Strigoi – Viscera

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After disbanding his former death metal band Vallenfyre in 2017, guitarist and vocalist Gregor Macintosh (Paradise Lost, ex-Vallenfyre) succeeded in laying the sonic groundwork for his blackened death doom band Strigoi. With the second album “Viscera” now released via Season of Mist since September 30th, the veteran opens a new chapter in setting up a direction in the sub-genre of death/doom metal. From the ashes of Vallenfyre, Strigoi boldly exploits the element of modern doom, Gregor Macintosh is a master of conjuring a whole realm of foreboding darkness and that’s exactly how “Viscera” fulfill the crusade.

On the sophomore album Chris Casket (bass guitar), Guido Zima (drums), and Ben Ash (guitars) take their craft to the levels of cold and dark cacophony as they offer a different experience from what the debut album “Abandon All Hope” offered. At the same time, some of the songs have a cinematic quality. Strigoi gives a bolder take in the opening track “United in Viscera” which conjures bleak images that enclose the listener in frosty landscapes filled with a horrid haze of doom. Heavy blackened riffs cascade through the harsh beating drums and abrasive riffs are charred and smeared by the growing suspense. The track is followed by “King of All Terror” which paints a monochrome vision of a shining black pearl, the creeping sound of the guitars, and the blasting drums that erupt like burning magma. Being one of the shortest track the drums offers ferocious blast beats, but it also shows the ugly side of Strigoi’s music.

While some of the songs, like “And Ocean of Blood”, are full of dark overtones devoid of melodies, riffs ebbing and flowing like destructive tides, the music is awash with ear-splitting dissonance. By emphasizing bold dynamics Gregor Macintosh transforms his music into horror showpieces, likewise, the six minutes cut “Hollow” unfolds the ominous orchestral samples. However, the songs sweep as fast as the tide without verging on emotive melodies the abrasive guitars slashing through the crushing drums. The drums on the album are intrusive and often relentless adding a real thrill to each song, while much of the tracks ebb and flow in certain rhythms the music is truly horrifying and loud.

A Begotten Son” delivers straightforward blast beats and even in the slower tempos the music has the same unnerving quality. The songs are brimming with gloomy details. The organically structured “Viscera” is defined by its unique composition that is applied to create a sense of suffocating atmosphere along with the guttural growls that fit this kind of music perfectly. There are some tracks where the drums unleash scathing fury, the guitars infuse hypnotic dissonance as well as other elements that gradually come into play therefore the album delivers a dreadful experience, in a good way that is. ”Viscera” is a sonic nightmare sustained by the abrasive elements of blackened death doom, Strigoi depicts utter bleakness and redefines its style.

The sophomore takes a logical step forward from the debut album. Although the riffs are extremely harsh, there is an explicit element of menace combined to make tracks like “Bathed in Black Sun” dark and menacing. With just the right gloomy components strewn with dramatic female vocals, the track ranged from dense, lush atmospheric textures. Cold dissonance manifest to evoke viciousness, Strigoi utilizes an overwhelming experience through its sonic density, and rhythmic shifts to make this a captivating album. Gregor Macintosh takes a new approach to music the dark elements seem to dominate songs like “Byzantine Tragedy” which is an outstanding example of organic performance.

Strigoi infuses a grim sense of oppression with the guitars yielding dramatic twists where the middle section contains some remarkable female vocal section. The grimy discharge of the blackened riffs is perfectly contrasted with the growls of Gregor Macintosh, the music becomes swept in cold industrial sounds that ooze out sable soundscapes. “Redeemer” delivers sludgy guitar riffs and the blast beats give a level of crudeness. Though this fast-paced track is merely a filler and is somewhat less intriguing than the previous songs.

The album closure “Iron Lung” clocks in approximately eight minutes and begins to channel the deep horror soundscapes before the smashing drums intermix some cold industrial sounds. The track is held by a catchy rhythm guitar section the brooding guitars exude dark somber tones, yet there is an unsettling sense of darkness encompassing the entirety of the song.


  • Music / Songwriting 8/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 7/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 8/10
  • Originality 8/10

“Viscera” is a well-crafted album than the debut, Strigoi presents something greatly sinister, and this is a grim bleak blackened death doom album that is equally savage and relentless.

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