And here comes, almost out of nowhere, the record you don’t expect: yeah, because the idea that nowadays there is someone trying to reproduce the sounds that made the fortune of Paradise Lost (pre One Second era) is immediately associated with a whiff of stale or, at best, with the image of a faded photocopy. Hypotheses more than legitimate and often supported by facts, at least until a work like Destroy The Soul, second full length a full six years after the debut, by the mysterious Welshmen Tor Marrock, arrives to force anyone to come to terms with the fact that excellent records can be produced while not necessarily accompanied by the hallmark of originality. Those who still look with justified nostalgia at the historical era marked by the trio of wonders Shades Of God / Icon / Draconian Time, can only welcome this full immersion in atmospheres that the same authors, today, struggle not a little to reproduce, all of course without risking the plagiarism effect but building a sufficiently personal sound and bringing together in a decidedly brilliant songwriting, moods of Tiamat of Skeleton Skleletron / Judas Christ and, in the more robust passages, hints of Zoon‘s Nefilim (also for Tor Marrock‘s voice which, at certain junctures, is very close to that of the mature Carl McCoy). Eight tracks of rare effectiveness unfold in just 35 minutes, leaving some bitterness in the mouth only because of the album’s limited duration, all the more so considering the long silence between releases; but there is no question that “classic” tracks such as the title track, the enthralling Christ Betrayed, the gothic doom gem Why Do You Look In My Eyes, with its expertly dilated harmonies, and the concluding I Feel The Sun I See The Stars, so perfectly paradiselostian in its pacing that it deserves plenary indulgence regardless, one would not have expected them from someone residing outside of “paradise lost.” Instead, the three masked Welshmen display a competence and knowledge of the genre that puts them above suspicion, thus forcing fans of the Halifax masters, awaiting a new release from them, to drink in this excellent record, which appears to be anything but a mere palliative.

2013 – Black Vulture Records