Doom Metal

Oar – The Blood You Crave Review

Oar – The Blood You Crave Review

“In the multiform sea of interpretations permitted by the tag ‘post-black metal,’ Oar direct their course towards singularly grimy, doom-laden waters. The band borrows from the likes of Amenra and Vous Autres in sinister and savage feeling, though eschewing smooth, reverb-laden tones in favor of a more suffocating vibe.” The real question is whether we can make it through a post-black metal review without a reference to Deafheaven.

Charnel Altar – Abatement of the Sun Review

Charnel Altar – Abatement of the Sun Review

“Aussie trio Charnel Altar faces the dual challenges of releasing a debut album in mid-December and standing out among a crowded field of label-mates, joining Blood Harvest’s packed December offering with their unique toxic sludge of blackened death-doom. While not always to the album’s benefit, black metal instincts pervade Abatement of the Sun, propelling their filth and gore-covered Holden hatchback through the deepest doom-filled muck.” Destroying the Sun.

Verbum – Exhortation to the Impure Review

Verbum – Exhortation to the Impure Review

“What’s in an identity? In a world where often we have knowledge at our fingertips, it’s frustrating when information just isn’t there. Promo material for Verbum has no names attached at all, and though I am a high-level Google-fu practitioner, research into this band doesn’t yield much about members—but we do know they’re from Chile. Therefore, I can only conclude that on one particularly auspicious night deep in the Atacama, an unfortunate miner bored mistakenly into a mysterious, pulsating rock, releasing four cloaked metal demons from the underground.” Unknown and impure.

King Bastard – It Came From the Void Review

King Bastard – It Came From the Void Review

“It’s become a joke in the AMG tea-room that stoner doom, while often quite enjoyable, very rarely stands out. The languid, hazy riffs and easy atmosphere make for music that flirts cheekily with memorability, but rarely commits to it. Part of the reason, I suspect, is that most of this music operates in a slightly blunted emotional frequency, reflecting the effect being stoned has on the listener. Enter New York foursome, King Bastard, with their debut It Came From the Void. Crashing in with all the subtlety of day-old bong water, it’s a trip all right. But it’s one you should consider taking.” Void bastards.

Mizmor – Wit’s End Review

Mizmor – Wit’s End Review

“My last encounter with Portland, Oregon’s Mizmor (מזמור) was not what I expected. I knew Mizmor from the bleak, blackened doom of Yodh and the crushing fusion of black metal, doom, sludge and drone on Cairn. On Dialetheia, A.L.N.’s project with Andrew Black, all metal was abandoned, however, in favor of ambient drone to explore the concept of obsolescence, both of traditions and, indeed, our whole way of life, on an imagined tour through a museum of collected nostalgia and past times. I struggled a bit with Dialetheia, missing the massive weight and oppressiveness of Mizmor‘s earlier work, and also the catharsis that came with that. Which incarnation of Mizmor are we presented with on Wit’s End?” Mizmor or Mizless?

Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion Review

Ethereal Shroud – Trisagion Review

Trisagion, at its core, fits the mold of atmospheric black metal to a tee. However, only fools suggest that Ethereal Shroud settle for that core sound without layers upon layers of extracurricular influence to flesh it out. In 2021, that influence takes the form of a most depressive subset of doom, a network of melodic leads which alternate between chilling and radiant, and crafty drumming that handily combines post-metallic defiance of standard beats with traditional blasts and double-bass runs.” Ephemeral glory on the precipice of oblivion.

Memory Garden – 1349 Review

Memory Garden – 1349 Review

“Well, this is a yuletide surprise. A new Memory Garden album was not on my bingo card for Covid-ravaged 2021. To set the stage, Memory Garden emerged out of the 90s Swedish power/doom scene that birthed such acts as Tad MoroseMorgana Lefay and Sorcerer. Like these somewhat better-known brethren, their sound was regal, polished, classy, and bedecked in the finery of both doom and heavy power metal. Since their last release was way back in 2013, I’d assumed they were in the garden themselves.” A pox on 2021.

Kanonenfieber – Menschenmühle [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Kanonenfieber – Menschenmühle [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“The sonic palette in which Kanonenfieber lays out its tale is rooted in atmospheric black metal, meeting in the middle ground between the howling melodies of Minenwerfer and the more bombastic power of Panzerfaust. There are, however, nods to the likes of Bolt Thrower, and the gravelly, rasping growl of the vocals owes as much to traditional death, as it does to black metal.” The art of war.