Finally!! after six years since their last release, Saturnus returns with their latest masterpiece of Melancholic Death/Doom Metal titled “Saturn In Ascension”. Featuring eight tracks, this release will only help the band elevate their legendary status as the best band of their genre. With a mixture of the elements that have made this band’s musical trajectory impeccable, the songs in this release deliver high doses of raw emotions transmitted by truly melancholic music.
Opening with the crushing “Litany of Rain”, the band reminded us of their “Paradise Belongs To You” era with a straightforward growl fest filled with emotional riffing. The characteristic vocals of Thomas Akim Grønbæk Jensen really set the band apart from the rest and his mixture of growls and clean sections work wonders in this nearly 10-minute epic.
Being huge fans of Doom Metal, we sometimes dabble in the realms of Funeral Doom Metal, its ugly and boring cousin. While we are not huge fans of the genre due to its mind-numbing repetition and ridiculously slow execution, some bands like Shape of Despair and Thergothon are still ok in our book. Hence today we have Narrow House and their less boring approach to the genre with “A Key to Panngrieb”. By introducing lush atmospheric elements that range from keyboards to cellos, this band really grabs ahold of the listener and keeps it engaged for the duration of the huge songs in this album.
Opening with the crushing “Poslednee Pristanishe”, things start very well with the perfect mixture of slow and painful riffs, commanding growls, and brilliant atmosphere. The simplicity of the music is really well shrouded behind a well-crafted atmosphere thanks to the keyboards. The band does a great job in navigating through such a long song with well-placed tempo changes. The same can be said about the considerably shorter track “Psevdoriatunok”, but with a nice combination of growls and ethereal clean vocals, very reminiscent of Draconian and such bands.
What better early X-mas gift can anybody ask for than the latest Ashes You Leave album titled “The Cure For Happiness”. Dropping this November 29th, 2012 through Rock’n’Growl, this eagerly awaited release is set to fill that void left in 2012 of an excellent Gothic Doom Metal release. Delivering nine tracks of pure melancholy and powerful emotions, this album is sure to keep the band’s legacy intact of excellent album that are only release when the band really feels they are done right.
Newly fronted by Giada “Jade” Etro, the band returns in full strength as they have managed to find another excellent vocalist that can lead their melancholic music. Wasting no time, she delivers a commanding performance in “Devil In Disguise”. In this amazing track the band nicely sets a melodic mood with their traditional violins and well-crafted keyboards. Jade’s vocals immediately gave us chills when listening to the song since it is very eerie how well they mix with the band’s sound and greatly enhance the atmosphere.
Arriving from Canada’s Hypnotic Dirge Records, today we have a pretty solid Death/Doom Metal band named Subterranean Disposition. Unleashing their self-titled debut album, this one man band features Australian scene veteran Terry Vainoras delivering five tracks of crushing Death/Doom in the vein of bands like Mournful Congregation, Mourning Beloveth, but with a faster pace and a few surprises.
Opening with the 9-minute epic “Between Apes and Angles” the band has all the hallmarks of a traditional release in the genre and some cool atmospheric elements. The riffs are slow and powerful, and the growls are pretty solid, nothing out of the ordinary if you ask us. However, things start getting interesting with “Prolong this Agony” and some experimental elements here and there. The pop/jazzy female vocals work quite well when introduced in a melodic passage, effectively changing the pace of the track and puzzling the listener for a bit.
After blowing us away with their youtube trailers for this album, we had to reach out to the band’s label and try to get hooked up with this release to enjoy its excellence and communicate it to the masses. Red Moon Architect’s debut full-length titled “Concealed Silence” could not come at a better time when similar bands like Swallow The Sun, Black Sun Aeon, Insomnium, etc. are paving the way for more Finish Melodic Death/Doom acts to get recognized.
This one man project headed by Saku Moilanen of RoutaSielu fame, opens with the commanding “Abscond”. This very Doomy track features very powerful riffs and killer growls courtesy of session musician Frans Aalto. While the first track is short and sweet, it crates the right momentum with its melodic sections giving a very Insomnium/Swallow the Sun vibe but with its own direction and uniqueness.
Keeping up the genre started back in the day by bands like Paradise Lost, Opeth, Anathema, and Katatonia, today we have Daylight Dies and their latest exploits into the Melodic Death/Doom Metal areas. Since all of the previously mentioned band have moved on and play completely different music now compared to when they started, it is good to hear that Daylight Dies has not given into the ‘pressure’ of being more commercially friendly or ‘evolve’ as the other bands have eloquently called it.
If you never go to hear the legendary bands start this old ‘trend’, more recently we have Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, end others doing a killer job in keeping the flame alive and adding an extra level of technicality to the music. “A Frail Becoming” takes us back to the times when bands didn’t needed extreme acrobatic guitar sections or (too many) keyboards to create depressing atmospheres. Daylight Dies relies on solid and repetitive guitar work with the proper tuning and a heavy sense of melody, and of course the occasional intricate guitar solo here and there. The music also relies on a certain pace and excellent growls more recently mixed with a good dose of clean vocals, something that the band excels at.
Like a fine aging wine, today we have the North American promotional cycle for Swallow The Sun’s latest opus “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird”. And while we already had this release in awesome green vinyl for quite a while (available here) , we are finally writing a review for this masterpiece. With four full-length releases already under their belts, the band does an excellent job in pushing their sound into a more melancholic and even more depressing vibe that is rarely equaled by any other band these days.
Founder Juha Raivio has managed to keep the band’s sound evolving little by little, and by keeping most of the band together since 2001 (the drummer left in 2009), they have grown very well as a unit and this album demonstrates it clearly. Opening with the very mellow “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird”, the band immediately sets a very somber and dense mood that is the exact trademark of Swallow the Sun. The riffs are very powerful and the tempo changes are perfectly introduced to keep the listener engaged in this nearly ten-minute long opener.
Delivering their first demo “Through Emptiness”, today we have the incredible Swedish/Russian collaboration named Wall of the Eyeless. Mixing Death Metal with some Doom and melodic passages, this two-person band delivers quite an interesting release. With four tracks covering around 24 minutes of music, this demo is one of the most promising ones we have received in quite a while.
Opening with “The Hands”, the band starts with a very typical Death Metal piece that features a few hints of melodic sections at first, and then it explodes into an excellent Doom-ish atmospheric section after the 3:30 mark. We love that the production is a bit raw and it allows the guitars to sound very crunchy. Things open in a more melodic fashion in “Do We Belong Here?”, a track that is more dramatic and quite crushing. The vocals are pretty solid, and the acoustic passages in this track are excellently crafted.
Hailing from Finland, today we have the relatively unknown Halladrol and ‘their’ brand of Blackened Death/Doom Metal. Being a one man project, Halladrol actually combines plenty of influences to make quite a stir, but leave us a bit disappointed with the end results.
Opening with typical 90’s Death Metal guitar riffs, “The Last Mile on the Earth” delivers quite a powerful introduction to this release, but also feels a bit dated in its execution. There are some pretty interesting Avant-garde elements here and there, but the rather simplistic core of the music takes away from any possible magic behind this track. The drumming is pretty intense and the vocals are ok, but there is that feeling of something missing always present in the track.
Arriving all the way from Spain, today we have Inside the Fall’s debut EP titled “…As Life Withers”. Keeping the Death/Doom flame alive, Inside the Fall does an excellent job in crafting five emotional tracks that feature all the elements fans love about the genre. We are huge fans of Death/Doom and this release is one of the best we have received so far this year.
Opening with the highly energetic “Highest Walls of Despair”, Inside the Fall shows their skill in creating a good riffing structure with emphasis on melody, but keeping the Doom characteristics that we all know and love. The growls are very powerful and nicely thrown into the mix, there are a few vocal layering elements that add extra depth to the song. Mixing clean and harsh vocals the ‘doom passage’ in this track is very well mixed into the track.