Thursday 2 March 2017

Alastor - Black Magic (Album Review)

Release date: March 11th 2017 – CD/DD. Vinyl – Summer 2017. Label: Twin Earth Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Black Magic – Tracklisting

Nothing To Fear
Black Magic


Alastor debut album - Black Magic is one built on pure Black Sabbath amplifier worship with modern touches of Psych, Doom and Stoner Metal. There are only three songs on the album with the shortest being on for eight minutes or so. The other two run for eleven and fourteen minutes each.

Opening track - Enemy - is the first epic song as Alastor blend heavy sounding riffs played at a heavy slow pace. The vocals have a classic feel to them with them almost being drowned out by the heavy stoner sounds. The EP has a creepy and occult rock vibe running throughout. It's a sound we've heard multiple times before already but this is still an exciting album for Alastor to impress the listener with. 

Alastor move into heavier psychedelic sounds with the band focusing primarily on the instrumental side of their music. This allows Alastor opt for a more riff-driven Stoner Metal atmosphere. It's still a very gloomy song but the band does play a very cool and epic riff towards the end of the song.

Second track - Nothing To Fear - sees Alastor add a certain SLEEP style sonic projectory to their music with the guitars having a more distorted tone. The vocals drift in and out at different times for perhaps the standout song on the album. The riffs are played at a cool pace with the different guitars working side by side for a superb sounding experience. The psychedelic vibe feels influenced by the earlier sounds of Uncle Acid with the vocals having a certain experimental approach.

The final track - Black Magic - is a fourteen minute epic where Alastor goes all out in creating heavy doom/stoner sounds. This is perhaps the loudest song on the record and one that people will enjoy the most. It's more of the same classic Black Sabbath inspired riffs first heard on the opening song. The lead vocalist shows his impressive vocal range as he reaches some very high notes.

The lyrics add a superb creepy and occult rock touch with the band finally starting to create huge noises of their own. Black Magic is a superbly produced with it having a classic vintage feel to it. Alastor should be proud of this album as it ticks all the right boxes for all true Doom/Stoner Metal fans out there.

The real challenge for the band is to release a worthy follow-up and carry on the great work they've created with Black Magic. Thanks should also go to Twin Earth Records for releasing this record as they've been on a great run recently in releasing quality albums such as this. Long may that continue.

Words by Steve Howe

Black Magic will be available to buy via Twin Earth Records on CD/DD from March 11th 2017. With the Vinyl being released Summer 2017.