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Determined by their eight-track output, North Carolina doom metal collective Hour of 13 are devout servants at the altar of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, St. Vitus, and Trouble. This unit, who recently welcomed Ben Hogg into the fold as their new singer replacing Seamount’s Phil Swanson, have a firm handle on how to make simple soulfully crushing riffs (“Possession”) and ethereal singing regarding all things occult like they used to, complete with a Judas Priest meets Mercyful Fate twin guitar attack (“Demons All Around Me”) and an unsteady vocal warble that somehow commandeers the power from every Sabbath frontman into one compact fulcrum of despair. This excursion is a re-release from last year, so while we have to wait to hear what the new incarnation will sound like, this batch of foreboding tunes has more than enough lingering melodies and ominous vintage grooves to keep you well occupied until the next album drops.
- Mike SOS