Lord Vicar
The Black Powder
Crank this to 10.5 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Sounds Like:
Opeth, Katatonia, Catherdral
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Lord Vicar’s fourth release entitled The Black Powder is massive in many ways. Over 70 minutes of pensive mood setting doom that engages you into its dark landscape from its first line... ”When I was a boy all alone... I couldn’t go to sleep I was afraid”. The Finnish masters’ descriptive psychological introspect is exceptional and frankly unbeknownst to the genre. Their ability to weave storytelling with rich majestic doom is perhaps only rivaled by the great Opeth.

The Black Powder hits new levels for the foursome. The album ebbs and flows through patient melodies and some of the most dramatic contrast we have heard in a long time. Chritus wields infectious vocals with a tone that makes cult like followers after just one rotation. It's that impressive. His charismatic clarity is refreshingly different where you can actually hear every word and absorb the dark pathways early in the process. This feature provides the listener with Type-O-Negative-like lure but in its own unique aura.

Track Listing:
1. Sulphur, Charcoal, and Saltpetre (17:15)
2. Descent (8:08)
3. World Encircled (6:36)
4. Levitation (4:57)
5. The Temple in the Bedrock (8:00)
6. Black Lines (6:52)
7. Impact (2:58)
8. Nightmare (4:02)
9. A Second Chance (10:42)

Standout Track:
Difficult not to go with the unique opener. While "Sulphur, Charcoal, and Saltpetre" does the inexplicable by making 17 minutes feel like 5 minutes, we have to go with the closer "A Second Chance". The swirling fretwork combined with Chritus turning up the baritone depths make for a unique experience. The brooding punch in the percussion and build-up in melody is dark and unsettling, but a creeping beauty takes hold and the song just engulfs you. This track is hitting new depths of doom exploration. What an ending.

Adult Beverage Pairing:
You need to explore Vuorineuvos Salted Caramel brewed by the team at Ruosniemi Brewery. A wonderful Finnish imperial double stout at 9.5% ABV with such rich smokey yet sweet texture. Layers upon layers of taste, like diving into a bath of black powder. This fucker hits you quickly and is equally in your face with Lord Vicar’s lack of filter.

Captivation and Variety
10.5 out of 11

Vocal Performance
10.4 out of 11

Weight of the Heavy
10.6 out of 11

Fretwork Prowess
9.9 out of 11

Percussion Prowess
10.2 out of 11

Overall Album Flow
10.4 out of 11

10.6 out of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics
10.4 out of 11

Production Value
10.3 out of 11

Lord Vicar are:
Chritus - vocals
Kimi - guitars
Milly - drums
Rich - bass

Final Thoughts:
If you are a first time Lord Vicar listener, The Black Powder will no doubt lead to you pursue their three earlier works. This latest release however catapults them to a whole new level. It is a band hitting their fucking stride right before our ears. We are anxious to grab this one on vinyl once available. No doubt one of the top releases of 2019 so far.

Follow Lord Vicar: Bandcamp / Facebook
Label: Doom Dealer Records
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