Surtr - Pulvis Et Umbra

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With their debut album World of Doom, released in 2011, French doom outfit Surtr firmly established their worship of Reverend Bizarre by not only using them as their closest reference point for their own material, but by covering the doom staple Doom Over The World. With their follow-up they've expanded their repertoire with more riffs than a 1970s Sabbath record tied together with a stoner-esque groove that makes Pulvis Et Umbra less straight-forward than World of Doom, and more interesting for it. The occasional invasive use of harsh vocals as an additional texture is still present, and just as before it's the bands only (unnecessary) weak point. In actual fact this time out it's badly employed as well. Apart from those very rare instances their constantly changing riffs, pure doom vocals, and Saint Vitus-esque solos, are amongst the best in the genre right now; nearly flawless work recalling everyone from Sabbath and Candlemass to early-Cathedral, Count Raven and the doom-groove of sHeavy. Not trying to stick to some convulted concept seems to have released them as well, making most of what they do hear sound genuinely necessary. Alongside Gallow God's debut this will be one of the best doom releases of 2013 come the end of the year.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Albums, Doom Metal, Quick.Play Reviews,

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