Black OathThis Italian doom bands first full length album ‘The Third Aeon’ really struck a massive chord with me, I even included this in my top 10 of that particular year. So a new album from Black Oath is rather welcomed…but I have found some changes that I was not so sure about.

This is all about being epic and ‘Sinful Waters’ and ‘Witch Night Curse’ capture this and what you hear is progression. Black Oath have gelled more than their debut and really nailed the sound on this follow up. I do think this is a little muddy in the production stakes, but you can capture the sad lyrical content perfectly, these vocals are pretty stunning if not familiar of their inspiration.

The tracks are still Paul Chain and Candlemass inspired, they are epic doom for sure, but in some places the tracks outstay their welcome and thus could do with being a little shorter than what they are. Not that that is a major bug bearer, my only concern is a detraction of freshness; there is a little sterility in the arrangements but what they do actually do conversely is play out the atmosphere of each track which is rather an enigma in my mind.  This is a pretty cool epic doom album, but I don’t think it is as fresh or rather as vibrant as the band’s debut. This aside, it’s still worth adding to your collection.

(7/10 Paul Maddison)