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Senses obscured by a cold fog, you’re transfixed by a wicked mysticism while you hear a swelling noise on the periphery of your awareness before the ground caves in beneath you and you are swallowed whole. This image is brought to mind by ‘The Calling’, the first track off And Deeper Still, the occult debut album by Columbus, Ohio funeral doom outfit The Magician Reversed.
Spanning an eye-watering 100 minutes, the album hits (and occasionally exceeds) the hallmarks you would expect from a doom metal record including steadily chugging longform songs and a persistent haze of fog and smoke throughout the journey. The majority of And Deeper Still is a straightforward death-march to its conclusion, but atmosphere was clearly top of mind during the making of this album. When I listened to it the image I keep coming back to – which I think illustrates the work well – is black clouds shrouding the sun above Sauron’s forces marching out of Mordor to besiege Minas Tirith. The tracks have a sinister vibe, typically beginning with dark ambient synth work before exploding into riff-heavy guitars.
There are places where things pick up with more energy and riffing than typical funeral doom (or at least the funeral doom I am familiar with). This culminates in the first half of the track ‘The Trials II,’ which has more of a death metal characteristic to it. Stylistic blending is a fine technique and used often to great effect, but there are points where things feel a bit more ‘riff to riff’ rather than a clear progression through a narrative. There are strong moments on this monster of a record, but also some tenuous ones. That said, And Deeper Still is a decent debut and I am curious to see how The Magician Reversed develops over time.
Overall, if you’re a fan of more atmospheric doom with blackened vocals, you’ll enjoy this record.
If you’re looking for something in a similar vein, check out Discipline Mag’s recent review of Imaginary Dead by death/doom band DUSK.
Check Out The Magician Reversed
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