Portland doom metal newcomers Alltar plod along ever so slowly, methodically, building atmosphere and intention with every note. There is a real majesty in that. The whole band are in complete sync, uniting on heady, hypnotic riffs and pummeling rhythms while vocalist extraordinaire Juan Carlos Caceres shifts with ease between crooning and wailing like a damn Banshee with a hall pass from the Underworld. Oh, and then there’s spoken word poetry too. Fans of everyone from Neurosis and Ufomammut to Tool and Mastodon should take note. Creating this sonic soundtrack to a black hole are guitarist Tim Burke, guitarist Colin Hill, bassist Casey Braunger and drummer Nate Wright. Playing for the song and as a complete, disciplined unit, they make sure EP opener “Horology” is an instant classic.

With lyrics about war, pestilence, death, and spirit/renewal even, they’re a perfect choice to shake up the contents of your fragile eggshell mind. The music throughout this release is atmospheric and inspired; a call to awareness and connection. Hence the beauty in the slow tempo and small, always important accents and details throughout the record. There’s a feeling of spirituality and, here’s that word again, majesty, in their approach.

Highly recommended. Go see them live.

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