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Bretus – Magharia

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 06 May 2021, 2:42 PM

BRETUS is an Italian Stoner Doom band who formed in 2000. Their new album "Magharia" is their fifth full length album. They also released a demo, EP and a split. This album is a guitar lovers wet dream. Guitarist Ghenes is a beast on the strings—this album is a nonstop riff fest! The tone is awesome too with the right balance between thickness and crunching gallops. According to the band “Magharia” is ‘based on some of the frightening Italian ghost tales."

Vocalist Zagarus goes a long way in providing the spooky atmosphere to back up the subject matter—his clean vocals are loud and wide, coming off like he is singing from above everything…very occult like. Drummer Striges and bassist Janos are a fantastic rhythm foundation that hit just as hard as the guitars—both musicians are as indispensable as the other members."A Celebration Of Gloom" opens the album on a strong note with huge riffs and drums. When the vocals arrive, the band settles in for a nearly five minute doom romp that just doesn’t quit. A great opening track that will tell you how the rest of the album will play out. About three fourths of the way through the song appears what sounds like either violin or keys giving the song a creepy and psychedelic feel.

"Moonchild's Scream" is prepared to blow out speakers with the bass and guitar just going out for blood—excellent and frightening loud riffs. This song has a strong stoner vibe and is rather hazy—wouldn’t have it any other way. The vocals are immense and expressive too, preaching horror and wicked things. "NURAGHE" has a dirty, sludge vibe to it and it works so well for the band's sound. The dangerous edge. Considering a nuraghe is an ancient pile of stones, it makes sense this song would sound more archaic than some of the others. The riffs and bass rock and roll very strongly here for a whirlwind of headbanging doom.

"The Bridge Of Damnation" is one of the album's best songs….the riffs ride the line between blues and Sabbath and are just MASSIVELY played. The clean vocals are more gothic tinged in places and come off similar to Danzig except not boring and washed up.  The bass and guitar right after the trippy solo are badass and the song just rolls around hardcore until the end, which highlighted by a killer attack display from the drums. The title track ends the album in the form of an epic instrumental.  While it is a good song it does feel somewhat out of place as it quite a bit more proggy than what came before it. Perhaps the next album will be stoner prog doom? I'd be down for that. At any rate, this is a rifftastic and well written piece of hard hitting horror themed stoner doom.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Celebration of Gloom
2. Cursed Island
3. Moonchild's Scream
4. NecroPass
5. Nuraghe
6. Headless Ghost
7. The Bridge of Damnation
8. Sinful Nun
9. Magharia
Zagarus – Vocals
Striges – Drums
Ghenes – Guitars, Keys
Janos – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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