Promethean Misery – Bloodlet (Review)

Promethean MiseryThis is the latest EP from Promethean Misery, a one-woman Australian doom metal band.

Full of melancholy and misery, this is a single 20 minute track of dark riffs, haunting piano, and seductive violin. Continue reading

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Vallenfyre – Fear Those Who Fear Him (Review)

VallenfyreThis is the third album from Vallenfyre, a death metal band from the UK.

Featuring current and ex-members of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, and Abhorrence, in Fear Those Who Fear Him Vallenfyre deliver 39 minutes of ugly, nasty death metal. Continue reading

Unothera – Broken (Review)

UnotheraThis is the début EP from Unothera, who are a melodic doom/death band from the Netherlands.

This EP consists of 5 tracks – two actual songs and three piano movements.

The songs take influence from the likes of My Dying Bride, Katatonia and Paradise Lost, with sorrowful atmosphere aplenty. Keyboards are also used to add depth to the misery that the band exude, and I think these are particularly Continue reading

Abyssic – A Winter’s Tale (Review)

AbyssicThis is the début album from Norwegian Symphonic Doom/Death band Abyssic.

Well this is an absolute monster of an album. At 79 minutes in length and featuring just four tracks, Abyssic certainly know how to provide the listener with a lot to get their teeth into.

A decent stylistic reference point for Abyssic would initially be the old Peaceville roster, with bands like Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost all providing an idea of what the base of the band is like. Only longer and more epic, of course. Once you have this in your mind’s eye, mix in some more modern, epic funeral Doom from the likes of Monolithe, as well as a sterling Classical influence, and you’ll have a good idea of what Abyssic are getting up to here.

The symphonic aspects of Abyssic’s sound are big, bold and unashamedly impressive. Abyssic don’t hold back, and nor should they. This is a band that manage to incorporate the symphonic and Classical elements into their sound in a holistic and complete way, rather than having them just added on at the end. The music easily takes on a cinematic legendary feel and each of these long songs feels like a story. Nay, a saga.

A Winter’s Tale benefits from a huge and lavish production that allows all of the different parts of their repertoire to sound clear and crushing. Thick guitars and textured keyboards merge together with the crushing drums to provide the listener with a very engaging and absorbing listen. The songs may be long, but if you have the time to spare for them then there is so much here to enjoy.

For the most part the vocals are deep, dark growls, of the kind that are pretty much standard for Death/Doom. That’s not to say they’re not effective or don’t do their job though.

Long they may be, but these songs justify their own existence by being so damn impressive and well-put together. The band know their stuff, that’s for sure. Amazingly, given the length, these tracks don’t get boring and the lavish, lush orchestration is a constant joy to listen to, especially when combined with the heaviness of the guitars.

This atmospheric album really nails the best parts of the Death/Doom style for me, and the overwrought symphonic elements are just candy to my ears, pulling the whole thing up to another level.

Very highly recommended.

Moaning Silence – A World Afraid of Light (Review)

Moaning SilenceThis is the début album from Greek Gothic/Atmospheric Metal band Moaning Silence.

Featuring the kind of sound that was making big waves late 90s/early 00s, Moaning Silence play it well and I haven’t heard too much like this of late.

Combining the drawn-out Gothic sorrow of My Dying Bride with elements of Anathema’s approach, Moaning Silence have created an album that pays homage to the emotive, expressive side of Metal. There’s also an Anathema cover included for good measure.

Both male and female vocals appear, with the male vocalist’s voice having a quality to it that’s somewhere between the singers of My Dying Bride and Sentenced, while the female singer has a liquid, silken quality to her voice that is quite enticing.

This kind of style has been done to death, of course, so whether you enjoy what Moaning Silence have to offer depends on where your saturation point is for this kind of thing. I’ve pretty much reached mine, but I can still appreciate that Moaning Silence do what they do well, and there are some nice ideas on this release that show a lot of promise for the future. In fact, I enjoy them at their most when they’re relaxing a bit and letting the atmosphere flow naturally, as in tracks like The Last Days of December, (which is also notable for its lovely guitar solo and Classic Rock vibe).

As a début album, there’s still a lot of work to do for the band; I think they need to find their own style a bit more and also tighten up both the writing and the sound. Having said that though, there’s still a lot to enjoy on A World Afraid of Light, and I do like that this isn’t the ostentatious, flashy, overly-commercial brand of Gothic Metal either; this is a more earthy, honest interpretation of the original style that birthed a thousand Lacuna Coils.

So, give them a listen and see what you think.

Favourite Track: On Fragile Wings. Just a damn good song.

A Dream of Poe – An Infinity Emerged (Review)

A Dream of PoeA Dream of Poe are from Portugal and play Doom Metal. This is their second album.

This is Traditional Doom Metal that’s rich of texture and hue, laced with a subtle Gothic influence and plenty of majestic melodies; think My Dying Bride-esque.

The singer has a charismatic voice with just the right amount of drama added to the performance. He adds a lot of colour and flavour to the tracks and acts as a focal point for the misery-drenched music.

The songs are long, drawn-out explorations of beauty and tragedy, coming across as chapters in an epic tale of loss and woe.

Subtle keyboards underscore the emotive themes while the guitars provide a bedrock for the evocative atmospheres to attach themselves to. The songs are slow, moody and full of dark feelings.

Each track takes its time to get where it’s going and there’s no impetus to make things hurry along; this is a very good thing as the relaxing pace of the music is quite hypnotic and it’s easy to just switch off and absorb this album.

This is 56 minutes of quality Metal. Highly recommended.

Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth (Review)

Hooded MenaceThis is the fourth album from Finnish Doom-laden Death Metallers Hooded Menace.

Hooded Menace are well-known for playing Death Metal that’s heavy on the Doom influence, and just heavy in general. On this latest release this is taken to its logical conclusion, and the four songs on Darkness Drips Forth really blur the line between Death and Doom Metal, so much so that this is equally for fans of Incantation as it is for Esoteric.

The shortest song here is just under 10 minutes in length, with all tracks being stretched out to their maximum capacity for crawling, sinister, evil Metal.

Dark melodies creep into the thick, crushing music so that the band really foster the ancient Death/Doom influences that sit at the core of music like this. It’s not as overpowering or centralised as some who play similar styles though, allowing the heaviness and pure dirt of a band like this to remain at the fore. Old-school Anathema/Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride fans will be proud.

The singer’s cavernous growls are slow and drawn out, keeping pace with the unhurried music and reminding everyone that ultimately this isn’t pretty music; this wants to drag you down into the murk and consume your soul.

When they’re not playing at a snail’s pace the band have a rhythmic quality to them that’s almost Rocking, albeit one that’s coated in filth and grim intent.

These songs are veritable slabs of monolithic Metal, seemingly passed down through the ages in sealed tomes of forbidden lore, only to be discovered and unleashed by Hooded Menace. Each one is an impressive foray into Doom/Death, only much more malignant and nasty than a lot of the style normally is.

Highly recommended for both Doom and Death Metal fans alike.

Nightfell – Darkness Evermore (Review)

NightfellThis is the second album from Nightfall, a US Death/Doom Metal band.

This is the follow up to their 2014 début album The Living Ever Mourn, which was a very enjoyable album of Death/Doom. Darkness Evermore continues their brand of Old-School Death Metal that has a large Doom influence, this time resulting in songs that are longer and more mournful than their first release.

The darkened atmosphere from their début has been expanded upon and fleshed out with more ambition in Darkness Evermore. The essential style of the band is the same, but the melodies are bolder, the emotions heightened, the Doom deeper and the darkness more palpable. This is The Living Ever Mourn 2.0, in the sense that they have improved upon and refined their original formula, which was already pretty damn good to begin with.

The riffs are highly emotive and continue to draw on the wellspring of fertile inspiration that bands such as Dismember, Sentenced, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth, My Dying Bride, etc. have all drawn from for their powerful guitars and melodies.

These tracks are involving and paint a heady picture of a strange, underworld landscape for the listener to become entranced with.

The Death Metal base is complemented extremely well by the Doom influence, reminding me of the amazing début by Temple of Void; both bands know how to create emotive Metal atmospheres without losing their Death Metal core.

It’s not all slow dirges either, as there’s enough upbeat material here to provide good variety. These parts are still done in a gloomy way though, and they even have a Blackened feel on occasion; there’s a noticeably larger Black Metal influence in general on Darkness Evermore in fact.

Nightfell have successfully followed up their strong début album with an ever stronger second one. Check this out.

My Silent Wake – Damnatio Memoriae (Review)

My Silent WakeThis is the eighth album from the UK’s My Silent Wake. They play Doom Metal.

This is Atmospheric Doom that takes elements of bands such as, (older), My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost and works them into its own melancholic, gloomy soundscape. There’s a Gothic component to their style, as well as some Old-School Death Metal elements wrapped up in their sound.

Although they have their share of slower sections, for the most part this is not agonisingly slow Doom that crawls along at a minimal speed. No, this is Doom Metal with plenty of groove, mid-paced momentum and Metal riffs, and the Death Metal influence helps the band keep things moving.

Screamed/rasped vocals are the main mode of lyrical delivery, although the odd clean and semi-clean does appear here and there. They’re performed in a really engaging manner, and their real strength is in how they work with the guitars to seamlessly ensure that the songs are greater than the sum of their individual parts.

There are a lot of really tasty, captivating riffs on this release. Combined with the interesting vocal delivery and vocal patterns the two work together to hook and snare the listener. Before you know it you’re nodding along and getting into it quite easily.

The music is enhanced by keyboards and effects that add to the atmosphere, although these are quite subtle and the main show is carried off via the interplay between guitars and vocals.

My Silent Wake’s latest album is full of top quality Doom that harkens back to the early 90s without wallowing in nostalgia or backwoods glancing; it’s simply a sound of the era, impressively realised in 2015.

Have a listen and let the band work their dark magic.

Lying Figures – A World of My Own (Review)

Lying FiguresLying Figures are a Death/Doom band from France and this is their second EP.

Funereal riffs and Doom melodies are a firm basis of these songs. The winding melodies and dirge workouts pervade the EP like a miasma of misery.

Screaming and growling vocals are used alongside sorrowful cleans to provide a multitude of vocal textures, including a Gothic feeling from the cleans.

The overall feeling is of a band taking the Death/Doom formula and updating for the modern era; whilst it is recognisable as Death/Doom, the band have tinkered with the style enough so that it has a contemporary feel to it.

The songs provide a relatively laid back take on the genre as well, even when the harsh screams and growls are taken into consideration. It’s Doom Metal easy listening, but in a good way. The aggression that they have is contained and channelled appropriately and the songs benefit from this focus of intent.

Lying Figures take elements of bands such as Amorphis, Moonspell, My Dying Bride and Katatonia and fuse them into their own work. Suffice to say, if you like the aforementioned bands I imagine you’ll like this too.

This is an enjoyable EP that bodes well for the future of the band. Let’s see what they do next.