Monolithe – Nebula Septem (Review)

MonolitheMonolithe are a doom band from France and this is their seventh album.

I’m a big fan of Monolithe’s increasingly forward-thinking doom metal, (see here, here, here, and here), so I was excited to hear their newest opus. Continue reading

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Ufomammut – 8 (Review)

UfomammutUfomammut are an Italian doom metal band and this is their latest album.

Following on from the extremely enjoyable Ecate, 8 is another 45 minutes or so of prime doom metal, delivered in Ufomammut’s own inimitable style. Continue reading

Monolithe – Zeta Reticuli (Review)

MonolitheMonolithe are a French doom band, and this is their sixth album.

Monolithe are no stranger to this site, having been covered previously here, here and here. This latest album is the second part, a companion release, as it were, to their last one, Epsilon Aurigae, and continues their evolution away from their original funeral doom style into uncharted territories.

Like Epsilon Aurigae, Zeta Reticuli sees the band keeping aspects of funeral doom, but adding increasingly progressive influences to their sound. It also sees them keeping the same format – three songs, 15:00 minutes each, exactly. Continue reading

Monolithe – Epsilon Aurigae (Review)

MonolitheMonolithe are a French Doom band. This is their fifth album.

This is somewhat of a departure from the normal Monolithe style in more ways than one. Previously specialising in hugely-long forays into cosmic Funeral Doom, (such as Interlude Second and Zero/II), here we have three songs, (each exactly 15 minutes long), more muted, subtly-mysterious artwork and music that has undergone a slight change in direction too.

Although Epsilon Aurigae is musically not a complete change, it is markedly less Funeral Doom and instead travels down a more Progressive Doom Metal pathway. Elements of their Funeral Doom past are still apparent in the songs of course, with emotive content and subtle, (and not), keyboards still a mainstay of their sound. On this release though, this is added to and enhanced by other influences that give the band an even more well-rounded sound than they had previously.

The deep, dark, growled vocals punctuate the music like storm clouds over a choppy, violent ocean. The music moves with a sure inevitability underneath the aggressively overcast skies like an unstoppable force. The music does sound like a force of nature, albeit one that’s manufactured and artificial rather than being entirely natural; a force of unnature, if you will.

This is an impressive development in Monolithe’s sound and Epsilon Aurigae is quite possibly some of their best work to date.

Highly recommended.

Sorxe – Surrounded by Shadows (Review)

SorxeSorxe are from the US and play Sludge/Doom.

Two bassists? Layered vocals? Textured soundscapes? Heavy as fuck Doom? Yes please!

Sorxe have a crushing sound that’s befitting of a band who have double the normal number of bass guitars. This is as monolithic and colossal as you might imagine. The music is expansive with Progressive Doom tendencies and has a warm and heavy sound. Surrounded by Shadows has strong ambitions and the talent to see them through.

Special note should be made of the vocals, as they are diverse and wide ranging in their style. The singer shouts and bellows his voice raw, uses powerful semi-cleans and even manages soft crooning. It’s extremely impressive.

The songs on this album combine the unbearably heavy with the richly evocative and highly emotive. The band seem adept at switching from crushing passages to sections of energetic feeling seamlessly. Each song is highly accomplished and the band have truly unleashed something special.

The instruments are all used creatively and the synth effects add a further layer to their already involved sound.

Surrounded by Shadows combines elements of bands like Neurosis, Ufomammut, Electric Wizard, Yob, Isis and Mastodon to create an album that spends as much time destroying the listener via harsh sounds as it does through emotional weight.

These songs are diverse and well-written. They resonate with feeling and are richly textured and layered. This album has the complete package and offers a holistic, cohesive listening experience.

A stunning début that I’ll be playing for a long time to come. Essential listening.