By Dr. Abner Mality
Arising from the ashes of VALLENFYRE, STRIGOI are trrying to establish more of their own sound on this, their second album. The best word for that sound would be “gloomy”. The album still retains brutality, but things are more claustrophobic here, with a bigger emphasis on doom and Gothic atmosphere. That does give STRIGOI more of its own sound for sure, but they are not as immediate as the ferocious VALLENFYRE.
The album’s tracks break down into longer, more atmospheric songs and shorter bursts of brute force where the scent of early British grindcore predominates. First cut “United In Viscera” is a dank and cryptic thing, full of crushing doom and oppressive hooks. That’s followed up by the fast, short and grinding “King of All Terror” where influences like old NAPALM DEATH, BENEDICTION and SACRILEGE are easily detected. And this sets the pattern for the album, with “Napalm Frost”, “Redeemer” and “A Begotten Son” being the more grinding blasts while “Hollow”, “An Ocean of Blood” and especially the closer “Iron Lung” tend towards lengthier doom cuts with some of the Gothic overtones of PARADISE LOST, the main band for STRIGOI’s singer Greg Mackintosh. And it has to be said that Mackintosh does his usual outstanding job on lead vocals...a beastly death growl peppered with cries of despair.
“Viscera” takes a bit more work to get into than the first STRIGOI album “Abandon All Faith”, but I’m sure that is the way the band planned it. The result remains a strong and very British take on extreme metal.