This is 45 minutes of progressive doom/sludge brought to us by ex-members of the phenomenal Light Bearer. Continue reading
Triatom is a long, involved, and weighty release that spreads out to cover doom, atmospheric, progressive, sludge, and post-metal territories across its playing time of 72 minutes. Continue reading
2013’s Void Mother was one of my favourite albums of that year. Fast forward 3 years and my anticipation for Epitaphs is at fever pitch.
Obscure Sphinx are one of those oh-so-rare bands that are very definitely leaders and not followers. How they haven’t been Continue reading
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
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.
The band have in interesting and individual take on music, fusing elements of Doom, Progressive Rock, Shoegaze and Psychedelia, into a tight ball of Progressive Atmospheric Doom, (for lack of a better term).
This is music that uses Doom as a base and adds Progressive Rock and Shoegaze elements to it to create something a bit different and a lot special.
The music has multiple vocal styles, delivered by both male and female singers. These are diverse in delivery and used sparingly as necessary to complement the needs of the songs. Frequently understated, but always relevant, the vocals act as additional instruments used to enrich the music further.
Synths are employed to enhance the already well-textured songs and allow the eclectic music to have a firm, emotive foundation on which to build their diverse music.
This is highly textured music that plays with mood and emotions freely and easily. There’s a resplendent Post-Metal quality to the music that rubs shoulders with the grittier nature of the Doom influences and harsh male screaming, as well as the in-the-background-but-essential-anyway nature of the synths.
The Camel, the Lion, the Child is an exemplar of individualistic music done right and a shining example of a band ploughing their own path through the overburdened musical scenery. If you like music with a lot of character that isn’t afraid to be itself then I heartily recommend this album.
Due to this, Pathway has been somewhat eagerly awaited by yours truly.
The band’s brand of Doom is one that mixes Atmospheric/Progressive Doom and Post-Metal to create an interesting soundscape for the listener to drown in.
On Pathway they have continued to progress their sound. The heavy parts sound bigger and more imposing while the lighter parts sound more nuanced and well-rounded.
The album boasts a particularly vibrant and organic production where all of the instruments sound completely clear and very strong. The drum sound in particular is an impressive one, although in a way it’s unfair to single out any one instrument as they all have a very satisfying finish.
Vocally we continue to get an impressive array of voices, from cleans to screams to shouts to growls. Pretty much all bases are covered and all styles are used according to how they best convey the band’s message.
These songs are gorgeous Post-Metal/Progressive Doom essays that take in multiple textures and rich imagery in their running times. The songs, overall, are slightly shorter in length than Secrets of the Sky’s previous work, but this is not to their detriment; they’re exactly the length they need to be to achieve what they want to do.
Secrets of the Sky have enough talent to dominate at whatever they try, it seems. Whether this be the heavier, the lighter, the progressive, the aggressive, the angelic clean melodies or the Blackened screaming…it’s all an aural treat for jaded ears.
I always like music that seems to take you on a journey and in this regard the album is aptly named. These are superior compositions that should see Secrets of the Sky propelled to the upper echelons of the Progressive/Doom/Post-Whatever pantheon.
Like a canvas painted in sound, this is destined to be a masterpiece.
I can’t think of a single reason you shouldn’t have this in your music collection. Can you?
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.
This is Progressive Doom/Drone. I have enjoyed the previous Blackwolfgoat release Dronolith, and Drone Maintenance continues the core sound only with more variety than previously. Everything is still focused around the electric guitar but now there are added sounds and instruments, including acoustics, percussion and even the odd vocal.
Drone Maintenance is an enjoyably diverse release that comes off almost like one of the more commercial Electronica/Techno releases in the feel of the tracks, how they are made up, what they consist of and the diversity of delivery and expression – the only caveat to this of course is instead of this being delivered in an Electronica/Techno style it’s delivered in a Doom/Drone style. This impression is further increased by the various interludes and samples, etc. that are included on the album. The point is that this is an accomplished release that covers many bases and moods in the 37 minutes playing time.
The semi-concept of the album, (summed up essentially by the title and the lovely artwork), is also a pleasing one.
The musical journey that Drone Maintenance takes the listener on is one of subtle highlights and carefully crafted nuance. Sadly, this album is never going to have a huge audience and will probably be dismissed by the average music fan. This is a huge shame as it’s relatively easy listening and is orders of magnitude better than most of the nonsense that passes as popular music these days.
Blackwolfgoat has a massive amount of potential, most of which will go unrealised in the wider musical scene. Make sure that you don’t miss out though; get listening to this now.
This is varied and atmospheric Doom, with elements of their Funeral Doom past widened and expanded to included a much larger musical framework.
Playing heavy, dark and slow is still a feature for the band, however, but now they also use additional tools in their toolbox, including non-standard Doom implements such as choirs, saxophone, cello and contrabass, as well as orchestration, piano, keys, etc. that are more typical of the style.
A lot of the songs are more upbeat and have more of a Progressive feel to them. Some tracks such as The Midwife to Sorrows, for example, still have Doom aspects but can also be thought of as Progressive Metal songs with slow parts.
The songs are surprisingly short but still manage to pack a lot in. Narrow House are high on content and depth where they are lacking in length of song. The level of orchestration, effects and additional instrumentation on the tracks mean that each song is densely packed with layer upon layer of musical interest.
The clean vocals are dirge-like and full of depth and authority, whilst the occasional growls are low key but powerful.
This album is a surprise as I wasn’t sure what to expect from the band. From the Progressive Metal-style album cover to the name that gives nothing away, this is an atypical release in many respects. This is a very good thing, as the band have produced an extremely good album that manages to ably differentiate itself from the ravening hordes whilst keeping quality levels high and having a lot of personality and colour.
This will probably be a bit too left of centre for some Doom fans, which is a shame as this is a remarkable release that deserves a wider audience. This is a hugely impressive album that won’t settle for being average and definitely stands out in a sea of mediocrity.
Listen with an open mind and you’ll find that Narrow House have produced quite the corker.