Doom Metal

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Soulburn – Noa’s D’ark Review

Originally formed by two members of Asphyx when their band went on hiatus, Soulburn resurfaced under their original moniker in 2014, after a hiatus of their own and a stint carrying the name To The Gallows during which Rogga Johanssen briefly joined the line-up. Nowadays, the cast still includes founding member Eric Daniels, as well as Legion of the Damned guitarist Twan van Geel and Graceless members Remco Kreft and Marc Verhaar. On paper, a team like this should be able to make a pretty killer record.” Death reclamation.

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising – Mathreyata Review

Dark Buddha Rising is a Finnish band, formed in 2007 and packing six full-lengths and an EP under its belt. For a collective that channels drone, doom, and sludge (you’d be safe to throw some stoner doom in there too), their megalithic songwriting is surprisingly restrained, relying on simple bass riffs, distant vocals, and other instruments to communicate their psychedelic soundscape as it reaches a drone climax.” Buddha don’t play.

Decembre Noir – The Renaissance of Hope Review

Decembre Noir – The Renaissance of Hope Review

“Has there ever been an album cover that seems to be more of a direct contradiction of the title than this one? A man drowning his wife is The Renaissance of Hope? Seems counter to the theme, until one examines the lyrics and subject matter of this, Decembre Noir’s fourth album. Hope is a very personal subject, especially when viewed through the lens of euthanasia. The hope of the person who is finally allowed to die versus the anguish of the person fulfilling the wish.” The fragility of hope.

Ecclesia – De Ecclesiæ Universalis Review

Ecclesia – De Ecclesiæ Universalis Review

“The good old Inquisition was not humanity’s finest hour. I guess it’s all well and good to take religion seriously, if that’s one’s thing but it’s a bit presumptuous, I would suggest – perhaps with the benefit of hindsight – to go about torturing and burning thousands of people at the stake for either being insufficiently religious, not the right kind of religious or, in many cases, simply a woman. Still, putting the very real horrors of this extended folly to one side, the Inquisition does make for bloody good source material for a metal concept album. And so say French six-piece Ecclesia.” No one expects the Doom Inquisition.

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

Shattered Hope – Vespers Review

“Like raw black metal, funeral doom operates at the extremely thin edge of an extremely niche wedge. Long, patient, languid tracks put many to sleep with their glacial pace. But glaciers carry enormous momentum as a result of their sheer mass. For those who appreciate it, funeral doom provides an unparalleled — and often profound — journey through grief and sorrow. Greece’s Shattered Hope offer their third attempt at this tricky genre with Vespers.” Sad scooters.

Helfir – The Journey Review

Helfir – The Journey Review

“It’s all about the journey, so the saying goes. For me, the journey from album discovery to album listening to album review is often the highlight of my week, regardless of the ultimate destination (read: rating). For Luca Mazzotta, the one man behind the one-man Helfir project, The Journey is his third release, and one that takes its title very seriously. Taking the helm on every instrument, real and programmed, Mazzotta’s ambitions and inspirations, including such names as Katatonia and Porcupine Tree, are unleashed over fifty minutes of honest, dark, and remarkably flexible music.” Safe travels.

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

“Darkness and light, good and evil, heavy and soft. Dichotomy has long played a key role in metal music, and following in the long, dark shadow of Theater of Tragedy, many bands have attempted the whole “beauty and the beast” thing, pairing death metal croaks with soaring, sometimes operatic female vocals. When it works the style can be very enthralling, and over their nearly 25 year career Draconian has been at the forefront of this movement, crafting albums of gothic doom death full of weepy romance and crushing grief. 2015s Sovran opus was one of their best and it left a rather large impression in my skull. It would be a tough act to follow, and it’s taken Draconian nearly five years to make the effort.” Dragon, why do you cry?