The quartet from Ireland’s biggest city has a lot of the qualities that one is looking for in modern doom metal. Their guitar player Gerry Clince combines epic guitar lines and straight riffs so that the ears are always paying attention which turn – minor or major – the song is going to take the next moment. The rhythm section of drummer Shane Cahill and bass player Dave Murphy definitely does a very good job as they do not unnecessarily dominate the songs but rather support the moody candlelit tables. A really nice musical outcome for such a young band as DTL was formed in 2016 and released their first EP “I” one year later.
However, the one thing that is really striking about Death the Leveller is Denis Dowling’s voice. It is crisp when needed but mostly it is clear and clean – also due to a good production with just enough chip on the songs – and he is able to mesmerize the listener with a kind of doom crooning that in part sounds like a mash-up of Mike Patton and Miko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun). He is able to suffer and despair but he never loses that last bit of hope that still pushes him on, giving up seems to be no option even as he is talking about the dark sides of life including death. But he is able to do so in a very Irish way with introspective lyrics transported in a kind of narrative that guides us through all the rough patches. The ability to purvey personal notions of the deepest problems of mankind without talking about oneself is definitely the key element to Death The Leveller and their form of folk, which combines the latter with some awesome epic doom metal following Paradise Lost’s version of heaviness.
With this debut full-length Death the Leveller present a new shade of doom metal – very epic and focused on the Irish way of storytelling while never forgetting the basis for their own sound – good riffs and long guitar lines.