PATRIARCHS IN BLACK – Reach For The Scars

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Dan Lorenzo is undoubtedly one of the longest-serving and most active musicians from the USA. In the late 80s, he started with the prog metal band Hades before continuing with Non Fiction, which went in a similar direction. A brief stint with The Cursed followed the turn of the millennium, and now he is currently active in three bands at once. Vessel Of Light, Cassius King and Patriarchs In Black. No surprise that this workaholic has released no less than 7 albums between 2018 and 2022!

Dan Lorenzo's comrade-in-arms in this project is drummer Johnny Kelly, best known for his participation in Type O Negative in the past and is currently involved with Quiet Riot and Danzig, among others. Patriarchs In Black has no singers and bassists, but they are always chosen for individual pieces in order to bring more variety into the game. The most known singer is probably Karl Agell, a former Corrosion Of Conformity member. Dan Nastasi, former member of Mucky Pup and Dog Eat Dog, is also no stranger to the scene. The bass is played by Eric J. Morgan (A Pale Horse Named Death), Jimmy Schulman (Hades, Vessel Of Light) and Dan Lorenzo himself.

The band name Patriarchs In Black already hints at a certain darkness and the band makes no secret of the Black Sabbath influence. However, they don't play just great doom tunes, even though the sound is quite dark. By incorporating sludge and stoner rock, you have the impression to participate in a jam session with Black Sabbath and Danzig. In the first half of the album it never gets particularly fast, but strong songs like I'm The Dog and The Submission Bell, to name just two, make Reach For The Scars (nice play on words) a listening pleasure right away. The second last song Demon Of Regret also fits in perfectly with these doom pattern. But the album contains three songs that are quite different. Mourning This Life could have been written by Alice In Chains, Patriarchs In Black show that they also know how to play grunge. Hate Your Life with Dan Nastasi on the microphone was supposed to be released in the 90s with the band #9, but unfortunately it never happened, which Dan Lorenzo still regrets very much today. A bit unusual is the cover version of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir at the end of the album. The relatively unknown Jimmy Gnecco on vocals does an excellent job and comes very close to the original.

Because of the different singers and bassists, the album sounds quite versatile, even if about two thirds of it are darker and drier. These songs are the album’s best parts. The other three tracks are more offbeat and live from an exotic bonus. I hope that the band will concentrate on the sludge doom stoner pieces in the future to give the album more unity.

9 songs

36:29 minutes

***** ***

Label: MDD

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