Deadlight Sanctuary – Thaumaturgical Rites of the Damned
Reviewed: August 2020
Released: 2020, Sentient Ruin Laboratories
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
In an age when we’ve been desensitized to basically all of the horrors that the world has to offer, Deadlight Sanctuary drops an album that’s legitimately unnerving and at times downright spooky.
The side project of Goatkraft frontman “G.”, Deadlight Sanctuary is a departure from the bestial war metal trappings of his day job, trading low-fi Armageddon for death laden doom. I suppose they’re still black metal tunes at their core, but the lowered guitar tunings and swamp like production values takes THAUMATURGICAL RITES OF THE DAMNED to a whole other level of subterranean heaviness. Layer in the fog of vocal effects that G. employs to make his already terrifying scowl sound lower, meaner and more horrific, and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Standout tracks like “Cloaked in the Lurking Fear” and “The Eye of the North” bring the likes of Beherit, Father Befouled and Profanatica to mind, wallowing in its murky minimalism while still managing to sound like a ghostly 16th century funeral procession. “Trans of Doom” even manages to pepper in some effective dungeon synth to level up the scare factor even more. Say what you want, but Deadlight Sanctuary know how to set the mood.
Intentionally challenging your senses, THAUMATURGICAL RITES OF THE DAMNED is a total sleeper hit. Chalk up another win for the good folks at Sentient Ruin Laboratories, and for G. embracing a level of sonic filth that’s new even for him.