Being huge suckers for heavily atmospheric releases, we instantly liked Maestus full-length release “Deliquesce”. Magically combining Atmospheric Doom Metal elements with Funeral Doom and some Black Metal influences, this release is an aural delight from start to finish. With four tracks delivering over 50 minutes of music, each song crafts an oppressive atmosphere that slowly chokes the listener with its sonic intensity.
Opening with the album title track, we have a 15-minute behemoth that opens with a ray of light as the lively atmospherics lead into gargantuan riffs and crushing growls. The band brilliantly knows how to mix repetition with atmosphere to create a very crushing mood. With all the elements of an old-school Funeral Doom masterpiece, “Black Oake” blends in dramatic tempo changes, lush synths and plenty fo head banging passages for any fan of the genre.
From the mind of Chad Davis, today we have The Sabbathian’s debut full-length release “Latum Alterum. Fronted by Anette Uvaas Gulbrandsen from Norway, this duo unleashes a very unique brand of Doom Metal filled with psychedelic and occult elements, similar to the early days of Sabbath Assembly, and the music of Jex Thoth. Delivering over 44 minutes of crunchy gloomy music, this is definitely a must have for fans of the genre.
After setting a somber mood with the intro track, “The Brightest Light” unravels the band’s full potential with piercing warm fuzzy riffs and dreamy female vocals. The music is quite hypnotic, instantly creating a very creepy and powerful wall of sound. With Chad Davis handling all the instruments, we get that very well crafted core of rudimentary Doom elements that are playfully arranged to craft haunting melodies like on “Liti Kjersti” and “Head of a Traitor”.
Making our start of 2019 a lot more gloomier, today we have SLOW and the re-recording of their 2015 release “IV - Mythologiæ”. Helmed by the multitalented Déhà, this outfit delivers some of the most painful and crushing Atmospheric/Funeral Doom to ever exist and with this release they unleash nearly 60 minutes of monolithic bleakness. Only for fans of bands like Thergothon, Shape of Despair, etc., this music will certainly strike a nerve with its sheer raw power.
The album kicks off with the desolate soundscape painted by “The Standing Giant”. This track starts with minimalist atmospheric elements and weeping guitars that slowly progress to powerful riffs and deep growls. The pace of this song makes it just magical, allowing the listener to be at the edge of their seat for over 10 minutes. The build-up is one of our favorite elements of the genre and on “The Drowning Angel”, we get a majestic one that takes nearly half the song but unravels into demoralizing brilliant as the song comes to a climax.
It is not everyday that you receive a release from a band hailing from Iran. With our curiosity peaked, Eternal Candle’s debut full-length “The Carved Karma”, is one hell of a Progressive Death/Doom Metal release. Combining elements from old-school Death Metal, Doom Metal all perfectly paired with a Progressive edge, this release delivers almost one full hour of masterful music. For fans of old Opeth, Katatonia, My Dying Bride, this release will certainly resonate with you.
Immediately after the dreamy instrumental opener, the band gets down to business with the sheer power of “The Ripped Soul”. Reminding us of Amorphis on their “Privilege of Evil” days, this track is heavy and pummeling, thanks to its powerful riffs and old-school vibe. Things quickly move into more Progressive / Katatonia-esque territories with the intricate “Sick Romance”, and even further into old-school Death/Doom influences with “A Path to Infinity”.
Unleashing a crushing amalgamation of distorted guitars and powerful atmospheres, today we have France’s Dirge and their latest opus “Lost Empyrean”. Bordering in many genres like Slude, Doom, Post-Metal, this French outfit delivers a captivating release that is quite dense and engaging. For over 56 minutes and seven tracks, we are taken through dismal soundscapes that feel quite oppressive and showcase the band’s fresh and unique sound.
Opening with pummeling distorted guitars on “Wingless Multitudes”, the band’s wall of sound slowly builds up as the guitar layers pile up and craft a tense mood. Weaving back and forth between Amenra-esque moments and more traditional Doom passages, this track brilliantly blends into the next” “Hosea 8:7”. Masterfully maintaining the tension and overall ambiance, the mixture of clean and harsh vocals provides a nice layer to an already intricate mixture of sounds.
Arriving just in time for those long and dark Autumn/Winter days, today we have Décembre Noir and their monumental third full-length release “Autumn Kings”. Oozing with melancholy, this German band delivers eight soul crushing tracks that clock in at around 70 minutes of music. Perfectly crafted for fans of old Insomnium, Forest of Shadows, Rapture, etc., this release is gearing up to be the best one of its genre in 2018.
The album kicks off with the atmospheric build-up of “In the Pouring Rain” as it suddenly erupts in mournful riffs and firm growls. Perfectly immersing the listener into their melancholic sound, the band slowly progresses into heavier and more sinister territories with some crushing passages. The album title track continues the gloomy vibe with more incisive riffs and brilliantly crafted tempo changes, which allow the song be engaging and never get dull.
Always challenging listeners with truly unique and very interesting releases, today Prophecy Productions brings us Nochnoy Dozor and their self-titled debut album. Mixing tons of atmospheric elements with Rock and Doom influences, this six song EP is one very crafty and engaging release. While the music is quite excellent, what distinguishes the band is the dual vocalist approach that fully develops the listener on very sultry and melancholic ride.
The release opens with “Black Hand” a very enigmatic piece filled with lush vocal melodies and very moody music that sets a very lounge-y tone. Lina and Revekka have great chemistry and it shines in songs like “Stains”, where they sections perfectly complement each other and create a very playful dynamic in the duet passages. Moving on to Doomier territories, “Closer” and “All Mine” feature heavy distorted riffs and a sound similar to outfits like Subrosa, Black Mare and Bathsheba.
Fronted by Daniel Neagoe (Clouds, Shape of Despair), today we have Funeral Doom outfit Eye of Solitude and their latest opus “Slaves to Solitude”. Just fresh from their North American West Coast mini-tour, this band unleashes one of the most misery inducing Funeral Doom releases of the last few years. Up with Mournful Congregation, Clouds, and Shape of Despair, this band creates uniquely melancholic crushing songs that will extinguish your will to live.
The album kicks off with the dreamy “The Blind Earth”, a song that takes a while to build up, but once it reaches the 7 minute mark it becomes increasingly punishing. Daniel’s inhuman growls perfectly complement the bleak and desolate atmosphere created. With Mark Antoniades and Steffan Gough handling the guitar dutties, tracks like “Still Descending” perfectly deliver that brilliant Doomy sound of weeping guitars and well-timed heavy riffs.
Unleashing one of the most hypnotic and intoxicating Psychedelic Sludge/Doom release of 2018, today we have Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising and their latest EP “II”. Coming out via Neurot Recordings, this release features two tracks and around 25 minutes of trance inducing music that elevates the band’s already unique sound to a whole new level.
The band kicks off with the sludgy opening riffs of “Mahathgata I” and it slowly transitions into a truly intoxicating piece with the uniquely odd vocals of Marko Neuman. This track perfectly blends catchiness with atmospheric dominance and hints of psychedelia that are quite characteristic from the band. As the track progresses, it keep beating the listener with its crushing riffs while shifting into a darker and heavier piece. Lasting around 15 minutes, this is one hell of a track that perfectly captures the band’s idiosyncrasies.
Perfectly crafted for lovers of melancholic Doom Metal, today we have international Funeral / Death/Doom outfit Towards Atlantis Lights, and their soul crushing debut release “Dust of Aeons”. Formed by Ivan Zara and having the likes of Kostas Panagiotou in their ranks, this band delivers a truly monumental debut release, unleashing almost 60 minutes of music in four tracks.
Wasting no time, the band slowly builds up their massive sound with the 30-minute “The Bunker of Life”, filled with demoralizing riffs and haunting clean vocals, this track is deep and crushing. The subtle keyboards brilliantly layer on top of the oppressive atmosphere crafted by the guitar work and the deep growls. Between lush atmospheric passages and barrages of pummeling riffs, the time quickly passes by with this track and you won’t even realize you are 25 minutes into it, just brilliant.