The Mighty Nimbus

The Mighty Nimbus

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Like death metal/black metal, the doom metal/stoner rock/sludge field hasn't given listeners a lot of multi-platinum sellers, but has a very enthusiastic cult following. Orange Goblin and Fu Manchu aren't outselling Slipknot, Metallica, or Limp Bizkit, but the headbangers who get into doom metal really get into it. Doom enthusiasts are always on the lookout for a quality doom band, and this self-titled effort by the Mighty Nimbus demonstrates that they are, in fact, a quality doom metal band. Actually, the Mighty Nimbus is a side project for Alabama Thunder Pussy's Erik Larson and Pete Champel of Sixty Watt Shaman, although this early-2005 release doesn't sound very much like Alabama Thunder Pussy. While ATP offers alternative metal with a strong Southern rock/country influence (much like Hammerlock), the Mighty Nimbus remains faithful to doom metal's unapologetic Black Sabbath worship -- that is, Sabbath worship with death metal-ish vocals. While the generally slow guitar riffs have the strong Sabbath influence that so many doom bands are known for, the vocals often favor the sort of deep, ominous, guttural growl that one expects from death metal. Of course, that blend of Sabbath-minded riffs and growling vocals isn't groundbreaking by 2005 standards -- Grief, just to give one example, was doing that sort of thing in the early '90s. Anyone who expects the Mighty Nimbus to be innovative will be disappointed, but if this album is derivative, it is enjoyably derivative -- and what Larson and Champel's collaboration lacks in originality, it makes up for in terms of quality, infectiousness, and enthusiasm. Anyone who still listens to Saint Vitus and Grief religiously will find the Mighty Nimbus to be an enjoyable, if less than distinctive, addition to the underground doom/stoner/sludge world.

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