocals really help to bring a certain mysticism to the song, whilst the quirks the band throw into their guitar and drum work keep your ears busy, as you keep listening out for the exciting twists and turns they’ve embedded into their music.
What helps those subtle moments is the great production that fits this type of music so well. Dialled back production allows the human aspect of Kabbalah‘s vocals and instrumentation to really shine, making for an organic experience that allows you to shake the woes of the outside world. This is the perfect kind of escapism we need to handle the wild world going on around us today!
What I would love to seem them tackle in the future is drawing out some of their heavier riffs and, if possible, putting a little more energy into those on top of the rockier riffs found earlier on in the album. With The Omen, Kabbalah sometimes fall into the trap of sounding a little too much like Black Sabbath, endemic in the doom community, and that little extra energy would set them apart from the crowd yet still win over their core audience. Tracks like “Labyrinth” peter out at the end, whilst I see opportunities for raucous finales that would translate live much better when shows are able to resume.
Needless to say, this record certainly gets a recommendation from me. It is a perfect halfway house between psych rock and doom metal. I love the bewitching vocals and the stripped-back, organic feeling to the album, which imbues it with lots of charm and replayability. Thanks to the great songwriting, your mind is constantly being challenged with new lyrics, great riffs, and exciting nuances in the music, something that can be hard to find in the vast and varied doom community. Kabbalah should certainly be proud of what they have created!