Album Review: Nine Altars – The Eternal Penance

Album Review: Nine Altars - The Eternal Penance
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone

Last year seemed to be a myriad of Black Metal but 2023 has already taken a very much down tempo start with debut release from Durham’s Nine Altars – The Eternal Penance

Comprising of a total of three tracks, this trio of sorrow and anguish follows in the tradition of such legends such as Candlemass and Saint Vitus, opener, and title track 'The Eternal Penance' clocks in at a mighty unlucky for some thirteen minutes which is very much in keeping with the aesthetic of the 1853 artwork by Carl Georg Adolph Hasenpflug, "Church Ruins in Snow" also helps set the tone.

Album Review: Nine Altars - The Eternal Penance

Cemented in the middle 'The Fragility of Existence' which, lyrically and vocally stands out for me as do the guitar tones that effortlessly weave throughout and again at nearly twelve minutes is quite a beast.

Finally, the ending track 'Salvation Lost' comes in at a mere eight and a half minutes. Although the doom undertones are still embedded there is also a definite nod to classic heavy metal even at times having Di’Anno era Iron Maiden feel to it which I particularly enjoyed as it added another dynamic to the release, so much so that I’m already itching for the physical format so I can get lost in it over & over.

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