MAZE OF ROOTS - Maze of Roots & Earthen Castle EPs
Self Released / Satanica Productions
A friend of mine who also does a music website posted something today on Face Crack about being bored with writing and didn't know what to do. I commented that I too get that way every few months. I mean lets be honest here. My criteria for music on SFM666 is pretty ridged. Readers pretty much know what they're gonna find on here. It's not like something completely off the wall is going to find it's way on this page. So yeah boredom sometimes sets in but then out of nowhere a release will come my way which brings back that excitement as well as reasoning behind why I do this website.
Case in point, MAZE OF ROOTS, a one man doom act from Finland. The mainman multi instrumentalist / vocalist behind this project, Joel Aukusti Peksujeff, sent me both of his acts EPs to check out. He probably wasn't expecting to make my day but he did. The first one I checked out was the most recent Earthen Castle EP, a four song release from 2011. What emanated from my speakers was this macabre occultish sounding doom which trudged along like a fiend dragging a body from a graveyard. His vocals were even more bizarre like some wailing inmate from an asylum. That was just from the first cut "They Came from Below".
All of Earthen Castle follows a similar pattern with the song "Goats Do Roam" adding a little more bombast. The key to this release is Joel's perfectly arranged instrumentation. The keyboards are perfect as an atmospheric back drop for most parts while at other times becoming a solo instrument like some macabre carousel tunage. The riffs have that crispy electric crackle. The bass and drum work is overwhelmingly monolithic. This was also a low-fi recording which adds to the creepy vibe that permeates this release. Although the title cut was decent it's the final piece "Timeless I Am" which was like a call from the ancient crypt of the dead. This is definitely a haunting release.
The self titled EP, released in 2010, is far more bleak than Earthen Castle. Joel must have been having a bad year. Although this release is slightly longer it comes across like one long agonising cut. The highlight for me was opener "Where Only Rats Claim Their Home". Certainly rough around the edges with the production bass heavy and the vocals more subdued. The whole release has an atmosphere of a torture victim's soliloquy. I'd like to find the intercom system of some huge mall, remove the elevator music and placed this thing on just for laughs.
I believe Joel needs to find a way to get both of these EPs placed and packaged on one CD. After which take all of them then bury everything in a grave for about a year to get the earthy scent. After that put them on the market. This is full on gothic / occult doom for the perpetually grim. The self titled EP is decent but the Earthen Castle is excellent.