Cardinals Folly is a heavy doom laden band from Helsinki, Finland which were gathered together around 2004 under initial label of The Coven but have since changed their moniker to Cardinals Folly. “Strange Conflicts of the Past” is their first LP release having 4 EPs to their credit already. Doom metal from this part of the world always gets my attention straight away but getting and holding attention are two different animals.
Good start on the intro, eerie sounds, fuzzy guitar riffs, chant like singing, this is the stuff that builds some nice anticipation. ‘The Hand of Doom’, bass lines, doom riffs, its coming along nicely, this is a nicely dark way to start a doom album. Moving into riffs I personally associate with doom bands like Trouble and Pentagram in the states, all good so far. Vocals come in nice and low, conveying emotion with the song, overall a great opening track.
‘Rasputin (The Mad Monk)’ is up next, they bring in the low end very nicely coming in, slow pace, little fuzzy, strong bass, in short good stuff. They bring up the tempo which fits in nicely with this style. This is where things break down a bit, vocals are delivered in the same style as the opening riff and they don’t seem to fit in here as well as they did on the opening. The vocals are not bad or even poorly executed it just seems that the singing style is slightly off kilter with the music, not in a pitch sense but rather in a style sense.
Take ‘Serpent Nights’ and ‘They Found Atlantis’ two really great tracks of music. The bass, drum and guitars really great a great sense of dark and bleak, which is disrupted by the vocal delivery. The musical composition is exceptional here, I could listen to the music all day, it is a great slice of doom and in true doom fashion there are some long tracks that really treat us to slabs of low end riffs and beats. In the track ‘The Model’ the vocals style fits in very nicely with pace and emotion of the music. Incidentally, this is a really good track as well, it seems that when all things come together the sound is bigger and better.
For me “Strange Conflicts of the Past” had a lot of potential and my own personal problem is with the vocal delivery on all but a couple of tracks. Everyone should have a go at this release, it’s got musical high points everywhere, and form your own opinions. Cardinals Folly will resonate with some of you and some of you it won’t. I would really love to see these guys live and get a full experience of their music. There are some bands that you have to see live to get the full impression and appreciation and these guys may be one of the those bands. On this one you decide.