Unleashing one of the early candidates for best album of 2019, today we have Downfall of Gaia and their crushing masterpiece “Ethic Of Radical Finitude”. Slowly perfecting their trade, this German outfit deliver six brilliant songs filled with unrivaled melancholy and sheer power. With over 40 minutes of majestic atmospheric sludginess, this release perfectly combines Post-Metal elements with Sludge, Crust and even some more traditional Post-Rock passages.
After the opening intro, “The Grotesque Illusion of Being” wastes no time in unleashing brutal vocal onslaughts perfectly framed by dreamy guitars and blistering drums. The band has perfected the ability to unleash both brutal and melancholic pummeling onslaughts. Moving into more crafty territories, “We Purse the Serpent of Time” starts of with ritualistic percussion as the riffs slowly build up to create a crushing wall of sound, the signature style from the band. The clean vocals here add extra depth and mystery to an already pretty impressive song.
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.
After catching everybody by surprise with their dreamy 2017 debut, “Sirens & Slumber”, Bay Area’s Mountaineer returns with a more mature and equally aurally pleasing release titled “Passages”. Divided into two four-track sections, this album further expands the band’s dreamy Post-Metal/Post-Rock/Shoegaze sound.
The first movement, “Hymnal”, opens with the very moody and dreamy “Passage I”. The band sets a very light and emotional opening that quickly escalates into Post-Metal territories with lush guitar riffs and the visceral raspy screams of vocalist Miguel Meza. The battle between dreamy and crushing passages reaches its climax as “Passage III” intertwines both styles very skillfully and “Passage IV” slowly winds down a very emotionally intense first part of this release.
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.
Unleashing one of the Doomiest and most intoxicating release of 2018, today we have Italy’s Messa and their sophomore full-length release “Feast for Water”. Featuring around 50 minutes of highly mysterious and intricately crafted music, the band perfectly combines Doom and Sludgy undertones with enchanting female vocals and oppressive atmospheric elements. If you are a fan of Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, and similar bands with very apocalyptic vibes, this is certainly an album for you.
After opening with the mood setting Ambient/Drone-ish “Naunet”, the band instantly makes a splash with “Snakeskin Drape” and its incisive riffs. Sara’s sultry voice instantly captures the listener’s attention thanks to its commanding presence and how it shines through the very moody music. Her unique vocals can be said to be a certain mixture of Jex Thoth, Jess from Jess and the Ancient Ones and Farida Lemouchi from The Devil’s Blood, creating a fierce presence that magically brings songs to life like jazzy “Leah” and the funky “The Seer”.
Unleashing one of the most unique and aurally abusive releases of 2017, today we have Austria’s Las Casas Viejas and their album “goul/H”. Featuring an amalgamation of dreamy Post-Rock passages, with Doom/Sluge/Black Metal elements, the band creates a very unique atmosphere and evangelizes the listener with five brilliant tracks filled with unique elements and surprises.
Slowly building up the momentum in their opener, “Morbundus”, the band starts off slow with some interesting aural abuse, luckily it slowly progresses into delivering more punishing and demoralizing guitar riffs and a plethora of harsh vocals. Mixing Sludge elements with some different ideas, this piece perfectly leads into the Doom-esque “Kein Ort 1: nicht die Stadt und Lethargie”. The female vocals at times remind us of late The 3rd and The Mortal elements, allowing the band’s sound to have an extra unconventional element.
Delivering one of the most engaging and crushing Death/Doom/Sludge Metal releases of 2017, today we have Jupiterian and their sophomore release “Terraforming”. Unleashing a unique mix of atmospheric elements with traditional Doom/Sludge riffs, the band has crafted over 38 minutes of music that will keep you at the edge of your seat while clamoring for more.
The release immediately sets the tone with the slowly building atmosphere crafted in “Matriarch”. Crafting a powerful wall of sound, the guitars are quite punishing and quite relentless from the start. As “Unearthly Glow” rolls around, we get a more structured Death/Doom dynamic with powerful growls and weeping guitar leads, all tucked between crushing riffs and a very tight tempo.
Just in time for the gloomy October weather, today we have Amenra and their ravaging sixth full-length release “MassVI”. Unleashing over 41 minutes of music spread out in six tracks, the band continues their musical journey into darker and gloomier territories by making their sound even more massive and emotional. Perfectly engineered to be loud and punishing this release is one that you can’t miss.
Opening with the slow progression of “Children of the Eye”, the band brings back the punishing riffs and raw screams that have made them a household name in their genre. This track slowly introduces Doomier and more melodic and emotional passages that feature mournful clean vocals. After a short spoken-word track, the band comes back with a vengeance with the moody and hypnotic guitar work of “Plus Près de Toi”, which is part sludgy and part highly atmospheric.
Keeping things Heavy and Sludgy with their debut full-length release, today we have UK’s Wren unleashing “Auburn Rule”. Delivering six tracks of highly atmospheric Doom/Sludge, this band sounds like a combination of Neurosis and AmenRa, while maintaining their own signature style of aural terror.
The release opens with the hypnotic riffing of “In Great Yield”, this Neurosis-esque piece slowly builds up around razor sharp guitars and fuzzy distortion that create a very thick and powerful atmosphere. The vocals are your typical raspy screams, fitting very well with the underlying musical structure. Continuing the onslaught, “Scour the Grassland” keeps the intensity rolling with a piercing bass guitar line working in parallel with intricate percussions and the incisive guitars.
Every few months we get a mysterious package from Poland wrapped around very creatively with saran wrap and newspaper. Arriving from Godz ov War productions, we get a pretty good variety of Death and Black Metal underground bands, one of the standouts this month has to be Loathfinder. Unleashing four tracks and over 28 minutes on their debut EP “The Great Tired Ones”, this Polish one-man battalion focuses on mixing elements of Black/Death Metal with Doom/Sludge guitar work.
Opening with the catchy “Genetic Gloom”, a layer of thick riffing and harsh growls sets the mood for this release. While featuring heavy riffs and a dense atmosphere, the song has a certain Sludgy edge to it that keeps it interesting and different from other bands. The album’s most engaging song has to be “Feast on My Entrails”, where we have ripping melodic riffs and devilish harsh vocals. This track features solid headbanging passages thanks to its extreme catchiness.