Cardinals Folly – Deranged Pagan Sons (Review)

Cardinals FollyCardinals Folly are a Finnish doom metal band and this is their fourth album.

I have a certain fondness for Cardinals Folly’s second album Our Cult Continues!. This was basically an hour of fuzzy traditional doom metal which had plenty of character and personality. Continue reading

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Swampcult – The Festival (Review)

SwampcultSwampcult are a doom metal band from The Netherlands, this is their second album.

The Festival is a H. P. Lovecraft-themed release, completely built and fashioned around one of his stories of the same name.

This is heavily atmospheric doom metal and sees the band mixing elements of classic proto-black metal into their cauldron and Continue reading

Warped Cross – Abbot of Unreason (Review)

Warped CrossWarped Cross are a sludge metal band from Germany and this is their début album.

This is underground filthy sludge metal that takes inspiration from bands like Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Cathedral and Electric Wizard. There’s a hint of, (dirtied-up), grunge in their sound, (not too dissimilar from the recent Boss Keloid album), as well as some pinches of old-school punk. There’s even a touch of Type O Negative in places.

This is raw and utterly unpolished, but Continue reading

Fortress – Unto the Nothing (Review)

FortressFortress are from the US and play Doom Metal. This is their début album.

This is Doom Metal with plenty of heaviness and bite.

Slow, colossal riffs ring out from the speakers, slowly trying to drag you into oblivion. I do like a band that knows how to play at a glacial pace.

The growled vocals sound like a howling daemon rising from the pit to swallow you whole, whilst the marginally less-deep vocals remind of the singer of Cathedral with a rougher voice mixed with the singer of The Meads of Asphodel.

This is Doom with an undercurrent of Sludge running through the waste pipes. There’s a wildness to Fortress that doesn’t need taming; it’s part of their innate appeal.

Feedback-laden, dirty and unkempt; Fortress remind of Grief, only with longer songs, mixed with a band like Conan.

Chunky, heavy riffs power the songs and some of the guitar parts have a Stoner Metal vibe to them. Everything is played at a snail’s pace though, so both Stoner and Sludge influences ultimately get poured into the same drain that’s filled to the brim with DOOOOM!

For quality Doom that’s crushingly heavy and a vibe of total despair and loss, look no further than Fortess.

Favourite Track: Either Lies & Fears; Slow. Heavy. Miserable. Compelling; or The Nothing, with subtle, ethereal female cleans in the background. Haunting.

Crucifyre – Black Magic Fire (Review)

CrucifyreThis is the second album from Sweden’s Crucifyre. They play dark Death Metal full of personality and great songs.

The first track starts in a very unexpected fashion, with darkly melodic Doom riffing and clean female vocals that sound quite ritualistic. It’s a bold start to the album and when the song starts “proper” it doesn’t disappoint.

Calling Black Magic Fire Death Metal is a bit of a disservice in a way, as there’s a lot more going on here than just a straight ahead Death Metal album. Bringing to mind a mix of bands like Usurper, Venom, The Meads of Asphodel, Cathedral, Celtic Frost, Gravehill, Black Sabbath and Dismember this is a strong release that captures an occult feeling and channels it through a Heavy Metal core with a Death Metal exterior.

The band have that Old-School Death Metal style going on but there’s also more than enough Classic, Heavy and Doom Metal touches/riffs to go around. This means that the album is incredibly well-rounded and complete. Back this up with a set of very solid songs and you have an album that is extremely impressive in nature.

When I mentioned The Meads of Asphodel earlier it was because I hear echoes of this band in the vocal department and the vocal patterns/rhythms; Crucifyre have the same talent for catchy rhythms and Blackened shout/growls that have a similar character and personality. Semi-clean vocals even make an appearance and these are just great.

Albums like this are more than just one style; this release has a plethora of weapons with which to ensnare the listener and hook them in. The brutality is rhythmic and this is very song-oriented so that each track has an actual identity rather than just taking up space. The personality and character of the vocals spills over to the music as well and the passion and fervour of the band for all things Metal is never in doubt.

This passion is backed up by talent though and they ably pull off everything they try, whether this is the cleaner sections, the ugly brutality, the catchy songs, organs, sound effects, impressive solos or the female enhancement; it’s all performed and delivered at a masterly level.

There’s enough here to appeal to almost any Metal fan. This is Metal as it should be done. I love it.

Get this.

Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues! (Review)

Cardinals FollyCardinals Folly are from Finland and this is their second album of Traditional Doom Metal.

Trading in the type of Traditional Doom from the likes of Reverend Bizarre and 40 Watt Sun, they mix this blueprint with a bit of character and personality, Cathedral-style.

Cardinals Folly start the album off with a nice slow burner of a song Chant of Shadows before moving into Morbid Glory which introduces us proper to the band’s fuzzy, Old-School style.

Laid back vocals soar over the top of groovy drums and melodic guitar before settling into a nice riff; the theme may be familiar to Traditional Doom fans but the important thing is that Cardinals Folly know their stuff and the songs are enjoyable.

Sometimes the band hit upon a particularly hypnotic piece of dirge and I find myself staring into nothingness, just losing myself in the song and forgetting what I was doing.

Wait, what was I saying?

There is also somewhat of a Black Metal tinge to some of this. It’s probably not intentional, but the slightly scuzzy sound combined with some particular riffs…it’s just a shade of Black but it adds a nice feeling to the tracks when it shows.

This is an album to absorb as a whole; to let it seep and wash over you in waves of Doom.

Voidhanger – Working Class Misanthropy (Review)

VoidhangerBlack/Death Metal with a Thrashy edge from Poland. Or Thrash Metal with a Blackened Death edge. Either way it’s a bit of a killer.

The first thing you notice is the granite-heavy sound and the utter crushing demolition job that goes along with it.

The songs are mainly fast and pounding but they also have good taste in their choice of slower riffs. This is quality Metal that’s pretty much half-Black and half-Thrash with an extra helping of Metal.

Chock full to bursting of Old-School riffery with a vague Punk air; these are class songs that know they’re good and can afford to have a cocky swagger about them.

The vocals have a lot of character and individuality. Think of singers such as those of Celtic Frost, Venom, Usurper, Cathedral, et al who manage to infuse their voices with both aggression and personality; the singer of Voidhanger is of their ilk, and it really works wonders.

This is a quality Metal album with a crushing sound that’ll have you reaching for the bulletbelt and spikes faster than you can say “blastbeat”.

Nigromante – Black Magic Night (Review)

Nigromante

From Spain, Nigromante explode from the speakers with some classic NWOBHM-style Heavy Metal and a big two-fingered salute to all around them. This is from the same record label that gave us the brilliant Funeral Circle album, and I have not been disappointed with this release either.

Nigromante have a great sound and that’s energetic and organic. The songs are concise and full of classic Metal shapes and solos the likes of which are seldom heard these days. That the first track is called Heavy Metal Age should tell you everything you need to know.

These tracks are rocking, galloping specimens of prime-time Heavy Metal which may be from the present but is rooted firmly in the past.

The vocals will probably be an acquired taste for some, but for me it’s a nice change from what I was expecting. They have personality and character; not a million miles away from Lee Dorian of Cathedral in fact in places. This singer has a rougher set of lungs than the more Power Metal norm and this gels with the tunes the band bang out – think more Jon Oliva than anything more Euro/Power Metal-centric. It works well.

Black Magic Night is a top album for anyone looking to relive the classic early Metal sound with a strong professional recording and catchy, enjoyable songs. The album creates the right mood right from the get-go and hopefully we’ll be hearing more from this band in the future. Give them a spin.