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Strigoi – Abandon All Faith

Abandon All Faith
by Cherie Wong at 31 December 2019, 4:19 AM

On November 22, 2019, STRIGOI released their debut full-length album “Abandon All Faith.” Though the band only formed last September, you are probably already familiar with its two members. As the band promos kindly explained, “strigoi” are troubled spirits of Romanian mythology who could rise from the grave and assume a different form. Much like the namesake, after PARADISE LOST guitarist Greg Mackintosh put his side project VALLENFYRE to rest, STRIGOI rose from the ashes. Bassist Chris Casket, also formerly of VALLENFYRE and of EXTREME NOISE TERROR, completes the duo. Waltteri Väyrynen of PARADISE LOST provided drums in the studio but will not be a full-time member of the band.

From this albums, listeners can expect death metal, but with punk, grindcore, industrial, and even some black metal elements. Tracks range from short ones that pass in a frenzy of d-beats to lengthier ones full of moodiness to ones that blend it all together. Purposefully, the longer tracks with a bit of meat are strategically placed after shorter tracks. As a listener, the pacing breaks up the monotony of listening to similar tracks one after the other.

The first track of note is “Phantoms,” as “The Rising Horde” is an instrumental opener. “Phantoms” is a catchy death metal track, energetic and fast-paced with a great riff as the backbone. The third track “Nocturnal Vermin” is one of the shorter tracks at less than 2 minutes long. This track is punk-influenced death metal without the rawness. The following “Seven Crowns” is a tribute to early death metal, with fast paced punk drumming and guttural vocals. In comparison to the previous tracks, “Carved Into The Skin” is downright crawling. The riffs and growls are drawn out and murky, reminiscent of a death/doom track.

The tracks in the second half of the album from “Parasite” to “Scorn Of The Father” are all solid death metal tracks, dynamic and distinct from each other. Notably, “Iniquitous Rage” has a killer guitar solo. “Plague Nation” has a ferocious blackened sound from the main guitar riff. The closer and titular track “Abandon All Faith” is a standout track. Similar to “Carved Into The Skin,” it is a comparatively slower track to the previous few tracks. “Abandon All Faith” is death/doom inspired, intense and unnerving, but still with a great guitar solo.

With such a range of styles explored on this album, there is something for every death metal fan, which is why I recommend this album overall. Though songs differ enough to be unique, the ever present growl of the bass guitar and fast-paced drumming tie all the tracks together.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. The Rising Horde
2. Phantoms
3. Nocturnal Vermin
4. Seven Crowns
5. Throne Of Disgrace
6. Carved Into The Skin
7. Parasite
8. Iniquitous Rage
9. Plague Nation
10. Enemies Of God
11. Scorn Of The Father
12. Abandon All Faith
Greg Mackintosh – Vocals, Guitars
Chris Casket – Bass
Waltteri Väyrynen – Drums (Studio Only)
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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