"in The Shadow of Doom"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Faustcoven seems to be the province of one man, Gunnar Hansen, but it sounds like a full fledged band. The music here slowly grows on you until you realize you are caught in a dire but irresistible spell. There's subtlety and occasional surprise here, but the end result is as subterranean as it gets. As you might guess from the title, the primary focus is doom, but there's sizable influence from black and death metal as well. It's a bleak menage.

"The Wicked Dead" is deceptively simple and sounds like elemental  Candlemass focused through a black metal lens and with a cavernously growling demon on vocals. Basic but powerful stuff. A curve gets thrown at you with the next song "The Devil's Share", which opens with honest-to-Foghorn-Leghorn bluesy southern swagger before segueing into death doom. This is not an Eyehategod knockoff but something uniquely Faustcoven. The Southern influence pops up even more strongly on "As White As She Was Pale", which believe it or not even features an effective HARMONICA solo! The riffing on the whole is cleverly constructed and pulls you in....minor changes at just the right time to keep things interesting. Length ranges from the short and uptempo "Signs of Satanic Victory" to the album ending plod of "Quis Est Iste Qui Verit", which sounds like it was written by Gregorian monks.

Fans of everything from Candlemass to Incantation to Ruins of Beverast should find something of interest here!