My album of the year is this. Reptile Master: In the Light of the Sinking Sun. I've mentioned the Norwegian sludge/doom band Reptile Master here a few years ago after I saw them live in Norway during the Tromso International Film Festival in 2013, where they played a mind boggling concert in front of a screen displaying scenes from Lucifer Rising - a cult movie from the seventies (which I was unaware of at the time). That concert still is one of the best shows I have ever witnessed, and ever since, I have been waiting for the magnificent reptile lords to make a move. (In the meanwhile, I have watched this live clip [the only RM live clip on YouTube so far!] over and over, from one of their previous concerts in Tromso. The studio version of that same song, called Hoist the Bell, can also be found on their Soundcloud.)
News of their debut album were exciting to get, to say the least, and after the release of the single in October - also called In the Light of the Sinking Sun - I was very optimistic about the full album. Before this, I was not sure how serious the dudes were with this band to begin with, due to not making much noise about themselves and having other band projects as well, but this album proofs that Reptile Master are serious about their creations.
The album begins with a hellish intro, Hekseprosessen I, which makes me feel like I'm in a horrendous purgatory - before descending down into the real doomy judgement as the second song, The Sorcerer's Weed, kicks in. The chilling scream vocals accompanied by the crushing weight of the instruments left me in awe the first time I heard this song. The great variation in vocals is owed to the two singer-bass players of the band, but do not expect clean singing. This album does not require those. Back to the album structure: No break from the judgement is offerend until the the sixth song, which returns the listener back to the purgatory, but only for a minute, as the last two songs crush your innards back where they belong. The last song of the album is the aforementioned single, In the Light of the Sinking Sun, which is a tad (but only a tad) more gentle than the rest of the album with its almost pictorial guitar melodies - also a great ending for the album. If this is album of the year, the last song's got to be my song of the year. All in the light of the sinking sun.
This album is extremely heavy in the more literal sense of the word. I would not use the word heavy for most heavy metal out there, but when it comes to sludgy doom executed in style, it is the most descriptive word. Reptile Master's talent in molding this rough genre into something interesting shows in the art of making slow, heavy music also groovy, and adding beautiful and/or chilling melodies in between the sludge.
In the Light of the Sinking Sun is a long-awaited masterpiece, which I shall reward with 9 out of 10 supernaiveX points. I am certain that in time this band will reach a great success. There is simply no other way from here. Go show your love on their FB page, listen to the album on Spotify, YouTube, or, better yet, contact the band or their label to purchase a physical copy of the album.
I leave you with track 5, From Crown to Dagger, to crush your Christmas spirits with.
Other than that, I have some upcoming blog related news in the near future but until then, ALL HAIL REPTILE MASTER!