Out of the probably final burial of Vallenfyre came the menacing Strigoi, which obviously include among its ranks Gregor Mackintosh joined by bassist Chris Casket, involved with the previous band as a live musician; naturally, the sound possesses many affinities and the continuity between Strigoi and Vallenfyre is quite evident, but while that creature entirely Mackintosh’s prerogative has always appeared as a sort of outburst in an extreme sense compared to what the legendary English guitarist has done with Paradise Lost, in this case one senses a desire to include many more elements in a context that is not only referable to a particularly violent death doom. Indeed, Viscera, the second full length after the already convincing 2019 debut Abandon All Faith, is enriched with sludge elements as well as furious accelerations that produce a lethal mix that is almost impossible to escape. Just like the malevolent figures of Romanian mythology, a sort of ante litteram vampires from which they derive their moniker, Strigoi change their appearance through rhythmic variations in order to annihilate their victim, finally drawing from them the coveted lifeblood. Mackintosh’s peculiar guitar touch is always perceptible, but the difference between Strigoi and Paradise Lost is more marked than with Vallenfyre, with which remain in common the co-leader’s convincing growl and a virulent approach; together with the aforementioned Casket, the band is completed by second guitarist Ben Ash, who liased in the recent past with names such as Carcass and Satyricon, and Italian drummer Guido Zima Montanarini, substitute for now in live performances of the resigning Väyrynen in Paradise Lost. Ten tracks spread over three quarters of an hour make Strigoi‘s work something absolutely satisfying for those who want to listen to auteur death with doom overtones.
2022 – Season of Mist