DoC are both engineers and alchemists. They take pounding, grinding noise and turn it into precise, melodic power metal with seemingly no effort. The quintet of bearded Canadian gents write superbly catchy riffs and melodic choruses that pick you up and throw you over the back of their horses as they gallop into battle, guitars raised aloft and hair flowing like a viking in a shampoo ad.
Human Denial (the single) is pure rage and thunder. DoC come in like the weather, screamed openings breaking to a powerful downpour of melodic male-voiced harmonies.
Their grinding crescendos are almost industrial in aspect, as on Save Me, where an unexpectedly mournful opening makes way for a slow guitar buildup which cycles into a perfectly constructed crescendo of noise.
Don’t Worry picks up the medieval, harpsichord sound present in the opening track and hints at a folk-metal inspiration that is never fully explored. Instead, they shift into what threatens to be a Whitesnake-tastic ballad, before the omnipresent screams turn it from a mopey lament into a grandiose outpouring of emotion.
Indeed, nothing about these guys is mediocre. Either they’re right up your street and you’re going to love them or you won’t, but it is hard to hear this album, shrug and wander off. Their intensity pretty much demands an emotional response one way or the other. Even if it’s a power-metal ear-worm that lingers in your head for a week, periodically tickling your ears with it’s luxuriant beard.
Technically speaking, they are exactly as you would expect – solid vocal harmonies and a guitarist who plays like he has 37 extra fingers courtesy of a slightly dodgy business connection in a lab somewhere, while I imagine the sheet music looks like the sort of thing lesser musicians have nightmares about.
Eons is the final track and finishes us off at full tilt. The energy is still there but, instead of hurtling us to the finish, they build up slowly and surely to an intimidating wall of sound. Every inch of their various talents are displayed to maximum effect and, even as a non-aficionado of the genre, I have to say I am greatly impressed.