Altar of Betelgeuze Premiere “The Offering”; Among the Ruins out April 15

altar of betelgeuze

Helsinki-based death-doomers Altar of Betelgeuze release their second album, Among the Ruins, April 15 on Transcending Obscurity Records. With it, they continue to make themselves a part of Finland’s long, storied and pivotal history with death-doom, which dates back to early ’90s outfits like Skepticism, Unholy and Thergothon, and follow their 2014 debut, Darkness Sustains the Silence, with a pointed shift toward riffly focus and heavy rock tonality. This might be the root of what the four-piece means when they position their new record as “stoner death doom,” but the question then becomes one of balance between the three elements named — i.e., the stoner, the death, the doom — and how that shakes out over the course of the seven-track/49-minute outing as a whole.

I don’t have the answer. What I do have is the pleasure of hosting opening track “The Offering” as a premiere below. You can hear in its initial tonal rollout, precise but classically-styled lead altar of betelgeuze among the ruinsand overall groove the aspects of heavy rock at work, but the song still settles neatly into a doomed lurch and makes its way between Paradise Lost-style spoken vocals and harsher, deep growls. Stoner, death and doom? Yeah, pretty much, but I’d say the balance definitely tips toward the death-doom on “The Offering,” whereas the closing title-track to Among the Ruins, which you can stream on Altar of Betelgeuze‘s Bandcamp page (linked below), pushes further outward in its atmosphere and feels more patient in its execution — though I’ll admit the nine-minute runtime might also have something to do with that.

Launching the album with a rocker and closing with the longest song? Maybe Altar of Betelgeuze really are a stoner rock band — though however the rest of Among the Ruins might shake out as it works its way toward the finale, it’s clear immediately that they’re coming at these various styles from more than one angle, and one can hear that distinguishing factor even in the relatively quick five-minute sample of “The Offering.”

Again, Altar of Betelgeuze‘s Among the Ruins is out April 15 on Transcending Obscurity. More info follows “The Offering” below.

Please enjoy:

Altar of Betelgeuze from Finland are onto something special. Not content with playing either doom or death metal, the band merge influences from both realms so to speak and create a seamless sound where clean singing and growls both have a place. Essentially Altar of Betelgeuze play stoner doom but with the heaviness and relative structuring of death metal.

Long, winding songs that are at once emotive and crushing enthrall the listener for extended periods of time, while you are left wondering about suitable parallels for this unique band. ‘Among the Ruins’ is a definitive present-day album, when it’s no longer about mimicking your idols but taking the sound forward in a logical, sincere manner.

Altar of Betelgeuze is:
Matias Nastolin – Bass, Vocals (Growling)
Olli “Otu” Suurmunne – Guitars, Vocals (Clean singing)
Juho Kareoja – Guitars
Aleksi Olkkola – Drums

Altar of Betelgeuze on Thee Facebooks

Altar of Betelgeuze on Bandcamp

Transcending Obscurity Records on Thee Facebooks

Transcending Obscurity website

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