Paradise Lost

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?

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

Celestial Season – The Secret Teachings Review

“Talk about unexpectedly bumping into a long lost friend! Back in the 90s when the doom death movement was new and being driven by the “Peaceville Three,” there was a lesser known Dutch group called Celestial Season trying to horn in on the grimly emo fun. I first encountered them when I bought their 1995 sophomore album Solar Lovers and ended up quite taken with their gloomy yet accessible style. There were some great moments and I even loved their rendition of Ultravox‘s classic 80s hit “Vienna.” After that I never heard from Celestial Season again.” Surprise homework assignment!

Aphonic Threnody – The Great Hatred Review

Aphonic Threnody – The Great Hatred Review

“Dark, moody doom death with gothic touches is a dish best served in an isolated, wintery cabin where only faint hints of sunlight can penetrate the deep freeze. Aphonic Threnody attempt to deliver exactly this kind of dour dish on their third album The Great Hatred. Following in the downtrodden footsteps of My Dying Bride and Saturnus, the duo making up this project are determined to turn your mellow into blubbering Jello™ with titanic doom riffs, booming death roars, and all the heart-tugging sadboi embellishments you’ve come to expect.” Haterade.

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

Tomorrow’s Rain – Hollow Review

“With all the tech-death, funeral doom, and post-whateverthefuck being hurled our way over the last couple of years, it’s paradoxically refreshing when certain sounds of yesteryear make an unexpected, yet somewhat welcome, return. In today’s case, it’s in the form of mid-90s-flavored gothic metal that would have Century Media doing a violent double-take as to what decade it is.” Blame it on the rain.

Paradise Lost – Obsidian Review

Paradise Lost – Obsidian Review

“I remember when Paradise Lost was hyped up to be “England’s answer to Metallica” in terms of their burgeoning popularity when Icon and Draconian Times saw the Halifax quintet’s star grow in leaps in bounds. It’s also not a stretch to say they shared the same rollercoaster ride in terms of stylistic shifts and quality.” The wild ride continues.

Cirith Ungol – Forever Black Review

Cirith Ungol – Forever Black Review

Cirith Ungol. The name looms large in the history of heavy metal. Though the mercurial act released only 4 albums, their impact on the genre was great and long-lasting. Their unusual style influenced everything from doom to traditional and trve metal, and countless bands owe their core sound to albums like King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell. They were one of the most unique, quirky bands in metal history and they’ve always held a special place in my heart ov Steel.” Cirithus Black.

My Dying Bride – The Ghost of Orion Review

My Dying Bride – The Ghost of Orion Review

“When you think of quality doom metal, just about everyone will mention My Dying Bride within the first five bands listed, if not the first. For thirty years, the British sextet’s captivated the world over with their trademark blend of crushing riffs, sorrowful violins and keyboards, and the cavernous growls and pained singing of charismatic frontman Aaron Stainthorpe. So impacting their music has become that they’re the soundtrack to personal situations in peoples’ lives, including mine.” Familiar haunts.

Beast of Revelation – The Ancient Ritual of Death Review

Beast of Revelation – The Ancient Ritual of Death Review

Beast of Revelation involves Bob Bagchus, one of my favorite metal drummers and a foundational member of Asphyx. Bagchus knows what he likes, and conveniently I tend to like that stuff too. Also included are AJ van Drenth who handles guitar and bass, and Incantation’s John McEntee on vocals. Unsurprisingly, I’m reminded of Asphyx and its related side project Grand Supreme Blood Court, mixed with Incantation’s “comeback” era.” Death in the family.

Godthrymm – Reflections Review

Godthrymm – Reflections Review

“Valentine’s Day is normally reserved for lovers. Cards are exchanged, chocolates and red velvety things are consumed, uglies are bumped… Valentine’s Day is a time that romance, passion, and love fill the air. But you know what pairs well with VD? DOOM. Not just any doom metal, mind you, but rather oppressive, downtrodden, and lightless British DOOM, complete with bold typeface and italics. And who better to serve you that kind of doom than not one, but two former members of My Dying Bride?” Heavy love.

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

Dominia – The Withering of the Rose Review

The Withering is the follow-up to 2017’s Stabat Mater, which represented another slab of heavy gothic metal in Dominia’s catalog, as violins and keys did battle with harsh vocals and doomy riffs. Does the latest offering from Dominia see further growth or, well, a withering on the vine?” Roses are dead.