Search Results for:

ALASTOR

Alastor

Onwards And Downwards

    Excelsior! It’s the hail of yore that one should go ever onward and upward. And so, fittingly Onwards and Downwards is the occultist Swedish band Alastor’s clever call to arms... and also a reflection of our collective dark state of mind these days.

    “If our last album Slave to the Grave were about death, this record is more about madness,” says guitarist Hampus Sandell. “You can look at the whole record as one person’s gradual slip into insanity. An ongoing nightmare without end. It also sums up the state of the world around us as this year has clearly shown.”

    Alastor is heavy doom rock for the wicked and depraved. Drenched in heavy, distorted darkness and steeped in occult horror that will make your skin crawl and ears cry sweet tears of blood, the band is revitalized in 2021 with meticulously crafted songs and new drummer Jim Nordström bringing a hard-hitting and precise energy.

    “It’s a more focused record but at the same time it’s more personal and naked. More raw emotion and pain,” Hampus says. The band recorded the album with the help of Joona Hassinen of Studio Underjord, who has helped with mixing since their ”Blood on Satan’s Claw” EP in 2017. Christoffer Karlsson of The Dahmers also assisted with overdubs and encouraged the band to demo the material early on, aiding in the album’s more deliberate and tighter feel.

    From the first note of opener “The Killer In My Skull” the guitars are far thicker and out front than ever, and Nordström pummels the snare and kick like a young Dave Grohl. Bassist/vocalist Robin Arnryd’s chorus-drenched voice soars above it all like a one-man choir, at times harmonizing beautifully with shimmering Hammond organ notes. Nary a moment is wasted on the droning navel-gazing of lesser bands. Particularly, the driving anthem “Death Cult” which sounds like it would fit comfortably on QOTSA’s Songs For The Deaf, though there’s considerably more heft here. The title track pays its due to the Devil’s tritone in a marvelously woven framework of intertwining melodies befitting the album’s theme of descent into madness.

    The quartet released its epic 3-song debut album Black Magic in early 2017 via Twin Earth Records, followed by the 2-track “Blood On Satan’s Claw” EP on Halloween the same year. Joining forces with RidingEasy Records in 2018, Alastor summoned the 7-track hateful gospel Slave To The Grave, which was packed with dynamic twists and turns, and funereal girth. It was met with considerable praise, setting the stage for the band’s greatest step onward (and upward... or downward, depending on your preferences.)

    TRACK LISTING

    01. The Killer In My Skull
    02. Dead Things In Jars
    03. Death Cult
    04. Nightmare Trip
    05. Pipsvängen
    06. Onwards And Downwards

    Alastor

    Slave To The Grave

      Alastor hearken to the days when heavy rock was the music of the rebel, the occult adherent and lurker in the shadows, not hipster bros. Theirs is the doom sound for those who discovered it on the edge of town, in the cold rain, perhaps, as an escape from the squares who’ll never understand.
      Alastor is heavy doom rock for the wicked and depraved. Drenched in heavy, distorted darkness and steeped in occult horror that will make your skin crawl and ears cry sweet tears of blood, Slave To The Grave pulls no punches in the Swedish band’s unabashedly bleak themes.
      "It’s an album that circles around the concept of death,” explains lead guitarist Lucy Ferian. “It’s about death in both its spiritual and personal meaning — how death is a part of our everyday life. How it affects our thoughts and actions. How some of us spend our entire life in fear of death, while some seek it. But no matter how you live your life and no matter what you achieve here on this earth. You are still just a slave to the grave."
      Alastor formed under a bad moon in 2016, consisting of Dharma Gheddon (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and organ), Lucy Ferian on lead & acoustic guitar and organ, Terry Fying on guitar and Levi Athan on drums. Yes, those are their given birth names, why do you ask?

      The quartet released its epic 3-song debut album Black Magic in early 2017 via Twin Earth Records, followed by the 2-track “Blood On Satan’s Claw” EP on Halloween the same year. Joining forces with RidingEasy Records in 2018, Alastor hunkered down to summon the 7-track hateful gospel Slave To The Grave with engineer Magnus Sörensen.

      The album opens with the dramatic spoken intro “I döden är vi alla lika” (In death we are all equal) backed by rolling thunder and a clanging church bell to set the stage for the rumbling dirge “Your Lives Are Worthless.” Forlorn vocals and drop-tuned guitars seep like murky syrup as the song slowly morphs through varying riffs across the nearly 10-minute song as it builds to an epic crescendo of squealing guitar notes and pummeling half-tempo drums. “Drawn To The Abyss” is a swinging anthem punctuated by haunting backing vocals and scraping wah-wah guitar sounds leading into a powerful double-time outro. “N.W. 588” is the hook-laden melodic centerpiece sounding like an apparent nod to Technical Ecstasy leading into the flamenco-themed acoustic ballad “Gone.” The anthemic album title track rings out with pliant lead guitar notes countering the dark lyrics and behemoth, propulsive rhythms that can only foreshadow the heft of 17-minute album closer “Spider of My Love” which brings the album to a fittingly massive and funereal close. Perfect. 


      TRACK LISTING

      1 I Döden är Vi Alla Lika
      2 Your Lives Are Worthless
      3. Drawn To The Abyss
      4. N.W 588
      5. Gone
      6. Slave To The Grave
      7. The Spider Of My Love


      Latest Pre-Sales

      137 NEW ITEMS

      Weekly New Release Mailout https://t.co/4lm6opBfkd Danger Mouse & Black Thought, OSEES, Hudson Mohawke, Rich Rut… https://t.co/y1mdUfBDnB
      Thu 11th - 5:04
      PRESALE: @dinkededition 216 @abraxasintl__ 'Monte Carlo' Dinked Vinyl Edition Details: • "Alien Whirlpool" Aqua B… https://t.co/Uu8509kesA
      Wed 10th - 9:00
      New @dinkededition incoming tomorrow at 10am. Set those alarms folks ⏰ Check out previous and current Dinked here👇… https://t.co/XAQT8FqY1j
      Tue 9th - 1:07
      Thank you for the music, Lamont Herbert Dozier 1941 - 2022 https://t.co/2fN1ASftx5
      Tue 9th - 11:10
      🔵 BLUE MONDAY 🔵 Released last Friday, the debut album from @kokorokomusic ‘Could We Be More’ is looking and soundi… https://t.co/6CcysfffTV
      Mon 8th - 1:05
      E-newsletter —
      Sign up
      Back to top