Messa

Messa – Close Review

Messa – Close Review

“Three albums into their career and few bands are as enigmatic and interesting as Messa. Starting life as a progressive doom act, Messa always played fast and loose with genres and styles, layering doom, sludge, ambient, and cabaret jazz influences in the madman’s lasagna and adroitly blending spices to make something captivating and otherworldly. On third album Close, the ambient elements have faded away but the doom-meets-cabaret-meets-whatever style is still present, with the overall sound ending up more expansive and airy.” Up Close and personal.

Witchcryer – When Their Gods Come for You Review

Witchcryer – When Their Gods Come for You Review

“I recall being quite taken with Witchcryer‘s 2017 debut Cry Witch when I stumbled across it in the rancid promo sump. A product of Las CrucesEarthen Grave, and The Living Fields members, it had a lively doom rock sound akin to Castle and Jex Thoth and frontwoman Suzy Bravo was a force to be reckoned with. In hindsight, however, I overrated the album as it was very short on content, and though its high points are great, it has downslopes and filler too, which is a bad sign for such a short album. Nonetheless, I was still excited to get my hands on their sophomore album When Their Gods Come for You and see what the last few years had done to their sound.” Gods and sirens.

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

“One of the most anticipated releases on my radar this month was a debut from brand new Italian doom metal act Bottomless. Most of said anticipation came from the fact it featured Messa‘s outstanding vocalist Sara Bianchin on bass rather than vocals. That seemed such an odd twist that it made me curious what the Bottomless sound would consist of. As it turns out the band travels in the same circles as vintage Pentagram and Saint Vitus but with a slightly more stoner-esque edge than either of those classic acts possessed.” Love letters to the Doom Lords.

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

“Indeed, my indirect memories of the 70s feature objects and trends grown shabby from age and eventually replaced by neon colors, Reaganomics and synth pop. Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lightning Born, on the other hand, remember the 70’s in living detail and have preserved them in pristine amber on their full-length eponymous debut.” Lightning born, time frozen.

Burning Gloom – Amygdala Review

Burning Gloom – Amygdala Review

“I used to dislike female vocalists in general. As I’d mostly been exposed to them through either shitty pop music or shitty Nightwishcore, I simply never felt any emotional connection regardless of their technical skill. The turnaround came from outside of metal with Florence + The Machine, and since then I’ve found a new appreciation for womanly voices, particularly in male-dominated sub-genres, with bands like Madder Mortem and Messa featuring high on my Best Ever lists. Burning Gloom (formerly named My House On Trees) are a doom-sludge band from Milan, and they have female vocals as well, something that may be rarer in sludge than in any other sub-genre sans perhaps thrash.” Women to the front!

Essenz – Manes Impetus Review

Essenz – Manes Impetus Review

“Stepping out of your comfort zone is often a healthy thing. Slither away from the soft bed you know into the cold bath of the unknown and you might find yourself with a new affection you never knew existed. When it comes to metal, by and large, this means black metal for me. Though I’ve run into the occasional band that surprises me with articulate frostiness, such as Mistur and Gaerea, the genre as a whole tends to linger outside my grasp. So here I am once more, venturing into the obtuse murk, with the harsh glare of Essenz, a German outfit of cryptically abbreviated band members.” From comfort to cvlt.