Slowly inching their way to a bigger label like Season of Mist, today we have one of the best Greek Death/Doom Metal bands: On Thorns I lay. Unleashing their eponymous release, the band’s 10th full-length effort has them delivering a dark and cohesive sound that is heavier and more sinister than their earlier efforts (“Orama”, “Angeldust”), still features the band’s signature approach to the genre.
Opening with the punishing “Fallen from Grace”, the band delivers a good mix of atmosphere and incisive guitar riffs. The band’s sound is heavy, like really heavy, with a certain Septicflesh vibe to it on most tracks, particularly the longer ones like the opener, “Crestfallen”, and “Among The Wolves”. However, the band’s signature sound can still be heard on pieces like “Newborn Skies” and “Raise Empires” that have the melancholic riffing alongside crafty keyboards.
Since leaving Katatonia in 2009, the Norrman brothers reactivated their melodic Death/Doom Metal outfit October Tide and have been releasing killer albums since then. On “The Cancer Pledge”, the band unleashes over 45 minutes of crafty melodic music with a hefty dose of heaviness. The band’s sound is quite timeless, as they have continued to add minor tweaks and refined it over the years.
Bringing back the days of mid to late 1990’s Death/Doom Metal, today we have Finland's Asphodelus and their sophomore release “Sculpting from Time”. With a very retro and yet engaging sound, at least for oldtimers like us, we are transported to the time when bands like (early) The Gathering, Yearning, Anathema, Castle, Katatonia, etc. started adding atmospheric elements to Doomy music.
Opening with the moody guitars of “Waterside”, we are magically transported to the past with a very direct and old-school production and a style we haven't heard in quite a while. Led by Jari Filppu, the band perfectly captures that gloomy vibe and delivers tracks like “Fallen Dreamer”, “Life Painted Vermillion”, and “World of Hollow”. There are also some hints of old-school Finnish Death Metal, and even some 90’s Greek Metal hints from bands like The Elysian Fields.
Finally! After ten years of waiting, Saturnus returns with another full-length release titled “The Storm Within”. Being a fan of the band has meant waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more between releases, but now that the time has come: the band delivers with this one. Oozing soul crushing melancholy, this release features nearly 60 minutes of crushing Doom, just what we expected from this band.
Opening with the album title track, the release slowly picks up as Thomas and his deep growls come front and center. With two new guitarists: Indee Rehal-Sagoo (lead) and Julio Fernandez (rhythm), the band’s sound is slightly different, with more ‘upbeat’ songs that border more in the melodic Death Metal realm, like “Breathe New Life”. However, the punishing and slow magic of their previous releases is also present in demoralizing pieces like “Chasing Ghosts” and “The Calling”.
Unleashing a gargantuan slab of Funeral Doom Metal, today we have Australia’s moodiest outfit Mournful Congregation with part two of “The Exuviae of Gods”. Clocking in at nearly forty minutes of excruciating misery inducing music, this release features three highly demoralizing tracks. If you like your Doom to be slow, painful and soul-crushing, you know that there is no other band better than these guys, and with this release they continue to up their game.
Slowly inching their way into being one of the most exciting Gothic Death/Doom Metal bands in the scene, Hanging Garden returns with their latest full-length release “The Garden”. Featuring eleven expertly crafted tracks filled with melancholy and lush atmospherics alongside enchanting female vocals and a mixture of growls and clean male vocals. As huge fans of the genre, this release has that magical Theater of Tragedy “Aegis” vibe paired in with a modern sound and brilliant productions.
Opening with the crushing album title track, we get a slowly building piece with excellent heavy passages and a very solid dose of melancholy. Riikka Hatakka’s vocals have a certain Liv Kristine-esque vibe while unleashing unparalleled sweetness to a dark and somber mix as tracks like “The Four Winds”, “The Construct”, and “The Song of Spring” showcase. With each tracking having great melodic undertones, the songs in this release are both catchy and yet eerie and dark.
As a great complement and alternative to bands like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, and similar outfits, Marianas Rest has taken the scene by surprise with their highly melancholic and Doomy Melodic Death Metal. With “Auer” the band continues to deliver waves of atmosphere and bleakness in eight expertly crafted tracks. If you are a fan of melancholy, atmosphere, and heavy Death/Doom vibes, this is a release you can’t miss out on.
Opening with the album title track, we get a piercing mid-tempo track with punishing vocals and crafty guitars. The band really warms up as “Diseased” and “Light Reveals Our Wounds”, as we get more familiar melodic riffs and the atmospheric keyboards of Aapo Koivisto (Omnium Gatherum). We particularly enjoy how subtle and yet effective the atmosphere is, perfectly pairing with Jaakko Mäntymaa’s mixture of spoken and harsh vocals.
Delivering waves of melancholic guitar leads and demoralizing Doom riffs. Today we have Greece’s Oceans of Grief with the excellent “Pale Existence”. Clocking in at 47 minutes, this release feels like a genetically engineered mixture of Insomnium with Hanging Garden, creating seven crushing songs. If you are a fan of the genre, this band perfectly balances melody, melancholy, and musicianship in one extremely polished package.
Opening with “Poetry For The Dead”, the band sets a very somber mood with atmospheric keyboards and crafty melodic passages. As the band warms up, “Dale of Haunted Shades” and “Unspoken Actions” perfectly deliver that blend of Melodic Death Metal with Death/Doom tempos, creating very cinematic and lush aural experiences. The third track even features Jari Lindholm of Enshine unleashing some excellent weeping guitar leads.
Delivering over 45 minutes of highly enigmatic and atmospheric Doom Metal, today we have Canada’s Tribunal and their debut release “The Weight of Remembrance”. Perfectly blending crushing riffs and haunting cello arrangements, this release is sort of a mixture of My Dying Bride and SubRosa to some extent. Highly recommended for fans of the genre, this album creates an oppressive atmosphere while delivering a few surprises.
The release quickly sets a moody tone with the powerful “Initiation” and its slowly crushing riffs alongside Soren Mourne’s hypnotic vocals. Similar to Jex Thoth, Soren’s deep and enigmatic vocals give a very eerie and solemn tone to the music, as heard on pieces like the crushing “Of Creeping Moss and Crumbled Stone” and the desolate “Apathy's Keep”. The band’s ability to craft truly haunting and sinister atmospheres is top notch as each track delivers its own unique magic.
As the perfect companion for a gloomy and cold winter day, today we have Germany’s Ahab returning after eight years since their last full-length release with the crushing “The Coral Tombs”. As the pioneers of ‘Nautik Doom’, this band makes misery inducing music that only a handful of bands can rival (Skepticism, Shape of Despair, etc.). Featuring seven tracks and nearly 67 minutes of soul-crushing music, this is one of the finest Doom releases we have ever heard.
The release opens with the oppressive “Prof. Arronax' Descent into the Vast Oceans”, with a very aggressive opening that slowly transitions into clean vocals and total bleakness. We particularly like how the band blends in Epic Doom (or traditional Doom) elements with heavier and more punishing Death/Funeral Doom parts. The track “Colossus of the Liquid Graves” nicely creates a somewhat funky atmosphere that is brilliantly flanked by deep growls, oppressive riffs, alongside crafty tempo changes.