"Black Occult Imperial Doom" metallers Doomentor formed in 2011, and the names of the trio behind this project are not widely known. Even where the group originates from seems to be up for debate, citing residing in Hell, Michigan on their Bandcamp account, while being listed as residing in Germany on many other sites. All that seems to be known for sure is, in 2014, they issued their self-titled demo, which clocked in at over thirty-four minutes. Now, less than a year later, they return with a two song EP titled The Second Ceremony, which is being handled by Iron Bonehead Productions digitally, and roughly two months later in seven-inch vinyl format. But is this something fans of the style should stand up and take note of, or is it just another drop in the bucket?

One thing that works in favor of the band is how they manage to incorporate a classical backdrop to their performances, which only helps to intensify the depressing aspects of their sound. The more obvious of this, however, is always heard right at the start of each track. "Maligne" introduces chords that sound like they are from a modern church organ, playing up a gothic world full of alchemy and occult rituals rather clearly. The analog production values kick in about a minute-and-a-half later though, giving way to early first wave of black metal guitar chords akin to early Mercyful Fate. The harsher growling suits the music perfectly, as does the mid-range bass guitar presence and solid drumming that focuses on a more natural sounding bass kick, but loud crashes and deeper tuned snares nicely replace the low-tuned bass riffs. Sadly, it just seems like this track doesn't necessarily go anywhere before it finally ends with more of a celestial keyboard presence around the five minute mark, though, overall, it's well worth the ride regardless.

"Nocturniae Monumentalis" introduces itself with a beautiful chamber music approach thanks to the sombre cello and subtle folk-like notes from the keyboard. What follows is a catchy blend of the aforementioned early black metal sound and depressing doom metal hooks that often share the traditional slower pacing. There's no denying a hazy occult atmosphere at work throughout the extensive cut plays a vital role to the overall quality, adding much more to the well paced performance as a whole that, had it been recorded in a standard digital manner, more than likely would have been lost, especially when the clean singing comes in to remind listeners of a Type O Negative influence among the continued overtones mentioned earlier. But, this one does have its faults as well. About half way through, the band seems to forsake the blackened elements all around, expanding on the dark melodies that throw the song into more of a Halloween theme than anything, which isn't really a bad thing given the environments Doomentor easily casts at the listener.

The Second Ceremony is a strong throwback to the days when metal started to find its truly sinister and satanic side, all the while presenting itself in more of a gentlemanly manner with the upscale classical elements and brooding melodies that appear later on. For this effort, Doomentor act as if Type O Negative and Akercocke have forged a King Diamond tribute band, but eventually started writing original material. Even at it's worst, the material that composes The Second Ceremony is so strong you'll still walk away having enjoyed the experience from start to finish, looking at any faults as minuscule compared to if other bands drop an aspect of their sound mid-song, or don't really progress anywhere with a track. If you haven't yet heard what this trio from wherever the hell they originate from brings to the table, then Doomentor's The Second Ceremony is a must, regardless of the format.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.