Horrorgraphy – Season of Grief (Review)

HorrorgraphyHorrorgraphy are a symphonic doom metal band from Greece and this is their debut album.

Here’s a rather unusual release, (for 2018 at least), both in form and consistency; the band is made up of three vocalists and one multi-instrumentalist, while the music is layered old-school doom metal, with a firm symphonic side and rich melodies. Continue reading

Promethean Misery – Ghosts (Review)

Promethean MiseryPromethean Misery is a one-woman project playing atmospheric and doom metal-influenced neo-classical music.

After her extremely impressive and enjoyable Bloodlet EP from earlier in the year, this new album contains more alluring, dark, and wonderfully-realised music. Continue reading

Vereor Nox – Noli Respicere (Review)

Vereor NoxThis is the debut album from Italian symphonic black/death metallers Vereor Nox.

In some ways this reminds me of The Forest Dreams of Black by Tine, which is one of my favourite examples of how to merge black and death metal with symphonic elements. Although Vereor Nox don’t sound like carbon copies of Tine, there’s enough superficial resemblance to make me instantly warm to the music on Noli Respicere. Continue reading

Whispering Woods – Perditus et Dea (Review)

Whispering WoodsWhispering Woods are from Romania and this is their second album. They play Symphonic Gothic Metal.

This style of music was all the rage in the late 90’s/early 00’s and I haven’t heard a band play it so full-on in quite a while.

Recalling bands like The Sins of Thy Beloved and Tristania, this is richly textured operatic Metal with keyboards and flute accompaniment.

And boy, does it take me back! I was listening to a lot of bands like this at one point and Whispering Woods would have easily fit in.

Perditus et Dea has a huge production and sometimes it feels like the guitars are hitting home like a hammer. Everything is ultra-clear and no expense seems to have been spared in helping the band realise their vision.

The powerful female vocals are expertly performed, clearly by singers of great skill and accomplishment. There’s a definite theatricality to these vocals that spills over to the music too, almost as if each song is an act in a play.

The songs themselves are well-composed and have a good balance between the theatrical and operatic elements and the hard Metal core of the band. One of the things I really like about Whispering Woods is that the Metal component of the band has a big presence and is not subordinate to anything else. For all of the ostentation and flair of a band like this, Whispering Woods are a Metal band first and foremost.

I find this is a style that it’s quite easy to sound generic in; Whispering Woods avoid this by good songwriting, some interesting ideas and a strong sound. That they don’t fall into the trap of simply aping what is, by now, a well-worn style is another mark in their favour; instead they take the genre template and infuse it with their own personality to create an veritable exemplar of the style.

If you’re not a fan of female fronted Gothic Metal then this is unlikely to sway you. If, however, you’re partial to the genre and like a bit of Doom and melodrama alongside it, then Perditus et Dea is one to check out.

Me? I’ve really enjoyed this, and I hope you will too.

 

Majestic Downfall/The Slow Death – Split (Review)

MDTSDMajestic Downfall are from Mexico and The Slow Death are from Australia. Both play Doom Metal.

This is a much longer split than the norm – 67 minutes in total with each band giving roughly half of that. It also boasts quite a striking album cover. Nice.

Majestic Downfall are first off with a crushingly heavy start to things. They play Doom Metal with a slow Death Metal influence – Death/Doom or Doom/Death, whichever you prefer.

Ready comparisons to newer bands would be the likes of Eye of Solitude and that ilk. For older bands think Paradise Lost/My Dying Bride gone full-on Doom/Death. Majestic Downfall are not a band who are totally mournful and miserable though as a lot of the riffs are more brutal or energetic and they have faster moments too.

The vocals are super-deep and the music is clear and strong. Melodies are a large part of the band’s sound and they make full use of them to produce enjoyable tracks that are largely colossally heavy but also show shading with their use of lighter sections.

With a generally more upbeat take on the genre this is a good listen and makes a decent impression.

After Majestic Downfall’s crisp energetic Doom Metal The Slow Death are like a funeral procession of depressive soundscapes. The Slow Death are a much more mournful proposition and big on proto-Gothic atmosphere.

They can be said to share similar influences and a base sound to Majestic Death but they process it in a different way and the results are therefore different as well. The Slow Death are a lot more downbeat in sound, (although they do still have upbeat moments), and the overall vibe is darker and more negative. Think a band like The Sins of Thy Beloved only with a more subtle Gothic influence.

Melodic guitars draped in misery and rotting dreams are the leading lights in this showcase of loss. The band create dirges that hold interest and have some good riffs in them.

The vocals alternate between clean, ethereal, haunting female singing and deep, dark male growls. It’s a contrast that was done to death years and years ago in the Gothic Metal style but one that’s not so popular these days. I find it makes me a tad nostalgic, even. Regardless, The Slow Death pull it off with style and it sounds almost refreshing to hear the clean female/rough male vocals trading off once again.

A top quality split from two bands who have presented two different takes on a core style. It’s especially worth getting due to the length as each band essentially contribute a mini album’s worth of material to this split.

Be sure to check this out and then track it down.