Finnish obscure sludge metal band Black Royal inspired by witch hunts and paganism celebrates darkness on the sophomore album “Firebride” which promises to deliver all kinds of crushing grooves and much more.
“Coven” immediately manifests a softly brooding atmosphere that introduces an overload of chunky guitar riffs and fiery licks that create massive grooves certainly inspired by a classic doom formula while the diabolical growls channel the aggressive approach of death metal.
“Pagan Saviour” keeps an accessible slower doom metal pace that puts the spotlight on the grave tonalities and the melodic aspects of the compelling guitar work while the hostile growls tend to add major devilish vibes.
“Gods Of War” spontaneously follows an old school modus operandi that puts loud and soaring groovy guitar riffs at the center of the energetic rhythmic section embellished by the darkened melodies and the haunting atmospheric accents.
On the title track the grooves never stop as guitars proudly unleash particularly heavy riffage leading to a rough sludge momentum emphasized by the aggressive death metal style growls while the tasteful guitar melodies follow a hypnotic darkened sonic pathway.
The cold nocturnal atmosphere of “For The Dead Travel Fast” feels like a charming hymn to darkness also due to the presence of a mix of arcane choirs and delicate vocals performed by Saara Samane of Sapata while guitars shine for the charismatic doom tinged melodies emerging through the monolithic rhythmic patterns.
In reality it’s not easy to categorize the dark & groovy music style of Black Royal but we can definitely say that “Firebride” is characterized by an overwhelming ominous energy that has the potential to conquer many acolytes.