As one of the most devastating albums of 2017, today we have “No Stars Upon the Bridge” by Hallatar. Formed by Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) to pay homage to Aleah Starbridge, this band can be seen as a continuation of Trees of Eternity with a more raw and emotional edge. Joined by Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis), and Gas Lipstick (ex-HIM), with the guest appearance of Heike Langhans (Draconian), this release is full of despair and loss, transmitted in very emotional songs that will rock your senses.
Opening with the punishing riffs of “Mirrors”, the album starts with a very powerful and commanding tone. In this track we get to listen to Tomi’s vocals in a raw and uncomposed way, perfectly transmitting the state of a grief-stricken madman, this is indeed a truly haunting experience. “Raven’s Song” is a very nice and short poem that switches the mood of the release as it mellows a bit with the highly melancholic “Melt”. In this song, the clean vocals are full of emotion and perfectly kick of a moody track that features interesting tempo changes and powerful atmospheric elements.
Unleashing one of the most monumental Funeral/Epic Doom Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Ukraine’s Vin de Mia Trix and the double LP “Palimpsests”. Featuring over 90 minutes of highly melancholic music, this release is a fourth part aural exploration that traverses through many different styles and influences. Highly recommended for fans of bands ranging from Skepticism, My Dying Bride, to the likes of Candlemass and Ahab.
Opening with the 27-minute beast of a song “Matarisvan”, the band slowly builds up a punishing atmosphere that is perfectly elevated as soon as the My Dying Bride-esque weeping guitars make their mark. The vocals vary from harsh growls to some very solid clean singing that reminds us a bit of Epic Doom Metal outfits, and provides enough diversity to keep things fresh and interesting.
Hailing from Spain, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom quintet Evadne and their latest release “A Mother Named Death”. With the band being on our radar since their debut release “The 13th Condition”, we are quite excited to hear that they have blossomed into a very dynamic and engaging outfit. Delivering over 60 minutes of music, this band aims to take the throne of the most melancholic Spanish band from Helevorn, with this killer release.
Opening with the mellow “Adobe of Distress”, we are treated to a very traditional Death/Doom song filled with pummeling guitars and killer vocal arrangements. We particularly enjoy when a band can mix both clean and harsh vocals in a very organic and complementary way. Invoking their internal Swallow the Sun, “Scars that Bleed Again” delivers a perfect balance of sheer aggression and atmospheric magic, allowing the band to showcase their contrasting versatility.
Just when you think that Clouds can’t get any better, Daniel Neagoe and company unleash a short EP that takes the band’s sound to a whole new level. Delivering four new songs with guests like Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), Ana Carolina (Mourning Sun), Gogo Melone (Luna Obscura), and Mihu Ilie (Abigail), this release pushes the limits of sorrow and melancholy. If you like the band’s previous efforts, this is an EP you cannot miss.
Opening with the bleak guitars and atmospheric violins of “The Wind Carried Your Soul”, Clouds instantly sets a very depressive and powerful mood. As soon as Ana Carolina’s vocals come forward, the atmosphere feels even bleaker and denser, and we have just gotten started. With “Fields of Nothingness” we are treated to Mikko’s vocals in a very lush track filled with warm vocal harmonies and masterful keyboards. Definitely one of the best songs in this EP, as the mood is quite desolate and crushing.
Featuring a very old-school Death/Doom vibe, today we have Into the Arcane and their debut EP titled “Het Verlangen Der Geest”. Delivering four tracks that will appeal to fans of Winter, Etherial Winds, and Phlebotomized, this music is for the old-school lovers of Doomy Death Metal bands with atmospheric elements.
The album opens with the crafty “The Glass King” and its very melodic guitar work. This very catchy song is very rudimentary, but gets the job done as it brings back that old-school vibe that the scene has been missing since the late 90’s early 00’s. “The Innocent Hunter” brings a more atmospheric side to the mix with some very interesting piano sections and brilliant tempo changes. The band further explores their Doomy side and creates a very emotional track filled with masterful guitar leads.
With countless bands playing Doom and its variants these days, it is hard to find bands that managed to deliver something different. Today we have Hexer and their Oriental infused Doom onslaughts that managed to grab our attention and a permanent spot on our Doom albums of 2017 rotation. Delivering three songs and around 36 minutes of music, the band presents a well-known sound with a set of tweaks that make it worthy of your attention.
The album starts with the mysterious “Merkaba”, a 12 minute piece that slowly builds up in a very ritualistic manner. This track is presents us with a unique journey that is far from linear and has more than enough surprises for the listener with multiple influences thrown into the mix. The band’s atmospheric journey continues with the punishing riffing of “Pearl Snake”, which borders in Sludge/Doom territories. The oriental elements take this track to a whole new level by adding depth and intrigue.
Perfectly capturing feeling of grief and sorrow, today we have Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal outfit Illimitable Dolor and their self-titled debut release. Clocking in at around 45 minutes, this release delivers four crushing tracks of Skepticism, Thergothon and Mournful Congregation inspired music that will darken your soul by the first few minutes.
Opening with the majestic weeping guitars and atmospheric keys of “Rail of Moon, A Stone”, the band sets a very high bar in terms of melancholy. Perfectly weaving back and forth between punishing riffs and slowly paced drumming, the band creates a very powerful and retro vibe sending chills down the listeners’ spine. Things pick up a bit with the moody “Comet Dies or Shines”, a song which features interesting tempo changes and even more dramatic keyboard arrangements.
Perfectly capturing an epic performance at the legendary Roadburn festival, today we have Dead to a Dying World’s “Live at Roadburn 2016”. Clocking in at nearly 60 minutes, this release brilliantly reflects the band’s live performances ferociousness. Paired with a very clear sound and mix, this release continues to hold the standards of the “Live at Roadburn” series of releases over the years.
The album instantly jumps at the listener with the intensity of “The Hunt Eternal”, a fierce track that features blistering riffs, mournful viola arrangements, and hellish male and female harsh vocals. After warming up with the 16-minute opening track, the band went into the moodier “Eventide”. This track has a certain My Dying Bride meets Elend vibe that we greatly enjoy and was perfectly transmitted live.
Arriving from Australia, today we have one-man battalion Subterranean Disposition’s second full-length released titled “Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure”. Delivering over 60 minutes of crushing Death/Doom, the band keeps things fresh by adding extra atmospheric elements that blend very well together. Perfectly crafted for fans of slow and painful Doom music, this release is filled with unique ideas and interesting songs.
Opening with the crushing riffs of “Hungry Ghosts on Rotten Soil”, the album sets a very dominant tone. This mood continues with the melancholic opening of “Wooden Kimono Fixative” and its disarming pairing of moody guitars and sultry saxophone. This opener nicely transitions into more familiar Death/Doom territories with gusto and crushing tempo changes. Remaining us of bands like Avrigus, “Embittered Final” turns darker and more atmospheric. The haunting female vocals give an extra level of eeriness to this already emotional track.
Hailing from Finland, today we have the promising debut release “Blood. Stone. Sun. Down.” of melancholic outfit Vuolla. Perfectly blending elements of Gothic/Death Doom with melancholic Depressive Rock, this band manages to deliver over 60 minutes of truly emotive music. Focusing on crafting lush melancholic songs, the band will surely appeal to all fans of bands like Katatonia, Draconian, and everything in between.
Opening with the super bleak intro to “Death Incredible”, the band instantly reminded us of Svarti Loghin. This song nicely transitions into a more straightforward Gothic Doom piece perfectly blending Kati Hämäläinen’s vocals and keyboards with powerful Doom riffs. In a more traditional Gothic Doom fashion, the disarming “Emperor” is one hell of a rollercoaster ride which features a brilliant atmospheric passage around the 4 minute mark that will instantly get you hooked into the band’s sound.