Following on from the success of their 2018 debut album Lightbringer, Scandinavian sludge savants BLACK ROYAL returned earlier this year with their creed crushing new album on Suicide Records.
Formed in 2013 in Tampere, Finland, the quartet revisited their highly infectious brew of metal with Firebride, as they ushered in a devastating foray into the fields of Wicca. Much like their debut single, ‘Pagan Saviour’, sonically the band’s latest single ‘Gods of War’ is one step removed from their previously considered style of “Death Blues” and takes clear influence from black metal and modern sludge. Recorded live in Studio Watercastle, a small town in rural part of the Pirkanmaa region of Finland, and completed last September at the band’s own Armless HQ studio; mixed by Jussi Kulomaa and mastered by Jaakko Viitalähde, Black Royal excel in a bastard portrayal of mood, beguiling riffs and measured choruses that pitch them somewhere between the dramaturgy of Ghost and brutality of Behemoth.
“’Gods of War’ started out as a guitar jam but eventually turned into a worthy song,” explains Black Royal vocalist, Riku. “We heard that one can find echoes of Mastodon and Kvelertak in this song and it suits us just fine as both are fantastic bands! The lyrics are inspired by the Vikings TV series and a war between paganism and Christianity. Without the clergymen nobody would talk about the Devil. The Devil as we know it exists only in Christianity. Pagans do not have a Devil – they have Spirits which were good or bad according to how one lived and got along with them. In the middle part of the song there’s an old Finnish witch song which suits perfectly with the mood and honours the Finnish pagan cultural heritage.”