A crushing cornerstone of Finnish doom, Unholy's THE SECOND RING OF POWER album showcases a band working on an almost telepathic level to bring out a murky mystical musical vision that is both crushing and haunting. The sound is dark, ominous, and quite versatile for this particular style. The key elements are all in place...plodding rythyms, heavy guitars, and (for the most part) slooooow tempos. But Unholy's knack for creative songwriting prevails and they continually pop in little touches that keep the album in a consistent flow of (downward?) motion. Monotone, droning female vocals, wispy keyboard accents, mid-paced sections, a violin here and there, and even moments that border on psyche freak out(!) all add up to not just a great set of songs, but a thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Atmosphere seems to be a key element in setting apart a good doom record from a great one; and Unholy have captured an obscure, cultic feel that serves the purpose well. There is a beauty amongst the desolation set by the pounding pace and one could even imagine nightblossiming flowers blooming amidst the sonic carnage on display here.
A perfect album for the upcoming autumn chill.