Cherd of Doom

Sludge is the word.
Mehenet – Ng’ambu Review

Mehenet – Ng’ambu Review

“When one thinks of New Orleans and music, there are many touchstones, but black metal ain’t one of them. Dixieland jazz pours from every crevice of the city, from bars to funeral processions, while zydeco and Delta blues echo through the French Quarter. When it comes to metal, NOLA is renowned for the sludge that slithered from the swamps surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. But black metal? In this heat and humidity? Mehenet, a five-piece active since 2014, is happy to be the black fly in the jazzy New Orleans ointment.” Godless gumbo.

Heathen Rites – Heritage Review

Heathen Rites – Heritage Review

Steel Druhm recently announced loudly to the writers that someone should review some sludgy doom record that was probably pretty good. I fell over my desk and several trash cans reaching from the promo. Turns out, I was duped. First of all, Sweden’s Heathen Rites are not sludge.” Sludge misjudge.

Fleshbore – Embers Gathering Review

Fleshbore – Embers Gathering Review

“One of the only true perks in this gig, besides the callous hazing of my fellow writers and the mindless braying of the commentariat, is getting highly anticipated releases weeks in advance. When that happens, a swarm of reviewers pilfer the promo pit, greedily clutching the release like so many Gollums with the One Ring. If you’re the lucky reviewer actually covering said album (we hates them), it’s a boon, as you get peer reactions in real time. But for everyone else, it means it becomes that much harder to focus on the album you’ve actually chosen that week. This is especially unfair to the band you’re reviewing when the Big Release is the same genre. This week, Archspire‘s follow up to tech death masterpiece Relentless Mutation ran through the writers’ room like rancid chili. My own official assignment was Indianapolis, IN tech death newcomers Fleshbore‘s debut Embers Gathering. ” Flesh and golden arches.

Hinsides – Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna Review

Hinsides – Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna Review

Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna is the debut album by Swedish one man raw black metal act Hinsides and it’s full of the influences one might expect. There are heavy doses of first (“Genom döden återfödt,” “Under Betlehems brinnande stjärna”) and second wave black metal (“Skymningsfärd,” “På jordelifwets sorgetåg”), but the compositions feel a touch more contemporary and lone member M. A. plays everything within an inch of its life.” In Hinsides.

Hellish Form – Remains Review

Hellish Form – Remains Review

“I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems black metal musicians enjoy carte blanche when it comes to incorporating other genres into their music. Everything from Appalachian folk to shoegaze to African American work songs to opera has been shoehorned into the supposedly kvltest of all metal. Not to mention any other metal genre can just add a little “blackened” seasoning in the mix for tasty results. It’s like the sparkling wine of metal: pairs well with anything. American bi-coastal band Hellish Form has looked at those corpse painted musical polyamorists and asked a question so bold, so elegant it brings a tear to my doom-loving eye: If black metal can do it, why not funeral doom? WHY NOT FUNERAL DOOM? That’s right, Hellish Form take the niche-est of metal styles and cries “Moar niche-er!”” Beseech the Remains.

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

Tragedy and Triumph – Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall Review

“When one thinks of Viking metal, two bands should come immediately to mind, one the genre’s progenitor, the other its standard bearer. I’m inclined not to name them, as it seems insulting to our readership, but rest assured Tragedy and Triumph cite both as touchstones. With that in mind, Where Mountains Rise and Hearts Fall is 54 minutes of relatively straightforward death metal with a melodic bent and a follow-the-bouncing-ball harsh vocal delivery.” All the world’s a raid.

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

“In 2017, NYC sludge band Somnuri released their eponymous debut to relatively little fanfare. No one around these parts seemed to catch it, but thanks to a personal connection to the band, I did. Somnuri was a solid mix of early Mastodon progressive sludge with Yob-ish doom tendencies. It was better than a self released debut has any right to be, with songs like “Kaizen,” “Inhabitant” and “Through the Dead” landing on several of my personal playlists. With the band on my radar, I’ve been hoping to see a follow up surface in our promo pit for some time. Lo and behold, Nefarious Wave comes to us courtesy of their new label Blues Funeral four long years after their debut. With such a gap between records, one would hope for, if not expect, a fair amount of evolution and refinement.” NYC tides bring strange gifts.

Esoctrilihum – Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath Review

Esoctrilihum – Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath Review

“Another year, another 78 minute monster of an album by Esoctrilihum landing in my promo box with a bowel shaking thud. It seems the musical reproductive cycle of the elusive Asthâghul, native to France, is on an approximate 9-10 month cycle, wherein no sooner than one shrieking, multi-limbed abomination is calved writhing onto the unsuspecting earth, a pan-dimensional demon god plants its seed into Asthâghul’s gaping mind womb to begin the gestation process anew. To be in such a constant state of creative estrus must be absolutely exhausting. I know as a reviewer who has squatter’s rights to all Esoctrilihum output on this site, I’m tired just thinking, listening and writing about it.” Pregnant pause.

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.