Altar of Oblivion combine traditional metal and doom metal on this release, and, while being more inclined towards the doomier side, they are not afraid to use more uptempo sections and melodies which even sound uplifting at times.
Musically, this release falls under the rubric of epic doom metal and finds itself in the company of acts like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. While not reaching the same level of epic brilliance as the two legendary acts within the genre, I still think that "Sinews of Anguish" is a pretty good album - and one which has a certain degree of originality to it, too.
Like Candlemass and fellow doom metal legends count Raven but unlike Solutude Aeturnus, the music of Altar of Oblivion on this release - while epic sounding to some degree - never really becomes very technical or complex, but it is still very expressive, I think, and the songs themselves are still interesting in composition.
One of the main factors in the uniqueness and originality of this release is the vocals, which have a quasi-operatic feel to them and are delivered n a fashion which is surely an acquired taste that takes some getting used to. After a couple of listens, I must say that I quite like the vocals on this release, and they suit the atmosphere quite well.
It should be mentioned that the production is a bit fuzzy - or 'ulden' to use an expression from the band's own native language - which detracts from the epic feel of the album, but at the same time, I think it adds a certain rock 'n' roll edge, which I do not mind.
Fans of Candlemass and Count Raven might enjoy this release.
(review originally posted on metalmusicarchives.com)