John Gallow – Violet Dreams [US, Doom] (2014)

I, Voidhanger Records | 7-2-14

I, Voidhanger Records | 7-2-14

As much as I chastise doom’s tendency to sometimes only meet bare requirements for sound, there are other attributes which are completely intoxicating. The opening tracks of John Gallow’s debut Violet Dreams rips a traditional Sabbath tone which melts the recesses of once cold dead hearts. John Gallow maybe doing everything which has been done for decades in the style of psychedelic doom but good goddamn does this rise above the rest.

None of this should be surprising as John Gallow has lent his talents to wonderful doom bands like Blizaro and Orodruin. Violet Dreams is the first release which sees Mr. Gallow doing everything. One man metal is something that is not uncommon in the black metal world but is sort of an interesting anomaly in doom. Here one person takes a journey through the catacombs of of the mind and unveils horror which lies within. I never thought self reflection could sound this foreboding or groovy. I am glad John Gallow is doing this for the greater good of humanity.

Violent Dreams breathes psychedelic undertones from its wandering guitar solos and hash baked atmosphere. The droning organ in “Violent Dreams,” the woozy effects on “Ancient Tears,” and the absolute broken ending of “Wall of Doom” sets this record apart from other doom releases. John Gallow is a musician who has thrown himself on the altar of doom and accepted his sacrifice by the hands of robed cultists. There is a traditional spirit which floods a record full of existential confrontation and old fashioned horror. There maybe psychedelic motifs which inhabit every corner of Violent Dreams, but the doom here is much more ancient and thus more unpredictable.