Wretch – Wretch (Bad Omen Records)

Genre: Doom Metal

With at former Gates of Slumber singer and guitarist Karl Simon the helm, it was always a fair bet that Wretch were going to be a class act – and the band’s self titled debut is no let down.  This is gritty, gutter-born doom in the style of Saint Vitus and The Obsessed, with a seismic groove and a guitar tone forged in the earth’s core.

And unlike the work of Simon’s previous act, whose lyrics brimmed with swords and sorcery, Wretch is focused on personal experiences of grief and drug abuse.

The 2014 death of Gates’ bassist Jason McCash – and the damage left in its wake – looms large, but Simon and his new bandmates (drummer Chris Gordon and bassist Bryce Clarke) have pulled some fine songs from the emotional wreckage. Tunes like Icebound, with its deep, hypnotic riffs and Rest in Peace, a dramatic, powerful doom hymn which lives long in the memory.

Amongst Wretch’s seven tracks, Bloodfinger is a hazy instrumental jam, while Grey Cast Mourning is a short solo guitar piece; this makes the album a touch on the short side – and you’re left wanting more. However, if the US trio want to be known more for quality than quantity, they’ve certainly achieved their aim.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Wretched Soul