Rapture

Clouds – Departe Review

Clouds – Departe Review

“Sometimes a piece of music is entirely about a single, specific feeling, be it rage, joy or sadness. Departe, the second album by atmospheric post-doom super group Clouds, is definitely about the latter, and it attempts to drown the listener in a vast sea of chilling, cloying melancholy without offering the slightest hint of hope or beam of light. Formed by members of The 11th Hour, Eye of Solitude, Rapture, Barren Earth and Shape of Despair, the line up reads like doom royalty and their vast experience helps make this one of the bleakest, most depressive listens of this year or any other.” Got something in your eye? You’re about to.

October Tide – Winged Waltz Review

October Tide – Winged Waltz Review

“It’s been a while since a doom/death album graced my overloaded promo bin, and as a tried and true sad-boy, I was quite stoked to see October Tide‘s fifth album, Winged Waltz arrive. Formed by Katatonia ex-pats Fredrik Norrman and and Jonas Renkse, the band has long made it their practice to take elements of early Katatonia material like Brave Murder Day and mix it with the classic doom/death of Rapture and early Paradise Lost. This led to some stunning moments and others that were inexplicably less inspiring.” Turn those frowns even further down.

Enshine – Singularity Review

Enshine – Singularity Review

“Winter is coming, and when the cold reaches my home and hearth, it’s time to break out the top-shelf sad boy melodic doom-death and spin it until Odin renews the world and grants primacy to the sun once more. As the low winter sun encroaches, one of the first bands into the depressive breach is the long defunct but truly excellent Rapture. A close second is the even longer defunct Slumber. The latter released but one brilliant album (Fallout) before imploding, and said album went on to be tragically overlooked.” The Sleeper of Slumber has awakened!

Kataklysm – Of Ghosts and Gods Review

Kataklysm – Of Ghosts and Gods Review

“In Quebec, a delicious golden ale called La Fin Du Monde has been brewed for over twenty years. It’s potent by regular beer standards, sitting at about 9% alcohol. The first time I tasted it I was with numerous smart people in a pub, and as soon as I took one sip I knew this would be a beer I’d have a long and happy drinking relationship with. Quebec has also seen the production of Kataklysm material for over two decades now, and my first time hearing them via Serenity in Fire’s “As I Slither” yielded similar results.” Let the ale flow and the death play.

Ghost Brigade – IV – One With the Storm Review

Ghost Brigade – IV – One With the Storm Review

Ghost Brigade are tough to neatly pigeonhole into a specific genre. Their early material was definitely post-metal/post-hardcore, but as they matured their sound evolved to include doom, gothic rock, alternative music and slight touches of black metal and prog. By the time they released Until Fear No Longer Defines Us, their style was quite the interesting stew of influences, yet their music remained accessible, direct and highly emotional.” Lineup changes abound, so does the classic sound stick around? We have…the DEETS!

Autumnal – The End of the Third Day Review

Autumnal – The End of the Third Day Review

“Kindly overlook the album cover you see to the left. Not only does it lack the good grace to include some kind of cool spherical object, but it also resembles something from a Christian new age rock group (the kind they play at inoffensive volumes in Christian, new age-y coffee joints). Worse still, it doesn’t give the slightest indication that Autumnal is a winningly morose, melodic doom act from Spain, or that The End of the Third Day is destined to be one of the sleeper hits of 2014.” Are you ready to feel those gloriously sad feels?

Deathwhite – Ethereal EP Review

Deathwhite – Ethereal EP Review

“Every now and then you get a promo from an unheralded band with zero press and no buzz whatsoever and it kicks your ass all over the damn monkey farm. Deathwhite‘s debut Ethereal is one of these unexpected ass kickers, and it’s a truly impressive dose of gloomy, post-modern gothic rock. It’s works by straddling the line between the seemingly defunct and sorely missed melo-doom of Rapture and depressive post-rockers like Ghost Brigade and Aoria, with traces of Tool and Katatonia added for sumptuous emphasis. Now THAT’S a spicy meatball!” Do you love surprises? How about a good old fashioned mystery?

Doom:VS – Earthless Review

Doom:VS – Earthless Review

Doom:VS is a one man act with a pretty spotty record of productivity, but man, when they drop an album, it really drops hard! The brainchild of Johan Ericson (Draconian), Doom:VS released back to back gobstoppers of morose doom/death with 2006s Aeternum Vale and 2008s Dead Words Speak and both stand among the genre’s very best. Then, the band vanished from the mortal coil and seemed to be consigned to history. Without much warning, they’ve made a huge return with Earthless and now Johan is joined by Thomas Akim Gronbeak Jensen (Saturnus), who handles all the death roars.” Looking for something to really bring you down? Steel Druhm has just the pill for that.

Blood Mortized – The Demon, the Angel, the Disease Review

Blood Mortized – The Demon, the Angel, the Disease Review

“No matter how over saturated or played out a musical genre may become, there are always one or two bands that can make it all vibrant, fresh and new again. Whether it’s their raw conviction, enthusiasm or killer song writing, those bands make the years melt away and remind you how it felt to hear the style for the very first time. That rush of excitement, feeling of awe and the sense of being there at the next step in metal’s evolution, that’s what it’s all about! When it comes to classic Swedish death metal, Blood Mortized is THAT band for me.” Stand back! Steel has been waiting for this one with baited breath and now he’s on it like beast at a beast emporium.