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BLACK MAGICIAN (Nature Is The Devil's Church) LP/CD

Whooooo...the occult is coming full force lately. Both the band name as well as the album title makes one think of all those 70s retro bands that have emerged in the last few years. A look at the line-up tells us that the name of the singer is Liam. So at least, we have no female vocals here while the piano intro plays. But they have a guy for keyboards/organ in the line-up. So this must be just another.....fuck no, 'Full Plain I See, The Devil Knows How To Row' sets in with a heavy Doom riff and vocals that sound like a young Lee Dorian. And with vocals like that a comparison to Albion's masters of Doom goes without saying. Especially when the song creeps as vile and slow as early Cathedral, just to turn into a Metal monster in the end, comparable to Cathedral's take on Celtic Frost's music at 'The Garden Of Delight'. And with Cathedral being no more there is nothing wrong for younger bands to try and get into the niche they left.

What sets Black Magician apart is the consequent use of the organ even when speeding up and giving the music a stronger Metal edge. The organ is a nice 70s counterpoint while enhancing the creepy feeling of the slow-mo riffs. The overall sound stays pretty much the same on the album, at least as long as the band plays Doom Metal. Slow riffs, sometimes a stronger change in the Metal direction. This is pretty common among quite a few of the newer bands from England.

'Of Ghosts And Their Worship' instead gets us into a world of Neo Folk. This is where the band gets closer to the current roster or retro occultists with instruments. That tune is a beautiful piece where the band shows that they are able to create something different from their Doom Metal. The song is playing with different emotions very well, due to its changes between minor and major chords, arpeggios and full out strumming, decent and prominent organ as well as the birds singing in the background. I wish this musicianship would have found a little more into the Doom Metal songs. 'Chattox' with its church organ intro, tribal drums and melodic guitar at the beginning shows that the band can do that. Fans of British Doom Metal which is represented by bands such as Witchsorrow and The Wounded Kings are better off getting this album, I say.

(Thorsten Frahling)