Epitaph – Claws (Review)

EpitaphThis is the second album from Italian doom metallers Epitaph.

2014’s Crawling out of the Crypt was one of my favourite release from that year, and if I had to do that best of list over again the album would have definitely made it into the top 20 or so. As much as I enjoyed it at the time, it’s been a firm grower, and is an exceptional example of doom metal done right in an authentic, honest, and traditional way. Continue reading

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Dead Witches – Ouija (Review)

Dead WitchesDead Witches are a doom metal band form the UK and this is their debut album.

Dead Witches feature past and current members of Electric Wizard, Ramesses and Psychedelic Witchcraft. Listening to Ouija you can expect slow, hypnotic doom metal that worships at the altar of Pentagram, Saint Vitus and, yes, Electric Wizard. Continue reading

Messa – Belfry (Review)

MessaThis is the début album from Messa, a doom/drone metal band from Italy.

Messa provide the listener with almost an hour of occult retro doom and dark ambience.

This is akin to a strange-yet-effective mix of Sunn O))) and Pentagram, with deliciously seductive female vocals included. Some tracks are dark ambient/drone, full of mysterious atmospheres and distorted malice, while others take Continue reading

Brimstone Coven – Black Magic (Review)

Brimstone CovenBrimstone Coven are a Hard Rock band from the US. This is their second album.

Brimstone Coven worship at the smoky altar of all things 60s and 70s. Black Sabbath, Pentagram and Led Zeppelin may be obvious reference points, but there’s more going on here than you might expect and Black Magic is a well-rounded release that is greater than the sum of its influences.

This album has a pleasingly authentic sound, both in the recording and the vibes that seem to come off the music in heady waves.

The main vocalist’s voice suits the music well and there’s lots of catchy singing going on here, which works well with the equally catchy music. The band also employ multi-singer harmonies and put these to good use.

The music is instantly familiar and it’s easy to get into this and feel a pleasant buzz emanating from it. The songs contain so many good riffs and warm melodies that every song has something pretty damn special to offer.

Black Magic gives us 55 minutes of music to entrance and captivate. If you’re in the mood for this kind of thing then it really is up there with the best of them. With top-drawer songwriting and a decent amount of variety and moods to explore, this is a very enjoyable release.

I’m not always a huge fan of music that takes its inspiration from this era, (although bands such as Witchcraft, Agusa, Ecstatic Vision and Greenleaf have been known to frequent my playlist from time to time…), but when it’s done well and with enthusiasm and passion as it clearly is on Black Magic, the result is infectious and hard to ignore.

Highly recommended.

Hellhookah – Endless Serpents (Review)

HellhookahHellhookah are a Traditional Doom Metal band from Lithuania. This is their début album.

This is Traditional Doom Metal for fans of bands like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Trouble. The album is 35 minutes long and has 7 tracks, one of which is a Saint Vitus cover.

With both eyes firmly on the past, Hellhookah peel off the riffs that mark the style and these songs are easily digested.

I find that these songs are at their best the slower and more moody that the band play, such as on tracks like Endless Serpents.

The singer has a decent voice that does the job required. There’s no complaints in this department.

This entire album has a very authentic sound; it could have been recorded decades ago and just recently unearthed.

A not-unpleasant way to spend half an hour – have a listen and see what you think.