The Wandering Midget: From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams

Trippy doomsters pay homage to their trad forebears

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Although it’s impossible to take the name seriously, The Wandering Midget lay down some solemn and earnest traditional doom metal on their second album.

One can discern the rumbling churn of Electric Wizard, the melancholic crunch of Candlemass, the rustic eccentricity of Sevenchurch, the drugged swagger of Pentagram and cheeky variations on the Electric Funeral riff, but these are all just sonic facets of the Midgets’ real heroes.

A Finnish true doom trio with arcane and cryptic lyrics, epic 20-minute songs and deep, portentous, plummy-accented vocals, TWM are the ideal tonic for any who miss the late, lamented Reverend Bizarre. They’re not as self-assured and versatile, and they lack the ambition, focus and chemistry of their compatriots, but the puritanical doom zeal and bare-bones epic structures have rubbed off – although the meandering bluesy psych jams edge this closer to a stoner sensibility.

Five-minute opener Prince Of Fire is a succinct sample of the band’s well-worn MO: overly familiar-sounding and not hugely memorable, but effortless fun for the doom addict.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.