Rewinding the hands of doom back to the glory days of Trouble, Witchfinder General and the mighty Sabbath themselves, Gévaudan – the UK’s very own deliverers of arcane doom metal – are back with 3 track ‘album’ Litost.
“Wastes Eternal” is an insistent and instantly unnerving opener, a mysterious and inviting combination of crushing doom riffs and the timeless songwriting style of Paul Chain, which threatens to careen into utter madness at any moment. The vocals of Gévaudan frontman Adam Pirmohamed form the nucleus of this unbalanced and unsettling atmosphere and his maddening stream-of-conciousness utterances hit hitherto untapped heights of insanity on “The Ninth Circle”. A track that very nearly blows open the gates of hell with its dominant and decidedly devilish riffing, “The Ninth Circle” is the beating heart of this release; a distinctive descent into misery and torment and Litost‘s highlight.
The distortion drenched “Lord Of Decay” saves the more expected monolithic riffing for last, the scales of doom heavily leaning on the work of Tony Iommi before a surprising turn into blackened doom territory closes the track in considerable – and ferocious style.
Epic without embracing pomposity, Gévaudan have a canny knack for making the vintage sound vital, a throwback to the days of expertly constructed sojourns into hypnotic storytelling and palpable atmospherics. In other words, Litost is ‘proper’ doom and yet another fine entry in what has been a ridiculously strong year for the sub-genre! 8/10