Album Review: Strigoi – Viscera


It’s highly commendable for a band that can conjure an unconscious element on an album via its sound and lyrics. UK hybrid doomers Strigoi have accomplished this, spawning an ethereal cadence of “breathing” on their new release Viscera. To an extent, it was their intent to link the music with the lyrical themes, but the incorporeal entity in the room is a kiss from the musical gods.

“United in Viscera” opens the 10-track respirator with a catastrophic doom intro. The first essence of breath comes in the form of the sludgy, stop-and-go verse riff. Vocalist/guitarist Greg Mackintosh returns to the harrowing lyric “I shed this human skin” for the choruses in his Piotr Wiwczarek-style (Vader) yell. Ramping up the pace following this heater is “King of All Terror”, which introduces blast beats and giddyup thrash riffs. Two songs in and Strigoi show they can effectively strike from many angles.

“Napalm Frost” is another high-octane rager that leans harder into the band’s grind component–a nod to their former days as Vallenfyre–with jerking power chord riffs and a distorted bass solo. The mid-tempo breakdown will surely put moshers on the hunt. Viscera’s spiritual aspect comes into play in the single, “Hollow”, whose chilling intro of baritone chants, strings, marching drums, and weeping guitar rattles the soul. Visceral isn’t a word that even begins describing how moving the sludgy-grooving chorus is with its haunting voice samples.

The evolution of style throughout the record shifts to a more melodic, black metal stage in “A Begotten Son”–further showcasing the quartet’s flexibility. The black metal aura is carried over into the lo-fi intro in “Bathed in a Black Sun”, but is cut off for good by a gangsta, sludgy single-note breakdown.

No track is more a microcosm and a metaphor for the “breathing” cadence of Viscera than the closer, “Iron Lung”. It’s the longest-running song (7:54) and a super dispiriting doom epic that is as suffocating as they come. A lot of new-school dissonant death metal parades itself as being claustrophobic; this finale will bury you alive.

This monolithic composition carries a dirty, yet decipherable sound courtesy of co-producer Jamie Gomez at Oregon Studios. Handling the mixing duties is the highly touted Kurt Ballou (Godcity Studios) and mastering this beast is Brad Boatright (Audiosiege). Give Viscera your undivided attention and respiratory system when it releases on September 30 via Season Of Mist Records.

Buy the album here.

Follow the band on Facebook.




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