Review – Shroud Eater: Face the Master

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Review – Shroud Eater: Face the Master
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Shroud Eater: Face the Master
Doom Metal, Sludge Metal
Primitive Violence Records & Visual
April 7th, 2015
Release length: 6:29
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Formed in 2009, Florida’s Shroud Eater has lurked within the confines of the underground with a few recordings to their name. Initially composed of The Righteous Devices members Janette Valentine on bass and Jeannie Saize handling guitars and vocals, as well as Filipe Torress on drums. 2009 saw their self-titled EP debut, which was followed up on in 2011 with their self-released debut full-length effort, ThunderNoise. Their second EP, titled Dead Ends, was issued in 2013, and was handled by The Path Less Traveled Records. Come 2014, Filipe and the band parted ways, finding Moirae‘s Davin Sosa to take his spot on the roster, who you can hear perform on the band’s third EP, a two-song offering entitled Face the Master. This time around the release is being handled by Primitive Violence Records, a small label with only four releases, three of which from this very band. But is this new six-and-a-half venture worth checking out, or will you not care to observe the master in any way?

While carrying a rather crisp sound, Shroud Eater pulls absolutely no punches this time around, though they never really have in the past. Face the Master hammers one thick as hell distorted riff after another, backed by a solid drum presence, robust bass lines, and clean to rough vocals with a level of enthusiasm matched by the rest of the music. This is felt immediately following the Salem’s Lot audio sample on “Face the Master”. Mid-paced crushing riffs and layered rougher harmonizations greet you with excitement as the performance begins its descent to a crawling pace fairly quickly. It’s just past the half way mark you find yourself staggering, all the while the material begins to trudge on with more of an occultish Doom Metal atmosphere instead of gritty eighties Horror.

“House of Endings”, however, has your traditional Stoner Metal presence in the riffs at first, moving your head along to the gloriously empowering riffs for you. It is, however, like starting at the eye of the storm. The ominous clouds quickly take over just past a minute in, slowing the pace and bringing a truly crushing, depressing environment with it that turns the landscape before you into a barren wasteland, a sensation complimented by a guitar solo that sounds like isolation in musical form. As opposed to the enthusiastic welcome you are given, both here and on “Face the Master”, this one leaves you with quite the crippling tone of negative that leaves you wanting more than just these two new studio recordings, a prayer that can be answered by visiting the trio’s Bandcamp page.

Face the Master ends up a mixture of fun and spirit crushing performances that lure you into a sense of false security and excitement before pounding that wall of safety into rubble with their incredibly blunt instruments. Consider this release a mixture of Phil Anselmo-grade Horror and occult themes laced with the power of Lair of the Minotaur and the deceit of Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats, and you’ll know exactly what’s going on within these two tracks. For an EP that just barely misses the six-and-a-half minute mark, Shroud Eater manage to cover a lot of group, leaving you with two incredibly addicting performances that will leave you seeking out more, if not at least revisiting this repeatedly shortly after it ends. Fans of well executed Sludge Metal, Doom Metal, and even Stoner Metal, will all find plenty to enjoy with this well paced and superbly executed EP.


01. Face the Master – 4:55
02. House of Endings – 3:45
Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10

Shroud Eater
Shroud Eater

Digital review copy of this release provided by Primitive Violence Records
via Southern Cross PR.