Nomadic Rituals – Marking the Day (Review)

Nomadic RitualsNomadic Rituals are an Irish doom band and this is their second album.

I’m going to start this review with all of my cards on the table, as they say; this is a great album and Nomadic Rituals deserve to be far higher profile than they currently are.

Now that’s out of the way, we can proceed. Continue reading

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Self-Hatred – Theia (Review)

Self-HatredThis is the debut album from Self-Hatred, a doom/death metal band from the Czech Republic.

Self-Hatred are, refreshingly, a little different to your standard doom/death band; this is a slightly more contemporary take on the style than most attempt, although it still recognises and is influenced by the founders of this particular sub-genre. I also like the black metal influences that can be heard creeping into the music here and there, which also give Self-Hatred a different angle of attack than a lot of their peers. Continue reading

Vanha – Within the Mist of Sorrow (Review)

VanhaVanha are a doom/death metal band from Sweden. This is their debut album.

This is atmospheric doom metal with some death metal elements added in for extra bite, primarily in the vocal department.

Rooted in the old school doom/death style of the 90s, Vanha combine heaviness, melody and sorrowful keyboards to produce an album that manages to crush both physically and emotionally. Continue reading

Suffer Yourself – Ectoplasm (Review)

Suffer YourselfSuffer Yourself are Ukrainian/Swedish and play atmospheric doom/death metal. This is their second album.

This is atmospheric doom/death with an emphasis on long, slow songs that are filled with morbid beauty and hopeless despair.

The pace is torturously slow, but we like it that way. The band take their time to carefully build atmosphere through relentless heavy distortion and lighter, more restrained passages; frequently combined together. Continue reading

Doomed – Anna (Review)

DoomedThis is the fifth album from Doomed, a German doom/death one-man project.

Although Doomed are essentially a one-man band, there are also a plethora of different guests on this release helping to flesh out his vision, (including members of Hail of Bullets, 11th Hour and Camel of Doom, apparently). Some of the guest vocal performances enhance and complement the main delivery of the songs, and once again show what an exciting prospect this band is. Continue reading

Deprive – Temple of the Lost Wisdom (Review)

DepriveThis is the second album from Deprive, a one-man death metal band from Spain.

This is thickly emotive death metal, forged in the fires of the 90s metal scene. This was a time when death metal was allowed to be slower and incorporate elements of doom/death to increase the atmosphere, and this is something that Continue reading

Dead Eyed Sleeper – Gomorrh (Review)

Dead Eyed SleeperThis is the fourth album from German Death Metallers Dead Eyed Sleeper.

This has a very tasty sound, thick and heavy without losing clarity or definition.

The singer’s expressive growls and screams are ably performed and have an energy to them that’s undeniable. Powering along with passionate aggression and meaty delivery, he leaves an impression.

The same could easily be said of the music, actually; energetic, passionate and aggressive. The band’s take on Death Metal is familiar enough to be instantly satisfying yet differentiated enough to sound interesting and fresher than most similar bands. Elements of brutality rub shoulders with more involved technical and progressive flourishes that leave the band standing separate from a lot of their peers, which in my mind is no bad thing at all, nor is it an easy thing to achieve.

These five tracks are expansive forays into Death Metal, making the most of what the base genre has to offer, but fleshing it out with extra influences and snatches of mournful and dirge-like melody. These Doom-influences serve the band well, providing ample opportunity for them to show off their emotive side. When this is combined with the technical and/or progressive aspects of their sound it’s a heady combination that marks the band out for great things as far as I’m concerned.

At the end of these 29 minutes the play button is pressed again. It’s a hallmark of good music that you immediately want to hear it a second time and you also want more than just what’s contained on this album.

Very impressive and very recommended.

Doomed – Wrath Monolith (Review)

DoomedDoomed is a solo project from Germany and this is his fourth album playing Doom/Death Metal.

Doomed’s third album Our Ruin Silhouettes was a good example of quality Doom/Death that ticked all of the right boxes for the genre. Curiously, this new release has a song on it called Our Ruin Silhouettes yet the actual album named this did not.

So how has Doomed progressed on this new release? Well, it’s still the familiar Doom/Death style that lovers of the sub-genre will be so familiar with, (how could it not be?), although on this latest album this seems a bit more riff-hungry in places, with a little more of the Death Metal side of the Doom/Death equation coming to the fore.

The Funeral Doom marches and depressive moods are still present and correct. Doom/Death is a very specific sub-genre, and once you move too far away from the core of this style you’re not playing it any more. The guy behind Doomed knows exactly what he’s doing though and these compositions milk the most from the emotional misery while at the same time allowing for sufficient variation in writing and pacing so that these 51 minutes don’t feel as agonisingly slow as the music can be.

Guest vocalists add further interest to the songs, and these compliment the main Deathgrowls which are as deep and as enjoyable as they previously were.

Due to the ramping up of the Death Metal influence, the guitars have a bit more energy to them in places and as it’s all wrapped up in a crushing production. The riffs seem to jump out of the speakers like eager puppies. Although admittedly, these are dark, misery-drenched puppies determined to drown you in woe.

Hmmm. Misery puppies?

What the Hell, let’s go with it.

Strong leads, melodies and solos abound. As one of the cornerstones of the style, the forlorn melodies are carried out really well. The songs do a laudable job of manifesting the negativity that sits at the core of the music.

The album showcases the Atmospheric side of the band in addition to the depressive. Synths and keyboards add extra layers to parts of the songs and there’s even a hint of a Progressive Metal slant on some parts of this release. If this is further developed even more on future releases then this would be a valuable addition to the Doomed sound, as it already seems to be becoming.

Wrath Monolith is a very impressive album that’s pretty much at the top of its game. I find Doom/Death to be a sub-genre that can easily become a little stale, so I’m pleased to report that this is not the case here. The music holds the attention easily and this is an album that has a lot to offer. As stated, there’s a surprising amount of variety and interest to be had here and it seems that Doomed’s songwriting is just getting better and better.

Very highly recommended.

Pendulous – A Palpable Sense of Love & Loss (Review)

PendulousThis is the début album by US Doom Metal band Pendulous.

Pendulous play depressive Doom/Death that’s sorrowful and full of woe. The album title should be a dead giveaway; there’s no happiness here, just misery.

The vocals alternate between grim Death-growls and clean singing, depending on the needs of the song. The growls are ably done and are strongly performed, but it’s the clean vocals that stand out.

Emotive and dripping with melancholy; the singer’s voice acts as a focal point whenever it appears and also serves to characterise the album as a whole – expressive and lost to negativity.

The songs are expressive in their own right but the addition of a rather subtle cello is a wonderful enhancement to the band’s style.

The music just excretes melancholy from every musical pore. Although the band are suitably heavy it’s an emotional heaviness that really makes A Palpable Sense of Love & Loss so crushing.

The Doom/Death scene is quite a narrow one; too much either way and you’re playing a different style. The true way to set yourself apart is the emotional content of the music and how it resonates with the listener. Pendulous should have no worries in this regard and their album is a work of bleeding, regretful art.

Listen and absorb their heart-rending story.

Assumption – The Three Appearances (Review)

AssumptionAssumption are a Doom/Death Metal band from Italy. This is their début EP.

Assumption sound grim, dark and evil. Featuring members of the gruesome Haemophagus it should come as no surprise that The Three Appearances is full of mouldy and decomposing delights.

Cavernous, echoing Death Metal growls seem to be generated through an abyssal fog of misery and pain. Surely something like this can’t be good for you?

The music is murky and ancient, lumbering around like a forgotten, decaying god that’s slowly transformed over the millennia into some form of shambling horror.

Reminding of recent albums from the likes of Encoffination, Ævangelist and Sempiternal Dusk, this is the latest album to blend both Death and Doom into an absolute terror of an album that’s designed to loosen the bowels and scar the soul.

As rotten as what’s left in the sewer and as black as the void, Assumption do a great job of describing the essential futility of life; decay always sets in, entropy will get everything in the end and ultimately there’s very little point. So why bother? Why bother at all?

Well, paradoxically Assumption themselves have given us a reason to continue; their music. This is worth taking the time to listen to.

What a glorious, rancid, noxious find this has been. All hail Assumption!