The Sabbathian is the new project from Chad Davis, perhaps most famous for his work with Hour of 13, also featuring Joey Downs of Altar Blood and the vocal talents of Anette Uvass Gulbrandsen, whose previous bands include Mandylion.
Now, with a name like The Sabbathian I wonder if you can imagine what their new EP “Ritual Rites” sounds like? Are you getting dank, Gothic and slow-to-mid-paced doom? If you’re not, go and stand in the corner with this pointy hat on. It’s not even a surprise to report that the band are fronted by a female singer as so many of the best doom metal bands currently are.
Opener ‘Ancients Curse’ and the title track both have hints of classic power metal in the OTT warblings of Gulbrandsen and the grandiose guitar flourishes, but lyrically it is reviving occult metal with lots of invoking and summoning of spirits. You can picture the studio dimly lit by candles, incense smoking around animal skulls, velvet drapes and the cold stare of blonde ice maiden Gulbrandsen as she conducts the musical ceremony.
It strikes me as being worlds away from similar revivalists like Ghost B.C. and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, as it has its tongue nowhere near its cheek. Like an earnest little sister who has copped the moves but not picked up on, or more likely chosen to ignore, the irony. It can still thrill though, as the last of the three songs, ‘Nightshade Eternal’, gallops along and harks back to classic NWOBHM, lifting the pained atmosphere of the previous two songs. This is defiantly old school. This is the music they play in the disco at the class reunion of ‘old school’.
If you’re still praying for Candlemass to get back together then maybe The Sabbathian have been conjured just for you.