Conan: Revengeance

Furious assault from homegrown doom barbarians

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In just a few years, Conan have gained a fearsome reputation, not just as flag-bearers within the contemporary doom movement, but, with live appearances at festivals such as Roadburn, as ambassadors of British underground metal in general.

But more important has been the power of their recorded output. A combination of monolithic riffs, hypnotic songs and vocals seemingly issued straight from the void, not to mention a mammoth, distorted sound, have all made for a formidable assault on the senses and it’s one that Revengeance maintains.

Nevertheless, there is a definite shift from the band’s last opus – perhaps unsurprising given the shuffle in personnel since 2014’s Blood Eagle. Where that album had a surprisingly reflective and meditative undertone in places, this one is rather reflective of its name, being more aggressive, vicious and violent, a point highlighted in the percussive bombardment of the title track.

Aggression, rather than solemnity, is frequently a defining characteristic and overall, there is a more nihilistic feel here. The vocals themselves – once again a dual attack of deep growls and howling cries – also seem somewhat more frantic, more lost and hopeless. A vital and vitriolic addition to the genre.