The Sabbathian - Latum Alterum review




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Reviewer:
8.1

8 users:
6.75
Band: The Sabbathian
Album: Latum Alterum
Release date: January 2019


Disc I
01. Requiem... (Intro)
02. The Brightest Light
03. Liti Kjersti
04. Head Of A Traitor
05. One Night Of Cruelty
06. Embrace The Dark
07. Evig Hvile / Libera Me... (Outro)
08. This Secret Obscure [bonus]

Disc II [Ritual Rites][bonus]
01. Ancient's Curse
02. Ritual Rites
03. Nightshade Eternal


When I reviewed The Sabbathian's debut EP back in 2014, I took them as a band far ahead of itself where the maturity of its style and aesthetic were concerned. Hearing them so confidently changing direction already - and with similar success - I can't believe that Latum Alterum is only The Sabbathian's first full-length.

What Ritual Rites did for doom, Latum Alterum does for black metal: this album reconstructs the esotericism and harshness of black metal in its nativity, capturing the spirit of the sound with such faithful aplomb that these tracks could easily pass for old Bathory or Emperor demos. The band has traded its melodic guitar leads and fiery old-school riffs for barrages of fuzz-filled drones and creeping, repetitive leads, the leathery drum fills for the inexorable stomp of forest-roaming black metal. Anette Gulbrandsen takes an almost completely different route with her vocal delivery, dropping the vibrato and throatiness that epic doom is fond of and sticking to a very flighty, ethereal tone that makes for its own kind of haunting drone.

Latum Alterum is defined by repetition. Most songs are in the six-to-seven-minute range with little progression throughout, focusing on conjuring atmosphere from a few ideas. The drums are a constant shroud of white noise, pushing the tempo along with traditional black metal rhythms that sound like snare-and-cymbal rainfall, rushing -just- enough to keep the song in a constant state of suspense. The vocal lines become hypnotic and chilling to a greater degree with every verse - "The Brightest Light" and "Liti Kjersti" are certainly some of the coolest dark metal tracks I've heard in a while. Where Ritual Rites was forthright in throwing down big, doomy riffs, Latum Alterum recedes into this haze of slowly unfolding nocturnal rawness. Some doom remains in the sound, particularly in the more traditionally doom "Embrace The Dark," but the guitar intro to "Head Of A Traitor," the chord progression in "One Night Of Cruelty," the production all around, and so many of the melodies are pure old-school, in-the-woods black metal.

At some point, the riffs do become indistinguishable; most have the same rough blueprint or aesthetic and eventually fade into the haze, and with the mileage Chad Davis wrings out of that single drum pattern, Latum Alterum could become incessantly numbing to listeners hoping for something with any particular amount of structure or definition. The noticeable uniformity works to the band's favor, however, if you came to Latum Alterum looking for an extension of the atmosphere of Ritual Rites rather than of the songs. Unless the songwriting takes a big leap forward on the next album, I think I'll hold out for The Sabbathian to keep experimenting (they've done two genres so well by now), but I also can't deny how comfortable they sound on this album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Production: 8


 



Written on 31.03.2019 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 71 users
31.03.2019 - 18:38
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Nice doom metal album
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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31.03.2019 - 18:39
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by RaduP on 31.03.2019 at 18:38

Nice doom metal album

blocked & reported
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Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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31.03.2019 - 18:51
nikarg
Old Nick
What the Romanian dude said. You can't block us all, can you?
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Instagram
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31.03.2019 - 18:55
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
What the Romanian and Greek dudes said.

Very enjoyable doom album indeed.
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Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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31.03.2019 - 18:59
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by nikarg on 31.03.2019 at 18:51

What the Romanian dude said. You can't block us all, can you?

I'm the editor-in-chief and so help me I will ban everybody, including myself.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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31.03.2019 - 19:07
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 31.03.2019 at 18:59

I will ban everybody, including myself.

That's what you get for reviewing Babymetal

Thankfully you also reviewed this nice doom metal album
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Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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