This is the third album from Greek blackened doom band Agnes Vein.
Deathcall actually came out at the end of 2021, but I believe it recently had a vinyl release so it seemed as good a time as any to catch up with what they’re doing these days – the last, (and only), time I have encountered them previously was on 2016’s split with Sadhus “The Smoking Community”.
Combining crushing sludge/doom/post-metal with vicious black metal sounds like a good idea on paper, and Agnes Vein realise it well across 48 minutes.
Agnes Vein’s songs are written with one eye on atmosphere and another on serrated heaviness. Sometimes it’s the black metal that gains ascendency in the band’s varied sound, (the title track opener is a prime example of this), while at others it is the sludge metal that comes to the fore, such as on the very next song Vultures Hymn (Praise Bounteous). Other songs focus more on slow-burning doom, (Sovereign Star, The Golgotha Entanglement), while also combining into themselves the other influences that they have.
The band deliver their hybrid style with grim confidence and execution. The black metal is raw and grim, the doom is emotive and bleak, the post-metal is textured and mood-rich, and the sludge is filthy and barbed. Agnes Vein successfully merge all of this into six well-conceived songs that leave a strong impression of quality with the listener.
If you’re a fan of bands such as Wolvhammer, Inter Arma, Celtic Frost, -(16)-, Yob, Primordial, and Neurosis, and you’ve ever wondered what it might sound like if they all grouped together to put out an album, the result might not sound a million miles away from Deathcall. With riffs that crash like thunder, atmospheric depths to get lost in, and a mix of harsh snarling screams and powerful clean singing, Agnes Vein have produced a very enjoyable record.
Very highly recommended.