LaColpa – Mea Maxima Culpa (Review)

LaColpaThis is the debut album from Italian doom band LaColpa.

This is filthy blackened doom, added to with some violent noise and harsh sludge. There are only three tracks on this album, but they total almost 40 minutes, and it’s clear from the very start that the band aren’t messing around. Continue reading

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Gnaw – Cutting Pieces (Review)

GnawThis is the third album from US experimental doom band Gnaw.

Featuring the inimitable vocals of the singer that graced Khanate with his serrated, searing voice, 2013’s Horrible Chamber was a must-listen record as soon as I knew it was available. It’s been a long four years, but now we finally have the follow up in Cutting Pieces. Continue reading

Uboa – Coma Wall (Review)

UboaUboa is a solo Doom artist from Australia and this is his latest release, which comprises one track that lasts almost 23 minutes.

Holy shit. Okay, that could be my entire review, really. Holy. Shit.

I suppose I should write a bit more though, here goes.

So, it starts off with a sample, some feedback and some slowly-added in noises. Immediately an unsettling atmosphere is created which is maintained throughout in one form or another. Shudder.

Then, all of a sudden, it’s as if all Hell’s daemons are unleashed, as twisted pain-filled screams and maniacal percussion are unleashed on you in a barrage of chaotic frenzy. It’s not pretty, but it certainly is engaging.

Coming across as a depraved mix of Atomsmasher, Khanate and Venowl, Uboa effectively spends these 23 minutes creating a horror-filled semi-organic nightmarescape that defies conventional music in favour of pure mood and feeling, seemingly dredged up from the abyss.

Birthed raw as a twisted combination of sparse Doom and eclectic noise, this is surprisingly enjoyable music, although I suppose I should point out that to most people neither the words enjoyable nor music would seem to apply here. Their loss. This wall of anguished sound hits the right spot with me, and that’s all that matters.

There’s a tense undercurrent to all of this that I find quite tasty; I always like music that uses tension well and on Coma Wall there’s no let up until the final dying sounds have disappeared into oblivion. During the latter part of the track the mayhem subsides, but the tension does not, and just when you think it’s settling slowly into a dying ambience, it gets heavy, sludgy and apocalyptic.

Phew! Very nice. Or nasty. Whatever. Either way, after 23 minutes I’m raring to go and listen to this again.

For true Doom/Noise connoisseurs only; check this one out if you dare.

Funerary – Starless Aeon (Review)

FuneraryThis is the début album from US Doom band Funerary.

This is dark, misery-drenched Doom that has a harsh Sludge edge, giving the band a nasty bite.

One of the first things that strikes me about Funerary are the jaw-dropping, ultra-intense vocals. They’re mainly high pitched screams or deep growls, although that description doesn’t do them justice. The screams sound rabid and the growls sound inhuman. Either way, they make a big impression.

This is 34 minutes of mind-numbing despair and utter misery. The songs are heavy, slow and full of depressed fury. This last point is an important one; for all of the Doom and gloom on this record, Funerary have a very angry side that lends their songs an aggressive dominance over all they survey.

Funerary also know how to do subtle though. It’s a downtrodden, malicious subtle and their version of light and shade is multiple shades of black, but subtlety is still within their arsenal. As such, there’s also a side of Atmospheric Sludge to their assault, which is always a welcome addition to any band and further enhances Funerary’s sound, giving them an added depth.

Throughout the release the feeling is one of a filthy, worthless existence, one that has no merits or positive sides just different types of pain and anguish. In itself this obviously doesn’t sound very appealing at all, however, when translated into Funerary’s scorn-filled hate-sludge, it suddenly becomes very appealing indeed.

It’s a relatively varied release, taking in aspects of the main sub-genres mentioned previously, as well as elements of Drone, Post-Black Metal and Experimental Doom. Largely though, it’s an impressive mixture of Doom, Atmospheric Sludge and feedback-laden nihilism, like a cross between Primitive Man, Esoteric and Khanate.

I strongly suggest you get a dose of Starless Aeon.

Keeper/Sea Bastard – Split (Review)

Keeper/Sea BastardKeeper are from the US and Sea Bastard are from the UK. Both bands play Doom and contribute a single track to this split.

Keeper are up first with 777, clocking in at almost 14 minutes.

777 is crushingly repetitive Sludge Doom with acerbic, toxic screams that tear through the meaty guitars like a serrated blade through flesh.

This is a song that glorifies the heavy riff, slows it down and then makes it even thicker than normal through some form of arcane jiggery-pokery. Yes, that’s the term.

Imagine Khanate if they had the structure of Electric Wizard. Agonizingly delectable.

Uncompromisingly bleak, Keeper show that they mean business and easily have what it takes to join the big leagues of filthy, hateful Doom.

The wonderfully named Sea Bastard are next with Astral Rebirth, which is almost 21 minutes long.

Astral Rebirth is another lumbering behemoth of a song. Long, slow and heavy; Sea Bastard have come to flatten everything.

Imagine Bongripper if they had deep growling/high screaming vocals and you’ll be in the general area.

This is another song that is relentlessly heavy and is crushingly repetitive; flowing tsunamis of heavy guitars seem to repeatedly peak and crash on the listener. The Doom is huge and we love it this way.

Not content with just playing slow, the pace does pick up but the feeling of being compressed down by an immense weight never leaves. Heaviness is in their DNA.

Both bands to an excellent job of their time on this split and if you’re looking for a good introduction to some top quality Doom then look no further.

Highly recommended.