Ereb Altor - Gastrike

Posted on Tuesday, October 02, 2012

With two of Ereb Altor’s members also in a Doom band called Isole, it’s no surprise that there are Doom elements on this album. In fact, the best parts here are the Doom elements. There’s an abundance of atmosphere on Gastrike and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing. The downside of Ereb Altor’s music is that while it’s good, it sounds like Viking-era Bathory. Quorthon did all of this two decades or more ago with Hammerheart and Blood on Ice. Boss may want to go check on his archives of Quorthon’s music to see if some of it hasn’t been stolen because a lot of the sound effects and the “Viking choir” are suspiciously familiar. Still, if people held sounding like Bathory against every band that did something that Quorthon did first, the Black Metal scene of today would look vastly different and there would probably be no Viking or Folk Metal at all. The resemblance to Viking-era Bathory may be abundantly evident, but at least Ereb Altor is able to inject some of their own identity into this. The speedier tracks tend to be the most generic sounding. Where they truly differentiate themselves is in the slower stuff. As I said earlier, the Doom elements are what shine here. When these guys get heavy, this album starts rocking. Sadly, they don’t get heavy as often as I would have liked. These guys know how to do Doom well, but by keeping with standard conventions on Viking Metal, they’re really not playing to their strengths. This is a competently executed album with good sound and good songs. If you like Viking Metal, you’ll like Gastrike, which is on the cusp of being great. If they can play more to their strengths and spend less time sticking to conventions, their next album will be a fucking monster.

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