Reverend Bizarre - III: So Long Suckers
Spinefarm Records
Traditional Doom
Disc 1: 3 songs (66'06") Disc 2: 5 songs (63'54")
Release year: 2007
Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Adam
Album of the year
This is undoubtedly the most difficult review I have ever written, for two reasons. First, it marks the farewell of one of the greatest true doom bands of recent years, Finland's Reverend Bizarre. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they should be placed next to the all-time greats of the genre, such as Candlemass, Cathedral, or Saint Vitus. They truly carried the torch for traditional sounding doom the last few years, as most new bands in the genre tend to be either doomdeath or followers of the My Dying Bride sound. That is why the statement on a sticker applied to the cover of their farewell album, III: So Long Suckers, stating “Doom Metal is Dead” is not too bold of a statement. The other reason that this review is difficult is because of the sheer brilliance of this sprawling 2-disc affair. Trust me when I say that neither I, nor anyone else, can come up with enough superlatives for some of the music contained here, though I will attempt to give it the credit it deserves.

It isn’t often that a band saves their best for last, but Reverend Bizarre have done precisely that. The initial taste of what was to come with this album came in the form of the single Teutonic Witch. Apparently, the guys had no interest in rehashing it for the album, as they have instead packaged it together with They Used Dark Forces for a gargantuan 29-minute super track. The result is simply stunning. This is the meatiest, most lush production job heard on any of Reverend Bizarre’s previous releases and the riffs are absolutely overflowing with heaviness. Any fan of this band will be pleased to once again hear them utilizing both a slow and crushing pace and a faster, more Black Sabbath rocking sound in abundance on They Used Dark Forces/Teutonic Witch, which makes the song feel a lot shorter and never overdone, despite the extremely long run time. Sorrow follows and slows the pace down to a bleak crawl reminiscent of funeral doom. This is Reverend Bizarre at their darkest. Albert Witchfinder even trades in his usual tongue-in-cheek dramatic gothic sound for a more evil and deep vocal that is almost spoken at times. Earl of Void also shines on this song, adding some very timely drum fills between the sparse riffing. Even when they speed up for a stretch near the end of the track, the sound is still more menacing than what I have been accustomed to hearing from them. After a 29 minute opening track and a 25 minute second, Funeral Summer should and does feel shorter than any other 12 minute track I have ever heard. It continues the pounding funeral doom pace of the preceding track, complete with more of Void’s outstanding drum work and Albert’s and Peter Vicar’s remarkably thick bass and guitar. This unrelenting wave of doom comes to close as does disc one at the not so coincidental time of 66 minutes and 6 seconds. In fact, the band shaved a few seconds off the original mastering to come up with the number of the beast.

While this is more than enough material for a full album, an entire second disc of doomy goodness awaits. I have read that the band initially intended to release two separate albums, but opted to speed up their end with a double disc instead. The opener, One Last Time, treads along more familiar Reverend Bizarre lines, though it is unusually carried by Albert’s bass. This is not to say that Peter does not lay down some seriously mammoth riffs, as that would be a travesty, but there are a lot more subdued moments on this song than usual. Peter also throws in a piercing solo for good measure, which is a welcome touch. After a short, hard charging drum and bass interlude, Kundalini Arisen, another epic journey awaits in Caesar Forever. Some of the best riffs and all around guitar work are contained here, which might have something to do with the fact that the song is written by Peter. In addition, Albert’s vocals are hauntingly stern and medieval sounding, and even containing moments of underlying chanting that really add to the atmosphere. I won't spoil the surprising and unique ending melody of the song, but suffice it to say that it is an empowering and beautiful few minutes that you will have to hear for yourself. Sadly, the end is approaching, but what an end it is. For their final farewell (not counting the strange and short hidden track Mallorca which follows), Reverend Bizarre have chosen Anywhere Out of This World, a supremely cathartic track. This one has everything, almost a career retrospective in 25 minutes. There are moments when the song sounds like a doom battle march, others when it really lets loose speed wise, and still others where it is quiet and easygoing. Keep an ear out for a passage of Albert’s vocals taking the form of a calm croon. Truly an amazing and worthy end to the life of Reverend Bizarre.

It is sad to see a great band depart during their finest hour. I guess it is fitting though, as I doubt Reverend Bizarre would have anywhere to go from here but down. After listening to this album, I was amazed that I had just invested over 2 hours to this album and still wanted more. III: So Long Suckers is the kind of album that defines a band’s career, and one that they would be hard pressed to surpass or even duplicate. So in that sense I understand, and with that, I bid farewell to these Finnish masters of doom and anxiously await what each former member’s future endeavors will bring.
Killing Songs :
They Used Dark Forces/Teutonic Witch, Sorrow, Funeral Summer, Caesar Forever, Anywhere Out of This World
Adam quoted 98 / 100
Other albums by Reverend Bizarre that we have reviewed:
Reverend Bizarre - II: Crush the Insects reviewed by Dee and quoted 89 / 100
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