Metal Review: Ereb Altor – Gastrike

Ereb Altor - GastrikeSwedish band Ereb Altor was an offshoot band created from the doom metal band Isole, which was supposed to be done after their previous release The End. From a two-piece band to now being a three-piece band, Ereb Altor sounds like a completely different band. Gone are the traits of their previous pagan/doom/viking metal sound and, at the forefront, is a new black metal sound.

Gastrike still shows a few sounds of their previous release with some signature viking metal sounds and chants, but the slow, dark thumping sounds are now replaced with familiar black metal drones and the drums, while still contain remnants of the slow brood, are noticably different on Gastrike. Gone are the long anthems on their previous release. These songs are more succinct and to the point. Only one of the seven tracks creeps over seven minutes in length.

If you remember, I was a huge fan of the last Ereb Altor release, so to hear the drastic changes should have thrown me off the wagon, but I have to say, that I am even more on the wagon now than I have ever been. You already know that I have a natural affinity for black metal, and the mix between black metal and Ereb Altor’s other tendencies strike such a nice chord on this release.

Track by track, you are treated to tempo changes galore, riffing madness, blast beats and anything else that you could conjure up. The album is chock full of solid happenings and never relents throughout the entire trip that you take with the band. Each track is a portrait of a story that you are glad to stare and revel at. You become entralled quickly with the tones and sounds of each track. There is really never a letdown on the album. Just when you become comfortable with a portion of a song, they switch it up. All rule books are thrown out the window on this one. Just listen to the completely different tone on The Mistress of Wisdom to see what I mean.

Gastrike Track Listing:
1. The Gathering of Witches (5:39)
2. Dance of Darkness (6:19)
3. Dispellation (6:41)
4. Boatmans Call (5:38)
5. The Mistress of Wisdom (8:25)
6. I Djupet SÃ¥ Svart (6:15)
7. Seven (6:11)