Exclusive Track Premiere: Altar of Betelgeuze – “Absence of Light”

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Does 2017 feel like a slow march to an elephant burial ground? Good, because the doom isn’t stopping anytime soon. In fact, I’m going to add another weight to your suicide cargoload with a preposterously dense new track from Altar of Betelgeuze. I’m pleased as all hell to premiere “Absence of Light” for your grave pleasure.

“Absence of Light,” the fifth track from Altar of Betelgeuze’s sophomore release Among the Ruins, starts off not with a bang, but with a soft, plaintive acoustic whimper. Be not deceived. This somber introduction is merely the calm before the storm, the numbing injection before the full-blown daze of emotion-crushing doom lays waste. After those serene 45 seconds, your soul belongs to the keepers of the altar.

What I find most interesting about this track is the band’s unconventional approach to stoner doom. The quartet notes on their Bandcamp page that they wanted to explore the heaviness and structure of death metal within a stoner metal context. That novel approach yields immediate results; the main riff that drives “Absence of Light” is a massive, crushing thing that combines the jarring looseness of stoner doom with the punch and bite of death metal. The death influence can also be felt in the throaty vocals, more reminiscent of funeral doom than stoner metal, again lending the track a far deeper emotional weight than usual in this genre.

On an artistic level, the combination of death metal with stoner doom lends the track an almost spiritual, austere tone. The cleaner riffs are reverent and morose; as the song unwinds within the last minute, these plaintive notes are led to the burial ground with grace and dignity by the martial drumbeat, content and resigned to their fate. There’s a majesty to what Altar of Betelgeuze are doing here, and it wouldn’t be too far a leap to label this album spiritual doom as it shares a similar emotive plane as Spirit Adrift and Bereft.

Press play below and take your place at the pew in the catacombs.

Among the Ruins comes out April 15th. You can pre-order it here courtesy of Transcending Obscurity. Make sure you swing by Facebook to tell the lads, “Thanks for the funeral procession.”

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    Played a bunch of these tracks for This Toilet Tuesday, reeeally god stuff here.

    • looks like Transcending Obscurity has some pretty good bands.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Yepp, they’re definitely taking up some space on my “To-watch” -list these days.

        • Thank you so much guys! It’s probably a little known fact that we’re based in India of all places and things are more difficult than they should be, but this is very heartening to read! Cheers!

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    YEAH!!!

    I’ve been following these dudes for a while now. Otu, their guitarist and vocalist, was one of my favorite youtube guitarists “back in the day.” He’s very versatile and a well-rounded player and put in a lot of work in several different bands. It is really nice to see these dudes coming up and getting known.

  • Joaquin Stick

    I’ve never pre-ordered an album before, but I guess I’ll break that rule now since I’ve heard all but two songs and loved ’em all.

    Side note, what’s with the Saturday release date? I saw 15th and had a mini heart attack, thinking today was still Wednesday.

    • Wet W’s Whistle

      I dunno, but that’s definitely not an error. Kunal mentioned the 15th to me in a message too.

    • ozzyzak

      The release date seems to be a bit arbitrary. I pre-ordered this on BC a few months back and as of right now, the digital version is unlocked and I’ve had the CD for at least a couple weeks. Solid stuff!

    • Don’t worry mate, the digital pre-orders have been released a week earlier and the physical items have been shipped even before that! Thank you very, very much for your support for Transcending Obscurity Records! We need you support to go on! Cheers!

  • Really like that melodic middle section. Nice.

  • Al Bvndy

    Sweet stuff. Another quality slice of doom. These TOvH depression sessions have really made my week. Thank Jebus for the long bank holiday weekend!

  • Transcending Obscurity >>>>>>>>

  • Waynecro

    Nice article, Dubya!

  • Óðinn

    That’s some tasty Death Doom. Thanks W.