Posts Tagged ‘Doom’

Withered Fist is made up of former and current members of Irish sludge/doom band Two Tales of Woe, and have just released a debut EP entitled ‘This is My Mountain’ on New Year’s Day. A three track EP of slow and melodic heaviness awaits those who seek and find this band.

A gloomy, clean guitar leads us to the start of the journey, while a soulful vocal glides over some fuzzed out riffs. Sounding like some heavier, lost 70s prog gem, Withered Fist are captivating immediately with their unique voice. You’re not likely to hear anything like this in a lot of modern doom. There’s no nihilistic grinding misery, no galloping sword and sorcery. This feels like the earthy rumble of a simpler time, where a great vocal and an epic riff was enough. Withered Fist bring it all in the first track, let alone the insatiable groove of ‘The Dread’ or the sprawling closer ‘The Journey’. ‘This is My Mountain’ is the vessel for what could be a truly special musical output for the future.

My first truly great experience of 2019; a record that will haunt me all year with its simple purity of spirit and raw honesty that spills from every facet. Withered Fist had me invested from the first track, and I’m going to be listening to this all year long. It has been a long time since I came across a record that makes me want everyone I know to hear it. Just, yeah, beautiful!

Northern Crown - Northern Crown

The thunderous doom and smoky atmospheres of Northern Crown’s debut record has returned on their newest, self titled record. ‘Northern Crown’ is out now through their Bandcamp, and it oozes with the early Deep Purple and Black Sabbath influences that pervaded their first record, but engages you on a more visceral level.

Opener ‘I Am Your Slave’ reeks of classic Candlemass; vast thrusting riffs laden with organ and a commanding vocal performance. Vocalist Frank Serafine has a similar voice to Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus, and there is a subtle power and magic to it that gives this album a feeling of grandeur. The stomping ‘Merciless, They Let You Suffer’ is a killer track, ripe for any ‘hit songs of 2018’ playlist, with a galloping nature that reminds you of classic rockers like Rainbow. But Northern Crown approach all facets of heavy music with the same magnanimity, paying tributes to prog (‘The Desert and the Wind’), as well as miserable Yorkshire doom (the My Dying Bride cover ‘Your River’) and gloomy, occult and organ laden proto doom (‘Forged from Nothing’)

‘Northern Crown’ is a statement. Northern Crown are a band that are almost chameleonic in their worship and execution of classic doom, when the differences between that, classic rock and classic heavy metal were blurred. Sometimes an album comes along where you struggle to pick the best song. Few albums this year have achieved this so well, and Northern Crown’s journey has only just begun.

Cover Art ONSET Unstructured Dissemination.jpg

Two piece Singaporean atmospheric doom band Onset’s debut EP, ‘Unstructured Dissemination’ was previously only available through Bandcamp, and now it is getting a physical release through Japanese doom label Weird Truth Productions. Blending doom, post rock and some more extreme elements, this is out at the end of the month.

To say that this is an atmospheric work would not be enough, as Onset open with a menacing melody that floats under a thick gloom; a morose and smothering vibe that permeates your mind and soul. Like the dampness of an autumn mist, ‘Permeation: The Ordeal’ heaves and lurches with massive riffs, while there is some subtle electronic underplay with swelling synths that shimmer in and out as well. The heaviness turns to ethereality twoards the end of the song, as the mountain becomes the clouds. ‘Pestis: The Suppressing and Recurrence’ has a much more mesmerising gleam to it, while still retaining some grooving heaviness.

‘Unstructured Dissemination’ pulses with a vibrancy and a life you wouldn’t normally expect in a doom record. The songs are layered well, opening up with repeated listens and Onset manage to come across as feeling new and unique, something to be treasured these days. Definitely check this out.

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Just released on Twin Earth Records is the debut of Norwegian doom rockers Saint Karloff, who bring us mighty 70s riffs channelling the mighty Sabbath and Pentagram. As you can tell by their name, there’s a definite old horror movie vibe in ‘All Heed the Black God’ too, and

Cawing crows open ‘Ghost Smoker’, over a soulful, distorted riff that becomes this stomping, bluesy beast. You can feel the Iommi influence immediately, with swaggering proto doom fretwork becoming a stalwart of the whole record. The driving ‘Space Junkie’ is an early highlight, and there’s little dashes of psychedelica and even a bit of prog creeping into the rumbling ‘Radioactive Tomb’. Saint Karloff ain’t afraid of a massive groove either, coming to the fore during latter segments of ‘Dark Sun’ or the soulful chug of ‘When the Earth Cracks Open’. When the howling ‘Spellburn’ takes us to a close, you’ll be itching to take one more drag of Saint Karloff’s magic.

If you’ve got a Sabbath itch that just won’t quit, then put on ‘All Heed the Black God’ and drift away into smoke filled corridors, where the primal building blocks of heavy metal were formed. Saint Karloff reimagine the classic works with a modern edge, and a ballsy swagger that gives every track that little bit of oomph. Cool as shit.

Coltsblood - Ascending into Shimmering Darkness

The vinyl edition of Coltsblood’s superlative 2017 record ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ has been released just a few months ago through Black Bow Records, and it gives me an opportunity to revisit one of last year’s bleakest and harrowing doom records from these British purveyors of misery.

The opening title track builds with lumbering dread; striding forward towards gloom and destruction. Cold, bleak riffs belch under powerful roars, while glacial melodies hover above this miasmic chaos. The oppressive atmosphere is unbearable, each breath snatched under a suffocating sky. The production is massive, capturing fully the scope of what Coltsblood can do. The savagery of ‘Mortal Wound’ is sudden and awesome; crushing doom penetrated by galloping death metal riffing and teeth gnashing heaviness. ‘The Legend of Abhartach’ is sickeningly heavy, with tectonic Tom G Warrior riffs laying waste to shrouded lands of grey.

Closing with the twin hit of the monstrous ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ and the smothering darkness of ‘The Final Winter’, Coltsblood remind me a lot of what Triptykon do, which is no mean feat. ‘Ascending into Shimmering Darkness’ is a monolithic record filled with death, doom and destruction. The guitar work is huge, the atmosphere is pure dread and the vocals breathe life into demons unholy and unbound. Coltsblood are fucking awesome, and this release is a timely reminder of just why.


The dreaded ‘modern doom blues’ moniker hangs over this release from Canadians Pink Cocoon, which generally means subpar Pentagram and Sabbath riffs played with ‘genuine atmosphere’ etc. But not in this case. ‘Alienation’ is a record that hums with a vibe and a talent that belies the newness of the band. It is out now through the band themselves.

‘Help Me’ instantly hits with a swaggering, Electric Wizard vibe to it; the guitar coated with a fuzz while the vocals have a little of Lee Dorrian about them too. Fully absorbed into the world of squalling feedback solos and a psychedelic blues atmosphere, Pink Cocoon immediately step above the rest of the Witchcraft clones by being truly doom in their output. ‘No Control’ has a more early Sabbath RAWK to it, while the lazy drawl of ‘Old Lady at the Window’ is a tripped out gem. And the more said about the grimy doom and roll of closer ‘Child of Death’ the better, as Pink Cocoon save the best for last.

Pink Cocoon capture the essence of trippy doom laden blues perfectly, equal parts retro fuzz and swaying psychedelic weirdness. If you’re into Uncle Acid, Electric Wizard and Sabbath, then Pink Cocoon have plenty hidden underneath their amplifier stack to keep you hooked. ‘Alienation’ is the future of retro doom.