Abandon All Faith

Strigoi is the new death/doom/crust project from Paradise Lost‘s guitarist/vocalist Gregor Mackintosh after he disbanded Vallenfyre, after 3 albums. And even though hes joined by a slightly different line up (bassist Chris Casket of Extreme Noise Terror and session/studio drummer Waltteri Väyrynen, also of Paradise Lost), the result sounds exactly like Vallenfyre’s latter, crustier output, so much so, the name change really wasn’t necessary.

Mixing death metal, doom and crust with a bit of black metal spookiness, Strigoi (Romanian spirits of lore), the 12 tracks here delivers the same nasty  mid range guitar tone as Vallenfyre, and with Mackintosh’s innate presence, you can hear some subtle Paradise Lost-ish riffs , but if they were zombiefied and amped up on bath salts.

There’s an ample mix of shorter crusty feverish blasts such as “Phantoms”, “Seven Crowns” and “Plague Nation” but as with Vallenfyre, where the material shines is the sickly, Autopsy-ish crawling, doom laden numbers that shamble and ooze with menace such as “Carved Into The Skin” (which really imbues Paradise Lost‘s first, seminal doomy effort) and the creepy closing title track,  and of course a couple of tracks that mix both like “Nocturnal Vermin” and “Throne of Disgrace” bringing both elements together successfully in a nasty little stew.

A couple of tracks like the industrialized clamor and stomp/blast of “Parasite” or Swedish Death metal romps of “Iniquitous Rage” and “Scorn of the Father” show Mackintosh trying to add a little something new to the mix, but it’s the album weakest moments sometimes sounding like Napalm Death’s weaker years.

Mackintosh has said he wants Strigoi to stand on its own as an entity after Vallenfyre, but if he really wanted Strigoi to stand out or be different than his other side project, then he might have changed things up just a little more. As it stands, if you were to play both band’s albums on shuffle play, you’d have a hard time telling them apart, but that’s OK as both a pretty darn good.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 27th, 2019


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