Saturday 30 December 2023

Engraver - Rituals (Album Review)

Release Date: 29th December 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Rituals -  Tracklisting

1.Intro 01:34

2.WitchHouse pt.1 10:06

3.Interlude 01:32

4.The Rat King 05:48

5.WitchHouse pt.2 05:51

6.Stoned To The Bone 07:52

7.Reveal Yourself 06:37

8.Sub-Sky Berry 05:56


Polish Doom/Stoner Metallers Engraver debut album Ritual is one full of Psychedelic grooves which is powered by moody Fuzz Rock and Psychedelic Rock atmospherics with the band using similar creative techniques as fellow Polish Doomsters DOPELORD. Engraver’s music is perhaps more LOW & SLOW with a focus on chants and trance based rituals. The vocals are quite shamanic based with a gloomy perspective which have a certain Occult Doom Metal attitude to them.

Engraver play aggressive and very powerful sounding grooves with traces of bleak sounding Desert Rock, Occult Rock and Alt Metal which can be quite boisterous and chaotic at times which comes through the epic second track WitchHouse pt.1. The song is quite deceiving with it’s style of Shamanic Progressive Rock which soon settles down into a more WEEDIAN classic sound with that trippy CHANT based creative attitude weaving moments of Post-Doom/Post-Stoner sounds with the spirit of THE DOORS appearing on certain stages of the track.

The album does have a couple short tracks at the beginning with Intro and Interlude which allows Engraver to lay down the subtle sounds for the whole album to follow. Third track Interlude sees violent and harsh vocals appear which gives the album a more uncomfortable flow compared to the previous track.

Fourth song The Rat King allows Engraver to play a more bombastic style of Doom Metal with moments of Thrash Metal and classic Heavy Metal which draws into the realm of heavier bands from outside the Doom/Stoner Metal world. The song sometimes cannot decide what it wants to be but that’s one of the main strengths of the track as Engraver focuses on playing some of the heaviest and filthiest grooves on the entire album with a subtle Psychedelic Doom Metal influence ruling the roost.

Fifth song WitchHouse pt.2 has an operatic or theatrical style of Doom/Stoner Metal playing a wicked style of LOW & SLOW with shrieking growls and clean vocals working effortlessly together for a demonic style which Engraver are slowly becoming ever so comfortable in delivering with absolute menace and demented relish. The song is quite melodic but becomes more exciting with its FUZZY and SLUDGE based groove starts to become ever more present. This is perhaps the standout track on the album with Engraver writing classic sounding Doom Metal lyrics which tells a captivating story.

Engraver continues with their demented vision for the final three tracks of the album with Stoned To The Bone, Reveal Yourself and Sub-Sky Berry living upto the WEEDIAN influence of the Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Engraver offer the most melodic sounds on this part of the album but with that gloomy and threatening style of twisted Doom/Stoner Metal slowly moving closely to the world of the OCCULT. Stoned To The Bone and Sub-Sky Berry are the other standout tracks of the album which allows Engraver to play an interesting sound of their own making. The vocals impress yet again which moves from shamanic chants, clean vocals and harsh growls with relevant ease. 

Rituals has classic sounding production values which allows the album to sound like it came from the classic heyday of Doom/Stoner Metal whilst having a modern atmosphere contained throughout. Engraver have delivered a delicious and aggressive record that should see the band acquire a loyal following within the Doom/Stoner Metal underground scene.

Fantastic stuff. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe 


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