Lord Vigo - Blackborne Souls album review

Germany’s epic doom magicians paint a portrait of despair

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Lord Vigo was the villainous sorcerer in Ghostbusters 2. This fact, along with singer/drummer Vinz Clortho’s amusing spiked helmet (and name), might lead you to conclude that these Teutonic rivetheads are taking the piss.

Thankfully there’s little evidence of that in the music, which exudes a solemn, rugged mystical grandeur reminiscent of fellow ultra-cult German epic doom royalty Mirror Of Deception, Doomshine and Dawn Of Winter, with head-
caving power chords, plaintive crystalline vocals and ghostly, edge-of-hearing synths, plus irresistible sound effects (wind, rain, thunder, bells) and regular twists and turns of tempo, from sluggish crawl to attacking gallop and raucous swing. Strong vocals are crucial in this kind of metal, and Mr Clortho does a spot-on job channelling ethereal despair and querulous mystique, hitting high notes and enlivening the narrative with committed panache and feeling. This sort of eccentric, nuanced, 80s-rooted atmospheric classicism is a rare brew, and Blackborne Souls sounds remarkably focused and distinct for a full-length debut.