Dine Alone Records
Wade MacNeil’s post-Alexisonfire creative output continues to demonstrate a wide range of performance and songwriting. Following the release of his original score for the 2020 slasher film Random Acts Of Violence, MacNeil is back with his latest solo project, Dooms Children, and its self-titled debut album.
Dooms Children comes to a surprising start with “Trip With Me”. With a lengthy instrumental introduction section featuring vintage organs, rhythmic bass, and weaving guitars, dueling in a call and response fashion, “Trip With Me” sounds as if it was pulled straight from the summer of love. MacNeil’s thin and raspy vocals add to this element along with the songwriting which feels reminiscent of the likes of Santana, The Rolling Stones, and The Grateful Dead. Ripe with atmosphere, the song is a complete jam that sets the tone for MacNeil’s latest creative venture. The same could very much be said for the following track, “Flower Moon”, a hazy, down-tempo ballad that revels in melancholy with a building sense of intensity that grows until the song bursts at the seams into an explosive chorus and jaw-dropping guitar solo.
While largely based around the sounds and stylings of classic rock, psychedelia, and the blues, Dooms Children is an inspired collection of music that finds balance between modernity and vintage. There are elements of shoegaze (“Skeleton Beach”), country (“Spring Equinox”), and singer-songwriter/folk (“Heavy Heart”, “Chinatown Glow”), making for a rich and unexpected collection of material. Vocally, MacNeil is flexing a sense of melodicism previously unknown that adds a level of vulnerability to the music and the lyrical subject matter. Furthermore, his guitar very well may never have sounded better than on this record; his tones are exceptional, dipped in carefully curated reverbs, fuzzes, wahs, delays, and more while his performance is at its most soulful, making for a truly powerful combination. In addition to the first two tracks, the bluesy “Lotus Eater” with its doomy, sludgy, Black Sabbath conclusion, and “Friend Of The Devil” are must-hear songs.
If anything is clear from Dooms Children, Wade MacNeil has far more to offer as a creative force than Alexisonfire may have suggested. The songwriting throughout the 11 tracks is arresting as MacNeil bares his soul with an emotive musical performance that builds upon the intimate and autobiographical lyrical content. Dooms Children is a stunning record that, at its core, is a creative exercise in stylistic experimentation and performance, which ultimately leaves the album feeling emotionally raw and not without danger. Digging deep to deliver a stellar and soaring performance, Dooms Children is MacNeil like you’ve never heard him before.
SPILL FEATURE: GOT A FEW GOOD FRIENDS HERE BY MY SIDE – A CONVERSATION WITH WADE MACNEIL (DOOMS CHILDREN)
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: DOOMS CHILDREN – DOOMS CHILDREN