Dread Sovereign – For Doom the Bell Tolls (Review)

Dread SovereignThis is the second album from Irish doom metal band Dread Sovereign.

2014’s All Hell’s Martyrs was an absolute stormer of an album, and definitely one of my favourites from the doom metal genre. After catching them live at last year’s Damnation Festival, I was very excited to eventually hear some new material from the band. Finally, the wait is over. Continue reading

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11Paranoias – Reliquary for a Dreamed of World (Review)

11 ParanoiasThis is the third album from 11Paranoias, a UK sludge/doom band.

The album cover alone makes me feel paranoid, not to mention confused and slightly panicked, and this is before I’ve even pressed play. Continue reading

Green Yeti – The Yeti Has Landed (Review)

Green YetiThis is the debut album from this Greek psychedelic doom band Green Yeti.

This is huge music from a huge green monster. What’s not to like?

There’s over an hour’s worth of music on here, spread across four colossal songs. And what damn good songs they are too.

The band jam out riff after riff, exploring psychedelia, doom, stoner and all things Continue reading

Dark Buddha Rising – Inversum (Review)

Dark Buddha RisingThis is the sixth album from Finnish Doom band Dark Buddha Rising.

Dark Buddha Rising are purveyors of Psychedelic Doom/Drone. It’s a minimalistic-yet-shaded affair, with all varieties of dark catered for. It’s also bleak in a comforting, warm sort of ceremonial way.

There are only two tracks here, but these amount to 47 minutes of music. This is a slow-burning release, steeped in a lazy insistence; it will absolutely get to where it’s going, but it will not be hurried at all. Acting like the relentless tide of glacial marching, the band proceed to build and build until you almost can’t take it any longer.

There’s a definite Old-School, almost 70s vibe to parts of the music, although this is darker and heavier than anything from that era. The vocals are both hypnotic cleans and screeching wails; both add value to the musical onslaught and both provide a different emphasis for the listener as they work their way through the tracks.

Understated-yet-atmospheric keyboards add spice to the warm recording and the heavy bass sound provides enough low frequencies to crack glass.

This isn’t ultra-slow music; it’s on the slow-side of course, but it picks up the pace a bit here and there, although not enough to be described as fast.

The band this reminds me of most is Drone/Doom legends 5ive, although Inversum is more ritualistic in a way. Dark Buddha Rising are not a million miles away from this and it’s safe to say that if you’re a fan of 5ive then you’re likely to enjoy what Dark Buddha Rising do too.

Tune in and drone out.

Ufomammut – Ecate (Review)

UfomammutUfomammut are from Italy  and play Doom Metal. This is their seventh album.

Ufomammut create confident, exploratory Doom that builds atmosphere in the best tradition of Neurosis, Yob and the like.

This is music that’s both heavy and nuanced, having the instant appeal to draw you in and the depth of longevity to last.

Ufomammut are undoubtedly heavy, but they also have their considered side. The songs are mature and well-written works of contemporary, otherworldly Doom that take you on a journey through waters uncharted.

I like that the band incorporate psychedelic influences into their sound without diluting the core nature of their Doom Metal aesthetic. Strange sounds and effects enhance the delivery of the tracks, giving the listener even more to bite into.

The vocals are low-key affairs in some ways, almost lost in the barrage of apocalyptic riffs and thundering, winding drumming. They’re used less as vocals in their own right and more as another weapon in their musical arsenal, merging with the music at a cellular level.

I’m always a fan of songs where the bass makes a noticeable difference to the performance and Ecate uses the bass wisely. It sounds good and works well across these tracks.

After this many releases Ufomammut clearly know what they’re doing and Ecate is yet another top album of quality Doom. If anything, this is a step forward for the band as Ecate really is pretty damn good.

Megaton Leviathan – Past 21: Beyond The Arctic Cell (Review)

Megaton LeviathanMegaton Leviathan are from the US and play Doom.

This is slow Psychedelic Doom with a hazy atmosphere and resplendent aura.

The songs slowly unwind like a tapestry and the band’s rich, textured sound unveils itself like a gradual sunrise. The bass provides a grounding foundation whilst laid back drums work with snaking guitars to form these slow-burning pieces of musical art. Additional instrumentation and effects enhance the songs and facilitate the creation of Doom that is expressive and lazily articulate.

Vocals are merely shadows of expressions and are used like any other instrument to create subtle highlights along the aural journey.

The tracks move with a glacial pace and each of these 4 tracks is a Doom-laden joy to listen to. This is music to become absorbed in and get carried away by.

The songs are emotive and feel less like they have been written and more like they are being channelled, fully formed, into this plane of existence from some entirely other place in space/time. This allows an entirely transcendent listening experience for the listener if engaged with in the right way.

Megaton Leviathan, (a name that instantly conjures images of heaviness), have created an exemplar of psychedelic Doom with this album. It’s a thing of wondrous beauty and awe inspiring talent.

If you like Doom then this is a must; have a listen to this superb band and get lost in their creations.

Witch Charmer – The Great Depression (Review)

Witch CharmerThis is the début album from UK Doom Metal band Witch Charmer.

This is retro-style Stoner Psychedelic Doom with female vocals and blues-tinged riffs. This type of music has become less of a niche-only style in the last few years and is definitely more saturated and popular these days. Having said that Witch Charmer are good enough to hold their own and hopefully make their mark on the scene.

The vocalist has a very strong voice and she dominates the tunes with her presence. Her vocals are complemented by additional backing vocals that enhance the songs with their inclusion as it gives a further aspect to the band. The multiple-backing-vocalists-plus-powerful-main-vocals approach is unusual/uncommon and works amazingly well.

The interplay between these male and female vocals is a great touch and is a point that differentiates them from a lot of other bands who play a similar style. Something else which also does this is the band’s slightly darker sound than the norm; think more Electric Wizard-esque than any of the numerous Stoner Rock bands out there.

The riffs are typically huge and captivating; 70’s blues rock riffs made heavy and dirty so that they sound more contemporary than most. The band play slow and heavy very well but can also hit and maintain a good groove.

Each song on this release is a hugely enjoyable exemplar of the style and definitely something you should check out if you have even a passing interest in this genre.

Give them a listen; absorb the grizzled and fuzzy music in the best way possible – loud.

Monolith – Dystopia (Review)

MonolithThis is the début album from Germany’s Psychedelic Doomsters Monolith.

This is Black Sabbath-inspired Doom Metal with a healthy Psychedelic component.

The album cover and the sound that the band have conspire to increase the overall impression of a spaced-out jam with lots of shining surfaces and dubious substances.

Dystopia is catchy and has plenty of hooks. The solos, leads and riffs are all fully realised and the bass is an important part of the overall feel of the songs.

The singer does his best Ozzy Osbourne impression but it fits the music perfectly and with the music being so laid back and glittering with Psychedelia no-one can really complain.

The most important thing about this release is the songs themselves. They’ve clearly been put together by a band who have a love of the genre and are passionate about what they do. These are class songs that will have you humming the tunes in your head for days to come.

Give them a listen and I dare you not to enjoy it.

Wo Fat – The Conjuring (Review)

Wo FatWo Fat are from the US and this is their fifth album of Doom Metal.

They have a warm sound that’s very welcoming and makes the listener immediately feel at ease; familiar but not overly so. This is Stoner/Psychedelic Doom in the traditional and spaced out way.

The singer has a good voice that seeps like honey over the rolling drums and infectious riffs. Speaking of, there are some glorious riffs to be had on The Conjuring.

And this is heavy. Joyously heavy. The guitars revel in themselves. Occasional solos snake their way in a lazily serpentine fashion across mountainous riffs that should get even the most jaded Metal fan moving.

The band seem to play these songs without any apparent effort, as if it is the easiest thing in the world to peel off colossal riffs with a beat that won’t quit. They give the feeling of being involved in one big jam, but one that’s coherent and focused enough to not sound a mess at all.

A real exploratory album full of trips to the heavy, fuzzy, scuzzy world of Wo Fat; the songs entice and captivate, culminating in the 17:00 monster that is Dreamwalker.

On the whole, very impressive and very enjoyable; a great listen.