I think everyone has their own particular tastes they gravitate to. It’s not exactly a guilty pleasure though. It’s just your personal taste. But despite it being your favorite, it can get a little stale after a while. If you’re reading this article, it’s possible that you feel like you’ve been a little too in your own world. Everyone eventually feels like they’re stuck in a rut and need something to break you out a little bit. But how do you do that? That’s always the tricky part when I get to feeling that way. Where do you even start? One thing I’ve discovered is that you need the right band or artist who does a whole lot of different things you’re not normally accustomed to. For me, that band has been Strigoi.
Strigoi is the brand new project from Paradise Lost guitarist Greg Mackintosh. Previously, Mackintosh was involved with Vallenfyre as the lead singer and principal songwriter. That project was only meant to have a few records under its belt as it was a tribute to Mackintosh’s deceased father. Only a few days after Vallenfyre’s disbandment, Mackintosh announced the formation of Strigoi to help further explore his musical ideas outside of the gothic doom metal of Paradise Lost and the groovy death-doom of Vallenfyre. With Mackintosh’s background exploring the various subgenres of metal, Strigoi was primed to be another new a different thing for the outrageously musically talented Mackintosh.
If you were looking for something very different than his previous works, you’ve found it. Mackintosh, along with Vallenfyre bassist Chris Casket, make a very crusty and sludgy version of death metal. Or depending on the track, a very crusty and death metal style of sludge. It flows between the two variations and weaves together into its own voice. Each track produces its own vision and combines a lot of styled sounds into delicious aural treats. It’s a lot of brutal riffs with blast beats absolutely destroying your ears. It’s exactly what you need to get your blood pumping.
The overall themes on the record combine well with the sound. This record is dark. This record is like Pinhead got even deeper into nihilism dark. Every track is a grinding punishment of dark fantasy and depressive ideas. To be fair, this is what you should expect from a principle songwriter in Paradise Lost gets into punky sludge. Mackintosh knows what he wants to do, and he’s got the experience and wherewithal to do it. Casket makes an excellent songwriting partner in this new direction where the overall effect is both deeply engaging and unsettling. It’s one of the most expressive records I’ve heard this year. The range of dark emotions expression on Abandon All Faith is an original experience that’s hard to describe overall.
Like I was originally saying, sometimes you need to get knocked out of a funk. And sometimes that knock is more literal than you think. Abandon All Faith is a genuinely original experience of a record that pummels you with pounding riffs and abrasive ideas. It’s a dark and heavy record that doesn’t let up for a second. Strigoi has introduced a new variation on expressing aggression through music. It’s dark, it’s loud, and it’s everything you need while listening to a new metal record. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. This band will grind it right out of you.
Abandon All Faith is available Nov. 22 via Nuclear Blast.