This has been a very hard album to get into, when something marches relentlessly forward at this Doom pace, it takes a lot of time to let it all sink in and come together again within the mind, especially when the length of the album adds to the demand for attention. SYRACH seem to have been quietly hibernating in their tombs in Bergen, Norway since their full-length debut was released way back in 1996. After releasing three demos thereafter, they now present us with a very solid slab of Doom Metal - sounding at times a little like SATURNUS, then like AHAB, even a little bit of CANDLEMASS, MY DYING BRIDE and BLACK SABBATH come seeping through the cracks.
“Ooooh” goes my heart as I listen to the intro of “The Firm Grip Of Death”, “BLACK SABBATH how we miss thee”. This track deserves special mention, clocking in at over fourteen minutes; it is a mammoth ride through the world of Doom Metal, taking short detours into the realms of Death and Heavy Metal. Most of the album is composed this way, down tuned guitars shovel forth the Doom, Death Metal riffing break the chunks up into more manageable pieces and the touches of Heavy Metal guitar melody ala IRON MAIDEN and some Rock n Roll make it all a little more accessible. The musical tempo is not at all at the slow Funeral pace of for example AHAB, nor does it quite have the sad soul of SATURNUS, but then there is no reason to expect, or even want, that on this album. The vocal talents of Silje Wergeland of OCTAVIA SPERATI appear on a few tracks on this Doom monster, adding a little bit of ethereal beauty to it. Overall this is not your typical “I am depressed” Doom album; there is a much darker tone to it, reflecting malice rather than sadness or emotion. Also, be forewarned that to really appreciate this album, you have to be prepared to sit through tracks that are quite long, and played at this pace, might feel even longer, but then anyone expecting short three minute quick fixes is listening to the wrong genre.
Well, it does seem that eleven years spent in the making of this album have paid off, and when the time comes again that I feel the yearning for some good Doom in my life, SYRACH’s "Days Of Wrath" will definitely be heard crumbling through my speakers again. For the moment, it is summer, the sun is shining and it seems just a little out of place; however, when there is summer, winter is sure to follow and with that will come the icy cold music of the north.
(Online February 5, 2008)