Title: In the Shadow of Doom
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Release Date: 31 July 2018
Format reviewed: High quality digital promo
The gates of hell open once again on earth, with the arrival of Faustcoven’s last ritualistic offer. Already classics of the Black / Doom scene, these veterans give us their fourth full length, edited by the always prolific Nuclear War Now! Label, so efficient in the art of giving us some of the best underground material of the most extreme genres.To speak of Faustcoven is to refer to one of the most particular bands of the genre, possessing a unique and identifiable sound. The alchemy of these connoisseurs could be translated as the most vintage version of the current black metal, totally focused on reproducing its gloomy version of the most doom aspects of some titans of the first wave, like Hellhammer, combined with the most perfect riffs of Sabbath of the seventies. The band always offered its slow cooking always within the parameters described, sometimes turning towards horizons a little more Death/Doom, as in their second LP, “Rising From Below the Earth”, although always showing his primordial sensitivity to unleash the darkest and morbid occult sounds with total grace and simplicity.
“In the Shadow of Doom”, as its title indicates, does not hide its intentions at all, and after almost 6 years without editing new material, our trays have the opportunity to turn slowly and burn, before the cadences of some of the best Black/Doom once conceived. Stylistically, no apparent changes are noticed. The band sounds reinvigorated and firing at all cylinders, submerging us in an incessant vortex of perfect and addictive riffs and martial rhythms. Like every good doom album we also find some solos, somewhat short, although executed efficiently. The vocals of Gunnar Hansen continue to sound like the barking of cerberus, threatening, stalking us in our worst nightmares.
Production, this time, is optimal, showing depth and an unequaled amount of nuances. You can appreciate each instrument perfectly and, specifically, the bass (also recorded by Gunnar) plays a fundamental role, as it sounds very good in the mix, providing muscle and an excellent low end to each accentuation of each riff. Faustcoven never sounded better, in my sincere opinion.
Compositively I also notice the band at a great time, and pointing much higher than in their previous work. I really loved certain small details that do not hide the blues roots that can always be found in the doom most reminiscent of the Sabbath school. For example, the harmonica on the track “As White as She Was Pale”, or each solo performed on the blues scale, sounds really cool.
“In the Shadow of Doom” is effective, very enjoyable and does not deny his condition. It shows a very improved and current version of the band, showing us that, sometimes, staying on the path of traditionalism can make us have a great time. I raise my jar and toast an excellent album of Doom that will delight more than one enthusiast of the slowest and occult sounds. Highly recommended. 8/10 Sergio