Of all the bands on the Gothic Rock/Heavy Metal fusion bandwagon, Poltergeist may be the most committed to those Post-Punk aesthetics. The style on their third EP remains closer to Joy Division than Judas Priest with a heavy emphasis on chilling synths, stiff bass-heavy rhythms, and disinterested vampiric baritones. This is especially true on the first two tracks as the opening ‘Electricity’ goes full Synthwave and ‘Through Clouded Eyes’ follows it up in ominously subdued fashion.
However, Hallucinations In The Catacombs sets itself apart from the band’s previous EPs as ‘We Watch The Skies’ comes crashing in. While the previously established elements are still in place, the more Metal aspects of their sound make themselves known as the guitars pick up the intensity and the drums provide a more driving pace. From there, ‘Morning Star’ may be the most interesting track as its mid-tempo ballad meets stadium anthem stomp recalls Blue Oyster Cult circa Fire Of Unknown Origin while the closing ‘Darklands’ is comparable to Spell or Cauldron with its upbeat sheen.
With all this in mind, this is the sort of EP that really leaves the listener wanting more in every sense of the phrase. This slow-burn song sequencing feels like an odd move for a release that’s only twenty-three minutes long, but the overall flow is cohesive enough with some well-executed tracks along the way. A release this short would benefit more from a greater focus on straightforward bangers, but this template would likely be amazing in a full-length format. Hopefully, Poltergeist could deliver on that notion in the future but in the meantime, Hallucinations In The Catacombs is still worth checking out if you’re into this sort of style
Buy the album here: https://poltergeistovdoom.bandcamp.com/album/hallucinations-in-the-catacombs
7 / 10