Saint Karloff - Interstellar Voodoo Album Review [Majestic Mountain Records 2019]
About The Band
Saint Karloff busted into the blossoming Doom/Psychedelic rock scene with the album “All Heed The Black God”. Staying true to form of the scene standards of Sabbath laced riffs and a vintage songwriting style similar to Pentagram, many wondered how they could top such a killer debut. Their answer, after warming listeners up with the split release “Coven Of The Ultra Riff” with Devil’s Witches, is the one track, 40-minutes, and 23-seconds long effort called “Interstellar Voodoo”
Bassist Ole Sletner spoke of the new album:
"Interstellar Voodoo has been a labour of love, written and recorded to fill a void in our collective souls. To put this much devotion into something experimental is a bit scary, but luckily we have a label who believes in us. We are eternally gratefull to Marco Berg at Majestic Mountain Records for stepping up to the challenge of releasing our blood, sweat and tears on vinyl.
So how does Interstellar Voodoo fare out in regards to today’s modern scene?
The best way to describe “Interstellar Voodoo” as an album is that there are many twists and turns into all sorts of influential and vintage styles. I’m not going to give a play-by-play, but I will give you the rundown and let you judge for yourself. The album starts out dark and fuzzy within the first 5 minutes it spirals into many breakdowns, interludes, and solos that all seem to transition between each other flawlessly. The organs and extra percussions add a nice touch to the entire presentation. The call-back to the beginning riff towards the last 10 minutes of the album and into a psychedelic outro was a great way to end the album.
Guitar wise, expect some deep and fuzzy riffs, but also some of the other attributes of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi’s influence. The drums and percussion set the tempo and tone perfectly and the bass was featured quite prominently throughout the album and sounded so good. I can only imagine how it would sound on vinyl. All three did an excellent job collectively capturing the sound they were aiming for.
The other thing I liked about this album was the lyrically occultic undertones. I admittingly couldn’t understand some of the vocals midway through the album, but I got the majority of it and it added to the experience tremendously. I was under the impression when I heard about the album that it might be too psychedelic with fewer riffs, unlike their last album. I have to say I walked away rather pleased at the balance and innovation of blending what is quickly becoming the three popular styles of doom, stoner and psychedelic rock. All inspired by Black Sabbath. If you dig all three sub-genres, then this album will be a keeper and a long-standing listen.
“Interstellar Voodoo” is a masterpiece in its own right. With a unique blend of vintage styles, Saint Karloff was able to bring out what isn’t a jam session (nor would I personally cheapen the effort by calling it “Space Boogie”), but a beautifully written album.
There’s nothing truly groundbreaking or new, but it’s not meant to be, either. This album is a refreshing trip to take to the grassroots of rock music. Saint Karloff’s offering of “Interstellar Voodoo” shows what this trio is truly capable of and sets a new standard for the scene as we start closing up this year.
My only question after hearing this is “Where can they go from here?”