Review: Altareth ‘Blood’

On their debut full-length release Blood, Altareth serves up the sludge slow and over easy, plated with a slab of fuzz cracklins and a side of doom pureé for the malnourished heavy rock masses. The Swedes from Göteborg – founder guitarist Niklas Sörum along with Mats Lindgren (bass), Sven Lindqvist (guitar), Magic Paddy Strömberg (vocals) and Vigfus Valgeirsson (drums) – give musical praise from the island of doom and fuzz sacrifice while heaving North Sea riffs and Ozzy-baited melodies, their music consecrated through the back door bethel of Black Sabbath.

Altareth ‘Blood’

Let your soul be free… Funereal keyboards toot and trudge along with furry uni-vibed guitars in Blood, a doobie burning caravan trek to Père Lachaise so we canz haz chezburgüer and get our doom heads on righteously. Vocalist Magic Paddy line dances along with Ozzy Osbourne refrains from the classic song Black Sabbath on this release opener – can you double-dopler dig it? … Countdown into aching waves of despair… Satan Hole knocks out a number two riff and wipes it on the wall just to show everyone who the boss is. Ick. Well, Beelzebub is a nasty bastard doing us dirty in the gaper Satan Hole, where the devil trombones are slid way back in the mix while the band’s rhythm section motors on, grooving da groovy groove that lets Ol’ Nik rub one out on guitar, while the crowd throws up the horns – take dat bitches.

Downward Mobile welcomes us to Zombieland with a staggering, oscillating tramp through the front-line trenches of doomkraft, all the while looking for a wet spot to lay down in and stink. I like this song. It sounds a lot like early Trouble without the awesome dual lead guitar lick motifs, not to say the guitars on Blood are without melodic vision. The arrangements are molten and melodic black ‘n’ blues guitar of the fiercest order, purposely delivered at a duckwalk pace…

if you dig metal, classic doom, stoner and a bit of heavy psychedelic, you will dig this Altareth release…

Here she comes, under the blood moon… we lay… Moon spreads out the lunar win sauce, a groaning amplifier worship and while I listen to Moon on my faithful Koss headphones, the music sounds like I am right there in the studio with me wee ear planted firmly to the basketweave on a 1969 Marshall 1960 4×12 guitar cabinet and yea verily, this awakens the interstellar lunatic in me. I doth proclaim this track My Favourite Ode to a Captured Asteroid. On High Priest, Magic Paddy really channels Eric Wagner, vocalist from Trouble and The Skull, while delivering singular melodies that don’t just rock’n’roll, but alternately bleed and howl.

We are all dissolving into the essence… Last in line closing song Empty is rather chock-full, engorged and dripping with delayed uni-vibe guitar lines double-dipped from the disc’s opening song that schlong along for three plus minutes, before a rapturous Leslie rotating-speaker effected guitar codas al fine, an intoxicating harmonic potion indeed.

These lads in Altareth congealed about 2013 so they sure took their sweet time getting a full debut album recorded and packed into the 2021 release pipe, but the wait was worth it mates. While almost every heavy band from Gothenburg has some At The Gates in their DNA, Altareth is more companion in address to Dopelord, in that if you dig metal, classic doom, stoner and a bit of heavy psychedelic, you will dig this Altareth release. This is one more quality raging slab from the Nordic Masters of the Heavy Realm. The mix and master is glorious and the songs are epic, mother’s milk for a hard rawker like me … and so it is my Brothers and Sisters.

Label: Magnetic Eye Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Dani Bandolier