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Confessor - Condemned

1991 Earache Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-09-01

One of the most out of whack albums I've had the fortune to hear, Confessor's Condemned just fell from a Hole in the Sky right into an ever larger hole in my head. The immediate fascination for me was the completely off-kilter drumming of Stephen Shelton, the man never playing a straight beat, constantly shifting things from on-time to off-time/triplet signature madness. That alone kept me interested for years, the main detractor here being Scott Jeffreys and his siren song hysteria. At this late juncture (almost 15 danm years later!) I can hack his vocals, but at the time, his constant high pitched wails (while well done) were a bit much and scraped much paint from my various apartment walls. The best way to describe this is like a sludged out progmetal feast. Lots of pinch harmonics, stops, weird breaks. I think quirky was a word used quite frequently with these guys, as while I would call them progdoom, they really defy modern categorization. Something of a cult classic, the album holds up surprisingly well, and was something of a departure for Earache back then. The other oddity here is the production. The drums are pushed waaaaaay up there with the vocals, the guitars mixed way down (and down tuned) which just adds to the charm. The bottom line? Still a hard album to sit down and listen to all the way through, but that is why it has stayed in my playlist all these years I suppose. Worth seeking out.