Jan-Simon : In many respects Saint Karloff is the classic example of a retro (hard) rock band. This Norwegian powertrio’s stoner doom references just the right bands (Black Sabbath and Pentagram) and throws in the occasional fragments of more modern alternative rock like fellow Norwegians Motorpsycho to finish it. That increases the chance ‘All Heed The Black God’ is just another generic fuzz and distortion filled retro / heavy psych record of which so many have already been made (and forgotten), but fortunately this is not the case with Saint Karloff. At least, not now. Of course we still have to wait and see if we still put Saint Karloff’s record out of the sleeve and on to the player.
‘All Heed The Black God’ consists of seven rock songs that could easily have been on ‘Paranoid’ or ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’. The same riffs, the same intonation of singer Mads Melvold. Especially in the album’s opener ‘Ghost Smoker’ these are very clearly present. Saint Karloff claims to be more than simple Sabbath-worship, but my reaction to that is “sure”. Through the succeeding songs on the album the resemblance is less “in your face”, although evil tongues will still say that on the early Sabbath albums there used to be an acoustic song just as ‘Ganymedes’ as well. Yes, that’s correct. So? Does that mean the album should have been called ‘All Heed The Black Sabbath’? The music will not sound much different and in the end what counts is if you like it. And yes, we do. This is a very entertaining album, with its best track (‘Radioactive Tomb’) also being the most adventurous and varied and – coincidence or not – the less Sabbath-like. Guitar solos, table, quiet acoustic parts and fast paced rock. All bundled into one song, what more does one need? Well, perhaps a less abrupt ending of the record. This one is recommended for fans of stoner, retro rock and proto metal.