Review 1372 : Strigoi – Viscera – English

Strigoi returns.

After a first album in 2018, following the end of Vallenfyre, English musicians Gregor Mackintosh (guitar/vocals, Paradise Lost) and Chris Casket (bass, Devilment, Eastern Front, ex-Extreme Noise Terror) announce in 2022 their signature at Season of Mist for the release of Viscera, their second album. They are accompanied since 2021 by Guido Zima (drums, The Secret, ex-Implore) and Ben Ash (guitar, Satyricon live, ex-Carcass).

We have Brian Sheehan (Jesus Wept, Wolvhammer) for the artwork, Kurt Ballou (Converge) on mixing, Brad Boatright (All Pigs Must Die, Devourment, Full of Hell, Gatecreeper…) on  mastering and Jaime Gomez Arellano (Abhorrence, Cathedral, Grave Miasma) as producer.

The album begins with United in Viscera, a track which progressively reveals this heavy and dissonant sound thanks to the instruments and then thanks to the massive vocals that appear. The track’s slowness allows it to develop an oppressive atmosphere, fueled by the terrifying screams which come back to haunt King of All Terror and its raw aggression which draws from the project’s furious Crust roots. The throbbing oppression is also part of the landscape, just like on An Ocean Of Blood, a rather effective and catchy composition which lets leads wrap us in this cold dissonance. Raw energy comes back on Napalm Frost, a very motivating track which uses this wave of devastating blasts to place fast riffs before the sound becomes heavy and very slow again for Hollow, the next track. Palm-mutes bring that hazy aspect to sticky riffs overlaid with the vocalist’s possessed screams as well as martial strikes, giving a fairly steady look to the stunned sound before it speeds up again with Crust/Grind influences. The tempo drops again before Begotten Son takes over with a contrast created by furious blast mixed with ominous airy leads, then Bathed in a Black Sun reveals some mysterious choirs that immediately set a mystical mood, complemented by the regular waves of saturation. The tempo allows a solid rhythmic to answer more soaring harmonics, then Byzantine Tragedy puts us back in this deafening slowness completed by a jerky rhythmic. We will also find this ghostly voice in the background, but also an unexpected acceleration which will last a short time, followed by Redeemer and its abrasive rage. The track is short, and it doesn’t waste a single second to spit all its strength before Iron Lung, the last track, crushes us under its dissonant, dark and monumental sound mass. Slowness and heaviness perfectly complement each other to give the haunting screams an unhealthy basis before allowing us to breathe again.

Strigoi plays music with its guts. Besides the massive, disturbing and extremely dark instrumental, Viscera also offers us oppressive and powerful screams which can only be rooted in darkness’ own origin.


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