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Review: Altar of Oblivion - Barren Grounds
Altar of Oblivion
Barren Grounds

Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Year released: 2016
Duration: 18:12
Tracks: 4
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: December 8, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Barren Grounds

Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

Looking back on my review of Altar of Oblivion's Grand Gesture of Defiance it is clear I didn't think much of it. Now we have a new EP titled Barren Grounds and it is a horse of an entirely different color. The band's traditional Heavy Metal is still slow and doom-tinged but the riffs are fucking massive, interspersed as they are with slower, acoustic passages. The vocals are more restrained and that suits the music much better. The vocal lines are greatly improved and the simple lyrics add gravity to the creepy and slightly occult atmosphere that permeates the entire EP. Songs like "Barren Grounds" with its spare vocal effects and crushing bass had me thinking of Vestal Claret while the reverb on the guitar and vocals in "Lost" brought me back to Sabbath's Vol. 4 album. Barren Grounds is a huge turn around for Altar of Oblivion and anyone that even remotely likes Doom, Epic or "occult" Metal should be all over this one.

Other related information on the site
Review: Grand Gesture of Defiance (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Seven Spirits (reviewed by MetalMike)
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