While Heaven Wept

Zørormr – The Aftermath Review

Zørormr – The Aftermath Review

“Poland’s been the source of some great metal over the years. Behemoth probably comes to mind first, being that Nergal’s the master of controversy and the court room. But putting that aside, there’s Vader, Decapitated, Hate and Lux Occulta, who along with many others have been delivering the goods and then some. Somewhere in the throng, the talents of one-man, black metal or dark ambient artist, Fabian Filiks (Moloch) of Zørormr became a little obscured.” One does not simply hear all the bands in Poland.

Draconian – Sovran Review

Draconian – Sovran Review

My Dying Bride and Anathema invented what we now think of as the goth-tinged doom/death genre back in the early 90s with their respectively earth-shaking debuts. Though many bands have subsequently tried their hand at the style, few have nailed the original sound and mood as well as Draconian.” Sadness, thy name is Draconian.

Isole – The Calm Hunter Review

Isole – The Calm Hunter Review

“What’s with all these “calm” themed titles lately. We had The Calm Hatchery a few weeks back and now this. For whatever reason I always read them as “clam,” which results in unintended hilarity. I mean, who hunts a freaking clam, right? They’re mollusks and just lay around waiting to be harvested. I live on an island so I know of what I speak. Anyway, this band is made up of the same guys that bring you the excellently blackened Viking metal of Ereb Altor. Isole is their traditional doom project, though it also has more than a little epic Vikingness running through its cold Norse veins.” Does your holiday wish list include melodic doom? If so, shove this in your stocking, chug some yule ale and get in the spirit.

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Procession – To Reap Heavens Apart

“Following along with Avatarium, little know Chilean act Procession released a high quality slab of doom in 2013 that you may have missed. In fact, I probably would have missed it were it not for a tip from a loyal reader. Their sophomore opus To Reap Heavens Apart is right in line with early Candlemass (think debut and Nightfall), While Heaven Wept and Solstice and as such, it’s weighted down with weighty, glum and downtrodden riffs and despairing, yet epic vocals that call to mind the styling of Messiah Marcolin, albeit a more restrained version.” Steel Druhm missed his share of good doom this year and it has him rather perplexed an confuzzled.

Hail of Bullets – III The Rommel Chronicles Review

Hail of Bullets – III The Rommel Chronicles Review

“While the mighty Bolt Thrower lies in their house at R’lyeh, dead but dreaming, Dutch super group Hail of Bullets have become the undisputed champions of war-themed death metal. Featuring the likes of Ed Warby (The 11th Hour, Demiurg) and the immortal Martin van Drunen (Asphyx, ex-Pestilence, ex-Bolt Thrower), these grizzled veterans have made a name for themselves by adopting a winning Bolt Thrower meets Asphyx meets more Bolt Thrower schtik and they’ve churned out some truly tank-busting, old school death over their short but nasty career. Their albums always feature a fantastic mix of classic death grooves and monstrously oppressive doom riffs (especially on On Divine Winds) and they remind me of long forgotten Winter and the dirgey glory of vintage Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. III The Rommel Chronicles doesn’t upset the ammunition cart and the band delivers another broootal, throwback album with little in the way of finesse.” Old school death metal about war and battle. That shit just sells itself, don’t it? Yes it does!

Atlantean Kodex – The White Goddess Review

Atlantean Kodex – The White Goddess Review

“As a fanboy extraordinaire of classy, epic doom, I’m clearly the target demographic for larger-than-life regressive metallers Atlantean Kodex. Their massive debut The Golden Bough was an intoxicating mixture of While Heaven Wept, Solstice and Solitude Aeturnus with a healthy dose of Bathory‘s Hammerheart added for Viking flair.” Steel Druhm has been chomping at the bit for this release and nobody likes being chomped. Does The White Goddess live up to his unreasonable expectations or will the remainder of 2013 be a rabid chomp-fest?

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

Ereb Altor – Fire Meets Ice Review

“With little or no fanfare, the trolls of Viking/doom/folk/black metal known as Ereb Altor storm back from the frozen wastes with their hybrid sound and more tales from Norse mythology. Though they began life as an epic-sized, Viking metal act with a strong doom influence (check out By Honour because it’s badass!), they added more and more black metal over time, culminating with 2012s Gastrike opus. As before, they worship the sound and mood of Bathory‘s Hammerheart opus (and to a lesser extent Twilight of the Gods) while also incorporating early Darkthrone influences and doom stylings similar to While Heaven Wept.” A fusion of Viking, black and doom metal pretty much sells itself, but Steel Druhm still showed up to grab a paycheck and examine the heady brew that Ereb Altor cooked up. Tastes like…wictory.

Magister Templi – Lucifer Leviathan Logos Review

Magister Templi – Lucifer Leviathan Logos Review

“There aren’t a lot of bands out there that come close to duplicating King and co’s brand of malevolence. From his piercing falsetto and his operatic shrieks to his mid-range torturous screams and evil growls, King Diamond owns! Norwegian based, NWOBHM-inspired Magister Templi combine occult, doom flavored lyrics reminiscent of Venom and Mercyful Fate with upbeat, power chord infused melody along the lines of Mercyful Fate and Pagan Altar to arrive at a groovy platter of satanic malarkey.” Nobody likes malarkey, or hokum for that matter, but that doesn’t stop Madam X from hailing the King and reporting how Magister Templi robs the musical grave of the immortal Mercyful Fate (if they’re immortal, why do they even have a grave??). That’s like a desecration of souls!!