REVEREND BIZARRE – Death Is Glory… Now

REVEREND BIZARRE - Death Is Glory... Now
  • 9/10
    REVEREND BIZARRE - Death Is Glory... Now - 9/10


Spikefarm Records
Release date: January 28, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

So here is another sign of, uh, life, although the Reverend passed away last year, throwing a So long Suckers fan’s way. Spikefarm Records have decided to release one more album of this landmark in Doom, one of the best bands in the genre. True Children of Doom, without a doubt, who just ended the life of the band before they could repeat themselves. In the time of their existence the band has released three full length albums, and when they say full length, they mean it. Additionally, an EP called Harbinger Of Metal with a playing time of a very long album – 70 minutes – was granted to all the disciples of Doom.

At least, that is what normal music lovers know. But Reverend Bizarre also released quite a legacy of singles, split-7”, compilation songs, and other obscurities and rarities. Since most of those recordings were limited editions, they were not easy to come by in the first place, but are quite impossible to get today. Fortunately, Spikefarm Records have made several of those rare tracks available on Death Is Glory… Now. Yes, the label withstood the temptation to release a Best of album (for now) and instead gives us hard to come by tunes on two CDs.

For those who do not know Reverend Bizarre at all, let it be stated that they were one of the best and purest Doom bands ever, creating extensive monsters of songs, slow, depressive, slouching into your ears and drilling slowly into your brain. Their music is intense, but not easily digestible, and unless you are a real C.O.D., you better check it out first before you purchase an album. Then again… forget that. Buy it anyway and listen to it until you like it. A band that would never cover a Black Sabbath song because they believe that would be “pure blasphemy” must be honored, and even if it is postmortem. To make it easier for you, this album is recommended as none of the tracks is longer than 18 minutes, and only four out of 13 clock in at over 10 minutes. Very unusual indeed for these Masters of slowness.

The reason for this unusual shortness of songs, often quite simply is the purpose the respective track was recorded for. If one only has a 7” vinyl single, there is a limit to the music one can put on it. So the six songs of the first CD add up to a total of just over 50 minutes, which also is very unusual for a Reverend Bizarre album. The CD starts with “The Demons Annoying Me” from a split-12” the band did with Orodruin in 2004, the latter being quite a good Doom band themselves, by the way. It is without a doubt one of the best songs the Reverend ever did, slow, with clear, intense vocals, a track which might accidentally summon demons to your home that will drink all your beer. Slowly.

But that being said, the first CD only holds songs that would have been a highlight on any of the three amazing albums (or four, if you give the Harbinger Of Metal proper credit as a full album). “Blood On Satan’s Claw” is another fine example. It was released on a split 7” with Ritual Steel (a strange choice as Ritual Steel never was a real Doom band), and although it is very fast for the Reverend’s standards, it does not fail to be as intense and interesting as the first song, with undeniable Mercyful Fate references. Okay, maybe a bit funnier, if one can use that attribute in a context with this band. The rest of the CD is similar, all taken from various 7” singles, including both tracks from the fantastic Thulsa Doom single which was based on the movie Conan The Barbarian, “The Tree Of Suffering” and “The Children Of Doom”. The sixth and last song was released on another 7”, but this time it was a compilation featuring six bands from the Doom genre who all had to keep it short as that was the idea of the compilation, so this is quite odd for the band.

The second CD contains only one original song written by Reverend Bizarre, the strange “From The Void II” which made it to #4 in the Finnish single charts. If you hear it, you won’t believe it. A ten minute Doom monster track in the single charts? The liner notes reveal that it is only the third highest single chart position the band had during their existence, but if you want to know it all, you have to buy the CD. Because the liner notes are very extensive, eleven pages in small print. Quite fun to read, as the band members recall situations in the studio and in their life, add anecdotes about the song and the music scene and generally are very entertaining.

That also applies for the remaining six songs of the second CD, which are all cover versions of more or less known tracks from other genre bands, the biggest being Saint Vitus and Pentagram. The version of Judas Priest’s “Deceiver” sticks out a bit as odd, too funny and straight, lacking the typical Doomy vibe. Also, the last song takes the sound to the limit and may not be suited for everybody: Beherit’s “The Gate Of Nanna” is a strange piece of dark music which is extreme even for the musical universe of Albert Witchfinder and his posse.

What else can be said? This is a must have for any Doomster, and a nice portal to the dark world of Reverend Bizarre for any newbie. When you are one of the latter and enter, be aware that you will mourn a band which you have missed during the time of their existence, but you will weep tears of joy for having granted the grace to finally discover them. All hail the Reverend. Doom what thou wilt.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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