Age of Taurus, as I last remember them, were a doom band in the British tradition of the genre. Their debut album, 2013’s Desperate Souls of Tortured Times, was very much in the vein of Candlemass, Count Raven and Orodruin, and they sounded right at home on the bill of Days of the Doomed IV. But in the five full years—and zero subsequent releases—since, they’ve seemingly taken a turn toward power-doom, even after adding some British doom royalty, ex-Cathedral bassist Leo Smee, to the lineup. (He’s gotta be at least an Archduke of something…)
Don’t get me wrong, when done well, power-doom can be quite appealing. And I’d even go as far as to suggest this record beats most of the retro-obsessed output released on Rise Above Records of late. The Colony Slain kicks off with a very Manowar song title, “From the Hills to the Halls,” although tis only a minute-long instrumental. “Taken to the Tower” gets things off to a proper start with a jaunty mid-tempo riff, complete with a few power-metal flourishes and a couple slightly doomy breakdowns. The soaring chorus comes off as a cross between Blind Guardian and Candlemass, before launching into a Maiden-esque dual lead guitar solo. I can dig this.
Clearly a concept album, the spoken-word outro of the previous track flows right into “The Trial of Blackwynn Chaise” which has the crunchy feel of classic NWOBHM. (I’m thinking maybe Satan, or even Angel Witch.) The stop-start section around the 2:30 mark is sure to get some ‘eads noddin’ ahead of a soaring, longing female vocal that comes with a doomy change in pace. “In Dreams We Die” is mostly mid-tempo, but contains a nice, clean, slow section around the midway mark that reminds me of Warning (speaking of British doom royalty…) Meanwhile, “The Lost Garrison,” shifts from being one of the doomier numbers on here to a mid-paced chug more reminiscent of Orange Goblin, including in the vocal department.
At a shade under seven minutes, “For Treason We Rise” strikes the perfect balance between power metal riffs, uplifting vocals, and doom metal breakdowns, culminating in an anthemic chorus. That’s Power Doom 101, right there.