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El Doom & The Born Electric: El Doom & The Born Electric

Reviewed By: Andrew Carver
Label: Rune Grammofon
Format: CD

As the 1990s drew to close, a bunch of Scandinavian stoner rock fans hooked up under the name Thulsa Doom - named after Conan The Barbarian’s sorcerous antagonist and turned out a bunch of high grade albums in the vein of Kyuss, Acromony, Fu Manchu and Electric Wizard.

Since the hand has been quiet for the past half-dozen years, guitarist El Doom -a.k.a. Ole Petter Andreassen has apparently decided to step up to the microphone (guitar still in hand, mind you), recruited such Norwegian rock heroes as the brothers Takle Ohr (Bynjar and Havard, both of El Cuero) and jazz-trio leader and Hammond organist/guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen. A few other folks from such Norwegian groups as Supersilent and Elephant9 show up to play guitar, bass, kick in some vocals and tickle the ivories. Jazz-guitar heavyweight Jon Eberson even kicks in some axework.

The resulting concoction isn’t as heavy as Thulsa Doom, though the heavy riff that kicks of ‘Fire Don’t Know’ is certainly a kissing cousin of the ones that powered albums such as ‘The Seats Are Soft But The Helmet is Way Too Tight.’ Instead it takes a proggier turn, with El Doom’s voice quavering here and soaring there.

Havard Takle Ohr’s busy drumwork also steers clear of the cymbal crashing chord reinforcement popularized by Brant Bjork during his Kyuss days, filling in the gaps with taps and a succession of rolls.

While desert-rock worshipping fans of Thulsa Doom might find El Dooom’s solo debut not exactly their cup of tea, aficionados of guitar workouts are going to hear a lot of what they like on tracks such as ‘It’s Electric’ and closing 10-minute blowout ‘Red Flag’. Music lovers whose taste runs somewhere on the axis between Jethro Tull and The Mars Volta should also find much to dig.

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