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Do you know Ereb Altor? If you do not let me introduce this band for you. Formed by the duo Crister Olsson (vocals/guitars/bass) and Daniel Bryntse (keyboards) with Tord recently helping on drums, this band from Sweden plays a majestic mixture of doom and black with an epic feeling of Viking reminiscence.
Being 'Gastrike' is the third full-length release so far and second for Napalm Records, this brings Ereb Altor to an important crossroads as normally third releases do: developing to a higher level or continuing as before. In this case, Ereb Altor seems to have fulfilled and achieved all the tasks necessary to make one step further along the path of perfection.
Although it could sound haughty and perhaps out of context, this is really an awesome release. First of all, it's one of those albums that virtually everyone could like. Fans and followers of epic/viking metal as well as extreme doom metal will sure find a lot to be pleased about since all of these elements (and many more) are well shown, mixed and integrated into the sound of the seven songs in it.
Then you cannot deny the fact that independently from your likes, 'Gastrike' flows on its own, resulting in no boredom, no inconsistency, and so no pain for the ears nor brain. Every song has its own reason to exist and to be listened to. Sometimes more epic, sometimes gloomier, sometimes closer to black metal and other times more on doom metal side. In any case, everything is always well-balanced between all these aspects and features.
The production is simply appropriate for this kind of music: not too polite to result in it being fake and "plastic-made" and yet good enough to match the standards of an high quality release of today.
After many listening sessions I have no problem at all to declare that 'Gastrike' is still on my playlist as favorite, and I definitely think it will stay in this position for a lot of time.
Originally on Obscura webzine