YOB

Self Hypnosis – Contagion of Despair Review

Self Hypnosis – Contagion of Despair Review

“What do you get when two stalwarts of the British stoner and doom scenes come together to make a record they felt was too experimental for their existing projects? Self Hypnosis is the brainchild of Camel of Doom main man Kris Clayton, partnering with Esoteric’s vocalist, guitarist and occasional keyboardist Greg Chandler. The trio is rounded out by drummer Tom Valleley. Combining elements of Clayton and Chandler’s other projects, Self Hypnosis are now ready to drop their avant-garde debut, Contagion of Despair.” Doom trancers.

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

Smoking Mountain bills itself as a heady mix of doom, sludge and psychedelica. It’s named after a mountain just south of Seattle, which sounds suitably ominous. It also gives the listener a good idea of the density they’re about to encounter. In reality, it’s a fascinating spectacle of a band in a constant tug-of-war between glorious movement and the densest inertia. Will this turn out to be like a rugby scrum – full of effort but going nowhere (unless it’s England being pushed over by the mighty South African pack in the World Cup final)? Or do these competing forces light a serious fire?” Smoke and stone.

Fuil Na Seanchoille – The Crossing Review

Fuil Na Seanchoille – The Crossing Review

“Single-song albums. The reason Holdeneye and Twelve no longer speak. The reason there’s still a bloodstain in the copy room after Diabolus went after El Cuervo for suggesting that Winter’s Gate ‘Isn’t really a single song, is it? I mean… not really…’ Ya see, the very idea is divisive. But it’s also philosophically interesting. What makes a song? A unifying idea or theme? If parts of a song are so different as to be unrecognizable, have you not just chewing-gummed two songs together? In this era of instant gratification, where listeners have goldfish-like attention spans, are these epic tracks justified? Or just a needlessly pretentious gimmick?” Long did the wind blow.

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.

Mizmor – Cairn Review

Mizmor – Cairn Review

“In Gareth Tunley’s haunting and haunted 2016 film The Ghoul, the whole of reality is bent and infected by the protagonist’s depression. He is trapped in a twisted, magically real manifestation of a Möbius strip. Here, all means of escape are soon revealed to be nothing but bottomless ladders that descend into the darkest craters of the human psyche. The beginning is the end is the beginning. There is no escape. But unlike The Ghoul’s main character who ultimately appears powerless, Portland, Oregon’s A.L.N. has the music of the project Mizmor (מזמור) on his side, both as a weapon and a vessel of catharsis.” WMDs for hope.

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

Splendidula – Post Mortem Review

“Coming from the Latin ‘splendidus’, ‘splendid’ is defined—by one (free) online dictionary that this n00b found, anyway—as an adjective meaning ‘magnificent; very impressive.’ Of what relevance is this to Post Mortem, the second album from Splendidula? Quite possibly none but having made the splendid-Splendidula link in my head, I got my hopes up.” Album autopsy.