How black can blackened doom metal go, considering doom metal – by its very nature – is already pretty damn dark? If you’re Idaho blackened doom metallers Ghorot, then the answer is……none more black!
Aside from a pitch black atmosphere and an aching feeling of impending doom, Loss of Light is actually more accessible than it sounds. Opener “Harbinger” cribs the main riff from Kyuss’ “Thumb” but Ghorot ‘doom’ it up enough to avoid accusations of mindless plagiarism. The pace then initially drops – as do the black metal shrieks – as Ghorot go full-on psychedelic on “Charioteer of Fire” before settling somewhere in between black metal’s cold exterior and doom’s warmer, fuzzier riffs as the song progresses; the juxtaposition of both sounds offering those less enamoured with sludge/black metal’s extremities somewhere to shelter in.
For much of Loss of Light’s duration, Ghorot appear content to settle into lengthy doom jams, while their mate Nils (probably not his real name) shrieks threw a window while dressed in his finest black metal regalia. It might be cold outside, it might not, it’s probably not a prerequisite. We jest, of course! This is serious shit right here; delivered with anguish and anger and none more so than on “In Endless Grief” which goes on a bit, but also delivers the album’s most concise, convincing representation of Ghorot’s sound.
Ironically, Ghorot sound better when they’re being a black metal band – such as on the last couple of minutes of “Harbinger”. Instead, the end result is that Loss of Light is an intermittently interesting doom album that happens to come laced with black metal vocals. Woods of Ypres or Altars of Grief this ain’t. But Loss of Light is not wholly without merit either. 6/10
Ghorot’s Loss of Light was released on July 23rd, 2021 via Inverse Records.