Unleashing an impressive barrage of crushing Doomy riffs, today we have Black Oath and their latest full-length release “Emeth Truth and Death”. Perfectly crafted for those of us that are worshipers of gargantuan Doom riffs, this Italian outfit perfectly blends elements from traditional Doom with more modern influences, and pairs them with a crispy production to further rattle your speakers.
Establishing dominance with the pummeling riffs of “Truth and Death”, the band sets a very engaging mood as the sound is quite dynamic with tons of melodic elements thrown into the mix alongside soaring vocal arrangements. Far from static, songs like “Serpent of Balaam” and “Children of Babalo”, deliver dramatic guitar leads and massive headbanging passages, reminding us of bands like Yearning.
Unleashing waves of trance inducing music, today we have Switzerland’s E-L-R and their sophomore release “Vexier”. As it is to be expected from a Prophecy Productions release, this album goes beyond atmospheric and into hypnotic territories with a brilliant mixture of Doom, Shoegaze, and Post-Metal elements. For around 46 minutes, the listener is nicely transported by the intricately crafted expansive music in this release.
Opening with the dreamy “Opiate the Sun”, the band slowly unravels a 12-minute piece filled with haunting atmospherics and powerful distorted guitars. Think of The Ocean paired up with some Tide From Nebula and some sprinkles of SubRosa, as other tracks like “Three Winds” and “Seeds” further enshroud the listener into the band’s unique and expansive sound.
Completely blowing us away with their even more refined and enigmatic mixture of Doom and Psychedelic Metal with tons of lush atmospheric elements, today we have Messa and their latest opus “Close”. If you thought the band’s first two full-length releases were awesome, this one takes things to a whole new level. Delivering over 64 minutes of trance-inducing music, this release will most likely end up at the top of our best albums of 2022 list.
Slowly building up anticipation, “Suspend” quickly escalates into a powerful mixture of crushing distorted riffs and Sara Bianchin siren-like vocals. This track perfectly evolves into more Psychedelic and atmospheric territories as it progresses into more free-flowing pieces like “Dark Horse”, “Rubedo”, and the sultry “Orphalese”. There are obvious comparisons to be made to Jess and the Ancient Ones and Jex Thoth, but Messa manages to craft an aura of uniqueness around their music.
Led by Mikko Kotamäki (Swallow the Sun), Kuolemanlaakso, a Finnish outfit, delivers killer Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic elements. With “Kuusumu” the band further expands it sound and incorporates some more modern elements alongside their highly emotional and soul crushing antics. The band’s Finnish only lyrics add an extra layer of uniqueness to their piercing sound.
Opening with the dazzling atmospherics of “Pimeys laski”, a very somber and yet lush mood is set. The combination of clean and harsh vocals alongside female vocals and harsh shrieks gives the music a very theatrical versatility, like on the Therion-esque “Katkeruuden malja”, or the punishing “Surusta meri suolainen”. Far from linear and traditional, the band’s Doom influences provide a nice contrast to faster and heavier elements thrown into the mix as “Kuohuista tulisten koskien” showcases.
It is rare to find truly unique bands these days, luckily for us Eight Bells answers the call with their powerful release “Legacy of Ruin”. Featuring an extremely crafty amalgamation of Post-Metal, Doom Metal, and even some Black Metal-ish elements, this release unleashes over 45 minutes of intricate and engaging aural assaults.
Led by Melynda Jackson, the band quickly establishes their piercing atmosphere with the opener “Destroyer”, a piece filled with piercing guitars and harrowing and contrasting vocal arrangements. Creating a very sinister mood, the release is far from one dimensional as “The Well” explores calmer and yet disturbing interludes alongside faster and punishing onslaughts of heaviness.
Unleashing waves of melancholic bleakness, today we have Arð and their debut full-length release “Take up my Bone”. Perfectly crafting over 43 minutes of mournful Doom Metal, this one-man outfit takes atmosphere and doom to a whole new level with this opus. Just imagine an even more doomier and more atmospheric version of Hamferð and you can only begin to picture what this release brings to the table.
Opening with the mid-tempo “Burden Foretold”, we get a nice combination of punishing distorted riffs with elegant guitar leads and spine-chilling vocal arrangements. Self-labeled as “Monastic Northumbrian Doom”, tracks like the album title track, “Raise then the Incorrupt Body”, and “Boughs of Trees”, perfectly deliver this very unique and eerie feeling. With some of the clean instrumentation resembling elements from Tenhi and Empyrium, but sprinkled with soaring vocals and some intensely dramatic tempo changes.
Keeping themselves busy during the last couple of years, Finland’s Hanging Garden is set to unleash their latest EP titled “Neither Moth nor Rust”. After their very impressive 2021 release, this EP delivers around 25 minutes of highly dynamic and engaging music, with a well balanced mixture of Gothic and Doom Metal influences, this album reminds us of late Theater of Tragedy, To/Die/For/ and Beseech releases.
Creating a very somber and yet lively atmosphere, the album title track delivers a well balanced mix of growls and clean male and female vocals, alongside engaging and catchy music. This playful vibe continues on tracks like the dreamy “The Last Dance”, and the atmospheric “And Leave All Love Behind”, showcasing the band’s versatility and craftiness to write highly emotional and yet diverse songs.
After their killer 2021 “Awake” EP, all-star outfit SOM returns with their much anticipated full-length release “The Shape of Everything”. Featuring members of bands like Junius and Caspian, this album delivers over 34 minutes of extremely melancholic and yet heavy amalgamation of all kinds of genres ranging from Doom to Post-Rock and Post-Metal. Creating a very unique signature style, this release is set to be on plenty of best albums of 2022 releases.
Opening with the melancholy of “Moment”, the band quickly establishes a very moody atmosphere, similar to bands like Deftones and Junius, but with a more shoegazey and dreamy edge. The clean vocals create very powerful melodies, perfectly soaring from the textured guitars of tracks like the Deafheaven-esque “Animals” and the playful “Center”. The band’s versatility can be heard on our favorite “Shape”, a piece that delivers a hefty dosage of heavy riffs alongside more subtle and ethereal guitar work.
After making a huge splash with their 2020 release titled “Bloodletting”, Mountaineer achieves the impossible and unleashes an even more melancholic and more polished release with “Giving Up The Ghost”. For fans of Post-Rock/Doom/Shoegaze, this release delivers over 32 minutes of highly emotional and disharming music, creating a fully immersive atmosphere and a truly magical listening experience.
Opening with a mood setting instrumental, the band gets down to business with the dreamy “Blot Out the Sun”, filled with soaring vocal melodies (both harsh and clean) and very dynamic guitars, perfectly capturing the ‘Mountaineer vibe’ but further extending it with even more melancholy and sublime arrangements like we can hear in “Bed of Flower” or the The Ocean-esque “Touch the Glass”.
By far one of the most productive musicians in the Metal scene, Déhà’s creativity is probably just bounded by time as he continues to unleash massive albums under his solo project, Wolvennest, Slow, and plenty of other bands. In “Ave Maria II”, he continues work he released over 10 years ago under his side project Yhdarl. Featuring one monumental track of 42 minutes, this release is both haunting and completely harrowing, mixing up dense atmospherics, punishing screams and all mighty riffs.
Separated into two movements, the first part, “Morituri Te Salutant” sets a very cavernous mood that suddenly turns with the introduction of Thergothon-level distorted riffs alongside dramatic vocal arrangements, similar to what Elend did in the past, but with a heavier dose of distortion. The angelic female vocals are masterfully flanked with incisive guitars and massive growls/screams, perfectly turning beauty into nightmare.