Classic Italian horror/funeral doom metal in the occult traditions of Paul Chain, Zess, Malombra, L’Imperro Dele Ombre, Arpia, THC Witchfield (Thomas Hand Chase), etc., but with their own take on the style that is very metal, very doom, and heavier than a death sentence to be drawn out long and painfully. Expect the sounds and atmospheres of the above mentioned with some Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Solstice influence.
Every song is epic, even the lonely one that doesn’t last for over 7 minutes, and the description of heavy isn’t just in terms of sound as these songs really do weigh down on you with the agony and struggle of despair. The funereal organ accompaniment on “Horcell The Temple” takes the 70’s Italian prog/horror/doom to the next dimension of the cryptic and supernatural. Recently I’ve been obsessing over this trippy painting by Goya, Saturn Devouring His Sons, after seeing it used again in some crazy horror story, and reliving the amazement that I felt seeing it as a small kid and have to say that the feeling of darkness, unease, and doom captured in the painting accurately describes the atmosphere of the Black Oath. So true to the feeling and concept of doom that image is, it was even used by The Obsessed for the cover of Lunar Womb.
The album opens up with the majestic and tragic “Death as Liberation”, and the abysmal misery and graveyard fog hang heavy like a recently lynched body from a noose. The riffs crash down like a violent ocean storm against a jagged and deserted coastline, and the perpetual despair rains down like the sky is actually falling. You really do feel as if these guys wish for death as a form of escape from servitude and misery, but not sympathetically, it’s actually really esoteric and almost idealistic to the idea of death and transcendence.
The entire album needs to be experienced as whole, so one can traverse through the dimensions and fully experience the occult presence first hand. Every song is dramatic and convincing of the bleak and eternally damning and the slow but violent trudging of the album brings an image of watching the blood of a loved one violently lost coagulate in front of your very eyes as the body disintegrates into the cold night air. In terms of sound this is epic doom METAL, nothing unfamiliar, but the contents definitely inspire some gothic novel or poem of morbidity, perversion and suffering. Italian doom metal still reigns supreme, as dramatic, dark, looming, and theatrical as it ever was!!!! Fans of the style, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, Candlemass and the like will have to have this one. The epic and cinematic closer “The Black Oath” seals your fate in 11 minutes of intensity. This song alone is worth the price of admission, but again the whole is greater than the sum of it’s priceless parts. Poe must be writhing in fury as doom has outdone one of the old masters of depression, despair and absolute bleakness.