Altar Of Oblivion 'Grand Gesture Of Defiance' review

'Grand Gesture Of Defiance'
(Shadow Kingdom Records)

I was a little surprised initially to find out this band was made up partially from the remnants of other Danish bands like Victimizer and Church Bizarre. Those are extreme brutalizing metal bands. While Altar of Oblivion are a slow paced, melodic heavy metal band, I hesitate to call them doom metal, yet they do remind me of Candlemass and they are a doom band, so let's call a spade a spade here. So melodic heavy metal doom band it is. Now normally when you see classic doom automatically people tend to think of Black Sabbath and bands like this, but Altar Of Oblivion sound nothing like that and do not have those big crushing riffs. Their music produces in me more of an epic, yet somber mood and if you can get in that mindset, it is an emotional journey 'Grand Gesture Of Defiance' will take you on. Despite the obvious Candlemass influence the vocalist does not have the emotional or dynamic range of Messiah Marcolin, he has some range but it is more of a monotone, hypnotic delivery and I do like the vocals. I can hear influences mixed within their doom sound such as Manilla Road, Gothic Knights, Solitude Aeturnus and the like. As I said this is a journey, not just a crush and grind you to bits with slow motion doom riffs, nothing wrong with that of course, but Altar of Oblivion spread that power out across each instrument and that glow stretches across you like a wet blanket that just encompasses you in warmth and despair. To sum things up, this is a damn fine album, which I very much recommend and the scene in Denmark continues to show its quality with this excellent young band.
(Dale Roy)


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