'III' is the third full-length release (obviously) from Belgian riff lords Sardonis. This two man atmospheric assault plays low and heavy doom that despite its stripped down construction is just as fat and fulfilling as any full size band could offer. The songs are all instrumental, but this doesn't detract from them at all. Instead there is a pure focus on the powerful riffs that is utterly compelling.
The tracks have a nice warm analogue sound that recalls the likes of classic acts Black Sabbath, Trouble, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram as well as modern luminaries such as Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Yob. The songs, despite never dropping below the six minute mark at their shortest are compelling from start to finish. Whether its slower numbers like 'Battering Ram' and 'Forward To The Abyss' or faster cuts such as 'The Coming Of Khan' and 'Ruined Decay' with their nice blast beats.
The album's finest track has to be the afore mentioned 'Forward To The Abyss' though with its sombre intro creating a beautifully mournful atmosphere with ease before erupting into a sludgy, bluesy trudge through misery with just a little hint of black metal added for good measure.
There is plenty of low-end to the band's sound and the production captures a certain rawness to the recording that gives it that classic feel. However it is crisp, clean and could easily hold its own alongside some of the big names in the genre.
This is a damn fine album. Sardonis are a refreshingly simple band that draw all of your focus to the interplay of their two instruments. They don't hide behind overly technical or progressive elements, and neither do they simply let the reverb do half the work for them. This is a doom riff master class from start to finish. There is no bullshit, or pretence. Just hard, heavy doom metal in it's purest distillation.