Soothsayer – At This Great Depth (Review)

SoothsayerSoothsayer are a doom band from Ireland. This is their latest release.

Soothsayer play atmospheric doom/sludge that thrives on dense, dark emotion and otherworldly atmospheres.

This is slow-building music that wields atmosphere like a wrecking ball, crushing everything around it with the sheer weight of oppressive mood and feeling. Continue reading

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Organ – Tetro (Review)

OrganOrgan are an Italian Doom band. This is their début album.

Organ play a merging of Doom, Sludge and Psychedelic Metal.

A colossal, crushing sound heralds Tetro’s beginning, and this is a theme which is developed throughout. They’re not without their introspective moments, but the overall emphasis is on heavy atmospheres.

Speaking of atmosphere, Organ have it in buckets. Or rather, waves, as the onslaught of heaviness seems to internally generate its own ecosystem which bleeds out of the speakers like controlled tsunamis of density.

Relentless, repetitive rhythms drive the music forward, while dark vocals seem to lurk just beneath the surface. Harsh screams and cleaner vocals both have a place on this record, although the singer’s voice is used like an additional instrument to merely enhance the power and focus of the main musical maelstrom.

A roiling, churning beast of an album. It’s relatively short for this kind of release at ‘just’ over half an hour in length, but it packs a lot of punches into that time and Tetro is a very worthwhile listen for anyone into layered, atmospheric Doom.

For fans of Om, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Yob, In the Company of Serpents, Ufomammut, Generation of Vipers, etc.

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.

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.