ALSTADT: Climes of Northern Sorrow


Alstadt is a one man unblack metal band from Canada. Its single member, Coal, founded the band in 2016 , releasing Rest These Woods in Solitude in 2017, and Climes of Northern Sorrow in 2018, both on Christian Metal Underground Records. Much like Vials of Wrath, Alstadt focuses heavily on creation imagery (nature) and strong scriptural lyrics. The music prominently features heavily distorted buzzsaw guitar, over all other instrumentation. Sometimes the drumming is almost non-existent, other times it picks up substantially, but blastbeats are not to be found here. Most songs end rather abruptly. The vocals can be whispered, if the music is slow, but most often sound like pig squealing that extreme metal detractors are quick to deride. The music is rough, but decent (a benchmark that some black metal musicians strive for), and faster songs like “Triumphant Victory Procession,” where there appears to be lead and rhythm guitar heard, are quite good, but the overall vocal performance detracts from the whole work of art. “Hope for the Healing” is the standout long player of the album, featuring a clean guitar intro that builds into the black metal fury, like a coming storm. The album is bookended by keyboard instrumentals. Cover art is minimalist nature and cd is housed in a mini-lp digipack. (Christian Metal Underground Records) 3 out of 5 stars

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