2013’s Forever in the Realm was a charismatic and flavoured doom metal album that made a firm impression on me. It’s been far too long since we’ve had some more music from this notable band, but they’ve more than made up for it with Even Gods Must Die; they now offer up over an hour of new material that’s bigger, bolder, and better than ever before.
Yes, it’s clear that the doom metal Gods are smiling down on Djinn and Miskatonic. This is epic, characterful doom metal, taking influences from various sub-styles and eras of doom’s finest, resulting in a collection of songs that show diversity and richness, while never straying too far from their core modus operandi. Old-school doom, traditional doom metal, drone, sludge, stoner, funeral doom, and others collide and collude to produce the music on this exceptional release, yet it all gels and flows together naturally and without issue.
The long songs are very well written, boasting a form of catchy and memorable slowness that’s as infectious as any of the best repetitive droning doom can be. It’s certainly a slow-burner, as the best of albums tend to be, so don’t necessarily expect this to offer the kind of instant gratification hit that you get from your favourite death metal band. This is doom after all. Sorry – DOOOOOM! The album gradually unfolds with a doom majesty that’s as compelling as it is well-constructed.
Of course, this isn’t all delivered at a glacial pace, and there’s more than enough variety and changes in mood/pace to satisfy. Djinn and Miskatonic know their doom metal inside out and have a good feel for its dynamics.
Bringing a layered and textured delivery to the table, this is expressive doom metal that has so many well-crafted facets to it. Some of the riffs are absolute classics, recalling older times, but without sacrificing freshness and vibrancy for it. The music largely manages to be both heavy and nuanced, learning many important compositional lessons from the band’s debut and from all those that have gone before them to ensure that the material that’s been put together on Even Gods Must Die stands up to the closest of scrutiny.
Impressive, enjoyable, delectable.