Age Of Taurus: Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times

Britain’s bullish doomsters serve up a masterclass

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Formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Toby Wright, Age Of Taurus was originally conceived as a one-man studio project. Such was the glowing praise heaped upon his 2010 demo In The Days Of The Taurean Empire, however, the enterprise soon morphed into a full-blown beast blasting out what – alongside Cathedral’s swansong – must surely be a contender for best British doom album of 2013.

In the grand tradition of genre greats such as Candlemass and Trouble, Desperate Souls… is classic doom metal with an avowed emphasis on metal. No maudlin misery-fests here (Walk With Me, My Queen is the closest it gets to baroque), this doom is far from sorry for itself.

From the heft of opener Rush Of Power to the shattering body blow of The Bull And The Bear, crushing riffs and thunderous rhythms rain down like war hammers. Free from meandering excess and heavy on arcane atmosphere and old-school heroics, it’s a statement of intent that will leave lesser mortals quaking in their boots.