Nailed to Obscurity – Black Frost (Review)

Nailed to Obscurity - Black FrostThis is the fourth album from Nailed to Obscurity, a melodic doom metal band from Germany.

Nailed to Obscurity play a modernised version of old-school death/doom. Black Frost contains 47 minutes of material that can be roughly characterised as a combination of old Katatonia mixed with elements of Paradise Lost, Insomnium, Opeth, Décembre Noir, and others. The band definitely let their own collective personalities shine through in the music, however. Continue reading

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Necropoli – I (Review)

NecropoliNecropoli are from Italy and play Funeral Doom. This is their début album.

This is heavy Funeral Doom Metal with a strong Death Metal foundation underpinning everything.

There is background orchestration, keyboards and effects; these are not flowery or ostentations but rather eerie and aura-enhancing.

The long songs slowly unfold with the heavy barrage of slowed down brutality mixing with Dark Ambient sounds and faint glimpses Industrial Electronica.

The colossally deep vocals drive everything forwards like a relentless taskmaster.

Akin to recent releases from the likes of Eye of Solitude, Doom:VS and Decembre Noir, this is just as bleakly emotive and atmospheric but with longer songs and a lot more brutality and harshness on display.

This album reminds of the constant onslaught of a band like Esoteric if they had more Funeral Doom influences and keyboards.

Rich, layered and with a definite gloomy texture, this is an evocative release that mixes the best of the crawling slowness of Doom and the heavy crushing nature of Death Metal.

Nearly an hour of demolishing desolation for your consideration.

Doom:VS – Earthless (Review)

Doom:VSThis is the third album from Doom:VS. Coming from Sweden this is a one-man project featuring a guest vocalist.

This is bleak and sombre Death/Doom Metal that’s haunting and beautiful despite, or perhaps because of, the misery and anguish it portrays.

The album slowly unveils under a cloud of desolation and heartbreak. Mournful riffs seem to slide out of hidden openings and colossal growls give a solid and forceful outlet for the emotive music.

The guitars are rich and textured, as one would expect from a release such as this. The music works well to evoke the necessary feelings of woe and despair required from this style of Metal and yet also manages to find beauty in the negativity.

There are no weaknesses with the recording and the songwriting is top notch. In fact, unless you just don’t care for this style of music you’ll be hard pressed to find any real flaws here.

Taking cues from My Dying Bride, as it’s pretty impossible not to do for this type of Metal, they also pay attention to other areas of the Metal globe and have hints of bands like Agalloch in the mix.

One of the best things about this album is that it never gets boring, stale, dull or repetitive, which is no mean feat for a genre that’s essentially slow and melodic. This is a testament to the talent of Doom:VS and the album sails by in a blur of emotive dirges.

Along with bands like Eye of Solitude and Decembre Noir, Doom:VS are one of the very best bands in the Doom/Death genre now.

Immerse yourself in their despair.

Interview with Decembre Noir

Decembre Noir Logo

Decembre Noir’s début album A Discouraged Believer is a polished Doom/Death Metal release, dripping with raw and bloody emotion. It has that mystery ingredient that lifts a band above the norm into the higher realms. We decided it was important to delve a bit deeper into the background of the album to find out what makes it tick…

Give us a bit of background to Decembre Noir

Hi, I’m Lars, vocalist from Decembre Noir. So I’d like to give you my reply!

We are 5 (nice) guys from East-Germany, from the region round Erfurt, the capital from Thueringia (one of the “states” from Germany). Besides our bandproject our “baby” – almost all of us have a normal life with job and own family.

What are your influences?

Katatonia, Opeth, In Mourning, October Tide, Swallow The Sun, My Dying Bride, Anathema and Paradise Lost! 😉

I characterize the style/sound of the album!

Dark + heavy = Décembre Noir!!! “A Discouraged Believer” is a fucking doom/death monster!

Our sound in the main has become some stronger and the structures of the songs who already has been available have changed to become much more better. More Death and Black metal elements and many melodies gave the songs their final outfit. Last but not least the classical influence from the cello. In private we all listen to different music and so it was used a little bit from all our musical tastes. The good combination is doing his work!

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

Haha, Katatonia’s “Brave Murder Day” ! I LOVE this album! Every song on this record is a Doom-Metal-Diamond! My favorite song on this album is “Brave” !!! Fucking great!!! I love it!!!

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

We want to have a solid mainstay in the metal-scene! 😉

We would like to play on the bigger festivals in summertime, lovely, but unfortunately for that year we haven’t got any acceptances. We hope it is possible next year because it must be a very special experience to play stages like With Full Force, Summer Breeze, Partysan, Hellfest or In Flammen!

Decembre Noir BandAre you happy with how it turned out?

Absolutely!!! We are full of proud and very happy about our first album!!! We love this record!!!

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

So to speak we have a basic concept in our album „A discouraged believer“. You can speak about the classical main idea who you can find inside the album. Nevertheless every song is standing for itself.

It tells about the journey of a young man who is trying to find every day the meaning in his life and way. It seems he has reached a deadlock, only he is looking at the obstacles in his weekday, the typical problems which become more and more and can overtax someone and no idea how to change something, because he is get stuck somehow… So like in “Thorns”.

Our protagonist is searching for that, what we call “God”, but can’t find “Him” or any answers. That’s why he is discouraged, cause he has understood, that he can’t get any help from a “greater power” and he has to go his life way and find the meaning behind that all alone.

For instance in “Stowaway” is the theme suicide to see a chance for a new begin in life (But to forestall any critical readers or regarding this potential concerned or endangered people: Don’t panic, nobody from us will incite anybody for do that!!! Please do not misunderstand!). Much more is the thought what is standing behind that song, bother things who weigh heavily upon our mind to leave behind, finish with them and try to orientate to another direction respectively to find a better way to arrange the life.

On following song “Resurrection” the name is program It reflects the start in a new life.

For myself the album is one of my most personal things, what I have written yet in my life. Have putted lots of time and heart-blood in that album. So many people has fought in life with similar piled up problems, whether in job, relationship, family…and already we all were standing for the question, who is the meaning of all and finally comes to the result if you want life better you have to make a personal breakout and has to change by yourself a lot!

Decembre NoirGive us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

Already the songs before sounded really good and varied, but of course because of the teamwork with Ali they became much better! For us all that was an unbelievable experience! We have worked with diverse guest singers and musicians. For example one of my best friends Tele (guitar player of the German Pagan/Black metal band “Hangatyr”), who gave us some clean vocals for the songs “Decembre noir” and “Resurrection”. Alis girlfriend Katharina, who is singing with me in “Escape to the sun” a duet. Not to forget our lady on the cello, Nicole, who has shown her talent by the Darkwave band “Other Day”. Just that records with the Cello have been very interesting, for Ali too, because for him it was the first time to working with such an very nice sounded instrument. Mix a cello in your music and you will get an unbelievable atmosphere. We have experimented with Synthisounds too. You can be exciting about really great moments.

At least we are happy about the result of our job!

Well, we had a very special time and a lot of fun during recording and have to say we grew as musicians and band! We were much more glad, when Eike O. Freese (Dark Age) offered us to mix and master our album together with Ali in Hamburg! On that place a great “Thank you” to both and we hope we can mix and master our next album with Ali and Eike again!
How do you see your position in the wider Doom/Death Metal musical framework/genre?

We are a tiny star on the big metal-heaven! But we want to grow! Latest with the next album! 😉

What’s next for Decembre Noir?

Looking for gigs…Well till then we will use the free time to work on next songs. We have lots of ideas and material. Guess we will start again in autumn – with pleasure!

So you will hear from us – enjoy our album and stay heavy and dark!!!

Regards from Lars!!!

Thanks!

Decembre Noir – A Discouraged Believer (Review)

Decembre NoirDecembre Noir are from Germany and play Depressive/Doom/Death Metal.

This is a release dripping with emotion, raw and bloody. The songs are instantly recognisable as carriers for the dark disease of misery and hopelessness.

They take their cues from bands such as early Opeth, Katatonia, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. They build on this classic template by injecting their own vital sense of songwriting into the mix and effectively breathe life into a subgenre that can easily become stale and overdone in the wrong hands.

Decembre Noir know what they’re doing though. The crisp and powerful production meshed with the emotive riffs and the highly accomplished growled vocals mean that this is no amateur piece of work.

The tracks summon up their negative energies and deliver them with a strong Metal wrapping that can easily hold its own.

And just when you think you’ve got them down, the last song Escape to the Sun throws up some gorgeous clean male/female vocals in a gloriously luxurious section. It’s brief, and all the more special for it.

The band take the listener on a journey through melancholy conveyed via the medium of Metal, and what a trip it is.

Decembre Noir have that certain special something that the bands mentioned above all have/had in abundance. Get your ears around this one, it’s a keeper.