It’s always a great pleasure when I discover a new musical formation that manages to offer something new and different from the standard. And Latum Alterum, which is the debut album from the American doom metal band named The Sabbathian, was really an happy surprise for me.
The chronicles say that The Sabbathian have been playing their original style of music since the last six years, initially as a trio but then becoming a duo, and before this year’s debut LP they released in 2014 a first EP, named Ritual Rites, which honestly I missed. The music played by The Sabbathian develops from a solid foundation of occult doom metal. Starting from that, multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis and Norwegian fascinating singer Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen have incorporated many other elements but still managing to maintain a great balance among the various components.
Among the principal external influences that we recognize in their music there is a style of sound that seems taken from sacred music, which produces enchanting atmospheres that oscillate between the mystic and the occult. In this respect, Gulbrandsen’s gothic style of singing perfectly accompanies the music. Even more interesting, however, is the persistent presence of black metal elements, which give the songs a profound sense of obsessiveness and repetitiveness. The final result is that many of the songs of the album are hypnotic and you feel the chills on your skin even after the songs are finished.
Being able to mix together apparently distant elements in the metal spectrum requires a musical sensibility that’s out of the ordinary, especially when the different ingredients produce something extremely homogeneous and absolutely enjoyable to listen to as is the case of The Sabbathian’s new record. In this sense I really hope that the duo will keep moving on this direction in their future works.
In summary: Latum Alterum is definitely a solid and fascinating record from a band that arrives at their debut LP with a style of music that’s already mature and also relatively original. My overall rating for the album is 7/10.
My favorite song is the mesmerizing track named Liti Kjersti, but also Head of a Traitor and the concluding song Evig Hvile are extremely interesting to hear.
Latum Alterum can be streamed from Spotify.
Lovers of doom and sludge will appreciate the playlist SLOWLY (a.k.a. you don’t need to be fast to be strong). Check it out and follow it, it’s periodically updated with new songs.