Arriving today from Finland, we have Katakombi and their very weird, but equally crushing self-titled EP. Featuring three tracks and 26 minutes of music, this release will give you nightmares thanks to the very disturbing atmospheric elements that are used to create ambiance. If you are tired of ‘traditional’ Death/Doom/Sludge releases, this is one EP that will expand your mind thanks to its highly original approach.
The EP features on side the monumental “Väärä Kuu”, a 13-minute crushing piece of music that nicely builds up starting from creepy atmospheric/drone-like elements into some ghoulish spoken sections before finally delivering some harsh vocals and chilling riffs. The bands musical progression in this track is quite unique and very well crafted, nicely culminating in a powerful aural assault with a very mellow pace.
Hailing from the USA, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal outfit Cold Colours and their three songs EP “MMXIV”. With a distinctive European sound, this band reminds us of a slower and gloomier version of Swallow The Sun, My Dying Bride, and Frailty mixed in with some Thorns of The Carrion and (older) Eternal Tears of Sorrow influences. If the name-dropping was not enough for you to pick a copy of this, we will surely convince you by the end of this review.
Opening with the bleak “Heathen”, the band instantly paints a very desolate melodic atmosphere with great pace and weeping guitars. This opening is indeed quite doomy and yet unconventional for what we usually get from Doom bands. The singing is a mixture of growls and screams that works quite well with the pace of the music. After warming you up with a solid opener, the band goes full Doom on the crushing “From This Pain”. Again, the riffing is brilliant and nicely outlined by very solid drumming. The tempo changes are brilliant and deliver a truly intense rollercoaster-like experience.
With a very traditional Death/Doom Metal sound, today we have Italy’s Tethra and their debut full-length release “Drown Into the Sea of Life”. Featuring nine tracks of engaging tracks that bring back memories of the genre’s heyday we have some serious My Dying Bride worship on our hands with this one.
After the intro track, “Sense of The Night” brings forth the goods with some solid clean vocals as the track transforms with some Doom riffs and tight drumming. The song structure is quite typical, and while not revolutionary is quite sufficient. The band’s melancholic presence is felt in the trio of songs “Drifting Islands”, “Vortex Of Void” and “Drown Into the Sea of Life”, featuring a wide variety of catchy riffs, memorable guitar leads, and a very well structured core.
Originally started as a Death/Doom outfit, Hanging Garden has been slowly drifting apart from this category into more Melodic Death/Doom territories like their fellow countrymen Swallow the Sun and Insomnium. After the release of “At Every Door” earlier this year, the band gives us a little taste of what is to come in the future with their EP “I Was a Soldier”. Featuring three tracks (with the digital bonus song), this release continues were their previous full-length left off with a good dose of crushing melancholic music.
Starting on a high note, “Winter to Summer Adverse” delivers punishing riffs, demoralizing vocals and a very cool atmospheric keyboard highlights. While this track sounds a lot like Swallow the Sun, the band does a great job in keeping their style evolving and creating a bleak atmosphere. The clean vocals certainly add an extra layer of awesomeness to this track. The EP’s title track continues the flow with more atmospheric passages and engaging vocals.
Just when you think you have almost heard everything under the sun, it comes a truly moving release like Acacia’s debut full-length “Tills döden skiljer oss åt”. Melancholic and depressive are adjectives that barely start to describe the mood and atmosphere of this soul (and spirit) crushing album. Formed originally under the name of Livsnekad, this Swedish outfit manages to deliver 61 minutes of truly moving music that we will do our best to try to do justice while describing.
The solemn piano opening of “Död mans mask” really builds anticipation and once the clean vocals come on, the mood suddenly gets even darker. As “Förnimmelsens lund af längtan” opens, the riffs remind us a bit of bands like Draconian and Desire with a certain atmospheric touch of My Dying Bride. Being huge fans of Death/Doom Metal, the growls are up to par to any of the heavy hitters of the scene, a very important element to contrast the atmosphere of the music. The Black Metal influences kick in and elevate the music to a whole new level, featuring extremely contrasting brutality with a highly atmospheric content. As the song winds down, we get some nice Post-Rock/Depressive Rock final minutes that serve as a relaxing culmination to this excellent track.
Originally released as an independent EP, today we have Nethermost debut EP “Alpha”. Hailing from the USA, one would have never imagined this by just listening to the band’s excellent Melodic Death/Doom Metal. With clear influences of early Katatonia, October Tide and similar bands, the band delivers nearly 20 minutes of very well crafted tunes that are quite melancholic and melodic in nature.
When researching the band we have noticed that for this release they used fake (aka programmed) drums and bass guitar, something that made us a bit skeptical about the quality of their music, but they managed to pull it off quite nicely. Opening with “Phasing Currents” we immediately hear the familiar Katatonia-esque guitar sound accompanied by raspier growls. The music is a bit raw, but works well and adds more character and melancholy to the band’s sound.
Being huge fans of Gothic Death/Doom Metal, it is quite a treat when we get promos from bands like Lycanthia that keep the genre alive and give it a push with their excellent release. In “Oligarchy” the band delivers eight tracks of majestic Gothic Death/Doom Metal in the same vein of bands like Draconian, Ashes You Leave, old Theater Of Tragedy, The Sins of Thy Beloved, etc. With more than 50 minutes of music, this release is quite emotional and very well-crafted, the perfect addition to any fan of the genre collection.
Opening with the nine-minute epic “The Essential Components of Misery”, we are immediately hooked by Vanessa Black and Megan Tassaker (Avrigus) enchanting vocals. Vanessa also handles the violin in this release, and it greatly adds that depressive atmospheric vibe that it is intended for. Lee Tassaker’s growls are a perfect fit, and the powerful riffs are just the stuff Doom dreams are made of.
Being huge fans of Death/Doom Metal, we are pleased to be reviewing My Silent Wake and their 2012 remastered release titled “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. In this double release, the band delivers 90 minutes of soul crushing Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic influences very similar to My Dying Bride and related bands. Since the original recording is from 2007, we can clearly hear the time-stamp on their musical style and won’t be criticizing them from the ‘retro’ sound.
The band opens the first CD with the typical keyboard intro only to fully explode into Doom brilliance with the opening riffs of “Dying Things We’re Living For”. The band’s similarities to My Dying Bride are undeniable with the excellent “Heretic”. The clean vocals and riffs are superb and really nail the atmosphere created by Death/Doom releases from back in the day. Not everything is all mellow and just slow and painful, the band does a great job in also having harsh elements in their music and whipping out some very aggressive sections like on “Into Silence”.
Being huge fans of Atmospheric Death/Doom Metal, we have been following this collaboration for a while and finally we have “Origin”, Enshine’s debut full length release that is as majestic everybody expected. Featuring Jari Lindholm and Sébastien Pierre, this band delivers nine tracks of brilliant atmospheric Doom passages with powerful growls and a very melancholic vibe. Recorded in a span of two years, “Origin” is one release that will keep you entertained for quite a while.
Opening with the lush atmospheric elements of “Stream of Light”, the band sets the tone for a very impressive release since the initial stages of this album. With a vibe similar to bands like October Tide and Forest of Shadows, Enshine focuses their energy in delivering powerful atmospheres surrounded by excellent guitar work. Not being 100% predictable, tracks like “Refraction” blend some synth-pop elements into the bands melancholic sound.
Always delivering brutal releases, Hellthrasher Records surprised us this time with a release that goes beyond brutal and mixed some very interesting Black and Doom Metal elements to produce one hell of a devastating album. Abyssal’s “Denoument” was originally self-released in 2012, but with this re-release more people will get to experience their crushing and complex sound that will blow you away from your seat.
Featuring six tracks and around 50 minutes of brutal music, the band wastes no time and delivers the first blow with the powerful “The Moss upon Our Ruins”. This song seems to start heading in Black Metal direction, but the band suddenly changes to crushing Brutal Death Metal in a heartbeat. Layering BM guitars with crushing DM riffs works greatly for the band allowing them to be very brutal and yet diverse. The tempo of the music is also very Doom-like keeping things slow and painful while sounding massive.