Switchblade: Switchblade [2012]

Glacial‐paced, soul‐chilling doom/drone magnificence

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Switchblade are so fucking sombre, this is their sixth album in a row entitled Switchblade. Presumably because album titles are futile gestures made by pathetic mortals. Lumbering, lurching, howling and growling through the past 15 years, the Swedes have earned a doom/drone pedigree that’s near impeccable.

They’ve toured with Cult Of Luna, been released on Converge’s label and featured guest vocals from Watain’s Erik Danielsson. And though more recently reduced to a trio of guitar and drums, Switchblade [2012] features guest Hammond organ from Per Wilberg, who has played with Opeth, Clutch and Candlemass.

An album of three movements, it’s a bleak set that should come with a stash of Prozac and a complementary light-box. Like COL, Switchblade are capable of playing at the pace of a funeral march – all clanging death knells, Arctic winds and cawing carrion crows. But they can slay, too, their skeletal sound embellished with beefy guest vocals and colossal crescendos that creak and crash like great hunks of glacial ice breaking away and crushing a helpless cathedral during a midwinter’s solstice service. Utterly sinister and rather brilliant.