Category Archives: Doom Metal

Walk Through Fire – Hope Is Misery

Walk Through Fire - Hope Is Misery

Following 2011’s mirthless and deeply shaded masterpiece ‘Furthest From Heaven’, Gothenburg’s Walk Through Fire make a welcome return with album number two for parent label Aesthetic Death. ‘Hope is Misery’ is another wretched chapter of cataclysmic doom in their career and is their longest album to date (almost eighty minutes in length). Having formed in 2008, they have had more than their fair share of personnel changes, but this line-up sounds tight and in sync with each other. Kicking things off with a slow building, pummelling instrumental ‘Sustained on Grief’, it soon becomes crystal clear at what direction the album will be taking, or should that be tar thick?! The title track is an intimidating deluge of feedback and stabbed drumming from Juliusz Chmielewski, who is also a member of on hold Symphonic Black Metal group Fall ov Serafim. ‘Next to Nothing’ is the sole let up in an otherwise relentless barrage of devastating doom. Every beat hits the listener like a pile driver, hammering home the group’s unique sound impeccably. ‘Another Dream Turned Nightmare’ is a staggering twenty one minute epic, that bleeds despair and anguish. If you liked their debut album, you are going to love ‘Hope is Misery’, it is much like Furthest From Heaven, yet on a much grander scale. The music is unquestionably bigger, darker (if that was possible) and heavier than it’s predecessor. In conclusion, this album needs to be in your collection, album of the year so far.

Walk Through Fire are:
Ufuk Demir (Guitars & Vocals), Andreas Olsson (Bass & Vocals), Fredrik Flegar (Guitars), Juliusz Chmielewski (Drums).

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Artwork by Cihat Aral

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Dö – EP

Dö - EP
In a music genre that is frequently overcrowded with bands vying for listeners attention, prospective fans can be forgiven for overlooking new acts. One trio that has recently been winning fans across the globe are Helsinki stoner/doom band Dö. This debut EP is certainly worth delving deeper into. Lead track ‘G.O.D.’ is a heaving slow paced behemoth, evoking a lurking beast in the shadows, that awaits the perfect moment before pouncing on its unaware prey. ‘The Await’ follows with a sublime fuzzed guitar riff. The vocals are immense against the wall of noise created by the trio. Unfortunately, it sounds as though the band struggle somewhat to get into top gear as they did with relative ease on the preceding track. This is merely a blip however. Closing track ‘Everblast’ is by far the longest, dwarfing the previous two songs, clocking in at close to fourteen minutes in total. Doomy rhythms are the order of the day and the band have also recently released their first video for the track, which you can check out here. Overall a really exciting EP from Dö, let’s hope that there is more from these guys real soon!

Dö are:
Big Dog (Guitars), Peat Rex (Drums), Deaf Hank (Vocals).

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Avgrunden – Det Stora Oväsendet

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‘Det stora oväsendet’ is the latest offering from Swedish group Avgrunden (The Abyss).  The band plays a drone, doom metal style with an experimental side also.  The album is entirely instrumental reinforcing the experimental nature of the group.  Opening track ‘Duellen’ has a distinct sound with plucked strings and is reminiscent of a soundtrack to a western that serves as an introduction to ‘Polstjarnan’ that has a more structured style including drum beats and heavier riffs.  ‘Tusen Ar’ has a more melancholic feel that is shared with ‘Mylingen’ a consciously slower paced track again employing the western style strings and occasional echoing drum beats as well as wailing guitars.  ‘Domedagsklockan’ has an oppressive undertone running through it with a deep sinister bass sound complementing the drums and guitars that evokes a feeling of desolation.  ‘Drommen’ on the other hand is suitably climactic with its Mexican standoff style instrumental work.  To summarise ‘Det stora oväsendet’ should appeal to fans of experimental or doom metal with the absence of lyrics allowing the music to take centre stage.  It’s a relatively short album but the tracks included make up for it.  It may also appeal to those who enjoy the works of Ennio Morricone or Gustavo Santaolalla,  Morricone’s spaghetti western sound and Santaolalla’s minimalist style are a good fit in the metal genre and is a great investment for those seeking something different in their doom metal.  Well worth checking this one out.

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Avgrunden is:

Victor Granat (Electric Guitar & Devices), Johan Hägglund (Bass Guitar & Devices), Johan Norberg (Drums).


Bast – Spectres

Bast - Spectres

Having been playing together since 2008, this year finally sees the debut release from Black Metal Doom trio Bast. And it seems that the latin phrase of ‘omne trium perfectum’ (everything that comes in threes is perfect) could be true for this London trinity, as this is one of the finest debuts in this genre for some time. The group have no shortage of experience, having shared the stage with bands such as Winterfylleth, Walk Through Fire and Nachtmystium in recent times. The record opens with the aptly titled ‘In The Beginning’, a sorrowful clean guitar intro is soon crushed by the relentless pressure of feedback. The stinging blast beats ensure that the song is driven forward with unwavering determination. Elsewhere, ‘Denizens’ rumbles along with a sauntering riff that is so big that you could park a bus between each note. However, it is without question that the shining beacon here is the title track ‘Spectres’. Awash with melody, and intensity in equal capacity. ‘Psychonauts’ is a mammoth instrumental triumph, clocking in just shy of twelve minutes. Finally, closing track ‘Outside The Circles Of Time’ demonstrates the capabilities of the group as musicians and the best vocal performance of the record from Craig Bryant who incidentally, is also responsible for the dazzling album artwork. However it is not long until the vast riffs surface once more to engulf the listener with punishing aggression. If you are a fan of this type of music then you should check these guys out, you won’t be disappointed.

Bast embark on a UK tour this March with Liverpool’s Conan.

Bast are:

Craig Bryant (Vocals, Guitar), Jon Lee (Drums), Gavin Thomas (Bass).

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Black Bow Recordings


Upyr – Аltars​/​Tunnels

Upyr - Аltars​_​Tunnels
Sofia, Bulgaria is home to doom metal quintet Upyr. Having formed in 2012, Аltars​/​Tunnels is the groups first demo release. And my isn’t it a good one. Lead track ‘Altars of Necrotic Karma’ has a monstrously infectious main riff that towers over the rest of the band’s instruments. The drums reverberate with a steady beat. ‘Into the Tunnels of My Sleep’ starts with a shuddersome clean guitar riff. It’s not long before the doom-laden crunch of guitars are unleashed, remarkably heavy and equally intensified by the vocals of Brodnik. ‘Hymn to Pan’ is a much more restrained affair. Spoken vocals are interwoven with shuddering whispers, backed only by guitars of Spasm and Tymnokryw, and no drums at all throughout the whole track. Scintillating stuff. Final track, ‘Welcome to the Ritual’, which incidentally only appears on the cassette version of Аltars​/​Tunnels is yet another slow paced behemoth. Some areas do seem to have gaps that need a little padding, but it is important to remember that this is a demo. We predict great things in 2014 for Upyr, the next offering from these guys should be a belter!

Brodnik (Vocals), V.B. (Drums), Mora (Bass), Spasm (Guitar), Tymnokryw (Guitar).

Аltars​/​Tunnels is available to buy on cassette through Serpent Eve Records.

Upyr


Dresden​/​Leningrad – De Tirannie

Dresden​/​Leningrad - De Tirannie

Dutch stoner/doom trio Dresden/Leningrad have followed up their warmly received EP Vader with their first full length album. Released at the tail end of 2013 through Breathe Plastic Records, this is yet another hefty slab of crushing doom that builds nonchalantly with menacing rhythm. Three songs over forty minutes gives you an idea of the pace of the tracks. The group who hail from Amsterdam, take their inspiration from scenes of war and rock music from the 1970’s. Opening track ‘De Witte Dood’ captures your imagination perfectly and it is almost eight minutes until we first hear the vocals of Sebastiaan IsAan. ‘Het Oosten’ does not take as long to come to life. The track boasts a biting riff that kicks things off with a swagger, pummelling drums and ghostly vocals. However, it is the gargantuan eighteen minute plus closing track ‘De Broeder’ that stands out on De Tirannie. A chilling spoken word intro with slow clean guitar is pierced by a wave of feedback just over three minutes in. The guitars and erratic feedback that play out at the end of the final track are transfixing and just fantastically played. Dresden/Leningrad will undoubtedly go far if this release is anything to go by, newcomers should also take the time to check out their debut EP Vader here.

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Dresden/Leningrad are:
Gijs Highnis (Bass), Lei Von Der StraBe (Drums), Sebastiaan IsAan (Vocals, Guitar).


Noctum – Tobias Rosén interview

I recently had a few words with Noctum bassist Tobias Rosén. Seems he’s not giving much away about the next album!

Noctum

What was your main influence in starting to play music?
Black sabbath and WASP

How did the idea come about for the theme of Final Sacrifice?
I’ve been working on it for two years, inspired by horror themes overall.

What are the major differences you have experienced since signing with Metal Blade?
A priceless family feeling.

Given that there are so many great bands coming out of Scandinavia over recent years, describe the metal scene there? Do you feel that this helped the band in the early days?
Well, yes and no. Once a few band from a certain country get attention you might get more motivated, media may focus more on that particular country. On the downside, people start to judge every band and put them in boxes with other bands even tough then might have nothing in common except rock influences and sharing the same country.

Sharing the same label as fellow-countrymen such as Amon Amarth and King of Asgard, do you get time to hang out with other bands from the label much?
We haven’t been on any tour since we released our MB release, we’ll see in the future.

Which song(s) was most exciting to write on Final Sacrifice?
Lyrical wise, A Burning will & The Revisit… and Azoth.

How did Timo Ketola come to get involved with the album artwork?
Another artist gave me his name and I checked his earlier work and I was amazed.

Have you made any rough plans for the next record?
I’ve been thinking about themes, yeah.

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