Cherd of Doom

Sludge is the word.
Moon Coven – Slumber Wood Review

Moon Coven – Slumber Wood Review

“There’s a reason metal fans will never want for bands that play fuzzy stoner doom. Sure, it’s the oldest genre in all of metaldom and has somehow seen less evolution in recent decades than you’d find at Boone County, Kentucky’s Creation Museum. But unlike the dinosaurs that perished in Noah’s flood, stoner doom will never go extinct. That’s because ever since The Lord revealed his commandments to Tony Iommi on Mount Sinai, purveyors of the style have remembered the Sabbath and kept their riffs holy. When a stoner band drops a bluesy-psych groove, it connects on a primal level the way few other metal styles can. The genre may be stagnant, but when it’s played well, that hardly matters. Sweden’s Moon Coven attempt to keep the altar fire burning in doom’s Holy of Holies with their third album Slumber Wood.” Sleeping wood, fuzzy bat.

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

Soothsayer – Echoes of the Earth Review

“When thinking of how to describe Soothsayer‘s primitive sound, I thought if the band were a people, they’d be advanced enough to build a pretty mean henge, but they’d definitely still be eating their enemies to steal their battle ability, and if a farmer brought their shaman a vegetable that grew weird, they’d probably worship it.” Protoculture.

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

Demiser – Through the Gate Eternal Review

“It’s spring in Minnesota. Given the harshness of our winters, these longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures always feel transformative, but after these past 12 months of hell, and with vaccination rates climbing and new Covid cases dropping, one can almost imagine normal life emerging from the pandemic like the landscape emerges as the snow disappears. In physical terms, this means the compulsion to go outside is strong. Absorb some sunlight, smell the mild air, watch things grow. In metal terms, it’s time to put down the doom and dsbm and reach for something fun, fast and filthy. South Carolina’s blackened thrash band Demiser have spent pandemic isolation crafting their debut full-length, Through the Gate Eternal.” Reports of Demiser are not greatly exaggerated.

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

Stortregn – Impermanence Review

“Every year it seems that in the midst of all the doom, sludge and black metal clogging up my arteries, I find that one album of fast, technical, brutal sci-fi themed metal that I can’t stop listening to. Recent output by Xoth, Æpoch, Beast of Nod and the mighty Archspire have flayed my face meat and chilled my soul with surgical guitars and the unknowable horrors of the cosmos. In 2018 I discovered Swiss band Stortregn through their fantastic third full-length Emptiness Fills the Void. Despite its title, the album absolutely burst at the seams with blackened, thrashy tech death glory that never sacrificed melody for brutality. The cold, dark vacuum of space sounded thrilling in their capable hands. Three years later, Stortregn has moved from the diverse roster of Non Serviam Records to tech death specialists The Artisan Era for their fourth LP Impermanence.” In space no one can hear you fanboy.

Crawl Below – 9 Mile Square Review

Crawl Below – 9 Mile Square Review

“For being a metal review site, an awful lot of barely-metal promos sneak past our guard gorilla and land in the laps of unsuspecting writers. Staff more senior and wily than myself have learned to decipher their signs and avoid them like that guy at the party who wants to tell you about his Battlestar Galactica fan fic. However, because these promos are most often generously tagged as “doom,” yours truly unwittingly walks right into them. Only after I’ve committed do they tear off their fake mustache, throw down their prop cane and gleefully shout, “Ha ha! It is I, unrelated genre!” Thankfully, I’m an open minded metal head, and these things have worked out splendidly in the past. New England’s Crawl Below caught my attention with the “doom” tag, but also because their album 9 Mile Square is a concept piece about the historic and contemporary region of Norwich, Connecticut. This decidedly non-metal theme should have tipped me off, but here we are.” Broken gates and square mileage.

Omination – NGR (New Golgotha Repvbliq) Review

Omination – NGR (New Golgotha Repvbliq) Review

“It may not be quite accurate to say funeral doom is about minimalism, but it’s not far from the truth either. Much of that is a result of the pace. Even if a funeral doom song has as much going on as a regular metal song when condensed to a regular runtime, stretched over 15 or 20 minutes, it sounds like less. Notes are sustained longer, beats per minute are reduced, and at any given moment, less really is going on. Until now, I would have told you the idea of maximalist funeral doom was an oxymoron, antithetical. It seems no one told that to Tunisia’s Omination.” Maximum doom.

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

Grima – Rotten Garden Review

“Atmospheric black metal. We all like to pretend we’ve had our fill. I fully expect to scroll down on this review to comments bemoaning lupine throne room infestations and the Snowy Forest Industrial Complex. I get it. Few things have worn out their welcome in the new millennium more than atmoblack and Bernie Sanders memes. But the fact remains that the sharp harshness of black metal and the soothing beauty of ambient passages go together like chocolate and peanut butter, and there are still plenty of artists treading the well worn wooded paths of this sound. Siberian Federal District denizens Grima play it better than most.” Morbid gardeners.

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

“Like many of you, I’ve spent significant time over the years wandering musical paths far from our beloved metallic bae. In some cases, this has made me something of an amateur expert, as in the rangy field of Americana. In others, I’ve invested enough time as not to be a tourist, but not enough to be considered a deep diver. This is the case with Afrobeat. I’ve passed many hours with the father of the genre, Fela Kuti—easy enough given his song lengths—and with compilations like the incredible Nigeria 70 box set. I’ve also enjoyed the work of revivalists such as Brooklyn, New York’s Antibalas, so when I stumbled across Here Lies Man in the promo pit, a side project of Antibalas members infusing Afrobeat with Sabbathian riffs, I snapped it up greedily.” Don’t be grabby.

Old Nick – The Night of the Ambush and the Pillage by the Queen Ann Styl’d Furniture, Animated by One of the Dozen or So Spells That Thee Eastern Vampyre Has Studied [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Old Nick – The Night of the Ambush and the Pillage by the Queen Ann Styl’d Furniture, Animated by One of the Dozen or So Spells That Thee Eastern Vampyre Has Studied [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“I’m not sure why I spent so much of 2020 deep diving into the raw black metal recesses of Bandcamp. Might be because ice cold nihilism was especially in fashion this season, or maybe all the social isolating helped me connect more with the weirdo basement dweller one man band crowd. Whatever the reason, I wound up having a great time listening to some truly terrible music. A lot of it is borderline unlistenable, and a lot of that’s on purpose, because badly recording and producing one’s bad playing is pretty kvlt. Of course, this doesn’t preclude truly talented musicians drawn to the genre’s gritty mystique from making some rock solid metal albums.”Hey, Doctor Old Nick!