These Australian’s have certainly started to make a name from themselves. Their last release ‘Ancient Tome of Arcane Knowledge’ started some waves in the underground scene. However, to note, this new one ‘Subterranean Exile’ in indeed their fourth release of a full album, and the band started in 2004.
The progression between this and the last is a marked inclusion of vibrancy in the production. The guitars come out a lot more, the drums, perhaps I preferred the earlier sound, but overall, their ability to sound classic and occult in the expansive category that is termed doom you truly can welcome in 2020. Their obvious influences are Pagan Altar and some parts of the Manilla Road arsenal. It is the former reference you can hear more to my mind, there is more doom and the vocals are unique, like those of Pagan Altar’s fallen and much missed vocalist. The guitar riffs and harmonies (a second guitarist has been added for the studio recording) are majestic. They almost transport you back into a folklore tale; a real sense of atmosphere recreated. Their spells have sharpened as the PR material suggests. ‘Master of the Night’ is more of a straight play through without much potion conjuring. Then you get to ‘Long Live the Dead’. There is a great atmospheric from the start coming from the echo of the guitars; it has almost been recorded from a distance. Matching vocal harmonies with the guitar lines works out well. As you go into the chorus, I feel a certain affliction to the vocal tone that fellow compatriots and provocateurs Black Magick SS have in certain quarters, the portrayed pain and emotion are captured perfectly. This gives you character and with such a strong presence, it makes you feel part of the spell. For an upbeat track, head to ‘Evil in My Heart’, you may even find some Witchfinder General, you will certainly find some magic. This is your opportunity to have inclusion with an upbeat vibe, a chorus to sing along too and a song that simply uplifts you. ‘Dark Forces’ completes the release and add spoken demonic vocals, prior to hitting the gas pedal and picking up the pace. What a good way to end the album on a high.
The arcane horrors are here for you all, delve into the magical world of The Wizar’d, there’s doom a plenty, mysticism in the lyrical contend and a real vintage warm to the album.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)