Once upon a time I remember really diggin' TGOS. I think Conqueror may have made my Top 10 in 2008. Then came '09s Hymns of Blood and Thunder and I thought, "What the hell happened?" To say I was less than impressed would be an understatement. So when I heard the The Wretch was supposed to be a regression, if you will, back to something closer to their old style, I was quite intrigued. I've listened to it twice now and I am starting to wonder what it was about Conqueror that I liked so much.
Basically, it sounds like these gatekeepers are wandering around looking for lost Black Sabbath riffs in St. Vitus County. They must be wearing cement shoes because it doesn't sound like they're getting anywhere. I like Doom (the genre) and I understand the pacing and what-not but that's not where the problem is. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of dynamics. It's like the album exists for its own sake and its fine with that. I'm not going to go the obvious route and say that it's Wretch-ed, because it's not. But it doesn't add any value to my "metal listening life." If I want to listen to Black Sabbath or St. Vitus, I'll go to my CD cabinet and pick my poison. It also proves that my "ANYTHING stoner rock/metal/doom is awesome!!!! Fu Manchu YEAH!!!" phase is truly over. (As if that waste of time masquerading as The Atomic Bitchwax - The Local Fuzz didn't prove that already.)