Altar Of Betelgeuze - Darkness Sustains The Silence review
|Band:||Altar Of Betelgeuze|
|Album:||Darkness Sustains The Silence|
|Release date:||January 2014|
02. A World Without End
03. The Spiral Of Decay
05. Smoldering Clouds Above Orion
06. The Approaching Storm
07. Out Of Control
08. Darkness Sustains The Silence
Hailing from Finland, Finland, Finland, that country where I want to be… your metal so melodic, your landscape unthawed, we have Altar of Betelgeuze. AOB are one of those pentagram shaped pegs that refuse to be easily pounded into a round hole.
On their promo pic, the fiendish Finns are sporting gear dropping Watain, Sleep, Death, and King Diamond. At various points in this release they tread metal ground clearly influenced by each of these artists, though fortunately they leave the falsetto to King Diamond & He Man*
What I found most impressive is how dynamic they were. AOB is a riff factory. Stoney vibe riffs? We got 'em. Doom riff perfect for slow-mo headbanging? No problem. Some traditional metal to counter the slow pace? Sure. Want to be bitchslapped with something reminiscent of old Morbid Angel? Brace yourself!
Furthermore, the vocals are every bit as dynamic. They pull off excellent bestial cookie monster roars, spoken bits, and soulful clean vocals when tracks like "Steamroller" demand them.
Toss in some quiet, atmospheric moments, occasional leads, and some slinking bass lines and you've got a great package.
Most the songs seem to pivot between a style or two, enough so that they keep you engaged. The first seven tracks go by, blasting, pounding, dooming along for 40 minutes, without ever treading upon that "great album, but kinda wearing. Don't go "Return of the King" on us and end it before it drags."
Then they hit you with the haymaker. The album closer, "Darkness Sustains The Silence" isn't some wuss outro to go "full circle" opposite the intro. It's a 17 minute thesis encapsulating the best elements of what they've already done into one hell of a closing argument. Slow build-ups, tension, spoken vocals, growls, sung, double-times, it's all in there. (Including the aforementioned Azagthothian little riff, around the 7 minute mark.) Pretty awesome to closeout an already complete album with a quarter hour track that is perhaps the best of the disk/1's and 0's.
Not treading new ground, but they do a great job stomping all over some of my favorite grounds. If you find your tastes tend to synch up with mine, odds are you'll enjoy this one.
*All credit for the discovery of that He Diamond link goes to Promonex.
||Written on 28.01.2014 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.|
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