Kroh – “Altars” (Devizes Records)
Kroh initially started back in 2011, releasing an acclaimed debut as well as a number of split compilations before founder instrumentalist Paul Kenney (Mistress, Fukpig) laid it to rest. Not for long though! Last year he recruited a full band and “Altars” is the excellent result. Hailing from Sabbath’s hometown of Birmingham, not surprisingly Kroh play doom metal, but more so in its modern form of incorporating sludge heaviness but superbly contrasted by a trippy melancholic atmosphere. Well it certainly works a treat from Kenney’s own fuzzed guitar soaked in reverb to the hypnotic femme ethereal vocals of Oliwia Sobieszek together producing some deliciously somber melodies through a massive sound thanks to the crushing rhythm of Darren Donovan’s bass and the drums of Rich Stanton (Burden of the Noose). With the idea brewing for several years, the rejuvenated Kroh has found its feet here on songs like ‘Mother Serpent’ and ‘Stone Into Flesh’, all brought to life through Kenney’s confident recording, mixing and mastering such that even earlier tracks like ‘Precious Bones’ have been re-recorded with this new line up to augment this excellent 9 tracker. Sitting perfectly between bands like Conan and Alunah, while being comparable to Stateside cousins like Windhand, Kroh’s welcome return to fine form adds even more talent to today’s flourishing young doom scene!