Khemmis

Forming The Void – Reverie Review

Forming The Void – Reverie Review

Louisiana’s Forming The Void admirably scratched my doom metal itch back in 2018 with their third full-length, Rift. Between the sludgy riffs, the Middle-Eastern-inspired noodling, and the heft of the overall package, “Rift was a respectable, enjoyable album. But with all that’s been going on in the world, my lack of free time to even listen to music, let alone review it, and finding difficulty in locating simple pleasures like liquid hand soap or toilet paper… let’s just say that I’m itching for some quality doom metal to ease my soul.” Doom therapy.

Wake – Devouring Ruin Review

Wake – Devouring Ruin Review

“Finding catharsis in the midst of chaos is the name of the game these days. It’s why every tenth article in your COVID co-opted news avalanche feed is about a bunny who adopted stray kittens. It’s why last Saturday I watched a live stream of a drag queen disinfecting every surface in her kitchen while performing Queen‘s “I Want to Break Free.” As the world around us is brought to its knees by the weight of uncertainty, we instinctively seek out and appreciate these small pressure release valves. Bands who ply their trade in chaotic styles should pay attention. Chaos plus time equals background noise, but there are two options to keep an audience engaged. The first is brevity. This is why hardcore punk albums are traditionally 25-30 mins long. The second is the thoughtful placement of sonic perches to rest upon.” Choose wisely.

Loviatar – Lightless Review

Loviatar – Lightless Review

“What makes a great doom record? Adequate levels of sadness, helplessness, or loss expressed in a desperate croon? Perhaps doom is defined by plodding tempos and debilitating riffs? Could it simply be a quality of emptiness that pervades every moment of the music, regardless of the superficial qualities inherent to the sound? I honestly couldn’t tell you. All I know is that when a doom metal band brings its A-game, boy howdy does it wreck my shit sideways, backwards and diagonally. Enter Canadian quartet Loviatar, whose sophomore full-length Lightless wrecks my shit sideways, backwards and diagonally.” Stuff is getting wrecked here.

Stonus – Aphasia Review

Stonus – Aphasia Review

“While I can appreciate that certain substances can enhance a listening experience, I’ve always been a bit wary of music that seems designed to appeal to folks under the influence. Maybe I was burned by the rubbish techno of my youth — so repetitive that unless hopped up on MDMA, it’s damn near unlistenable. For that reason, I’ve steered clear of a lot of stoner doom/rock. If I don’t do any drugs, why would I bother with music for which getting high is a sine qua non?” In the weeds.

Elden – Nostromo Review

Elden – Nostromo Review

“I selected Nostromo by Elden on the basis of being both a literature and sci-fi nerd (Joseph Conrad’s 1904 novel and Alien, respectively, though Alien itself is referencing Conrad by naming its ship Nostromo), hoping the resultant album would invoke a similarly strong response. How fare these Swedes when embarking in their own vessel called Nostromo?” In space no one can hear you nerd.

Blessed Black – Beyond the Crimson Throne Review and Album Premiere

Blessed Black – Beyond the Crimson Throne Review and Album Premiere

“Album premieres are a gimmick. At least that’s what I thought until I had the chance to showcase this lovely example of epic/doom/stoner metal courtesy of up-and-coming Cincinnati rockers Blessed Black. Of course, to review an album is one thing, but to premiere that album, it better be worth clicking on more songs than just the single, and that’s certainly the case here.” Blessed luck.

Monolord – No Comfort Review

Monolord – No Comfort Review

“No Comfort is an interesting name for a Monolord album, because every time I’ve played their records I’ve felt a great sense of comfort. I know what I’m in for, and each time the band delivers. Kind of like a lot of the fuzzy stoner metal bands out there. They will bestow upon us massive riffs that are fuzzier than a giant peach, drenching their Black Sabbath worship with Electric Wizard sauce. It is a recipe for short-lived success; while I enjoy drinking at this particular well, I can only do so for a short time before moving on.” Quick comfort.

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

“After almost six years of reviewing here, I’ve noticed American bands latching on to certain trends. Just a decade ago, everyone and their cousin was aping the Gothenburg sound, mixing it with d-beats and hardcore (and some whiny) vocals, and calling it a day. Nowadays, doom is the nectar du jour, and many a band is gulping it. Here in America, you have two prevalent strains: the airy, dreamy, almost progressive take that bands like YOBKhemmis, and especially Pallbearer have crafted, and then there’s the so-70s-your-sideburns-are-showing Blue Oyster Cult Scoobie-Doobie-Doom “Occult” doom that’s been sweeping the nation. So which side does Invocation of the Lucifer, the second album by Cincinnati upstarts Cult of Sorrow, land?” Culting the herd.

Horseburner – The Thief Review

Horseburner – The Thief Review

“For music that should appeal to stoners, the thought of burning horses sounds like a very bad trip indeed, but that isn’t the case here and the incongruent imagery is the first of many surprises offered up by these West Virginians. Despite The Thief only being their second album, after 2016’s Dead Seeds, Barren Soil, these guys are no n00bs.” Horse play and cat fancying.