Heavy doomers Stricken shake the Seattle mist off to throw out a new long-player, From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born.
Stricken materialized in the Pacific Northwest around 2017, releasing a three-song demo the following year. Sometimes described as blackened doom metal, their music sounds more like a death metal / doom metal crossover to me – but what’s in a title anyway? The songs are heavy and grim in the best possible way. The Metal Archives tells us the musicians are Rob Ropkins (bass and vocals), Chris Wozniak (drums), and Nick Charlton (guitar).
Over the course of seven big tracks, Stricken puts suffering, misery, and hopelessness to music. To wit, the aptly titled opener “Consuming Misery” is an avalanche of mourning. Surprisingly peppy percussion channels the heavy riffs into a primordial swirl. “Divine Appointment” follows with shuddering drama. Ropkins’ vocals are strong, and project a soaring quality. You have to admire the consistency and enthusiasm of the pummeling rhythm.
“Sacrifice” is the heaviest song of the first side, and that gives it an elevated position in my mind. I can’t get enough doom, and this one lays down three strong merciless minutes of it then picks up the pace a bit and steamrolls on.
Every track has something particularly notable about it from the great buried hook in “Eon” to echoing tragedy of “Dishonored In Death” to penetrating inevitability of “Sudden Fall.” The closer is the epic “Beyond The Void,” hoisting metal heavy enough to smother any remaining resistance from you. This new Stricken album needs to be in heavy rotation. Recommended.
From A Well Of Emptiness, A Stygian Serpent Born is out on Friday, March 25th through Horror Pain Gore Death Productions on digital and limited-run CD. You can also grab a shirt if the spirit moves you.
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions, https://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/
© Wayne Edwards. All rights reserved.