Cardinals Folly is a fairly traditional doom metal band from Helsinki, Finland. They used to be called The Coven before changing their name a few years ago. And that is just about all I could find about them on the internet. They have a MySpace page and an entry on Encyclopedia Metallum. And I really, really want to put an apostrophe in their name.
So how did a band with such a limited online footprint come to my attention? They are signed to Shadow Kingdom records, home of other doom metal bands such as Sinister Realm, Iron Man and Revelation. A few weeks ago I was poring over the new metal releases in iTunes and came across Cardinals Folly. I thought the name was cool (despite that damn missing apostrophe) and then noticed they were on Shadow Kingdom. So after listening to a few preview tracks I bought the album.
It’s pretty much what I was hoping it would be. They have a traditional doom sound, so the guitars are mostly slow and deep sounding and the vocals are generally clean and forlorn sounding. The songs are mostly longish, though one track is under four minutes. The rest are all over eight minutes and the longest is almost fourteen minutes. The sound quality is what you expect from doom bands; it doesn’t have the crisp punchy sound of contemporary digital recordings, but rather has a warmer thicker sound I tend to attribute to analog recordings.
You don’t tend to find a lot of hooks in long doom metal songs, it is more about the atmosphere than a catchy chorus. Cardinals Folly definitely have a cool atmosphere to them, it at times reminds me of Sabbath and others of Count Raven. Maybe a little Candlemass thrown in there as well. My favorite parts are the guitars. There are lots of cool deep heavy riffs and lazy My Dying Bride style leads. The vocals are pretty cool too.
I hope Shadow Kingdom will help spread the word about these guys. I’d like to hear more from them and I think other doom fans would and should hear them as well. So here is me doing my two cents worth of promotion: go to iTunes and check them out.