“I’m very proud of these songs” chirrups Early Moods guitarist Eddie Andrade of the component parts that go to make up his band’s new album, A Sinner’s Past. And so he should be, as the band, to these battered old ears at least, have come on leaps and bounds with this sophomore effort, moving out of the file marked ‘standard issue doom’ and hurtling towards the upper reaches of that genre’s Premier League in a single bound on the back of storming choons such as Soul Sorcery and Unhinged Spirit!

Sympathetically helmed by recorder/mixer Allen Falcon, the album sounds like almost the perfect mix for any doom fan. Warm and fuzzy seventies-soaked aesthetics are joined by sharp early-eighties songwriting smarts (early Iron Maiden embellishing a much-played and loved copy of Heaven and Hell in the rehearsal room is a sound collage that often springs to mind) and then beefed up into a more modern-sounding final product that still retains it’s primal charm whilst exhibiting a classy sophistication at the same time. A perfect storm, doom-style!

Andrade and six string pal Oscar Hernandez are a real find, Oscar taking lead and Eddie backing up with punchy rhythm and harmony accompaniment; They ain’t seeking on any wheel reinvention here, but they attack the task in hand with such enthusiasm as to negate any stale, heard-it-all-before feels from getting in to the back of your mind whilst you’re listening. Similarly, the rhythm section of drummer Chris Flores and bassist Elix Felciano don’t take many chances but anchor proceedings with a weighty authority that’s actually just what the sonic situation demands. On top of this vocalist Alberto Alcaraz (who also adds keyboard flourishes as required) adds a nice n’varied vocal approach, even dipping his toe in a little bit o’death metal growling on second track Blood Offerings.

Overall this is simple yet effective stuff, and you just know that the band have a whole lot more up their sleeves going forward. Well worth a listen if you like classic metal done right.

A Sinner’s Past Releases on March 8th.