Album Review: Altar of Betelgeuze – Echoes (Wiseblood Records)

‘Echoes’ is the latest album from Helsinki’s doom-metal merchants Altar of Betelgeuze, the band’s first material since their critically acclaimed second full-length, ‘Among the Ruins’ released by Transcending Obscurity in 2017. It will be released on March 22nd, 2024, via Wiseblood Records.



Doom as dark as a void in the deepest part of Hell, with death running through it like a sickly vein. Echoes is bleakness personified, alternating between a filthier style of doom and death, to the cleaner tones of a more traditional style. It might only be seven tracks long, but each is a weighty and gloomy sounding tome.

For over forty minutes, Altar of Betelgeuze push thick and cacophonous heaviness into the mind with gratuitous pressure. The beguiling nature of this record coming from the deep and dark vibes. From the moment On the Verge’s sombre heaviness rears its ugly head, it’s clear this is going to be an album with grave purpose.

Grave purpose that stinks of rot and decay. The pungency of death is strong throughout, and even though it is instrumentally lethargic, the vocals are ripping in death metal vibes. From Conclusion to Embrace the Flames, to A Refection and Salvation, Altar of Betelgeuze are unapologetically bringing the best of both worlds together for something truly wicked sounding.

There’s nothing bigger, more oppressive, and more devilish than the title track though. Not only does it pass the nine-minute mark, making it the longest track on the album by some distance, but it is oozing in atmosphere. The traditional doom side of the band gets a more prominent feature here, but those cleaner passages don’t make it any less of an extremely severe piece.

Finally, it’s Fading Light, and one last trawl into the heavy and death-infused dark. Altar of Betelgeuze really try to suck the soul from the body here with titanically gaudy riffs and exceptionally guttural vocals. It’s a suffocating closing track, and about as much as most will be able to take. Especially when you consider the entire album has been so invasive.

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Altar of Betelgeuze – Echoes Track Listing:

1. On the Verge
2. Conclusion
3. Embrace the Flames
4. A Reflection
5. Salvation
6. Echoes
7. Fading Light


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Altar of Betelgeuze - Echoes (Wiseblood Records)
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