Reverend Bizarre

II. Crush the Insects

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With two EPs running in excess of 70 minutes already under their belts, Reverend Bizarre confused quite a few fans and critics as to what constituted an actual album, but at least in their account of things, 2005's II. Crush the Insects held that honor, and not the aforementioned EPs: 2003's Harbinger of Metal, or 2004's Return to the Rectory. In any case, Crush the Insects is also, arguably, the Finnish doom ambassadors' least demanding full-length, thanks to an unusually generous rationing of shorter, more energetic offerings like "The Devil Rides Out," "Cromwell," and especially its groove-driven opener, "Doom Over the World." In fact, the latter finds the trio members clinking their beer mugs in drunken celebration and really having way more fun than most doom bands would ever permit themselves; but then, not taking things too seriously (see also the amusing "By This Axe I Rule!" and "Fucking Wizard") was another quality that set Reverend Bizarre's career apart from those of their peers, to the chagrin of the more stern doom purists out there. However, neither one of these distinctions (a few short songs, a couple of laughs) had a negative effect on the band's typically lofty songwriting standards; nor their bias toward bloated epics, which actually occupy the final two thirds of Crush the Insects, without going so far as approaching the half-hour monsters sometimes found on the band's other releases. That doesn't stop token tracks like the desperately dour "Slave of Satan" (itself an edited-down version of a previously released "single"), the ode to witchery "Council of Ten," or the mystical tree-hugging of "Eternal Forest" from casually craaaaawling their way well beyond the ten-minute mark under the suffocating weight of Peter Vicar's pummeling riffs, the Earl of Void's thundering drums, and, flying above it all, the operatic wails of Albert Witchfinder. All of these traits are very much consistent with the classic Reverend Bizarre aesthetic, in other words, which should help minimize complaints about Crush the Insects' initial bursts of alacrity, while allowing novices to the band's discography to benefit from its more compact and welcoming dimensions.

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