Gregor Mackintosh doesn’t sleep. Never content to simply sit on his legacy, he is constantly writing. As one of the founding fathers of death doom, he has nothing else to prove. He’s spent decades as one of the primary songwriters and lead guitarist of Paradise Lost. He didn’t give us time to mourn the loss of Vallenfyre before establishing Strigoi.
2022’s Viscera is the band’s strongest release thus far, but Strigoi returns in 2023 with the 15 minute EP, Bathed In A Black Sun, a multifaceted EP with surprising depth given its length. It serves as a companion piece to Viscera, and I strongly recommend listening to them back to back.
For those only hearing the name for the first time, just start here. The title track is grinding death and doom, but what follows is the speed, crust, and filth. “Beautiful Stigmata,” might only clock in at 43 seconds, but the riffs crammed in there are worth looping the track. “A Spear of Perfect Grief” should’ve been an album cut, simply because it might get lost in the noise for the casual listener skipping over EPs in the band’s discography. Despite its simplicity, it’s one of the strongest tracks the band has put out. Overall, Greg’s tortured vocals and nasty guitar work, along with ex-Carcass guitarist Ben Ash, pair well with longtime collaborator Chris Casket’s distorted bass, while drummer Guido Zima’s punk sensibilities makes him the perfect fit for the group.
The sun is indeed black – there’s no hopeful moments to be found on this EP. Gregor Mackintosh doesn’t smile. Strigoi doesn’t smile. For your quick fix of death, grind, and doom, this is it.
Overall Score: 9/10
Review by: Tom Mis