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The House Of Capricorn: Morning Star Rise

Occult rock anthems from the edge of the world

Packaged in a spartan brown sleeve that looks more like a leaflet for a 1950s carol service than an “apocalyptic devil rock” record, Morning Star Rise is the third LP for this impressive New Zealand trio, whose musical backgrounds in death, doom, trad and black metal are subtly woven into an accessible, polished rock framework.

The album kicks off with an upbeat surge on an opening triptych of short, pointed, driving tunes, faintly comparable to the rock’n’roll energy of Turbonegro crossed with stadium-goth shades of Paradise Lost circa Draconian Times and immersed in the occult elegance of The Devil’s Blood, plus a self-proclaimed debt to 90s Finnish death-rock cult Babylon Whores and kings of arch gloom Type O Negative.

Pete Steele’s seductive croak is most notably echoed in doom hymn Ashlands and stately nine-minute closer Dragon Of Revelations, but with a 10-year history and a range of musical bases confidently covered, their own identity emerges from the influences./o:p

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.