Release Date: 03rd July 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD
Mat For Månen - Tracklisting
1.The Narrow 05:41
2.Mat For Månen 05:24
4.Ingen Morgenkvist 16:07
Ole Hell - All Instruments
Nestor - Vocals
With myself doing the blog for 6 years now I could have sworn that I’ve featured Shepherds Crook before on the blog but I can’t find any evidence of this. Well these guys have been going strong for quite some time now. They released their 4th Full Length Album with Mat For Månen back in July 2021 and I thought it was time to feature them. As these guys are one becoming one of the heaviest Norwegian Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal bands with each passing release.
Mat For Månen is a 31 minute trek in the dark depths of everything that is LOW & SLOW with punishing bass guitars bringing a sublime level of FUZZY BASED DOOM. The vocals from Nestor are bleak and full-on DEVIL WORSHIPPING mode and it brings an icy demeanor to the overall flow and feel of the band. There is still a lot of movement for the guys to explore the darker depths of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal with some dark touches of Psychedelic Rock.
The first 3 songs are slightly over 5 mins each with Shepherds Crook laying down the groundwork for an epic 16 minute final song. However, before that the band dodge different areas of Heavy Music with progressive sounding Sludgy Sound that doesn’t mind switching between twisted Blues Metal and almost Hardcore engergy that manifests into a glorious riff-fest towards the end of opening song - The Narrow.
Second song - Mat For Månen - never runs away from the DOOM LEVELS but sees Shepherds Crook turn this track into a more distorted and punishing sound with the music and vocal levels contained on this song. The song has a warped Psychedelic energy that sees the band move from Post-Doom grooves to a more progressive Post-Stoner/Sludge drive that feels highly original in places.
Third song - Barfight - is not what you would expect from the band. As it’s a more “straight-forward” Blues Metal inspired affair with low & slow guitars matched against the pissed off vocals of Nestor. This track feels like you’re having an actual Barfight in the “PITS OF HELL''. There is a NOLA based energy waiting to be heard on this track.
The final song - Ingen Morgenkvist - starts off like a “Folk-Rock” song with the quietly subtle guitars and different psychedelic moments with fleeting whispers bringing an interesting style of Doom Rock. The song then starts to move once again through different levels of Psychedelic Heavy Music. The song then moves into the opposite direction and brings the “Distorted Fuzz” back to the party and Shepherd Crooks starts to take the listener on a “YOB” style music odyssey. The music is thrilling and equally adventurous with the band showing fine levels of creativity before breaking off into the gloomier sides of the Doom, Sludge and Stoner based musical vortex.
Mat For Månen is another well-produced and supremely entertaining record from Shepherds Crook. The vocals may be too jarring for some but that’s their loss. For the rest of us brave souls, this album is a much needed album to entice our dark souls with.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
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