Calderum - Lord Cramridor Review

Ancient melodies and dusty sound from another time.

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As medieval as the cover art of the new Calderum record looks, just about that much it actually feels like listening to it. The one-man project from Catalonia had set this as a clear goal since its first days and Lord Cramridor honours the pact, as an admirable traditional, lo-fi black metal release with its own hints of dungeon synth. 

In this record, everything feels aged, and its leanings are of a different time. Nostalgics of the 90’s second wave will be fairly pleased with it, as it’s mostly structured in the foundational patterns of the genre alongside pale synths behind the middle / fast paced tremolo picks. It doesn’t stretch their use too much to fully enter symphonic black metal territory, but they are mostly employed in a similar fashion like the bands from the Greek scene (most notably in “Chaos in the Dark Realm”). For its better part, Lord Cramridor features tracks of fine quality and with enough variety to not stumble upon itself. 

“Regions of the Dying Souls” has the most memorable lines in the album, while the self-titled track and the opener “Gates of Darkness” have multiple solid riff passages to enjoy. High pitched screams hardly diverge from the norm as it was fully expected, while the most distinct difference from the rest of the work is held by the outro “Enlightenment of the Forgotten Souls”, an instrumental that feels more like a recording of a ritual in the rain. Lord Cramridor is a well-written piece of black metal that doesn’t want to surprise, but it pays homage to old school heritage and fantastically praises medieval witchcraft. 

Calderum pile on with this third full length, which is also the one I found the most solid in their discography especially because of the multitude of neat guitar lines and smart synth ideas to accompany them. Not to mention that it follows a rather unspoken cover art trend of real castle photography behind a red logo (Wallachia, Evilfeast, Godkiller and probably more, have done this in the past…). Anyway, for this year, Calderum delivered.

DAMAGE: 3.5/5


Release date: 03 Feb 2023 (Death Prayer Records)

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