UK band REGULUS was formed back in 2012, and have been a fairly active unit since then, with three EPs and one self-released album to their name prior to this year. “Quadralith” is their second full length studio album, and was released by UK label Of Yer Rocka Recordings in the spring of 2017.
There are many bands around that have chosen doom metal and stoner metal to be their hunting grounds, and Regulus is a band in that specific crowd. Dark toned riffs with a nicely identifiable Sabbath sound to them, occasionally also explored in slower paced almost sludge-oriented ways is something of a foundation here, but they will also lapse into a less monumental and more driving sound not light years away from the stoner bands of the 1990’s on regular occasions. A certain taste for psychedelic tinged guitar soloing and wah wah effects also appears to be a part of the regular palette of this band, and these ingredients would normally make me enjoy a band of this type quite a lot.
This isn’t quite the case for Regulus however. For me I suspect it’s a collection of minor issues that tends to bother me throughout this album. They have a gruff, raspy lead vocalist, but one with the power to use it as a contrast nor the presence of a Lemmy to make this more minimalist vocal style one that energizes the material. It’s more of a case that the vocals combined with the dark tones of the music gives this album something of a down and dirty swagger, of the kind that makes me think of old music joints reeking of stale beer and old cigarette smoke. The songs also lack that drive and energy, sometimes with for me puzzling choices in structure, transitions and even a couple of chorus sections that just sound a bit too stilted. And while the band appears to have a desire to be creative and expansive in the music they create, they mainly alternate between classic doom metal and 90’s stoner rock. When they go out on a limb, as on the funk-oriented Seven Tales Told…at least that cut is one I file under music for the specially interested. The instrumental Dutch, while most likely a perfect song to open a live set with so that the band can get their mix fine tuned, doesn’t really hit home with me as an album track. Overcome is another cut that for me becomes detrimental. Too basic, and lacking that killer groove that captivates me as a listener.
All in all I have a hard time seeing this album being one that will have a broad appeal among a hard rock and metal interested audience. For me this album comes across a a good example of a niche production, that will have it’s main audience among those who are dedicated fans of most things doom and stoner metal, and especially for those who prefer their music of this type to have that down and dirty sound to it.
My rating: 56/100
Dominion, Last Chance to Die Young, Seven Tales Told, Bones, Heart of Stone, The Dream Reaper, Poor Man’s Grave, Dutch, Overcome, Quadralith