With countless bands playing Doom and its variants these days, it is hard to find bands that managed to deliver something different. Today we have Hexer and their Oriental infused Doom onslaughts that managed to grab our attention and a permanent spot on our Doom albums of 2017 rotation. Delivering three songs and around 36 minutes of music, the band presents a well-known sound with a set of tweaks that make it worthy of your attention.
The album starts with the mysterious “Merkaba”, a 12 minute piece that slowly builds up in a very ritualistic manner. This track is presents us with a unique journey that is far from linear and has more than enough surprises for the listener with multiple influences thrown into the mix. The band’s atmospheric journey continues with the punishing riffing of “Pearl Snake”, which borders in Sludge/Doom territories. The oriental elements take this track to a whole new level by adding depth and intrigue.
Cranking up the level of melancholy to 11, today we have Bay Area’s Mountaineer and their debut full-length release “Sirens & Slumber”. After blowing us away with their two song EP back in 2016, this band formed by ex-Secrets of the Sky’s guitarist Clayton Bartholomew, continues to further develop their highly atmospheric sound by moving into Katatonia-esque territories. Delivering nine brilliant tracks, this is definitely one of the releases to get in 2017 if you are a fan of deeply melancholic music.
Opening with the dreaminess of “Foam”, the band sets a very ethereal mood with such a lush opener. Taken from the band’s first 2-song 7” release, “Coma Fever” leads with ripping Doom riffs and the contrasting vocals of Miguel Meza. The album continues with this lively pace on tracks like “Measured Breaths” and “Womb”, the band excels a wrapping a ton of atmosphere around heavy Doomy riffs.
The first time we came across The Ruins of Beverast was with their 2009 release “Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite”… and we totally hated that album. Fast-forward eight years and two releases, we have learned to appreciate the complexity and uniqueness of the band’s sound. On “Exuvia”, sole member Alexander von Meilenwald takes things to a completely new level in terms of gripping atmosphere and brilliant mixture of diverse elements.
Opening with the hypnotic title track, this song starts with some Native American leading to a few eerie guitar notes that open up the traditional wall of sound that the band delivers. Featuring bone chilling female vocals, this track perfectly blends the band’s dissonant aggression with more mysterious elements and it progresses into very dramatic passages led by majestic clean vocal arrangements.
As one of the most anticipated releases of 2017, today we have Ides of Gemini and their latest opus “Women”. Between releases the band changed their lineup a bit, freeing up Sera Timms to focus on vocals while adding Scott Batiste and Adam Murray. With this new configuration the band unleashes upon us ten solid tracks that further develop their already quite unique and intoxicating sound. If you like music that is both Doomy and mysterious, you are in for a treat with this one.
The album instantly pulls you to its magic with the opener “Mother Kiev”. In this piece we have J. Bennett delivering his signature riffs under the enchanting vocals or Sera Timms. While not overly flash or technically complex, the band’s atmosphere is very dense and efficient. As the band rolls through “The Rose” and “The Dancer” we get to appreciate their fuzzy Psychedelic elements which make the band’s sound even more diverse and intoxicating.
Pushing the boundaries of sanity, today we have Italina duo Asofy and their latest release “Nessun Luogo”. As one of the most soothing and unique releases of 2017, this album creates brilliant songs filled with tension and mystery that will send chills down your spine. Featuring over 60 minutes of music, this album will creep on you with its bleak soundscape and minimalist approach.
The album kicks off with the cavernous riffs of “Lontano da me”, a very mysterious piece that slowly builds up into a very powerful and disturbing opening statement. As the album evolves with tracks like “Nemeton”, “Infine”, and the heavier “Fosca”, we continue to enjoy the band’s very deconstructive vision of both Black and Doom Metal. You can piece out some distinctive genre-specific riffs placed in unique contexts, allowing Asofy to really break boundaries and deliver a very unique release.
Continuing their evolution from their earlier concept and musical direction, today we have Sabbath Assembly and their very unique “Rites of Passage” full-length release. Fully settling into their Doomy Psychedelic style, the band forges a very engaging sound that clearly identifies them from the rest and delivers over 44 minutes of intoxicating music.
Opening with the fuzzy bass guitar line of “Shadows of Revenge”, the band instantly immerses the listener into their own unique world. Led by Jamie Myers on vocals, this album sets a very lively tone with a upbeat tempo and solid guitar riffs. Showcasing their versatility, “Angels Trumpets” takes a bit of a different approach, creating a very delirious piece with multiple overlaid vocals and a very disturbing and eerie chaotic vibe.
Hailing from Australia, today we have Doom/Heavy Metal battalion Lucifer’s Fall presenting their sophomore full-length release “II: Cursed & Damned”. Crafting over 55 minutes of music, the band delivers a very catchy mixture of heavy Doom riffs with lively traditional Heavy Metal and NWOBHM influences. Filled with epic vocals are solid melodic passages this release is highly recommendable for people that like Doomy bands that are quite engaging and lively.
The album opens with the superbly catchy “Mother Superior”, a song that starts with killer riffs and instantly showcases the vocal versatility of Philip Howlett aka Deceiver. The band continues to deliver crushing riffs on tracks like “Damnation”, “The Mountains of Madness” and “Cursed Priestess”, all while creating very thick atmospheres to surround the soaring vocal arrangements and punishing bass guitar lines.
With the considerable amount of albums that we receive for review each month, it is quite hard for one of them to standout as much as Varaha’s self-titled EP did. Featuring 15 minutes of uniquely blended Post-Rock/Doom/Gothic Rock influences into a highly atmospheric canvas, the band crafts three lush tracks that leave the listener wanting a lot more.
Opening with the melodramatic riffs of “Cubicle”, we are instantly impressed as the song weaves back and forth between Doom and Post-Rock elements while delivering killer clean vocal sections by Fabio Brienza. Once you feel that you have the band pegged down, they switch the script as the clean vocals turn into blistering shrieks while the intensity of the drumming and riffing picks up. All of this magic happens… on the first track.
Perfectly delivering just the right amount of distortion to burst your speakers, today we have Kalloused and their debut release “Damn You Believer”. Featuring over 25 minutes of an intense mixture of Sludge, Doom and Post-Metal, this band delivers a good dosage of pummeling riffs that will make your ears ring for a few days. If you like bands like Neurosis and Amenra, this should be right around your alley.
Opening with the mysterious momentum builder “Pt. 1”, we are slowly introduced into the band’s world of ripping guitar riffs and punishing bass guitar lines as the track progresses. Settling more into their own sound, “Pt. 2” showcases a powerful band that perfectly times their vocal assaults around their imposing wall of sound. Not breaking much out of character, “Pt. 3” continues the onslaught with some cool opening drum patterns and a very chaotic vibe to start off one of their most aggressive and diverse pieces.
Blurring the lines between Doom, Post-Metal and Shoegaze, today we have Glare of the Sun and their monumental debut release “Soil”. Featuring eight tracks of quite diverse and engaging music, this Austrian/German outfit delivers thunderous riffs crafted to perfection for very moody songs. This band manages to craft a unique musical vision out of more traditional influences, delivering a powerful initial statement.
After opening with the dreamy instrumental “Awoken”, the band fully immerses the listener into their perfect mixture of atmospheric guitars with heavy Doom-esque riffs in “One Step Nothing”. Alternating vocal styles between harsh screams and eerie clean vocals, the bad creates a very enveloping atmosphere that instantly grabs the listener with its surreal soundscapes. In the first few songs Glare of the Sun manages to craft very intricate and engaging songs that are hard to peg down to a single genre or influence.