Yep, that’s the title, we’re going with that. I doubt Alastor will mind; it fits right in with the track’s (and the album’s and the band’s, to be honest) intended occult aesthetic. In case you’ve forgotten, these guys released one of my favorite stoner/occult/slightly-doom albums of 2018, with Slaves to the Grave. When I reviewed it back then, I mentioned that it was very sincere with its influences, channeling that kind of no-nonsense, Black Sabbath worshipping, groovy tone and compositions that have been all the rage in metal for the last eight years or so. But it does it with a rare ear for what makes that style work, with a special emphasis on the tones and production needed to carry that style off. Well, the fanatics in Alastor are gearing up to release their next album, Onwards and Downwards, a release they call “one person’s gradual slip into insanity”.

You can definitely hear that on the track we’re premiering today, “Dead Things in Jars”. The track starts off with the sort of thick riff-drum-vocal combo you’d expect, all honey dripping in a room filled of smoke, dominating the beginning of the track. But if you head on over to the five minute mark, you’ll hear something a bit different, namely a trippy, bass-drive, contemplatively slow passage that reminds us of The Samsara Blues Experiment, those masters of the psychedelic journey. And that’s the vibe you get from this segment, of someone’s brain unravelling into the void, scattered among the stars from/with the horrors they have witnessed. Of course, the main riff returns for the outro, graced by the newly found command of the bass and the embellishments it adds to it as the track slowly dies on the wings of a massive solo.

All in all, everything comes together into a very satisfying, nine minute long ride that showcases Alastor’s craft and vision. It should set your appetite going for this release, which releases on May 28th via the magnificent RidingEasy Records. You can head on over to their neck of the virtual woods to pre-order it.

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