Unleashing a tectonic plate shifting release, today we have Finland’s Convocation and their sophomore release “Ashes Coalesce”. Giving a modern edge to the timeless Funeral Death/Doom Metal genre, this duo delivers one of the most intense and intricate releases we have heard in 2020. Perfect for fans of Mournful Congregation, Dark Buddha Rising, and Waste of Space Orchestra, this release will rock your world from start to end.
Featuring Marko Neuman of Dark Buddha Rising/Waste of Space Orchestra fame on vocals, the release starts with the intense “Martyrise”. For over 12 minutes, this track delivers a web of intricate tempo changes and an onslaught of weird and sinister vocal styles, creating a very chaotic and cavernous feeling. The release turns to doomier and more ‘traditional’ territories with the mournful “The Absence of Grief”, a 13-minute beast that delivers solemn atmospheric elements and crushing riffs paired with Marko's deep and piercing growls.
Usually Doom Metal releases are best for cold and dark days, however, POET will turn your August days quite dark and gloomy with their gargantuan release “Emily”. Delivering over 44 minutes of soul-crushing Doom, this album has a ‘classical’ Death-Doom/Funeral Doom vibe as it spews six anthems of darkness and despair. As one of the densest albums of this summer, this self-released album is a breath of fresh air amongst all the crappy stuff coming out these days.
Opening with throbbing guitar riffs, the first track, “I”, slowly builds up and delivers waves after waves of slow and delicious distortion. The band’s edge comes in the way of the use of truly demoralizing Violin, Viola, and Cello’s through this album, paired with Brighid Wagner’s haunting female vocals. Think of early My Dying Bride with some sprinkles of Sub Rosa thrown into the mix as “II” and “IV” slowly progress.
Perfectly fitting for a dark and gloomy day, today we have Aeonian Sorrow’s latest EP: “A Life Without”. As the title indicates, this release is full of melancholy and gloom, delivering exactly what the fans of the band and the genre expects. For over 30 minutes the band explores cavernous atmospheres filled with crushing riffs, demoralizing growls and angelic female vocals.
The album slowly builds up with the opener “The Endless Fall of Grief”. Instead of the traditional long instrumental intro, this track quickly unravels brutal growls and heavy guitars, creating a very imposing and commanding mood since the first few minutes. Ville Rutanen (Red Moon Architect) handles all growls, perfectly contrasting them from Gogo Melone’s sultry female vocals, a brilliant example of this is the emotional “One Love” and its dramatic guitar leads and ‘beauty and the beast’ vocal interchanges.
Unleashing relentless misery, today we have legendary My Dying Bride and their latest opus: “The Ghost of Orion”. Filled with melancholy and pain, the album from beginning to end delivers the band’s signature Doom Metal as it combines elements from their later releases with the gloom of releases like “The Light at the End of the World” and “The Angel and the Dark River”. Five years in the making, this release is a quintessential MDB album that is musically and emotionally one of their best.
The release starts with the heavy hitting “Your Broken Shore”, a very powerful and mournful track that is both punishing and very melancholic. The contrast between Aaron’s signature clean vocals and the heavy riffs is something that keeps drawing us back to the band’s music as it perfectly conveys a multitude of emotions, as we can hear in the epic “To Outlive the Gods” and its enchanting violins, as well as on the emotional roller coaster of “Tired of Tears”.
As one of our favorite bands, Clouds delivers one of the most melancholic and depressive brands of Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal ever created. With “Durere”, the band’s mastermind, Daniel Neagoe, continues to explore the process of grief and loss in seven tracks and nearly one hour of soul crushing music. Never disappointing, the tracks in this release are filled with grief and despair perfectly translated into musical notes.
The album opens with solemn acoustic guitars and clean vocals in “Cold Guiding Light”, just before switching gears into ravaging growls and mournful violin arrangements. This track slowly erodes at the listener’s psyche with dramatic atmospherics. “Empty Hearts” continues the misery with distant weeping guitars and melancholic vocals. The band’s signature contrast between crushing riffs and growls with more mellow passages is very effectively delivered in this track.
We are quite psyched that Greek Death/Doom legends On Thorns I Lay have remained active and releasing albums since they reformed back in 2015. With “Threnos”, the band continues their musical journey with yet another powerful and melancholic release. Featuring over 45 minutes of music, this album delivers on the band’s signature style while adding a few surprises to keep the listener’s engaged and entertained.
The opener, “The Song of Sirens”, has that signature OTIL sound of their 90’s releases, with the firm growls, crafty riffs and subtle atmospheric keyboards, perfectly contrasted by weeping lead guitars and a hyper melancholic atmosphere. We particularly love the band’s timeless mixture of heavy foundations, like crushing riffs and tight drumming, with dramatic atmospherics delivered by the keyboards, clean vocals, and string arrangements on tracks like “Ouranio Deos” and the superbly catchy “Cosmic Silence”.
As the days get shorter and the dark nights get longer (in the Northern Hemisphere), Officium Triste arrives with perfect timing and their bleakness inducing full-length release “The Death of Gaia”. Unleashing over 55-minutes of devastating Death/Doom Metal, we are reminded that this Dutch outfit is by far one of the best at their craft.
Opening with the misery inducing dramatic arrangements of “The End is Nigh”, the band sets a very dark and funeral-esque vibe that features some slight glimmers of hope. The interplay of Pim Blankenstein crushing growls, the incisive guitar riffs and the melodramatic keyboards creates a superb atmosphere that sets the mood for a very somber release. With some crafty percussions and melancholic headbanging passages, “World In Flames” continues that oppressive atmosphere with a plethora of weeping guitar leads and crafty tempo changes.
Unleashing one of the most monolithic Atmospheric Death/Doom releases of 2019, today we have Portugal’s OAK with “Lone”. Featuring four tracks and around 50 minutes of soul crushing music, this release highly recommended for fans of bands like Mournful Congregation, Shape of Despair and Ahab. Piercing through the listener’s psyche, this album is heavy and punishing, unlike anything else you will hear this year.
Slowly building up momentum with the gargantuan opening track “Sculptures”, this duo craft a very punishing atmosphere thanks to massive slow riffs and crushing growls. With a very mellow pace, this track crafts a mysterious cavernous atmosphere as the guitars unleash minimalist notes of desperation. Expertly crafting desolate passages, “Mirror” continues the funeral procession with more crushing guitar riffs and crafty drum patterns. The tracks’ catharsis is well earned and after a while of atmospherics the listener is treated to some truly haunting growling passages.
The highly productive Déhà is back with his Atmospheric/Funeral Doom Metal project SLOW and their latest masterpiece of sorrow with “VI - Dantalion”. Crafting monolithic atmospheres around soul crushing riffs, this release unleashes nearly 80 minutes of powerful music. Just when you think the boundaries of the genre cannot be pushed further, an album like this comes along and shatters them completely.
Warming up the listener with the bleak soundscapes of “Descente”, the album slowly gets fired up as you come across the 17-minute behemoth of “Lueur”. The slow growls lead to monumental riffs and tense atmospherics, creating a very unsettling mood. The dramatic arrangements created by the synths perfectly complement the ravaging guitar structures. However, what really captures the listener is the dramatic tempo changes and mood swings within songs like the later and “Futilité”. Alternating a ‘shorter’ song between 10+ minute pieces, Slow explores darker territories with the harsher vocals and more sinister atmosphere of “Géhenne”.
Consistency is the name of the game for the Norrman’s brothers October Tide band. With “In Splendor Below”, the band continues to deliver classic Melodic Death/Doom Metal filled with superb guitar work, dark atmospheric passages and plenty of headbanging opportunities. Featuring over 43-minutes of music, this release continues the band’s legacy as one of the best in the genre.
The album opens with “I, the Polluter”, a song that features the band’s signature riffing and mid-tempo pace. There are some more direct Death Metal elements thrown into the mix, but the track always keeps that old-school Swedish Melodic Death Metal vibe going. The playful “We Died In October” shows a more funky and crafty atmosphere with intricate drum patterns and very engaging tempo changes.