NS-ARNaked Star
Ancient Rites
The Church Within Records / Voice of Azram

TLDR: Rather boring doom metal album that brings nothing interesting to the genre.

Review: Born as a sort of a side-project, Naked Star contributes to doom metal with its heavy metal influenced material. Traditions are met with dusty sounds, clean vocals, slow tempo and other elements of the genre.

Ancient Rites is one of those albums that can be heard totally different depending on whether one is a doom metal fanatic or just a metal enthusiastic. Even though the debut album plays its cards in a proper way from the sounds to compositions, it can be easily said that this is not one of those albums that will knock you out. To be blunt, Ancient Rites is rather boring.

Naked Star is trying to benefit of the very same elements that Black Sabbath and so many bands after them used, making them famous while doing that. Riffs are heavily groovy, even if not dark or catchy. The production is organic and far from being sterile. That is, it’s also old-fashioned and buzzing. Clean vocals represent the better half of mediocrity. This is not an album you’d refer to when talking about one of the best vocals in heavy metal.

Ancient Rites might be a must have thing for the serious genre fanatics, or at least worth checking out, but for us so-called outsiders this one is very hard to get thrilled about. Doom metal is a genre, after all, where so much better stuff has been done in the past decades. This one is not one of the memorable ones. Naked Star is just one of the many grey dots in the genre full of black and white spots.

Track list:
1. Purgamantic
2. Stoned Demon
3. Spawn of the Witch
4. Be My Sacrifice
5. Bound to Hell
6. Alter Ego
7. I Am the Antichrist
8. Necrolust