Gloom – Doggod (Review)

GloomGloom are a Spanish Death Metal band and this is their second album.

Gloom play Brutal Death Metal with a Blackened element that allows them to add a viciously melodic edge to their unrelentingly savage assault.

Vocally, we get grunting, pignoise and serrated screams. It’s an impressive display of violence and the various voices are all used when they need to be to wrench up the brutality.

Gloom know how to maximise the extremity of the music while retaining a dynamic approach to songwriting so that the listener doesn’t get bored of listening to the same thing over and over again.

Although they boast an undeniably barbaric core, the Black Metal influence allows the band to add an entire other layer to their assault, with ugly, Blackened riffs and evil atmospheres pervading the songs like an infection.

It’s an interesting approach, as the blasting mayhem is tempered by the malevolent atmosphere in such a way that these two aspects of the band seem at war with each other over which way is best to flay you. This is completely to the listener’s benefit though, as it results in songs that have a creative violence to them that is lacking in many extreme bands.

Imagine a more brutal, Blackened Behemoth, mixed with the hybrid assault of a band like Gloria Morti or Anaal Nathrakh and drenched in the filth of underground Brutal Death Metal…this is where Gloom lurk.

The production allows the band to showcase all of this and everything is pleasingly balanced. Fast or slow the band sound great, but manage to avoid becoming overly polished or sterile. This is music that has a foetid warmth that you can feel as it guts you.

These tracks really are an impressive collection of songs, and there are more interesting ideas and quirks of extremity on this album than a lot of bands manage in a career.

Highly recommended. The more I listen to this, the more it becomes a firm favourite of mine.

Blimey. Hugely impressive. I’m floored.

Bjarm – Imminence (Review)

BjarmBjarm are from Russia and this is their début album of Symphonic Black Metal.

After a bold and bombastic opener the first song proper starts. Knowledge of Doom sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Inspiration comes from bands like Dimmu Borgir, Chthonic, Amiensus and Gloria Morti; essentially this is Black Metal with Symphonic effects, female vocals and a Death Metal influence that gives the band a harsher edge.

The production is heavy and well-recorded; everything stands out and sounds very impressive.

The vocals are deep and growled, for the most part, although spoken parts make numerous appearances. When the female vocals appear they are like the finest silk wrapped around a lovingly sharp blade. Higher, more-Black Metal vocals also have their part to play and these sound serrated like razor wire.

The music is well played and considerable thought has obviously gone into the songs. The level of orchestration and keyboards, etc. is remarkable and the songs are layered with emotion and grandeur. The Death Metal vocals add bite to the tracks and ensure that the band keep their harder edge in amongst the rich textures of the flowing musical theatre.

Overall this is a very professional début that benefits from a huge sound and an impressive theatrical/cinematic quality. For all the pomp and splendour however, they keep a sharper edge to their sound and this prevents the album from becoming stale, in my mind. Add to this some strong songwriting and you have a thoroughly enjoyable album.

Bjarm are ones to keep an eye on that’s for sure. With the right support they could go far.

Endemise – Far From The Light (Review)

EndemiseThis is Canadian Death-infused Black Metal from Endemise and this is their second album.

The band combine the heaviness and brutality of Death Metal with the Blackened atmosphere and symphonics of a band like Dimmu Borgir. Alternatively; imagine a band like Behemoth; now tone down the Death Metal and increase the presence of keyboards – you’re now in the right area that Endemise inhabit. Bands like Alghazanth and Gloria Morti are also good examples.

The songs manage to weave in between these two genres with ease, although they stray mainly into Black Metal territory for most of the album. They might be blasting away full of fury before a keyboard flourish changes their tack and all of a sudden they’re going all grandiose and orchestrated.

True to the rest of the album the vocals fluctuate between high-pitched shrieks and lower growls.

Although a little rough around the edges in places this is an enjoyable album with a few really good moments that they can build on for the next release.