Altar of Betelgeuze hail from Helinski, Finland and play a mix of Stoner Doom and Death Metal which in itself is a rare phenomenon. The band formed back in 2010 have released an EP titled ‘At the Shrine of Light‘ and a Full-length Record titled ‘Darkness Sustains the Silence‘ and now, are gearing up for their Sophomore release titled ‘Among the Ruins‘. The band is currently signed under Transcending Obscurity Records consists of Matias Nastolin on bass and growls, Juho Kareoja and Olli “Otu” Suurmunne on guitars, with the latter also handling clean vocal duties and Aleksi Olkkola on drums.
The band consists of two vocalists and each differing from one another and that is the first thing that comes to your mind while listening to this album. The first two tracks of the album titled ‘The Offering‘ and ‘Sledge of Stones‘ respectively gives you an idea as to how the two of them sound like, with Matias able to deftly alternate between his chants and Death Growls and in the second track showcases Oli Suurmunne‘s range in the clean vocals. Most of the songs feature these two brilliant vocalists sharing the vocal duties and creating the magic. However, the vocals aren’t the only highlight of this album. The guitars also play a key role in providing the Doom/ Death Metal-esque atmosphere while also churning out some melodies and adding that extra punch of Stoner Metal. The bass is crunchy and provides a very good low end, while the drums do justice to the overall sound. The production is top-notch and captures the required elements to make this record leave long-lasting impact on the listeners.
The top picks from this excellent album would be ‘Advocates of Deception‘ which is an extremely heavy track featuring clean vocals and is a Stoner Metal delight with a little faster progression than the rest of the songs. The other pick would be the title track of the record that starts off with a neat bassline which shows an enchanting aura before the song morphs into a Doom/ Death riff laden track with the song shifting back to the melodic bass driven intro and then back to give the song and the album a powerful finish.
Overall, this is a great, unique album with some amazing vocals and guitars that will appeal to fans of both Stoner and Death Metal genres.
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Anirudh Gollapudi (Metaljesus Magazine)