In terms of tempo, doom metal is the exact opposite of thrash metal, grindcore, or death metal/black metal. Those styles are known for insanely fast tempos, which is why they are quite conducive to mosh pits and slam dancing (a bizarre ritual that started in the Los Angeles punk scene of the late '70s). Doom metal, on the other hand, is about aggression and heaviness at an extremely slow tempo -- which is exactly what one hears on The Hortator's Lament. This 2003 release is the first CD by Toadliquors, a sludgy doom band that isn't well-known but has had a tiny cult following since the early '90s. Surprisingly, none of Toadliquors' '90s releases came out on CD; they were a vinyl-only band during the '90s, which was hardly the norm for that decade (although some punk and metal artists continue to put out vinyl in the 21st century -- perhaps as a way of thumbing their noses at the major labels who declared vinyl obsolete in the late '80s). The Hortator's Lament contains some of Toadliquors' vinyl output of the '90s as well as previously unreleased material, and throughout the CD, there is no mistaking the fact that Toadliquors falls into the doom metal category. Comparable to Grief and Saint Vitus, Toadliquors have the usual doom elements: dark lyrics, a gloomy view of the world, sludgy guitars, and Black Sabbath-minded riffs that crawl along at an incredibly slow pace. Toadliquors are definitely an acquired taste, and those who aren't seasoned doom enthusiasts may have a hard time getting into this CD (which, for the most part, isn't terribly musical). Nonetheless, The Hortator's Lament is a generally decent, if slightly uneven, collection that's worth obtaining if you have a taste for this type of metal.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson