Deadlight Sanctuary’s debut album, “Thaumaturgical Rites of the Damned,” is a deafening assault of ritualistic black metal and soul possessing doom metal. Musically I would have to say that the album is one of the most sinister sounding releases to come out this year, which is saying a lot given the amount of insanely vicious releases that I have reviewed since the beginning of this year.
Deadlight Sanctuary is a solo project led by the mysterious and merciless artist know as “G,” who also plays in the Norwegian unforgiving extreme metal act Goatkraft. His approach to songwriting is primarily focused around crafting these massive sounding atmospheres of abysmal doom with a horrifying blackened edge, thus leading listeners down a path of unimaginable horror. One area of this album that stood out to me right away was the vocals. The demonic and gruesome vocal delivery is almost inhumane and sounds like something coming from another dimension. Take the vocals and match them with some monolith sized riffs, and you find yourself being consumed by a tidal wave of pure devastation.
The album is only about 25 minutes in length, however, once you start listening to the album you feel as though time stops as you embark on this blasphemous journey. The opening piece, “Psalm of the Fallen,” is a haunting introduction track containing eerie whispers and a primordial drum beat that could be used in an occult like ritual. The track really serves as an intro for the next song, “Trance of Doom,” which opens the gateways into a tormenting landscape of bombastic nightmarish sounds. The vocals echo over the instruments like a bloodthirsty ghoul screaming throughout some lost catacombs beneath the planet.
On the next song, “Unto the Kingdom,” you hear a more intense approach with faster rhythms that feverishly come blasting out of the speakers. I will say that compared to some bands that have a difficult time smoothly transitioning from slower more doom like compositions to the more chaotic black metal style, Deadlight Sanctuary is able to fluidly make the tempo change, while still maintaining a strong unholy tone throughout the song.
Track number four, “Abysmal Void,” is an instrumental piece that contains a very melancholy atmosphere with some solemn sounding chord progressions. The music is a pleasant sounding departure and lulls you into a false sense of tranquility right before the next song, “Deadlight Sanctuary.” On the album’s title track you are savagely thrown back into a pulverizing pit of despair and the music once again charges relentlessly forward with malevolent riffs violently crashing through the musical landscape. The final song on the album, “Cloaked in Lurking Fear,” is a thunderous bludgeoning of putrid sounding blackened doom and probably my favorite song off of the album. I think the song perfectly represents what Deadlight Sanctuary brings to the world of extreme music by offering listeners a dynamic approach to black metal that creatively injects some haunting doom elements as well.
“Thaumaturgical Rites of the Damned,” is going to be released on July 24th through Sentient Ruin Laboratories, a label that I find to be dominating 2020 in terms of exceptional releases. Deadlight Sanctuary joins an already stacked Sentient Ruin roster and like most bands that are on the label, Deadlight Sanctuary was able to carve their own distinctive sounding brutal mark with this debut release. The album is an overall fearsome sounding release that I highly recommend all extreme metal fanatics check out. I’ll be damned if it does not appear on some top ten metal albums of the year lists for 2020, as well as the top ten list for albums that would scare the shit out of a group of nuns.
Check out the song "Trance of Doom":
Deadlight Sanctuary Bandcamp: