(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
Due to the massive volume of submissions we received at Riff Relevant, some things are delayed a little bit at times and that is the case with Angus Black.
The Finnish trio – Antti (Guitar, Vocals, Synths), Sampo (Drums) and Jyri (Bass) – released their 6-song self-titled album back in October, 2017. It has been residing in my queue for a while but now it has arrived and it is here… and you need to hear it, in fact.
The threesome known as Angus Black wield a wonderfully determined, headstrong concoction of heavy, psyche-tinged stoner rock. There is a retro feel about it too, similar to the vibes like those of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats at times. The band have shared details of this self-titled record revealing that it’s a “semi concept album… about wrestling with your inner demons, seeking redemption and losing yourself as you try to overcome your weaknesses.”
Hmmm. Sounds good to me as we have those internal devils and most of us struggle to rid ourselves of them. I’ll tell you what else sounds good, extremely good really, and that is this spiritually combative storyline set to the music of this stellar album.
Rife with hazy nuances and doomy, otherworldly feels that permeate periodic moments of them, songs like “All The Sins” and “Incomplete” are powerful. Make no mistake either, this is indeed a doom record and that realization is brought to the forefront of its music thanks to a mix and mastering from Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) at HeavyHead Recording Co.
Some of the best moments here are delivered with selections like the slow-burn churn of “I’m Yours” and the crushing album closer, “Leaving“. It must be mentioned that the tracklist on the Digital Download of the album differs from the CD. The former contains the song “Across The Sky” which is absent from the CD, which has a song not on the digital titled “Children Of The Stars“.
Wanting to provide you the complete listening experience of this fantastic record, I am including both versions in the streams included here. The Bandcamp embed is the digital, the YouTube version contains the CD tracks but rest assured, either format of the first official self-titled studio album from Finland’s Angus Black will more than just rock you… it will roll you under its heavyweight psyche-doom too.