Bongripper – Live at Roadburn 2012 (Review)

BongripperMy first concern with any live album is the sound quality. Thankfully there are no concerns here as the sound is, frankly, brilliant. Everything is clear, warm and the album has a big sound. And when I say big, I mean massive, as Bongripper play all-massive, all the time.

This is a recording of their 2012 Roadburn Festival appearance where they actually played two sets – both of which are included here. If you have never encountered Bongripper before then you are in for a treat. Here they are in all of their visceral glory.

They play absolutely huge doom, with giant fat riffs crawling and shattering around all over the place. There are no vocals to interrupt the flow of these hymns to all things doom; rather the music itself takes you on a trip through waves of sound and crashes all over you leaving you shocked and stunned by what just happened.

At over two hours in length this is not for the faint-hearted. It is, however, worth it. This is something to put on and get absorbed in, and watch your day just drip away as you get lost in the colossal riffs and feedback.

Play loud. Very loud.

Eye of Solitude – Sui Caedere (Review)

Eye of SolitudeUK-based Eye of Solitude play slow, dirge-y funeral doom. Imagine a band like Esoteric only with some Paradise Lost-esque riffs/melodies, topped off with some very nice vocals.  Ahh yes; the vocals. The vocals are absolutely relentless – pure, deep, utterly uncompromising growls. The vocals fit the music perfectly and almost act as another instrument used to flatten the listener with their oppressive aural assault.

As well as the slow, crawling, very-heavy nature of the music, Eye of Solitude display a welcome grasp of songcraft and melody. This means that the songs don’t get boring or outstay their welcome, as well as having an emotional content which enhances the general feeling of the album to the point where even on the first listen you know that this is going to be a ‘grower’ of an album; the more you listen to it the better it gets.

Interspersed with all of the heaviness are also some quieter, more introspective moments that allow the listener a brief respite before being steamrollered once more by the crushing doom on offer here. It all works very well. “A Note to Say Farewell” is a great example of this.

This is the kind of album I can just sit back; turn up loud; and just let the soundscapes wash over me. The sheer feeling of the tracks on display here; the combination of songwriting, melody and atmosphere that gives the album something special and definitely makes it stand out from its peers.

Highly recommended. If you even vaguely like this genre of music then you will enjoy this band.

Generation of Vipers – Howl and Filth (Review)

Generation of VipersFeaturing members of more prominent bands; Generation of Vipers play a brand of ultra-filthy sludge, that seems wrapped in layers of grime so thick and dense it’s impressive. Somewhere; lurking under all of this murky heaviness, the vocals strain to get through. Agonised screams and tortured verbalisations that are strangled and dragged down by the weight of the oppressive sludge.

This is an album aimed at the true devotees of doom and sludge; for those who are willing and eager to brave the extremes of sonic heaviness. Even though there are six separate tracks on this album it’s more like one big journey, one made by wading through the filth. This may not sound particularly appetising to some, but if you like your sludge then you know for this brand of music it’s a very good thing indeed.

Give this band a go – there’s a lot of treats to be had in those murky depths…

Night Heir – A Maze of Evenings (Review)

Night HeirAtmospheric metal from the US. There is plenty of variety and individuality on display here, with varying styles from Black Metal to Doom, and everything in between. The band are not afraid to experiment, so you’ll find plenty to hold the interest on this album if you like your metal with a touch of the Avant Garde/experimental.

I also notice what seems to be an In The Woods… influence, so if you imagine a band like In The Woods… with extra Black Metal, Doom, Folk, etc. parts thrown in you’ll be on the right lines.

This will not be to everyone’s tastes of course, but if you are in the right mood then stick this album on and relax, zone out and just get swallowed up in the atmosphere and the journey.

If you’re looking from something a bit different then give them a listen – you won’t regret it!

Coffins – Buried Death (Review)

CoffinsDoomy Death Metal from Japan is the order of the day here. Imagine the doom-death of a band like Incantation, and combine this with the swagger of a band like Orange Goblin – you get the idea. This formula may sound a little unusual at first but trust me it works and makes for a very enjoyable album to boot.

Here we have slow, (mostly), sludgy Death Metal with plenty of atmosphere and attitude.  The production fits the sound perfectly – strong without being clean, murky without being sloppy. Each song has a definite old-school vibe that is missing from a lot of Death Metal these days and contributes to the enjoyment factor. Even on the first listen it sounds like an old friend, but not in a bad, heard-it-all-before way; rather the familiarity is welcome and adds to the overall feeling of a high-quality release with enjoyable songs.

I highly advise you have a listen as soon as you can!

Frostbitten – We Feared the Wrath of Lord Lucifer (Review)

FrostbittenFilthy, dirty, primitive, raw Black Metal with teeth and a real bite. Not for the faint-hearted. Primitive or no; there are still plenty of good ideas on display here. Slower songs as well as faster ones, mood as well as brutality, bludgeoning as well as razor blades.

Elements of doom rear their grim heads relatively frequently within the strictly blackened framework and this works extremely well. There is even a welcome variation in vocals; The Hooded Robe demonstrating that clean vocals (in a filth-ridden-doom-kinda-way) definitely have a place in Black Metal.

This is a prolific UK band that is not afraid to try new things and deserves support. Check them out now!

https://www.facebook.com/frostbittenblackmetal

Antero Sleeps – Titan (Review)

Antero SleepsScience fiction Doom Metal. What could be better than that?

This is very well written and recorded; as soon as you start listening you know it’s going to be something special. No hastily-thrown together collections of riffs here, rather; well thought-out melodies and structures, with plenty of interest to be had throughout.

There is plenty here that can hit you full in the face the first time you hear it, but it also has the all-important nuances and subtleties that keep you coming back for more.  Antero Sleeps draw you in and make their music just plain better than something more one-dimensional would be.

Be sure to check this out as soon as you can!

https://www.facebook.com/anterosleeps

Bright Curse – Bright Curse

Bright Curse

Time for some doom!

This UK band is relatively unknown, but on the strength of this release hopefully that will change. This is blues-y doom with plenty of feeling.  The singer has a very good voice that fits perfectly with the blues-y feel of the music on display here and is extremely enjoyable.  I am listening to this in the car at the moment and it is one of those releases that even though you know is good; it just gets better the more you explore it.

The songwriting here is of a high standard, and something that you could be reasonably expected to hear from a band on their second or third album, and not just their first EP.  This bodes very well for their next release and I look forward to it immensely!

Favourite track?  Probably Unknown Mistress.

I hope there are good things in the future for this band, as they deserve the recognition and respect afforded similar (-ish) UK doom veterans such as the wonderful Electric Wizard.

A very enjoyable release that should reside happily in anyone’s collection.  Good songs and good jams?  Get it now!

Don’t take my word for it – have a listen…

https://www.facebook.com/BrightCurse