Wonderbox Metal End of Year List – Best Metal of 2018

Having considered it long and hard, I’ve decided that any form of introductory paragraph with any real substance would simply detract from the list below. As such, all I’ll say is that 2018, like every year, has given us some top quality metal releases. So have a look at my top picks for 2018, and hopefully you’ll find a new band to obsess over…

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Monthly Overview – the Best of June 2018

So what dark delights do we have for you this month? Yes, once again it’s time to delve into the best releases that June had to offer, and what a bunch of fine albums we have to share with you this time… Continue reading

Ordog – The Grand Wall (Review)

OrdogOrdog are from Finland and play death/doom metal. This is their fifth album.

Okay, so let’s start this review off in no uncertain terms – The Grand Wall is a great album. There. I said it.

The songs follow mournful, misery-drenched themes, as is the norm for this style of music, although Ordog seem quite happy to crank up the aggression when they need to. Due to the overall sorrowful atmospheres though, this is a negatively-charged aggression that keeps within the over-arching framework that the band have set for themselves. 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

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.

Doomed – Our Ruin Silhouettes (Review)

DoomedThis is the third album from Germany’s Doomed; this is a solo affair that has produced 54 minutes of Doom Metal in the Doom/Death style.

It starts out in a very intriguing way with soft chanting and church bells. Soon after the crushing Doom makes an entrance as misty atmospherics and huge, deep, bottomless vocals dominate everything around them.

The music is slow, melodic and has a Funeral vibe. The drumming is very good in particular, and I like the way he doesn’t always go down the easy route; even though it’s slow he doesn’t always choose a simple beat to play.

The rest of the instruments are also played well, with the guitars having a good place in the mix and the artist being wise enough to know when to hold back on the heaviness and let the more subtle aspects of the sound come to the fore.

Although this particular sub-genre of music should be instantly recognisable to anyone who’s into the Doom/Death style, Our Ruin Silhouettes does what it does well, and it sounds bloody good doing it. The melodies are persuasive and the songs insistent. There is a nice depth to the tracks as additional sounds, effects and atypical melodies are all used with great results.

This is a compelling collection of songs to become absorbed in.

Favourite Track: A tough choice, but probably In My Own Abyss. An excellent riff centres the song, as eerie and haunting melodics and effects elevate it to even greater heights.