Winterhorde – Maestro6th April 2016
Saviours – Palace of Vision11th April 2016
Label: Dark Essence / Release Date: 1st February 2016
Mixing Black and Death Metal seems to be all the rage these days. While that might be a bit of a misnomer (many of the bands that have mixed these two genres in more recent times are often from the beginning of the 2000s), I must admit that I seem to be seeing them everywhere. The most recent example of this is Norwegian Sulphur – a six-piece that have operated under this ominous moniker since 1999 (prior to this they went by the name Taakeriket). Sulphur is, in my opinion at least, different from many other similar acts in one key aspect: This band sprung into existance when band members from many different Norwegian Black Metal bands coupled together. So in my eyes, Omens of Doom is, essentially, the third full-length release of a Black Metal band who strives to do what Dissection did so perfectly back in the day: Bridge the gap between the two genres (Black and Death Metal, to those of you who might have forgotten). All in all the six experienced musicians succeed very well in their chosen endeavour: Omens of Doom contains a grand total of seven tracks, one of which is in their native Norwegian, spanning almost forty-seven minutes all in all. And while it is definitely a pleasant experience (Heavily distorted Death Metal with powerful Black Metal undertones never go out of fashion – apparently), I was left with the impression that they deliberately trodded out a bit deeper than they were used to (or, put more bluntly, I would have preferred a more rough and traditional Black Metal sound). Not that this does not serve the band quite well. The track ”Rise of the Mushroom Clouds” for instance, has it all: All the best aspects of both genres blended together more expertly than even Dissection could have done back in the day and, of course, an easy to remember (as well as ominous) title. Sure, Sulphur does not rank on my top ten of favourite bands (I am too conservative for that, I am afraid), but it is nevertheless a band that I am keen to keep an eye on in the future. And Omens of Doom is definitely going to get a few more spins before I put it away.