Seattle’s NOROTH returns for it’s third attempt at sonic obliteration after the solid “enough” It Dwells Among Us of 2021 and the following year’s even more weighty Harbinger.

After a brief intro, ‘Black Serpent’ begins with all the subtlety of a cage match with a six-legged goat on bath salts who also happens to think you fucked his girlfriend. It’s that level, yes; a bit of HELLHAMMER groove to the riff in spaces, but always head down, always onward. ‘Symphony Of Decay’ is more straight-ahead death metal in execution but loses none of its energy or enjoyability for its simplicity.

And maybe that’s part of the draw with this band, as NOROTH has always kept well within the framework of death metal without any unnatural doom excursions just to prove it can. There’s simply no need and – rudimentary as much of the material on Sacrificial Solace may sound – it’s exactly that aspect that calls you to hoist high your freshly gnawed brontosaurus bones and beat the utter shite out of whatever log, granite outcropping, or grandmother’s collection of Waterford Crystal that may be nearby (sorry, Granny!).

After a heart palpitation-inducing title track, ‘Pleading Depths’ sloughs forward just on the OBITUARY side of a doom flirtation without actually committing before resuming the frantic punishment. There’s a bit of LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR ferocity here, which is always welcome to these ears, though maybe not to my neighbors. ‘Adorned In Flesh’ clocks in at under two minutes but is also a prime(val?) example of how a good production and mix can elevate an album from “really good” to “great”, every instrument, every vocal spew captured as if you’ve literally fallen down the throat of NOROTH and are hearing it from within.

In these times of such paltry desires as modernity or progression, Sacrificial Solace is the album that plays in the mummified skulls of bog bodies the world over. Get buried!
Review By: Lord Randall

Sacrificial Solace
Carbonized Records