Here’s one of those rarities in reviewing for an underground site, a band I’ve actually heard of, heard, and have music from. That may sound weird, but exploring the unknown and bringing it towards, if not into, the light is how we roll at Ave Noctum! When this album from Cruthu was put out for review, the name tickled a few of my slowly firing synapses, and I realised I’d got hold of their 2014 ‘Creation Demo’ (a little aside for you, “Cruthu” is an old Irish word for “Creation”) when it came out, and gave it a play to remind myself. It’s fair to say that their first offering was rough and ready, but more than interesting enough to warrant further investigation of the band. So, what does a few years of practice and musical evolution bring to their sound, I metaphorically hear you ask?

What is instantly apparent from the first second of ‘The Angle of Eternity’ is that far more has gone into the production of this album, every plucked note on instrumental opener ‘Separated From The Herd’, a truncated revisit to the musical theme of a track from their demo, coming across crisply and cleanly, whereas the original definitely had the sound of being recorded in somebody’s bedroom on a home tape machine. As for the music itself, it had a sound that immediately took me back to my youth, where thrash bands would throw in a lone acoustic track amongst the amplified madness, almost to boast of their musical pedigree to those naysayers who couldn’t see past the imagery and understand the skill needed to play good metal. Very retro, and very nice indeed. The next big surprise was when ‘Lady of the Water’ followed on, and after the initial Sabbath worshipping riff, it was apparent that the original vocalist Terri Brown had found herself replaced by a chap, namely Ryan Evans, a man whose singing style is clearly influenced by the likes of Robert Lowe, or for that matter, any of the platoon of well sustained and clean vocalists that have passed through the revolving doors of Candlemass to front that band. Throw in lyrics that are laden with mythology and magic, and you are in for some classic Doom.

More blatant Iommi worship follows with the down-tuned riffage of ‘Bog of Kildare’, although with the theme of Celtic mythology and slight twang to the chord structure I can only imagine this is what could have been if the four pillars of metal that made up Black Sabbath had been born on the Emerald Isle, rather than in the soot and smoke of industrial England. ‘From The Sea’ follows as the same slogging pace, whilst amongst its changes in tempo, ‘Seance’ throws in hints of NWOBHM guitar gallops, a nice change in pace to keep interest up, before ‘The Angle of Eternity’ closes out with the title track, an epic, theatrical slice of classic mid temp doom

I’d be a liar if I claimed there was anything novel or ground-breaking in Cruthu’s music, but that is not meant to be a criticism; hell, you’ll never see me chucking out my Motörhead LPs because they share the same thunderous sound. What you do get, however, is some fine musicianship, a solid vocalist, and an album that, with the way the band has developed since their demo, points to enormous potential to come if they continue to evolve at the same rate.

(7/10 Spenny)