Posts Tagged ‘Doom’

Featuring members of Swallow the Sun and Amorphis, Hallatar may be a new band but their pedigree is impressive. ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is a record based on a collection of lyrics and poems by guitarist Juha Raivio’s sadly departed partner Aleah Starbridge, and was composed with a mixture of reverence and despair. Svart Records wil release is on 13th of October, and it is a wonderful monument to Aleah’s memory.

Opener ‘Mirrors’ is monolithic in its weeping majesty, with tinkling melodies soaring above titanic riffs and guttural roars meeting soulful croons in a devastating collision. This kind of dichotomy between aching beauty and massive heaviness continues in the monstrous ‘Melt’, the ghostly ‘My Mistake’ (featuring ethereal vocals from Heike Langhans of Draconian) or the poetic acoustics of ‘Severed Eyes’. It is difficult to pull out one specific track here to recommend when this feels like a complete piece, an elegy of sorts.

‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is deeply affecting; haunting and powerful in its execution and is a more than fitting epitaph for Aleah, whose talent must have been incredible to inspire such a meaningful record. As her own voice draws us to a close on ‘Dreams Burn Down’, it feels like the perfect end to a record that is so emotional, so dense, so real. In a world where bands and artists strive to achieve something with an emotional connection to the listener, ‘No Stars Upon the Bridge’ is almost too much at points. A gloriously evocative memorial to the departed, but never to be forgotten.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallatardoom/

https://hallatar.bandcamp.com/track/mirrors

https://www.svartrecords.com/

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Contra - Deny Everything

A formerly instrumental stoner sludge outfit, Contra (classic video game reference has sold me already) have dropped their debut record ‘Deny Everything’ on Robustfellow Productions/Shifty Records, and despite the relatively uninspired album cover is a badass record full of heavy blues and cathartic sludge roars that will delight even the most jaded of metal fans.

Squalls of feedback lead into a groovy slab of stoner metal, where ‘Human Buzzsaw’ takes the wheel for a trip down some sickeningly catchy groovy roads. The slamming ‘Altered Beast’ feels like Clutch jamming some old Kyuss riffs, while ‘The Gorgon’ hits hard before the spacious ‘Humanoid Therapy’ adds a little bit of slow, desert rock doom in there. Contra don’t stick to a simple template, they throw in little bits of everything within the stoner/sludge/doom sphere and come out with something that rocks hard and seeps into your mind.

The rumbling intro to ‘One Hundred Hand Slap’ could be my favourite moment here; stinking of NOLA blues and soul. ‘Deny Everything’ may not be the most original slab of hard rocking stoner sludge, but when you have riffs like these who cares?! Contra are a new guilty pleasure I keep coming back to, and ‘Deny Everything’ is built for jamming.

https://contracleveland.bandcamp.com/album/deny-everything

https://www.facebook.com/ContraCle/

 

Gnarly doom trio Tood are one of those bands that, when you first hear them, you wonder how they haven’t exploded already. Their debut self titled EP has all the fuzzed out rumbling groove that any self respecting Sabbath worshipper could want. If you are lucky enough to grab one of the cassette copies that Carvetii Productions have got, it adds to the gloriously old school vibe oozing from your speakers.

Opener ‘Gaffer Tape’ is like the soundtrack to some ancient, murky horror movie. The fuzzed guitar tone takes you into dark occult territories while a touch of early Cathedral in the vocals and psychedelic vibes loom throughout. ‘Discordant Method’ drives us onward towards the endtimes, aching riffs soak you in darkness and a mysterious bloodlust rises. The twisting, enchanting ‘The Bastard’ provides the most graceful of psychedelic freakouts before the churning ‘Schweinhacker’ brings us to a close.

If Tood were around when the first evolutionary steps of heavy metal were taken, they would be revered as legends by now. Their sound is vintage, enthralling and insistent. ‘Tood’ is a new favourite of mine; a deceptively heavy, simple journey to the dark mystical heart of heavy metal. Lead us to our doom, for doom this is

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/product/carvetii-productions-cassette-releases

https://www.facebook.com/toodmusic/

Sadly the death of Acid Goat has come before I really even discovered them, but thankfully Carvetii Productions have dropped both of their releases as a compilation cassette and what a fine piece of merchandise it is. Almost an hour of sublime, stoner doom is about to bulldoze you here, so sit back and enjoy the punishment.

It opens with the four tracks from their ‘Acid Goat’ debut, and the thunderous ‘Demonstash’ which groans and lumbers its way under the stress of awesome Sabbathian riffs. There’s an inherent menace lurking within the thick basslines of ‘Nosferatu’, which sways with malicious intent. That insatiably evil groove is a common theme within the entirety of this release; a rumbling highlight being the visceral Pink Floyd cover ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part 2’. The second part of the tape is Acid Goat ‘II’, a more self assured evolution of the dense groove of the first demo but with a more raw edge.

There’s a little Sabbath, a little EyeHateGod, a healthy dose of Electric Wizard darkness (especially in the mourning melody of ‘Sacrament’) and no lack of herbal influence all the way through this release. I’m glad, even if they’re gone, that I got to experience the groove, the soul and the heaviness of Acid Goat. If you’ve ever enjoyed a slow and heavy as fuck riff storm, then this is for you. Highlights for me are the tectonic opener and the moody closer ‘Brazen Bull’, which drags us off into the sunset perfectly. Get it as soon as possible!

https://www.facebook.com/acidgoatband/

https://acidgoat.bandcamp.com/

http://carvetiiproductions.bigcartel.com/store

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/

Image result for ymir's blood self titled

Finland is probably my favourite country for metal at the moment, and especially when you’re looking towards some monstrous doom. Ymir’s Blood are the reincarnation of vintage Cirith Ungol and latter period Bathory, and their new self titled record is being given life by Archaic Sound. We must all be thankful for this, for the riffs within are huge and awesome.

Opener ‘Unleasher – Beerbarian’ seems to encompass the fantastic battle of the album art, with huge swinging riffs crashing down like sword on steel and a grandiose sweep of vast ancient lands. A swollen, lumbering giant of a track, wielding classic Candlemass like a hammer of doom (see what I did there….?). The Viking metal-esque ‘1589’ feels very Quorthon, while Gorephelia’s Henu does some guest vocals on the brutal death/doom of ‘Origin of Iron’. My own personal highlight however is the doom-laden take on Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’, which just works perfectly.

‘Ymir’s Blood’ will probably not cause much of a splash this year, but if you’re a doom fan this is going to be an essential hidden gem. A potent and remarkably assured record that wields its granite hewn riffing like a mighty battleaxe, while sharp melodies hone the edge of the blade. Ymir’s Blood are a band to watch, and hopefully this record will break them through to the wider conscience.

https://ymirsblood.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/archaicsound/

https://www.facebook.com/YmirsBlood

Finnish stoner death metal? Sign me up. Finland has a long and beautiful history of heavy metal, in all genres, and particularly in the realms of death and doom. So when Altar of Betelgeuze come crashing from the land of a thousand lakes, dragging their ‘Among the Ruins’ album with them, it is a cause for morbid celebration. It’s going to be out in April from Transcending Obscurity Records, and could be a strong contender for best record the label release this year.

Altar of Betelgeuze take the meandering melodics of stoner doom, and crush it with the dynamic heaviosity of death metal. You’re met with smooth, almost desert rock blues oozing from ‘Sledge of Stones’, coupling the ferocity of death/doom into certain parts to add some depth. The fearsome ‘No Return’ swells with a vintage doom riff, while snarling roars bellow like monsters in the fog. The clean vocals are really effective though, with dashes of Chris Cornell about them in parts.

I love some of the tones in the gloomy shimmer of ‘Absence of Light’, which underpin that titan roar perfectly. Altar of Betelgeuze manage to balance a delicate touch with the innate weight of hefty doom riffs. Death metal growls capture a desperation, a power, that balanaces the fragile melancholy of some of the cleaner guitar moments. ‘Among the Ruins’ strikes me as a lonely record; an album that grows as it progresses from a mere stoner/death crossover into a nuanced and vast piece of work. Expansive and different, there’s nothing quite like it.

https://altarofbetelgeuze.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Aobofficial

http://tometal.com/