I’ve enjoyed following Everest Queen, from their initial self-titled EP in 2016 to their debut album Dead Eden in 2019, so to have a new album appear in the wild is a fine thing. Murmurations boasts 44 minutes of new music, so let’s get stuck in. Continue reading “Everest Queen – Murmurations (Review)”
Featuring the guitarist from Dead Witches/Sea Bastard, Grave Lines play an interesting and immersive form of doom. Weaving together doom metal and sludge into a tapestry that also includes Gothic, ambient drone, post-punk, and experimental elements, Communion contains 44 minutes of music that’s highly compelling. Continue reading “Grave Lines – Communion (Review)”
Minus Negative contains 31 minutes of unfriendly sludge doom. It’s a mix of caustic sludge and crushing doom, combined with elements of stoner and progressive rock. Continue reading “Existence Dysphoria – Minus Negative (Review)”
Kalloused have a powerfully heavy sound that they still manage to insert nuance into when the need arises. This release features a plethora of textured riffs that manage to show a certain degree of subtlety and finesse even when they’re smashing your skull in.
The band have a black metal element Continue reading “Kalloused – Damn You Believer (Review)”
Both excel at what they do and having both of them on one release is quite an exciting prospect.
Primitive Man start us off with two tracks of the grimmest, most evil Sludge-fuelled Doom that there is. It’s 17 minutes of agonised pain and hatred. After many releases, (here, here and here, for example), I still can’t get enough of the horribly bleak noises that they make.
Colossally heavy and nihilistically bleak, Primitive Man always deliver the goods, and on this split it seems that the goods are well past their best-before-date and covered in filth and dirt.
The singer has hands-down one of the best pitch-black growls I’ve ever heard and when his voice first makes an appearance on Cold Resolve it’s like being floored by a truck. That’s if the slow, crushing guitars haven’t flattened you before then. The song proceeds to crawl across your broken corpse, all distorted malice and squealing feedback, slowly pressing you into the ground until there’s nothing left.
The second song of theirs is the shorter of the two, yet is no less nasty for it. Servant starts off with a feedback squeal and is typically crushing from then on in, once again showing off the kind of high-quality Doom that the band have become known for. Dripping with spite and rage-fuelled negativity, as the track unfolds things just get heavier and darker until the playing time is mercifully over.
But there’s no real breather, as we now have Sea Bastard’s colossal near-20 minute behemoth of a track, The Hermit, to deal with.
Like Primitive Man, Sea Bastard keep unleashing quality releases on the world, (here, for example), and this is no exception.
Sea Bastard’s Sludge Metal is less dripping with filth than Primitive Man’s, but no less effective for it. Previously I’ve described them as similar to Bongripper only with screams and growls, and that’s not a band starting point for initial reference.
Sea Bastard specialise in settling into a slow-burning crawling-groove, with a mesmerising heaviness drawing the listener in and repeating itself over and over, but never to the point of where the listener loses interest. This is enticing and hypnotic, and just when you can’t take it any more the band shift gears or change riffs and the suffocating Doom takes on a different edge, no less crushing than the last.
The screamed vocals are the perfect accompaniment to the music’s guitars, and the combination of the two produces a very satisfying feeling deep in the stomach where the bass seems to have set up home.
Picking up the pace a bit halfway through, the band show that it’s not just slow riffs that they can peel off with ease. This doesn’t last, of course, and once spent the juggernaut returns to a malevolent crawl as the song claws its way to conclusion.
The Hermit is just as good as anything the band have released, and combined with Primitive Man’s side of the split this is a pretty damn essential Doom release for anyone who’s into this kind of thing.
Old Witch start us off with their half of the split. Their take on Doom is dirty, nasty and filled with malevolent hatred.
Taking the template as laid down by Khanate, Old Witch proceed to bury this in the soil for a thousand years before digging it up and slowly flaying it alive.
The slow, thoughtful assault of their earthy-sounding Doom combines at once an unforced naturalism and a feeling of urban decay and darkness. The minimalistic Khanate-style approach is enhanced with eerie melodies and textured nihilism that has shades of Funeral Doom.
At any rate, this is my first encounter with Old Witch and they have turned out to be an extremely gratify proposition. Their name held a lot of promise as it pretty much evoked images right from the off that gave me high expectations of their sound. I have not been disappointed.
After the grim majesty of Old Witch, many bands would be found wanting. Thankfully, Keeper are not just any old band. Unlike Old Witch I’m already a firm fan of Keeper’s crushing Doom from their recent split with Sea Bastard and their EP The Space Between Your Teeth.
Keeper are heavier than Old Witch and sound like an avalanche of Sludge Metal descending from a great height to destroy anything it lands on.
The acerbic vocals always provide a wonderfully acidic focal point that the guitars seem to congregate around as if feeding off them.
Maybe it’s keeping company with Old Witch, but Keeper sound blacker and darker on this release. The shining, contemplative Post-Metal side of their style is still present and correct, but even this sounds more villainous than usual.
These two songs are just as impressive as I’ve come to expect from Keeper and the entire split, almost an hour of Doom, is a fantastic release that I can’t recommend highly enough.
Definitely one to get.
Keeper have graced these pages before on their split with Sea Bastard release.
Here they treat us to two tracks of ultra-heavy Doom that snarls and crushes yet also has a contemplative side.
The vocals are so serrated that this EP should come with a health warning. Their scathing assault is a reminder of how truly harsh screamed vocals can sound from the right singer.
The music is down-beat Doom which is slow enough to cast a grim shadow where it falls but energetic enough to keep a beat to. Although they specialise in the heavier side of Doom, the songs also carry a multitude of melodies through these tumultuous waters. Said melodies are largely low-key affairs content to hide just below the heavier rhythms, although this is not always the case.
The band’s more nuanced side manifests through these streaks of melodic colour and also through some Isis/Cult of Luna-esque Post-Metal moments.
The entire package is rounded off with a strong sound that accentuates all of the band’s strengths, leaving them free to pursue the music through to its logical conclusion.
Keeper have released a devastating calling card with their new EP, one that will surely, and rightfully, gain them many accolades.
Keeper are up first with 777, clocking in at almost 14 minutes.
777 is crushingly repetitive Sludge Doom with acerbic, toxic screams that tear through the meaty guitars like a serrated blade through flesh.
This is a song that glorifies the heavy riff, slows it down and then makes it even thicker than normal through some form of arcane jiggery-pokery. Yes, that’s the term.
Imagine Khanate if they had the structure of Electric Wizard. Agonizingly delectable.
Uncompromisingly bleak, Keeper show that they mean business and easily have what it takes to join the big leagues of filthy, hateful Doom.
The wonderfully named Sea Bastard are next with Astral Rebirth, which is almost 21 minutes long.
Astral Rebirth is another lumbering behemoth of a song. Long, slow and heavy; Sea Bastard have come to flatten everything.
Imagine Bongripper if they had deep growling/high screaming vocals and you’ll be in the general area.
This is another song that is relentlessly heavy and is crushingly repetitive; flowing tsunamis of heavy guitars seem to repeatedly peak and crash on the listener. The Doom is huge and we love it this way.
Not content with just playing slow, the pace does pick up but the feeling of being compressed down by an immense weight never leaves. Heaviness is in their DNA.
Both bands to an excellent job of their time on this split and if you’re looking for a good introduction to some top quality Doom then look no further.