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Lord Vigo - Blackborne Souls album review

Germany’s epic doom magicians paint a portrait of despair

Cover art for Lord Vigo's BLACKBORNE SOULS

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.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.