Enter at your own peril, for DOOM awaits.
First and foremost, I would like to clarify that I am in no ways a Doom expert. I just happen to enjoy slow and heavy riffs and think that I can write things about it. Having said that; my goal for “Doomthousandsixteen: Independent World” is to showcase independent doom acts from outside of America and to try to shine a light on some outstanding albums that have gotten minimal coverage. Join me as we delve into some of my favorites of 2016 so far and see what lies ahead on this road.
Band: Son of a Witch
Album: Thrones in the Sky (February 9, 2016)
Origin: Natal, Brazil
Yes, you may start your “witch, goat, demon, black, of doom” jokes, but I’m here to show you one hell of a kick ass album. Right off the bat, Thrones of the Sky starts with “Welcome to your doom” a sample of classic Sega game Altered Beast that sets the mood in a mere 3 seconds. Your doom is here, and what follows is an avalanche of fuzzed-out guitars riffs, crunchy bass lines and booming drums. This album hovers on the line of doom and psychedelic metal. Between riffs, the band falls into trances of reverb, delay and wah effects that will take you on a sonic journey, yet grounded by some very tight drumming. And did I mention how catchy the riffs are? “New Monster” starts with one of the catchiest on the album and doesn’t stop there; you will forget you’re listening to a song that exceeds the ten minute mark and be lost in a daze of head-nodding. Pair all of these attributes with a singer named “King Lizzard” that weaves in and out of the band’s moods and you have the workings of a doom classic.
The shining moment for me is the final track “Jupiter Cosmonaut” but for the uninitiated, I present “New Monster”.
Album: Lemanis (February 6, 2016)
Origin: Wrocław, Poland
Spaceslug was brought back to my attention by Toileteer Eliza when she noted “I love this one a lot. I know it’s a bit early to say this, but it might end up as one of the best of the year.” High praise this early in the year, but well deserved. Lemanis is a very relaxed doom album; nothing intense, but intensely relaxed. This album feels like you’re sitting in on a jam session, not listening to recorded music. Spaceslug, a three-piece, know how to create an atmosphere, and that atmosphere is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The vocals, performed by all three members, meld perfectly into the music, but at the same time cut through like a whisper in a room full of conversation. And the music takes you beyond head-nodding and into the body moving state. It’s simple, almost tribal, rhythms bring you in and out of consciousness with each movement. This is an album to get lost in, not an album to listen to one song at a time.
Here is the final track “Lemanis”
Album: Beyond the Astral Mind (January 30, 2016)
Origin: Maaseik, Belgium
For all of you void-seekers, this is the album for you. It absolutely crushes. These riffs will pummel you until nothing remains. The first lines on the album, “Close your eyes. Open your mind” are not a guidelines, but orders. And you will comply. Without fail. Riff after cascading riff will take you away from this world and into an astral plane of thought that will surround you in a blanket of darkness and nearly suffocate you. And you won’t be able to do anything about it. Embrace it, let it take its hold on you, move with the aura of enlightenment, be damned. You will find yourself entranced in the bleakness of eternal night as this album plays. I highly recommend headphones for this listen, you will be transported to the ethereal depths of the ocean and transcend beyond the heights of the clouds. Or you might get bored, but thus is doom.
Check out “Eternal Smoke Cloaks the Night” for a gaze into darkness.
Band: Acid Coma
Album: Prayers To Mirrors (January 28, 2016)
Origin: Vladivostok, Russia
And now for the sludgy, crusty side of doom, I present Acid Coma of Russia. A female-fronted group of pure filth whose first full-length will decompose your face into a pool of thick, moldy goo. Tracks like “Children of Whores” and “Glad to be Bad” help convey the disparity of this album but at the same time shift between both sludge and d-beat in a merciless fashion. Meanwhile, the rest of the album stays in the deep realms of slow trudging doom and squeezes life out of anything in its path. The instrumental tone of the album sounds like an OSDM homage and really shines on the faster segments presented, but does not take away at all from the slowed-down pieces. All in all, this is an album of gross proportions that will leave you in a pool of mud, yearning for cleansing.
Here is, what I believe to be, the most diverse track on the album, “Children of Whores”. The final scream will send tingles down your spine.
Album: Bring Out Your Dead (January 20, 2016)
Origin: Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Fifteen seconds into the first song on this Brazilian doom record and the bass punches you in the gut, relenting only long enough to grasp you tightly and not release you for the next 35 minutes. You have been warned. Bring Out Your Dead is a heavy slab of Sabbathian doom that rests on a grim groove of apocalyptic proportions. The vocals, reminiscent of Born Again era Ian Gillan, sit high upon the low, churning riffs while Pesta show you a world of lyrical doom archetypes within “The 4th Horseman” and “Possession”. Leave your world behind as you journey through this murky album, alone and without light, only the riffs guiding you through the darkness. As a side note I would like to imagine that the butler in “The Butler Did It” is indeed bass-master Geezer Butler and acts as a tribute to him and his importance on doom metal. Nonetheless, this is a solid doom album that should last for years to come.
“Words of a Madman” will get your head bobbing in no time.
This concludes the first installment of hopefully a monthly series. Please let me know what you liked and didn’t like about this post; constructive criticism is always welcome. Also, please keep me informed of any new releases that you would like to see covered, but remember, Independent Doom outside of America only. HAIL!