Posts Tagged ‘Death/Doom’

Shrine of the Serpent first lurked upon my radar with their awesome self titled EP in 2015. They’ve returned with a new split cassette with Black Urn, a band I have had no prior knowledge of but will definitely be tracking after this. The split is over 30 minutes of harrowing death/doom, with each band contributing two tracks each. It is available now through Bandcamp.

Opening with Shrine of the Serpent’s ‘Desecrated Tomb’, which is brutally heavy and slow. Like the heaving of tectonic plates, Shrine of the Serpent immediately reintroduce themselves as one of the heaviest outfits on the planet. Guttural roars compliment dragging riffs, all suffocating under a leaden atmosphere. ‘Catacombs of Flesh’ is just about as unbearably heavy, pushing down upon you with terrible, devastating darkness.

Black Urn’s side of the split crushes with the morbid crawl of ‘My Strength Lies on Heavenless Plains’, which builds from murky depths into a black metal influenced tremolo roar. Thunderous, molten riffs pour from aching speakers while tortured screams yearn for freedom. It is staggeringly heavy, and sets a new watermark for the music here. They close us down with the AIC Cover, ‘Junkhead’, which injects an entirely new menace into the grunge classic.

Probably one of the best splits I’ve come across in recent memory, both Shrine of the Serpent and Black Urn have really hit it out of the park on this one. Find a copy of it soon before they all disappear!

https://shrineoftheserpent.bandcamp.com/album/shrine-of-the-serpent-black-urn-split

https://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/split-2

https://www.facebook.com/blackurn/

https://www.facebook.com/ShrineoftheSerpent/

A world of misery and gloom awaits you inside the new Ever Circling Wolves record, ‘Of Woe’. Shades of black metal scattered over a dense and foreboding death/doom template. I first discovered them on their stunning 2009 record ‘The Silence from Your Room’, but their new record takes them to even greater plains. It is out now on Cimmerian Shade Recordings.

The haunting ‘Coeur’ is an immediate standout, where crushing doom riffs meet death metal ferocity, but it is layered with a lot of haunting melodies, as is the gloomy power of ‘Haunted’. This is a record that plays between its main strengths of massive riffs that feel like cliffs are falling on you, and a more post metal sensibility where melodies, clean vocals and a deft grasp of how space can create excellent music. With a runtime that exceeds an hour, these nuances are very important to ensure that you don’t lose interest.

But it would be difficult to lose interest in an album that is constantly shifting your expectations. At no point are you wondering when it’ll finish, more ‘how much more of this can I get!?’. The glacial opening riffs to ‘Challenger Deep’,  the quirky savagery of ‘Lenore’, the drawn out exhaustion of epic closer ‘These Are Ashes, These are Roots’; all lead you to an inexorable collapse where you gasp for air and beg for more. ‘Of Woe’ is an album that towers above most, enschewing the obvious for a path less travelled, and getting it totally right on the journey.

https://cimmerianshaderecordings.bandcamp.com/album/of-woe-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-gloom

https://www.facebook.com/ecwdoom/

Edinburgh based death/doom newcomers Wolf Sermon have got their 2016 demo out on cassette now through the always reliable Carvetii Productions. This is four slabs of dense, savage and dark metal for those of us drawn to the Asphyx/Autopsy axis of death metal. Be prepared for a couple of surprises though.

‘Pagan Skin’ rides out with a vicious, chugging Swedish death buzz to its riffing, while a strong Asphyx vibe laces its way through. Dark melodies are woven into each monolithic riff, bringing it above your standard Autopsy clone fare. It’s that sense of melody that lifts the superb ‘Violent Art’ into the realms of greatness; where mournful lead guitar meets crushing bass riffs and howling growls. When a band makes sure on their DEMO to do things a little differently to stand out, that’s a potential marker for future greatness.

Anyone who enjoys great, heavy music can appreciate the shifting sands of ‘Pillars of Vengeance’, but Wolf Sermon plant little nuances within each track that only enhances your joy at the pure spirit of their demo. Wrap that up in a tasteful cassette package from Carvetii and I’m frankly embarassed I’ve only just come across this now, because I love this shit. Grab a copy as soon as possible!

https://wolfsermonmetal.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wolfsermon/

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/store

Nightmarish death/doom titans Drug Honkey have been twisting the Godfleshian blueprint into darker and heavier forms for many years now, and their newest release, ‘Cloak of Skies’, is yet another progression into psychosis causing metal. Hallucinating carnage and despair is very much a byproduct, and Transcending Obscurity will be lucky to avoid the blame for a host of suicides or mental collapses based on this record!

If you want to hear the visceral rending of the earth, then that opening note of ‘Pool of Failure’ will do it. Apocalyptic, crushing monstrosities of death and doom collapsing stone and earth around you, while maddening growls rumble from the dark. ‘Sickening Wasteoid’ hums with static desolation, while the ugly stomp of ‘Outlet of Hatred’ is reassuringly heavy. Like a terrible psychedelic trip where instead of seeing happiness and joy, you’re confronted by the sheer horror of this world in the haunting ‘(Its Not) The Way’, while the mental weight of ‘Cloak of Skies’ is almost unbearable.

Harrowing, unrepentant and cataclysmic, Drug Honkey are like the back street junkie version of Godflesh. While JK Broadrick imbued his music with industrial heaviness there were often glimmers of hope. ‘Cloak of Skies’ is smothered by despair, drowning in sludge and crumbling under its own existence. Terrifyingly essential.

https://drughonkey.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/drughonkey

http://tometal.com/

Despite this very black metal cover, Hunger Moon are much more doom than you. In fact, quite death/doom but without the monolithic song structures. Their self titled EP is on now through Bandcamp, and is five crushing tracks of rumbling intensity.

Opener ‘Transcending’ has some grand, swaying Candlemass riffs while a guttural roar fills the air. While not as miserable as a lot of doom, this definitely possesses some atmospheres of greyness, and while the music isn’t the most original stuff you’ll come across, the likes of ‘Blackhole Queen’ and the storming ‘Link of Worlds’ have some cool moments in them. The former’s changes in vocal styles helps add a bit of uniqueness into their delivery, along with the melancholic crush of the last minutes.

The title track’s howling melodies brings to mind a little post metal, but the fervent stomp of the rest of the album is rooted squarely in doom and death metal. Hunger Moon have made a nice little start here on this EP, but I think if they can pick one direction and stick on it, they’ll carve out more of an identity. Still pretty good stuff though.

https://hungermoon1.bandcamp.com/album/hunger-moon

https://www.facebook.com/hungermoonband/

Australian death/doom lords Illimitable Dolor have risen from the reamaining members of  legendary icons The Slow Death, paying tribute to their deceased former vocalist Gregg WIlliamson with this self titled record, full of heart wrenching death/doom songs. It is due to be released in March by Transcending Obscurity, and raises a miserable glass to the memory of their lost friend.

Opener ‘Rail of Moon, a Stone’ is monolithic, painful and haunting. Vast riffs crush melancholic melodies, while a powerful roar intones ragged emotion. Illimitable Dolor show the strength brought by very real grief and pain, and how it can lead to music of fragile beauty. It seems strange to call these kind of massive, weatherbeaten monsters of songs fragile, but the feeling of loss is palpable. ‘Comet Shines or Dies’ leads with weeping guitars and ghostly keys that brings to mind early My Dying Bride, or Mournful Congregation.

The dark majesty of ‘Salt of Brazen Seas’ is enhanced by potent organ melodies at the start, and the mourning growls mix well. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve heard organ used this well since Asva’s ‘What You Don’t Know is Frontier’. That’s one of my favourite funeral doom/drone records ever so that’s a huge compliment. ‘Illimitable Dolor’ is frontrunner now as my favourite doom record this year; a heady mix of the heaviest of riffs and the most fragile of emotions coming together to form a majestic whole. Just listen to the sobbing ‘Abandoned Cuts of River’ and try not to be totally absorbed. I dare you.

https://illimitabledolor.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/IllimitableDolor/

http://tometal.com/

https://www.facebook.com/transcendingobscurityrecords/

This awesome release has slipped me by entirely until now, and when I have to be reminded to check it out by a friend, I feel bad. The bands of Russia seem to have a talent for epic and intensely miserable death/doom, and Revelations of Rain are no exception. ‘Akrasia’ is the fifth record from these folks, and it is an hour of crushing melancholy.

Opener ‘Altar of Whores’ is a grey, foggy monstrous piece of doom, laced with dashes of My Dying Bride-esque drama and melancholy. Like all good death/doom, ‘Akrasia’ aches with a stunning mix of the slow, grinding riffs and a lonely roar permeates the gloom. Subtle melodies gloss the insides of a track like ‘Scaffold’, and a mournful lurch in the gloriously miserable ‘Root of All Evil’ is a grey, sobering highlight. Revelations of Rain suck all of the best parts of Winter, and Swallow the Sun to create an album that looms in the dark, mysterious and cyclopean in stature.

It’ll be sad if this record disappears under the radar; for fans of crushing doom that positions monstrous roars over vast riffs, ‘Akrasia’ will tick all those boxes. Russia has brought us some great metal recently, and Revelations of Rain is another addition to that. As vast and as cold and bleak as the Siberian forest.

https://solitudestore.com/en/product/revelations-of-rain-2016-akrasia/

https://www.facebook.com/revelationsofrain/

https://revelationsofrain.bandcamp.com/album/akrasia