Cardinal’s Folly – Deranged Pagan Sons (2017) REVIEW

‘Deranged Pagan Sons’ is the best Cardinal’s Folly album yet. Hey they still sound way too much like Reverend Bizarre but so does Pilgrim, I don’t hold it against either group. Though I guess I’d hold it against Caskets Open because they’re not as good. Nobody cares, really, if Finnish traditional doom metal all sounding like Saint Vitus is a ”thing” then I can fully get behind it. I didn’t really love the last two Cardinal’s Folly records the first time I listened to them. I couldn’t get past the derivative sound, as much as I love Lord Vicar‘s first album. ‘Our Cult Continues!’ was great but it was cheaply produced with a weaker second half. ‘Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom’ was a step up, though a few songs were aimless. They’d found the best balance of big guitar tone, but some of the riffs just rocked out with their cock out too much. It was more stoner rockin’ than Satan-worshiping, and I’d rather metal bands worshiped Satan than anything else. What do all of those other bands I mentioned sound like? Hmm, lets not call it traditional doom, but rather a distinctly heavy Finnish doom metal that is slow, psychedelic, and doesn’t try to be overtly “retro”, 70′ rock or stoner rock at all.

The vocalist’s performance is still hitting those cool choke points like on the last record but he’s found a way to use those parts to greater psychotic effect than I was expecting. He isn’t shrieking like a bad German black metal band from the 90’s or whatever, but he does growl and howl in a more convincing way and I find it unique. It really goes a long way to make the album feel psychedelic and menacing at the same time. Excellent production helps with  plenty of vocal effects and a huge fuzzier than usual guitar sound. Everything is crystal clear and groove heavy, really. I wouldn’t say that the riffs are similar to Peter Vicar’s but the guitar sound and bass pairing is distinctly similar in tone. ‘Deranged Pagan Sons’ takes me on a hypnotic, dizzying trip that invites me to continually sit ‘n spin it over and over again. I love the Finnish doom metal sound and this is easily my favorite doom metal album of the year.


Artist Cardinals Folly
Type Album
Released September 4, 2017
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Your altars will fall! 4.15/5.0