Faith - _Blessed?_
(Transubstans Records, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (8.5 out of 10)
Formed in the mid-'80s, this is only Faith's third full-length, releasing nothing between their final demo in 1986 and their debut in 2003! Although I cannot find anything conclusive, it does appear that the band had split up and later reformed. Similarly, they do appear to be of a Christian bent, but don't take this supposition as gospel. In any case, the Christianity issue is only relevant when the message has all the subtlety of the Seven Plagues, and their major lyrical focus in any case appears to be Swedish lore.

Had they recorded this album in, say, 1989 and maintained a steady trajectory since then, they might, just might, be on the same exalted plane as compatriots Candlemass. Yes, it's that good, and had they maintained this calibre, readers outside of Sweden would recognise the name. The whole album has a potent '80s air, albeit with a far more lucid production, and the vocalist is easily comparable to a certain Messiah Marcolin. (If you need to ask "Who's that?"...) The retro spirit extends beyond traditional metal motifs and into classic '70s prog rock, including several wholly unexpected and surprisingly effective jaunty folk interludes. Black Sabbath may have been an influence, but hard rock bands were no less influential. There's little more to say, other than to strongly recommend this creative album by the born too early doomsters.


(article published 22/1/2009)

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