Four years after their last public appearance (in a recorded output sense), Denmark’s Altar of Oblivion are back with a new EP, Barren Grounds, and the only negative thing I can say about the project is it’s too short!

Four tracks and just over eighteen minutes of classic doom is what you’ll get if you sign up for Barren Grounds, and you too will be salivating and baying for more once you’ve heard this spectacular little EP.

Soulful, sombre, progressive metal is the order of the day, with the band not afraid to drop in synths and mellotrons to enhance the variety of dark moods they portray over the course of the EP. At times they recall the mid-to-late seventies grandeur of Judas PriestLost carries heavy Sad Wings of Destiny echoes – at others the ubiquitous Sabbath overtones hang heavy, and of course there’s always a hint of fellow Scandinavians Candlemass in the air, but these are all just nuances in the overall sound which is very definitely one of Altar of Oblivion’s own making.

As a stopgap to keep us all on tenterhooks for new AoB music this works perfectly – but can we have a new album soon please?