Saturday, December 02, 2017

Incantations Of Darkness...

Shadowmaster - Shadowmaster (2017)

Formed as Desert Crone, and releasing one EP before taking their current name from its closing track, the Swedish group of Shadowmaster have already done their part to earn good will and favorable buzz from fans of dirty doom. Now that they've put together a full album under their new incarnation, the three-piece band has an eight-song set of bassy assaults, slow-grind rhythms, brazen howls, and alienating distortions. Happily, the whole grimy affair is getting a CD release courtesy of Seeing Red Records, and assuming it gets the attention and acclaim it deserves, a vinyl release hopefully won't be too far off, though the hour-plus run-time will demand double disks in that event.
With crashes of cymbals echoing away over the twisted growls of the guitar, the group raises quite a din, bending it to torturous paths and slamming out chords with little mercy to their mood. The namesake song from the Desert Crone EP gets revisited, and fitted in well with the rest of the malignant vibes the album carries, and which give it such a seething subdermal energy despite the overall slow pacing.
And for all the nastiness that's pumped into each thick-bodied strum, there's an unnerving streak of psychedelia running through most of it. Call it a time capsule of dark-side '60s by way of Swedish memory, or just an updated sludge interpretation, but whatever the prompting, it works well in the context of the heavy blasts so regular across the songs, exceptions like the entirety of “The Lizard King” aside. For the most part, the shit going down is big, buzzy, and downright mean in tone, whether they're using vocals to complement the riffs or not, and that's before even addressing the nineteen-minute finishing song. And on top of all that, it's pretty easy to groove to, assuming a blend of doom, sludge, and psych metal suits your tastes. If that's the case, get yourself a copy already.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Bath, Brume, Goya, Raedon Kong, Wounded Giant


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