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.
Keeping the quality Death/Doom Metal flag alive, today we have Et Moriemur and their debut full-length “Cupio Disolvi”. This Czech band delivers nine melancholic tracks that narrate nine different stories of people that took their own life. With the band’s highly melancholic and emotional sound, “Cupio Disolvi” not only transmits depressive feelings via the lyrics, but also with such beautifully crafted emotional music.
“Deliverance” opens this release with a slight folk edge that feels a bit weird for the concept of the release, but the song soon starts warming up. The growls are great and the overall pace of this song is very well crafted to provide an interesting ride. With 2 minutes remaining on the track, the band goes into a passage that reminded us a bit of Lacrimosa but with manlier clean vocals and some excellent Doom weeping guitars.
Delivering six crushing Death/Doom Metal tracks, today we have Herem and their very well crafted second full-length release titled “II”. For around 45 minutes the band delivers excruciatingly painful and devastating music unlike any other band these days. Mixing a beefy Death/Doom sound with some Sludge influences and some experimental elements, the band reminded us a bit like Frothy Days Longing, an American band that played a similar style and was also led by a female growler.
Opening with the hypnotic “Heavens”, the 90’s Death/Doom sound is immediately present and while the growls sound a bit different than you typical ones, Valendis Suomalainen does one hell of a job in sounding very brutal and powerful. The riffing is very powerful and the production perfectly accentuates the distorted guitars. The experimentally ethereal entrance to “Earth” generates a very interesting atmosphere that is nicely ‘culminated’ with powerful riffs and some very deep and disturbing (in a good way) growls.
Seems like the extremely talented Ed Warby still wants to sing and his (again) god-awful vocals adorn this release, but luckily the music is heaps better than on the band’s first release “Burden of Grief”. The mood in “Lacrima Mortis” is a bit darker thanks to the more ‘gothic’ elements introduced in this release as well as the deep growls of Pim Blankenstein Officium Triste. The riffing is also more dynamic and keeps the attention away from the horrible singing.
With the opening track “We All Die Alone”, The 11th Hour starts with a desolate piano section accompanied by violins that will make you drop anything else you are doing and focus on this release 100%. The riffs are majestic in the sense that they transfer those juicy depressive emotions we love about Doom Metal. Ignoring the crap-tastic clean vocals, this song is very powerful and melodic. The My Dying Bride-esque “Rain on Me” quickly follows and by this time you know that “Lacrima Mortis” will be one hell of an album.
With seven pummeling hymns of Death/Doom at its finest, today we have Mexico’s Majestic Downfall and their latest release “The Blood Dance”. This one-man band fronted by Jacobo Córdova (ex Antiqua) packs some serious punch and delivers mournful compositions filled with heavy guitars and brutal growls. If you are a fan from older Death/Doom Metal bands, you should definitely check this one out.
Quickly deceiving with an acoustic guitar intro to “The Blood Dance”, Majestic Downfall quickly delivers the first brutal blow with some deep growls and pummeling guitar riffs. The riffing is very traditional of the genre but the variations through the song is what makes it very appealing and different from other Death/Doom releases that bore the listener after the 40th iteration of a particular riff. The same applies to the well balanced “From Black to Dead”, a song where the tempo changes make it dynamic and not feel like 11 minutes have passed.
Having recently ‘discovered’ Helevorn at WGT 2011, we set out to find all their releases once we got back to the USA. Playing a mixture of Death/Doom Metal with some Gothic elements, Helevorn is one of the last remaining bands that keep the genre alive. With “Forthcoming Displeasures”, these Spaniards have cranked out 50+ minutes of crushing music that will surely impress any fan of the genre.
Since the opener “From Our Glorious Days”, the mood is set to dark and desolate place that only keeps getting more and more depressing over the tracks presented in this release. The mixture of bleak clean vocals with the crushing (and proper) growls makes the band a double threat and truly delivers in all emotional ranges. Opening with some atmospheric keyboards we have “Descent”. Keyboards provide a nice backdrop through this release and never get on the way of the crushing riffs, mournful vocals and mid-tempo structures that we all love from Death/Doom Metal bands.
In days where most American bands are trying to be as vanilla as they can in order to play what’s popular and/or achieve fame, it is quite enjoyable to get bands like The Living Fields and find that there are still lone warriors trying to combine different genres and produce very interesting (and fresh) sounding music.
Mixing a hefty dose of Death/Doom Metal with Pagan/Viking/Folk influences, “Running out of Daylight” is one of the richest and multi-leveled releases we have received in 2011 and made us take more than a fare dose of spins before we could actually write anything about it. With the opening “Remnant”, the band quickly delivers a powerful Doom foundation with classical string instruments in a way that bands like Ashes You Leave and Silent Stream of Godless Elegy do in their own respective areas. With crushing guitars and interesting tempo changes, the band dances around the lines of Doom brutality and melody seamlessly.
With Death/Doom Metal being almost a dying art, Graveyard Dirt delivers a gasp of fresh air to one of our favorite genres. In “For Grace of Damnation” the band crafts one of the most monumental releases of the genre we have heard in quite a while.
Drawing obvious inspirations from early Anathema and Paradise Lost, and combining them with newer influences of Mourning Beloveth, Shape of Despair, etc, the band shows great maturity in all eight tracks presented in this release. Painting landscapes of desolation and darkness, “For Grace or Damnation” is sure to attract all fans of the genre.