Yatra – Death Ritual (Review)

Yatra - Death RitualYatra are a doom band from the US and this is their debut album.

Now here we have an album that’s infused with darkness; it’s almost tangible, but in a warm, smoky way. Mixing ugly doom, riff-hungry stoner, blackened sludge, and harsh drone influences into 45 minutes of material, Death Ritual showcases the dark underbelly of doom metal. Continue reading

Weed Demon – Astrological Passages (Review)

Weed DemonWeed Demon are a sludge/stoner/doom band from the US and this is their debut album.

Sometimes all you really want to do is get lost in the doom. This album swamps you in heavy riffs, colossal groove, and thunderously slow distortion. What’s not to like? Continue reading

Sixes – Methistopheles (Review)

SixesSixes are a doom/sludge band from the US and this is their debut album.

You know that you can never, ever have enough filthy, ugly doom, right? I mean, it’s just not possible.

Enter Sixes.

Methistopheles is a colossal 62 minutes of feedback, Earth-shaking distortion, apocalyptic melodies, and throat-destroying vocals. And boy does it grab you and not let go until the bitter end. Continue reading

Phased – Aeon (Review)

PhasedPhased are from Switzerland and play Psychedelic Doom Metal. This is their fifth album.

Phased are a familiar proposition in many ways. Taking the blueprint of a band like Electric Wizard, they proceed to play 44 minutes of music that’s similar enough to what we’re used to so that it’s instantly welcome, but with enough individuality to ensure that they’re not written off as a mere copy.

As with most things to do with music, this is subjective of course. For me, although this release has enough familiar markers from bands like Electric Wizard, Warhorse and, (to a lesser extent), Black Sabbath that it feels like an old friend, it also retains its own identity enough to be a worthy listen. In fact, if you cross Electric Wizard and Warhorse, you have a good idea of where Phased are coming from.

Understated, strangely-inhuman vocals act as just another instrument and can almost be overlooked as you get caught up in the riffs and confident melodies. Having said that, the overall impact of the songs would be lessened without them though.

The laid back, confident swagger of the Doom riffs and the general vibe of easy-going Space Rock is a beguiling combination. It’s hard not to like a band like this when they lock into a hypnotic groove.

So, will Phased do it for you, or have they missed their mark? Have a listen and see what you think.

Stoneburner – Life Drawing (Review)

StoneburnerStoneburner are a Sludge/Doom band from the US and Life Drawing is their second album.

The band combine aggressive Sludge with minimal Doom in a pleasing and refreshing way, taking elements of the masters such as Eyehategod and Neurosis and combing them with an eclectic mix of bands like Electric Wizard, Warhorse and even a splash of Isis on occasion.

They have a punchy, buoyant sound for a group of this type, with the guitars seemingly larger than life and ready to pop out of the speakers at a moment’s notice. For all this vibrancy however theirs is a filthy sound, mired in dirt and caked in sin.

The vocals are low-in-the-mix rumbles that sound as if something lurking just underneath the surface is threatening to break through and wreak havoc, yet is restrained by the thick, syrupy music.

The songs are free form expressions of the darker side of life where not everything works out in the end. The album cover is quite evocative and one can imagine this album chronicling the life and times of the figure in the painting. Which is possibly why the album sounds so bleak, yet with moments of uplift; even in a drab life there are moments of colour. Of course the actual lyrics are probably about something completely different, but this is my impression and it seems to fit the mood of the album.

At over 66 minutes in length this is a long and rewarding journey through a damaged life that culminates in the final, epic track The Pheonix. A moment of hope as the final curtain falls? Maybe.

Music to captivate and absorb.