Unleashing a pretty interesting combination of Doom Metal with Horror Punk/Metal vibes, Italy’s Abysmal Grief delivers their latest opus “Funeral Cult of Personality”. With over 50 minutes of music, this release is both eerie and catchy, perfectly blending genres while creating a unique signature style. If you like horror-inspired Metal/Rock and have an inclination for fuzzy Doominess, this is the release for you.
After a creepy intro filled with organs and nice atmospherics, “Funeral Cult” leads off with crunchy old-school riffs and crafty guitar leads. The old-school Doom vibe is very nicely set and carried by the enigmatic vocals of Labes C. Necrothytus. One of the signature elements of the band is the creepy and yet simple atmospheric keyboards, laid out by Regen Graves, the band’s guitarist and mastermind. Tracks like “The Mysteries Below”, “This Graveyard is Mine” and “Reign of Silence” are perfect examples as to how the atmospheric component of the band is quite unique and engaging.
With the amount of releases we get at Infernal Masquerade, sometimes killer albums fall through the cracks and we end up reviewing them later than anticipated. In this category, today we have Dutch outfit Vetrar Draugurinn and their sophomore full-length release “The Night Sky”. Featuring one of our favorite singers, Marjan Welman of Autumn fame, and ex-Stream of Passion guitarist Eric Hazebroek, this band creates a very unique and dense sounding Gothic/Doom Metal.
Opening with the heavy riffs of “The Observer”, this track nicely combines melancholic passages with some proggy influences, creating a very unique and powerful style that nicely bleeds into “The Night Sky”. For fans of more melancholic and Autumn-like songs, “Lansdown Hill” perfectly uses Marjan’s vocals alongside clean male vocals to create a dark and somber piece.
Consistently pushing the boundaries of creating misery-inducing music, Clouds is one of those bands that with each release only keeps getting better and more refined. With “Despărțire” the band sets a new bar for Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal releases with nearly 60 minutes of emotive music that will rip your heart out of its cavity in minutes. Featuring some excellent guest appearances and some additional elements to the band’s already all-encompassing sound, this release is as brilliant as any of the band’s previous efforts.
Opening with the imposing “Deepen This Wound”, we get a very solemn vibe thanks to weeping violins and piercing riffs, perfectly paired with Daneil’s rumbling growls. The use of clean vocals provides a nice contrast and allows the music to flow into more emotional dimensions. In the piercing “This Heart, A Coffin”, the band enlisted none other than Mick Moss to provide additional vocals in this total banger of a song. We particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of the violins, tempo, and clean vocals in this very dynamic piece.
Hailing from Sweden, today we have Anguish and their perfectly excruciatingly doomy release “Doomkvädet”. Unleashing a gargantuan slab of 49 minutes of heavy riffs, this outfit has that old-school grittiness that many modern bands lack, prompting comparisons to Candlemass and similar outfit. If you are in the market for traditional Doom Metal with a harsher edge, this is one of those band’s that you will play on repeat.
Opening with the cavernous “Herein I Burn”, the first riff is a perfect foreshadowing of things to come, as it is slow, heavy and twangy. We like the mixture of clean-ish/snarly vocals giving a more aggressive edge versus your traditional Doom clean vocals, particularly on tracks like “Consumed By The Necro Doom”, and “Deranged and Forgotten”. For non-stop headbanging, “I ett dunkel förlorad” and “Blood Veil” are our go-to songs in this release.
Unleashing a very powerful and emotionally charged release, today we have Felled and their debut full-length “The Intimate Earth”. Perfectly mixing Black/Folk and some Doom Metal elements, this outfit creates a very unique and ravaging sound thanks to the misery-inducing Violin that accompanies all songs. Particularly reminding us of the short lived band Forty Days Longing, this is one hell of an emotional release filled with crafty songwriting.
Immediately a very somber mood is set with the piercing “Ember Dream” and its dramatic arrangements. Weaving back and forth intense onslaughts and melodramatic tempo changes, this track perfectly blends Black Metal with a doomier edge and some Folky elements. The mixture of harsh vocals alongside sweeping guitar leads nicely evolve into a very cathartic closing. Showing the first track was not fluke, “Fire Season on the Outer Rim” nicely continues the dramatic aural experience by adding some clean female vocals into the mix.
Nearly eight years have passed since Year of No Light’s last full length release “Tocsin”. Making all the wait completely worth it, “Consolamentum” delivers a monumentally sonically abusive 55 minutes of soul-crushing instrumental Post-Metal/Doom. Competing with the latest Amenra release, this album explores the depths of sound with its punishing onslaughts and nicely evolves the band’s already signature style.
Opening with a few minutes of drone/atmospheric intro, “Objuration” slowly builds up to massive riffs and oppressive drum patterns. The atmospherics nicely further elevate the band’s sound, creating very contrasting and dissonant sections. The second piece, “Alétheia” burns even slower with a dreamy Post-Rock-ish/Shoegazy intro that gradually escalates into sweet sweet heaviness.
Hailing from the Czech republic, today we have newcomers Můra and their creepy and cavernous amalgamation of Death Metal with Doom influences. While the genre has evolved in multiple directions in the last few years, there is still nothing like chugging guitar riffs and firm growls. This release delivers both elements in droves, making it perfect for older fans of the genre.
Opening with the 11-minute excruciating piece “Chambers of Decay”, the band sets a very dark and punishing atmosphere that has some elements of Funeral Doom Metal with slower variants of traditaionl Death Metal. The band’s crunchy guitars and crafty leads helps them avoid monotony as this track weaves back and forth different levels of aggression and tempos.
Delivering a 26 minute slab of crushing music, today we have International entity Ordo Cultum Serpentis and their debut EP “Derej Najash”. Featuring two tracks of 13 minutes each, the band’s sound is as close as we can imagine the depths of hell to sound like. Mixing a great deal of ambient elements with chugging slow riffs and creepy vocals, this release is perfect for a dark somber night.
Opening with “Chapter 1”, the album starts with a ritualistic vibe of eerie chants and sounds and slowly descends into madness with superbly slow distorted guitars and desolate atmospherics. As the track evolves, there are fierce fast-paced passages with hellish shrieks and a very cavernous vibe. The second piece, “Chapter 2”, continues with the ritualistic atmospherics and sparse drumming, slowly building into savagely punishing simple riffs and more disturbing vocal arrangements.
Empyrium has a way of making fans way for long periods of time for new music, but yet when they release something, all is forgotten as the band’s sonic magic appeases even the most disgruntled fan. Just making us wait seven years, instead of twelve as in the last time, Schwadorf and Thomas Helm return with over 52 minutes of music that manages to merge the band’s original ingenuity and ferocity, with their more refined and Folky sound of their later releases.
The release opens with the solemn acoustic guitars of “The Three Flames Sapphire”, a track that slowly moves into more complex territories with the lush clean vocals of Thoman Helm and layers of additional classical elements. However, one of the most interesting parts is the introduction of distorted guitars and harsh vocals, turning the track’s mood in a completely new dimension and bringing back “A Wintersunset...” vibes, and this is just the first song.
Finally, after years of waiting, Vibeke Stenne marks her return to the Metal scene with Veil of Secrets and their melancholic debut release “Dead Poetry”. Alongside Asgeir Mickelson, Vibeke graces us with eight tracks and nearly 50 minutes of highly emotional music, that is both dark and Doomy. While some people might have expected something more similar to old Tristania, this release showcases great maturity and undeniable vocal talents, while carving a different and distinctive sound.
Opening with the incisive guitars of “The Last Attempt”, the band instantly gives off a vibe similar to the short-lived Proggy/Doomy Alas from Erik Rutan and Martina Hornbacher. The atmosphere in this release is quite dark and very cohesive, crafted with only a few elements such as solemn violins from Sareeta and the occasional growl from Erling Malm. This allows Vibeke’s vocals to truly shine alongside weeping guitars, making tracks like “Sear The Fallen”, “Remorseful Heart”, and “The Lie Of Her Prosperity” quite effective and direct.