Posts Tagged ‘Death/Doom’

The debut from the crushing death/doom purveyors Bewailer, ‘Where My Demise Dwells’, is a record that skimps not on the crushing misery or riffs. But is it worthy of the pantheon of the great slabs of monolithic doom or just another pretender? It is out now through Solitude Productions.

Christ, does opener ‘Thorngates’ hit you immediately or what? You can immediately feel the monstrous darkness that looms large over this record, as massive riffs lumber forward under a Akerfeldt-esque growl. There’s so much dark melody here though, weaving its way throughout the oppressive gloom. Truly great death/doom isn’t all about the brutality; it is the ability to play with emotion as well as weight. The use of acoustic guitars, female vocals and keyboards assist greatly in this. The soaring melancholy of ‘Nocturnal Sacrifice’ and the crushing ‘An Old Remembrance’ play both sides of this coin superbly, while the more traditional thunder of ‘Endless Fall’ is welcomed too.

‘Where My Demise Dwells’ is a mournful, melancholic monolith that manages to balance the more fragile moments with what feels like literally TONS of metal. If you liked the oppressive growl and crush work of Swallow the Sun but with a little more light, ‘Where My Demise Dwells’ might just be for you.

The Drowning - The Radiant Dark

If there is one nation suited to bringing us mighty slabs of misery this year, it is Britain. Lords of death/doom The Drowning release their fifth full length record, ‘The Radiant Dark’, on the 5th of November through Transcending Obscurity and it looks to provide us another reason to be miserable during a wet and cold winter. But in a good way!

After the emotional swell of ‘Alpha Orionis’, ‘The Triumph of the Wolf in Death’ crashes upon us like waves in a storm. True great death/doom hits you not only with weight but with an emotional fragility that The Drowning really understand. ‘The Radiant Dark’ oozes with a glimmering bleakness, a towering crush of brutality and melancholy that is staggering. This is a beautiful record, from the sweeping rainy misery of ‘I Carve the Heart from the Universe’ to the glacial gloom of ‘In Cold Earth’ and the majestic ache of ‘Blood Marks My Grave’. The Drowning have honed their craft into something that transcends mere genre classifications. There is true moments of thunderous death metal here as well, not just the slow, inexorable crawl of sadness, best shown in the crushing rage of ‘Harrowed Path’.

‘The Radiant Dark’ looms large in my records of the year, as there is few releases this year that combine both the heaviness I look for as well as the emotional connection. It is a record that, when I hear it, it makes me feel alive. That is a rarity these days, and it counts for a lot.

0N0 - Cloaked Climax Concealed

This strange, hybrid of noisy industrial and crushing death/doom comes to us from the enigmatically named 0N0, and ‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is yet another release from Transcending Obscurity that looks to challenge your perceptions of ‘heavy’. It is out now.

Opener ‘The Crown Unknown’ builds to a clattering Godfleshian nightmare, where groaning guitars thunder into uncomfortable noise atmospherics beyond. There’s deep growls and also a haunting female vocal hidden in here too, and it becomes this mesmerising wall of sound. ‘Hidden in the Trees (Sail This Wrecked Ship)’ is possessed with a ravaging dissonance, and really the two tracks run together into one, gloriously hypnotic whole. The subtle moments of soaring melody behind the layers of sound also really adds a nice wrinkle to what seems like a brutal experience.

‘Cloaked Climax Concealed’ is a short release, but these two tracks will give you an idea of what 0N0 are all about, and what that is appears to be the slow inexorable slide into industrial armageddon. An essential listen.


Consecration - Fragilium

British death/doom lords Consecration have recently released their 2nd record, ‘Fragilium’, through Solitude Records, and it looks to follow their 2014 debut ‘Ephemerality’ into the realms of classic darkness, misery and bruality. I was a big fan of that record, so let’s see what lurks beneath this glorious cover art.

You know you have some proper death/doom when you have 5 tracks that total over 50 minutes, and your intro is over 7 of those! Opener ‘In Darkened Slumber’ gently leads you forward, like the forest path in a light mist, before those darker sections in the distance. Is that a tolling bell? What is out there for us to find? The answer lies in the primal death of ‘A Sentinel for the Fragile’, which belches forth with guttural growls and nasty riffs. The sodden gloom of ‘In Somnus Ego Morrior (In My Sleep I Die) is almost suffocating at points, while the glorious contrast of clean guitar and then crushing vocals and walls of miserable riffing comes to its natural conclusion in titanic closer ‘To Welcome the Grey’.

‘Fragilium’ possesses all the hallmarks of a classic death/doom record; fragile emotional heft, flowing on the primordial ocean of massive riffs. Dense, mesmerising and utterly devastating, Consecration have struck gold once again. This is incredible.

Illimitable Dolor - Leaden Light

Australian death/doom lords Illimitable Dolor return with the follow up to their stunning, self titled debut, ‘Leaden Light. Their grasp of atmosphere is definitively still intact, but have they got the songs to back up their aura. The album is out now through Transcending Obscurity.

A crack of thunder and sheets of rain begins the epic opener ‘Armed He Brings the Dawn’, looming from the mist with massive riffs and a mighty roar. Miserable organ seeps through, while the gloom is broken by shafts of excellent lead guitarwork. The whole song feels infused with loss at a base level, melancholic but yet majestic in its heartbreak. The same could be said for the entire record though, through the weeping riffs of ‘Leaden Light Her Coils’ and the heaving roil of ‘Horses Pale and Four’. The moments of glacial calm, like in ‘Soil She Bears’, provide the respite needed to cope with an album of such magnitude.

Some albums feel more like an experience than ‘just a record’. Illimitable Dolor’s debut felt like that, and ‘Leaden Light’ has that same feeling. It encourages your participation as a victim of misery, which we all have been. An imperious, monolithic album that shows fragility through the cracks. Awe inspiring.


The lumbering, crushing chug of Spain’s Hex is a joy to behold, and their newest record ‘God Has No Name’ brings the finest Bolt Thrower worship to a doom laden set of riffs. Far from being a one trick pony however, these death/doom titans entrust their work to Transcending Obscurity, who have released it just in the last few days.

Opening with a mesmerising build to the crush of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, you can feel a really old school death metal vibe groaning through each riff. There is a real heft to some of these songs, particularly the thunderous ‘Worshipping Falsehood’, and the titanic ‘All Those Lies That Dwells…’. There is cold, clean guitar that oozes throughout, lending a foggy doom atmosphere to the deathly rumble, and the haunting female vocals in ‘Where Gods Shall Not Reign’ give a good dose of old My Dying Bride vibes too. Hex are both brutal as fuck, and yet play with a gothic delicacy that enhances their ruinous assault.

‘God Has No Name’ is a record that neither skimps on the brutality nor just hamers you with one generic style. A layered, multifacted record, Hex should be proud of their accomplishment here. But hey, a band who cranks out some serious Bolt Thrower riffs leaves the Killchain as putty in their bloodstained hands. Excellent.

Caustic Vomit - Festering Odes to Deformity

Caustic Vomit’s demo release, ‘Festering Odes to Deformity’ has just been released by Redefining Darkness Records on cassette, and the devastating churn of this three track, 30 minute demo is magnificent. This is primal death/doom at its most atavistic.

The aptly named ‘Churning Bowel Tunnels’ feels just like that; a propulsive low end rumbling intensely underneath a nasty guitar tone and unholy growling. A set of riffs caught in a sodden, rotten burrow where it absorbs the primal hatred of the earth. When the doom parts really hit, they are almost unbearable in their weight, an oppressive force upon you. The deathly parts are short and savage, and rip through the miasma of ‘Once Coffined Malformities’ occasionally, but mostly you are suffocated with a sludgey, thick blackness that seeps into your nerves.

You aren’t quite left for dead by this record, but if there were more than three tracks you probably wouldn’t survive. Like a toxic magma flow, ‘Festering Odes to Deformity’ creeps towards you, ancient and unstoppable. Your only hope is the savage stabs of death metal cause you to burst into flame before you drown in doom.