Doomsday Outlaw – Black River


Balls, passion and commitment…

Review by Gary Cordwell

Independent release

Release date: 13 April 2015

Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Not every album needs to be ground-breaking, to push the genre forward on the next step of its hairy evolution. Sometimes all that’s needed is to plug in and rock. With balls, passion and commitment. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the debut LP by Doomsday Outlaw.

This Derbyshire five piece play heavy, groove infused authentic Southern metal… hang on, I hear you cry… authentic? Derbyshire? Well yes, vocalist Carl Batten has his rebel yell down pat! He genuinely does sound like a bearded, check-shirted, oily baseball capped, beer swillin’ good ole hoodrat. And hey, everywhere has a South, right? So, I’m guessing he’s from South Derby. See… Southern rock!

The title track lets us know what we’re in for. A deceptively slow, doomy keyboard note leads us into a stomping, fuzzy riff fest with Hetfield vocals and chugging guitars spinning off into some nice twin lead harmonies. The all-important groove continues with ‘Down’ – which is exactly what it says it is – a downtuned, growling, insistent thing with a deep tone and a hint of no-frills biker rock about it. And that Harley and whiskey aroma pops up on several other tracks, notably the heavy boogie rifferama of ‘Hallelujah’- both of which bring to mind those criminally overlooked late 80’s/early 90’s also rans – Circus Of Power. And anyone who remembers them will agree that’s no bad thing!

So, what else do we have? More of the same really with minor variations – all lean, stripped back and ready to hit the road, which is where Doomsday Outlaw are in their element. ‘Judgement Day’ has some nice, scuzzy slide geetaw while ‘New Salvation’ is a heavy power ballad with a guitar-centric finish that wouldn’t have been out of place on Black Stone Cherry’s latest. ‘Thin Line’ has a mega greasy bass intro that leads into a slinky, sleazy riff that would sound just perfect blasting out of your favourite, grungy, neon-soaked strip club… if, erm, you frequent those establishments… ahem.

And these boys can certainly bring The Heavy. Several riffs are soaked in Eau De Zakk Wylde (ewww!) and ‘Bed Of Lies’ boasts a Mastodon style intro, some serious double kick drumming (played, no doubt, on drummer John Willis’ own ‘Ironfoot’ brand drums) and thrash fills spinning around it’s almost industrial strength central riff. But really this album is all about the groove, which here is impeccable and present in spades. The tempo of most of these songs is very similar but that’s all part of the deal – the whole album can play as one heavy, bourbon drenched, heads down groove thang! It’s good, no nonsense, old fashioned, brilliantly produced stuff, created to be played live…with horns flashed in abundance.

Doomsday Outlaw – BlackRiver20157 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Black River
  2. Down
  3. Judgement Day
  4. Back On Track
  5. New Salvation
  6. Bed Of Lies
  7. Mountain Man
  8. Hallelujah
  9. Thin Line
  10. Never Train
  11. Blind Eye