Dool - Summerland review

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Band: Dool
Album: Summerland
Release date: April 2020

01. Sulphur & Starlight
02. Wolf Moon
03. God Particle
04. Summerland
05. A Glass Forest
06. The Well's Run Dry
07. Ode To The Future
08. Be Your Sins
09. Dust & Shadow

There's a lot of female-fronted occult doom psych rock nowadays, and sure, Dool do tick most of the right boxes, but lumping them with their peers in the sound is a bit disingenuous.

I found out about Dool through their connection with The Devil's Blood, one of the most unique psych/occult/doom bands out there, as well as to Gold, another one of the most unique psych/post/alt rock bands out there. Seems like the Dutch really had a knack for this type of music in the past decade, rock music who's sound isn't really complicated, but still defies easy categorization. Such is the case with Dool as well. What they like to call "dark rock", which sounds like a cop-out answer, but it's probably my best guess as well.

I could add as many genres in between slashes as I want, and most of them would describe the dark sound of Dool's Summerland, but it would still be missing the point. So let's build from the ground up. Female-fronted, as if that is somehow a genre in itself, but I still have to start somewhere, and what might be the best thing about this record: namely Ryanne van Dorst's mystical vocals. They're not as dreamy or melancholic as a lot of similar bands, feeling a bit more grounded, but just as entrancing even without the overtly psychedelic quality to them. And backed up by some delicious bass, some great guitar lines, and some retro organ is enough to create a sound of its own.

The record is dark for sure, but it doesn't feel like its darkness is all engulfing or anything, most of the songwriting being fairly airy and lush, with either a lot of progressive rock leanings, or even some gothic rock akin to Sisters Of Mercy smeared in for good measure. And I definitely enjoy its sound, and how it tries not to fall into easy stereotypes of the sound, but for every really strong passage, I find my way being mostly either unimpressed or underwhelmed by too much of it. Compared to their debut debut, Dool seem to be less certain of what they want to do with Summerland, nor do they pack as many punches as they could. Which is a shame in a record that has really high highs, and its lows don't even feel that low, and if I am aching for a replay, it's mostly due to how strong the closer is.

So rather if I am aching for anything, it is for Dool to put their potential to fruition. It's clear that they have the ambition, the experience, and the means to level out the relative inconsistency in quality.


Written on 18.05.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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