Altar Of Betelgueze Are Among The Ruins With Sophomore Full Length
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jools green
Jools Green
27th April 2017

altar of betelgueze

Returning with their sophomore album 'Among The Ruins', Finland's Stoner/Death/Doom Metal quartet Altar Of Betelgeuze, have certainly upped their game a couple of notches since 2014s 'Darkness Sustains The Silence', a great album in its own right, but this time there is a refined edge to the elements and the overall result is much more heavy and rich sounding making it a more interesting listen and the structure of the tracks also feels more defined this time.

There is still a looseness to the sound, an essential factor for this mix to work, and the Death Metal structure, coming from Olli and Matias' involvements in Death Metal warmongers Decaying, is still there within the fabric of the sound.

The interesting aspect is two seemingly disparate vocal styles; on the one hand a deathly growl adding a dark under current to the tracks like 'Absence Of Light' or the first track, 'The Offering', which also has impressive lead work in the first couple of minutes, grabbing your attention and not at all what you'd expect before settling down to the sludgy groove that permeates and dominates.

altar of betelgueze

The other vocal style is clean but grungy and very well intonated, broad ranging and powerful, a little in the vein of Layne Staley, and are at their best on 'Sledge Of Stones'.

I prefer the tracks which either have just cleans or just growls; separately they sit well in the format but together on the same track, I'm not so sure. That disparity glares too much and as surprising this will seem, coming from a massive Death Metal growl fan, in this instance I prefer the retro cleans and you may not ever hear me say that again. Both sets of vocals here are good though, I must reiterate.

In true Stoner/Doom style there is also the epic length to the tracks, nothing under five minutes and over half the album passing the seven minute mark with the title track coming in at close to ten minutes but that's nothing compared to the title track of 'Darkness Sustains The Silence' which was a monster at seventeen minutes so things are a little more restrained and compact this time.

The Offering
Sledge Of Stones
No Return
New Dawn
Absence Of Light
Advocates Of Deception
Among The Ruins

'Among The Ruins' should interest anyone with a love of Stoner Doom and is available from Transcending Obscurity Records.




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