Friday 5 November 2021

Altareth - Blood (Album Review)

Release Date: November 05th 2021. Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Blood - Tracklisting


2.Satan Hole 

3.Downward Mobile

4.Eternal Sleep


6.High Priest



Paddy Strömberg – vocals

Sven Lindqvist – guitars

Niklas Sörum – guitars

Mats Lindgren – bass

Vigfus Valgeirsson – drums


Altareth are a band from the legendary Swedish Doom/Stoner Scene whose debut album Blood is mostly focused upon 70s Doom/Stoner Metal with the sound of Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid and Saint Vitus heard from the very start but with a more sludgy feel to it all. The vocals do have a certain Ozzy/Uncle Acid appeal with the psychedelic, distorted and dronish guitars building up devilish levels of Psychedelic Fuzz. 

The one thing that makes Altereth standout is their music experimentation on this album especially with their fantastic use of different instruments heard throughout the album. The heavy distorted fuzzy guitars is another winning use with the band using modern day grooves from other bands that you don’t expect but mostly within the 70s Doom Metal timeframe.

The opening title track of the album is a wonderful dark adventure into the Psychedelic backdrop of Doom Metal with a Monolord based approach with it’s Psychedelic and slight Cosmic leaning that appear towards the end. This is a superb song built on soulful melodies, bombastic vocals and top-notch lyrics that rip right through the last 50 years of Doom and Stoner Metal. Slightly OTT and progressive to allow Altareth fully sell the listener their daring creative vision.

Second song Satan Hole sounds like Neil Young and Ozzy having a vocal battle singing about SATAN. The “trumpets” noises and effects I loved especially when joined up with the trippy singalong chorus of “SATAN”. Never saying the Devil’s Name Out Loud has ever been so cool and so enjoyable. The song is quite short but is perhaps the catechist and most enjoyable track on the album. A classic style of 60s Hard Rock given a 70s Doom Metal makeover with a slight Sludgy Rock sheen. 

Third song Downward Mobile continues the “Occult/Satanic” theme of the album and allows the band to delve further into their Doom Metal bag of tricks. The song starts rather slow at first before moving into heavier satanic waters. The down-tuned guitars are the main order of business being played “LOW & SLOW” then bringing a “SABBATH” and “UNCLE ACID” approach to the mix. The vocals are more psychedelic with Paddy relishing in his role as demonic ringmaster and storyteller on this track. Add fantastic instrumental work by the guys especially the guitar work then this becomes one of the standout tracks of the album.

Altareth also brings a big love for SLEEP on this album especially on the later stages of the record where the riffs become more distorted and drawn out. Blood still allows Altareth to be their own band and maybe bring some ideas of their own to the party especially on songs such as: Eternal Sleep, Moon and Empty.

Truth be told when I first heard this album I thought it went out too long and the guys maybe stretched things out a bit. However, I was wrong. As with multiple listens I became a massive fan of the album's 2nd half with its use of long drawn out Progressive themes and methods that allows Blood to be quite daring in all the right places.

Blood is backed up  by wonderful production values allowing Altareth to become another welcome addition to the Swedish and Worldwide Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal scene. This album is the perfect Doom/Stoner/Sludge Metal album to own for the upcoming Winter Season.

All in all, this is a magnificent debut record that could allow Altrareth to become one of your favourite new bands from the scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Magnetic Eye Records for the promo. Blood is available to buy now on DD/Vinyl via Magnetic Eye Records.

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