ALTAR OF BETELGEUZE
The first full-length from Finland’s Altar of Betelgeuze is a whopper, a gargantuan blend of doom and stoner underpinned by a monster of a bass sound. If Altar of Betelgeuze were a creature of some description then the drums would be the heart, a leaden organ pumping blood into the fleshy torso, the guitars would be the arms and legs, grabbing and crushing all that stand in its path, and the bass would be the swollen scrotum swinging slowly in the breeze, its sheer heft the reason for the deathly growls emanating from the mashed orifice perched at the zenith of this ‘orrible ogre.
The music is colossal, of course, but it’s the diversity that saves it from becoming a merely drab drag through yet another album of plodding down-tempo monstrosities. Integrating elements of sludge and death into their sound gives it a gritty, almost tangible feel. With ‘Smoldering Clouds Above Orion’ at ten minutes and the title track at a tumescent seventeen minutes, Altar of Betelgeuze aren’t afraid to take any chances. But in bringing all they can to both of these two outstanding tracks, the others begin to pale in comparison. Flaws aside, this is one deeply atmospheric, crushing, and solid doom album with an organic feel to its depths and dimensions. A pretty good start for a band with much promise. One to keep an eye on.
DARKNESS SUSTAINS THE SILENCE
Review by Jason Guest
1st Jan 2014
2) A World Without End
3) The Spiral of Decay
5) Smoldering Clouds Above Orion
6) The Approaching Storm
7) Out of Control
8) Darkness Sustains the Silence
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Flaws aside, this is one deeply atmospheric, crushing, and solid doom album with an organic feel to its depths and dimensions."