Sidus Atrum – Spiral of Life (Review)

Sidus Atrum - Spiral of LifeThis is the second album from Ukrainian one-woman blackened doom band Sidus Atrum.

Spiral of Life contains 40 minutes of modern black metal mixed with death/doom elements. It’s an album that uses its influences well, taking strengths from both styles to produce something very enjoyable and engaging. Continue reading “Sidus Atrum – Spiral of Life (Review)”

Aphonic Threnody – The All Consuming Void (Review)

Aphonic Threnody - The All Consuming VoidAphonic Threnody are an international funeral doom band and this is their fourth album.

It’s always a grim pleasure to hear new Aphonic Threnody material. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, also check out 2017’s Of Loss and Grief, and 2020’s The Great Hatred, both of which are well worth your time. Continue reading “Aphonic Threnody – The All Consuming Void (Review)”

Marche Funèbre – Einderlicht (Review)

Marche Funèbre - EinderlichtThis is the fourth album from Belgian death/doom metallers Marche Funèbre.

Having been a fan of Eye of Solitude for some time, their split with Marche Funèbre impressed, and made me want to check out the latter band when the opportunity arose. That time is now, and Einderlicht has arrived to carve a space in my collection all of its own. Continue reading “Marche Funèbre – Einderlicht (Review)”

Monthly Overview – the Best of May 2018

So, every month I say something along the lines of “this month has been a strong month for metal, blah, blah, blah…”, but May really has been a ridiculously strong month for metal! I really have struggled to keep this list down to manageable levels this time, and removed a few potential entries simply to keep the numbers down, (I’m not happy about this). So anyway, in no particular order, I give you my top picks for May 2018… Continue reading “Monthly Overview – the Best of May 2018”

Eye of Solitude – Slaves to Solitude (Review)

Eye of SolitudeEye of Solitude are a funeral doom band from the UK and this is their fifth album.

I always get very excited when I get to hear some new Eye of Solitude material. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, check out Sui Caedere, Canto III, Dear Insanity, their split with Faal, split with Marche Funèbre, and, of course, this latest 52-minute opus. Continue reading “Eye of Solitude – Slaves to Solitude (Review)”

Convocation – Scars Across (Review)

ConvocationConvocation are from Finland and play atmospheric death/doom metal. This is their debut album.

Featuring members of Desolate Shrine and Dark Buddha Rising, this is dark and gloomy death/doom that boasts four colossal tracks lasting 50 minutes in total. Continue reading “Convocation – Scars Across (Review)”

Eye of Solitude/Marche Funèbre – Split (Review)

Eye of Solitude Marche FunebreEye of Solitude are from the UK and Marche Funèbre are from Belgium. They have teamed up to offer this doom-filled split release.

I’m a big fan of Eye of Solitude’s work, although it seems that somehow I seem to have missed out on the band’s last album. Regardless,  Continue reading “Eye of Solitude/Marche Funèbre – Split (Review)”

Bereft of Light – Hoinar (Review)

Bereft of LightBereft of Light is a one-man Romanian black metal band and this is his debut album.

This is atmospheric black metal in the Cascadian style, brought to us by a member of the outstanding Eye of Solitude, (as well as many, many other bands and projects too). Continue reading “Bereft of Light – Hoinar (Review)”

Eye of Solitude/Faal – Split

Eye of Solitude FaalEye of Solitude are from the UK and Faal are from the Netherlands. They have teamed up to produce this dark, malevolent split where each band contributes one track.

Eye of Solitude are a particular favourite of mine, with a slew of quality releases, (Sui Caedere, Canto III, Dear Insanity), to their name. Here they contribute a 12 minute song – Obsequies.

The track starts off with an exotic flavour; Middle Eastern-inspired music that shortly is replaced with heavy guitars in the mournful, Doom/Death style. Eye of Solitude are very good at combining the stark heaviness of Doom with the rich melodic streaks of Doom/Death.

The vocals continue to be the pitch-black growls that we know and love so much. If anything the singer’s voice seems to be getting deeper as time passes, and his performance on Obsequies is quite monolithic. Combined with the slow pace of the accompanying funeral dirge each growl becomes akin to the passing of aeons.

The middle section of the song is comprised of a piano and violin section, amiably breaking up the crushing misery of the main composition with a textured, emotive exploration of grief.

After this, the song crawls to a natural close, all emotion spent, all energy drained.

After Eye of Solitude comes the contribution from Faal. This is a track called Shattered Hope that lasts over 13 minutes. I have not heard Faal before this, but they quickly draw me in with their atmospheric Funeral Doom.

Accompanied by subtle synths, their music is bleak and suicidal, reminding of some of the older, slower material from Forgotten Tomb, only with less Black Metal and more Doom/Death; maybe kind of Forgotten Tomb mixed with Esoteric?

Dark growling vocals appear to swim in and out of the music, adding highlights to it rather than being the main focal point. Although the band have a heavy side, Shattered Hope is more about mood and substance than heaviness for the sake of it. It’s slow, miserable and easy to become absorbed in. Before you know it, the long running time is over with and you’re left with an unsubstantiated feeling of having lost something important.

A quality split of slow, mournful Doom. Press play and lose all track of time.

Eye of Solitude – Dear Insanity (Review)

Eye of SolitudeEye of Solitude are from the UK and this is their latest EP. They play Funeral Doom Metal.

Eye of Solitude are a favourite of mine, and if you haven’t already you should definitely check out their début album Sui Caedere and their devastating follow up Canto III.

Dear Insanity is one single track lasting 51 minutes. As with the latest Inter Arma EP this is essentially a full length album rather than an EP. However, there’s no hard and fast rule for this kind of thing though. Other bands like Luna and Monolithe, for example, make similar releases and call them albums. And of course you have Reverend Bizarre’s famous “EP” Harbinger of Metal which is a whopping 73 minutes in length…

But onto Dear Insanity.

It starts off all ambient with soft and vaguely unsettling drone sounds. This lulls the listener into complacency and when the crushing guitars suddenly come thundering down on you just after 8 minutes it’s almost startling.

After this Eye of Solitude do what they do best; slow, crushing, emotive DOOOOOM! This is relentless and laden with colossal Doom riffs and vocals as deep as night.

At about the 15 minute mark we get a change, with brief respites added in to soften the mood before the misery begins once more; this time with increased atmosphere.

At 22 minutes subdued piano takes centre stage and really brings home the feelings of dejection and forlorn hopelessness. Subtle, soft, crooning vocals can also be heard at this point; like an echo of a ghost in the background. This is a very well-judged change of pace and works perfectly as a mid-album centrepiece that carries real emotional weight.

At 29 minutes the guitars are back like a long lost friend. The mood is one of solemn reflection and sorrowful realisation. The piano can still be heard playing softly alongside the tidal wave of guitars, with the two disparate instruments merging into a cohesive whole.

There’s another change at 33 minutes, with the music noticeably becoming more expansive and expressive. The atmosphere is really starting to build now, slowly and inevitably heading towards crescendo.

Another brief piano interlude happens at 36 minutes, allowing the emotional pressure to build with gentle coercion.

39 minutes in. The Doom riffs start coming on strong now and the guitars take pride of place in the ongoing avalanche of misery. This is the final stretch of the song and things are moving towards their fatal conclusion. The band start to ramp up the intensity, slowly, which brings us to the last few minutes of the song where all of the emotion has been felt, all of the despair has been used up and we’re left with a gentle feeling of hopelessness so soft that we don’t even realise how lost we all are.

I do love it when bands do work like this, and Eye of Solitude have shown that they can do it even better than most.

A colossal landmark of a release by a band who can seemingly do no wrong. Get this now.