Monday, November 30, 2009

Palace In Thuderland - Apostles Of Silence

To dare, to will, to dominate, to demolish.

This isn't doom, but it's too good for you to miss out.

Little is known about this Stoner \ psychedelic band from the US. The band distinguishes itself from other like-minded bands of the time by incorporating a rapid fire progression of riffs and fuzzed out metal songs backed by long winded psych rock jams all fitting together to form a complex yet beautiful and trippy jigsaw puzzle in the end. The band wanders carefully down the 70's rock road with heavy psych elements tugged deeply into their hands. With influences ranging from Sabbath to Monster Magnet to Floyd, Rush, Zeppelin, Hawkwind and as well as Faith No More the tunes of the band seem to move from a groovy stoner rock song to a slow mo psyched out space psych jam.

It was a long bumpy ride for the band, but the era of Palace has come to a close after seven long years. The singer from this band would eventually move on into Black Pyramid which released their debut album earlier this year, thus garnering some of the much deserved reputation for the band.

Get Pschyed

And before November's Doom....

... lay the brickwork for a real good death doom band. Laceration. Paul Kuhr III, Steve Nicholson and Jim Dobleski who are now know better known in cult circles for their work in November's Doom formed first under the name of Laceraion. They made 3 releases under this name. 2 demos (Scabs and The Way of All Flesh) and a sole EP (Ripping Avulsion). Unsurprisingly they released this with Gutted Records, known in cult circles for releasing other stuff such as Symphony Of Grief etc.

Everything you hear and see about the band, the name, the release titles and the band pic till now makes you believe that they played doom death the brutal way, but in fact they played some of the most beautiful, well crafted and emotional filled death doom metal I've ever heard, with slow prodding riffs, deep growled vocals, a think guitar tone, at times mixed with the acoustic guitars. Unlike a lot of other Death Doom bands, Laceration focus more on creating a very depressive atmosphere, and they do this very well.

Laceration - Scabs (Demo)

Laceration - Ripping Avulsion EP

First Daze Here

Genre: Heavy Psych/Hard Rock/Proto-Doom
Artist: Pentagram
Album: First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection
Released: 2006 (Recorded 1972-1973)

Review: Pentagram is a relatively well-known band around metal-circles, doom metal in particular, as their seminal albums "Relentless", "Day of Reckoning", and "Be Forewarned" both spearheaded and solidified the characteristic Sabbath-derived sound that would come to be known as "Traditional Doom Metal". Some of you might even know of the often half-hinted internal debacles that led to the dissolution of that classic era of the band, but comparatively few metalheads care to dig further back into the dazy, hazy history of Pentagram, back to an era before the great Victor Griffin and Joe Hasselvander, an Era before before Black Sabbath was from the far shores of Birmingham seen standing triumphant atop a heap of eye-agape masses, holding the gleaming banner of Metal for all to recognize...

At that time, when as far as many of us Yanks were concerned, the epitome of heaviness was ensconced in the sound of a band by the name of Blue Cheer, a couple of kids from Virginia who were really into Sir Lord Baltimore, UFO, and Uriah Heep decided to quit their former bands and form something that reflected their interest in the aural assault these bands were plying. These kids were Bobby Liebling, and Geof O'Keefe.
After some deliberation, they settled on the ominous name "Pentagram", reflecting their dark lyrical content.

During their early stages, they faced just as many tumultuous lineup changes as they would later be set with, and over one 5 year period, they had as many as 7 different managers, while facing internal schisms, disappointment, addiction, and imprisonment.
Tough times, but they pulled themselves through a lot of it, playing some of the greatest heavy music these shores had yet been shorn with, before the Forgotten era called it quits.

If you care to read up further on the early years of the band, go here.
I suggest it.

Anyway, "First Daze Here" is a compilation chronicling the early rise of Pentagram, featuring the scant demos, singles, and live recordings the earliest epochs of the band managed to push through despite the chaos that seemed to always chase their name. It features Liebling at his peak, O'Keefe pounding skins admirably, the basswork of Greg Mayne, and the work of masquerading-bassist turned unmasked guitar-god Vincent McAllister (RIP), all lending the original sparks of true talent that served as a catalyst in the compostion of Pentagram classics like "Review Your Choices", "Living in a Ram's Head", "20 Buck Spin", as well as the especially jaw-dropping "Be Forewarned".


God damnit, I hope I get the chance to talk with Liebling at MDF.

- FeatherofHuginn, Nov. 29th, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Burning Witch - Bootleg (Seattle, Washington 04-06-1996)

The only thing I know about this bootleg is that it is rare as fuck and I love to dig rarer stuffs, I am yet to listen to this. But cmon guys, Its Burning fuckin Witch, Can It ever fail?? I doubt it!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Demoniacal Possession - Into the Infernal Kingdom

This Is This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome. This Is Awesome.

Can i be more convincing than that?


Lugubrious Hymn

Atmospheric doom/death with both grunts and epic vocals. The music is, though depressive, very majestic and has a sound very similar to Nightrealm. A reccomended band for those who like Fallen, My Dying Bride and of course Nightrealm. (

Serene Pain

The Revelation Of Depressed

Both are highly recommended... and do check them both if you don't like the first there's a chance you'll enjoy the other.

Haarp - 2009 EP

How rarely it happens, that you stumble across a picture of the band that describes it's music rather than being just a picture. Haarp, a band similar to NOLA in some ways released, the 2009 E.P., with the same lineup, has a harsher guitar sound and adds the bass guitar fuzz more typical of the genre, as well as nearly doubles the track times as compared to their demo. The shortest track being over seven minutes, and the album feels more like a a mental asylum, a man, the epitome the insanity locked in a cage, superbly angry and unable to control it, trying to scream his lungs out at the desperation and sheer unimaginable hate for the world and the lives of the people which it supports, rather than a collection of songs.
The tracks have a lot of variations, sometimes sounding like a fuzzed out stoner record, to a mellow and moody section to the lost tracks of some Bay Area Thrash band. The compositional skills have increased manifold on this release, as compared to the one 2 years back. This band will go somewhere in it's life, and they seem to have found the way.

Mons Sermo Incendia, is simply superb.

Haarp - Demo

Haarp blends the tortoise-tempo molasses chugging onslaught of traditional sludge metal with bard-like tale telling, mature harmonic composition, and low, guttural vocals that would impress even today's dethcore generation. Though somewhat new to the scene the band already boasts supporting slots on a tour with Down and The Melvins. While most sludge metal bands utilize introspective lyrics focused on addiction, suicide, and self-loathing, Haarp are epic storytellers, weaving elaborate tales of gods and monsters. The southern pentatonic bends and blue notes that typified the genre ten years ago have been replaced with straight-rhythm, dissonant riffs that have more in common with Superjoint's Use Once and Destroy than Eyehategod's Southern Discomfort. It's still very slow music, but one can see that many metal genres gave birth to Haarp. The recording quality is another matter of differentiation. Don't get me wrong; you can still feel the sticky floor of a New Orleans barroom when you listen to it (like most sludge records), but unlike many of their contemporaries, Haarp invested in overall mixes that are clear and crisp, with veteran New Orleans engineer Bruce Barielle mastering the stuff.

The 2007 E.P/ Demo begins with guitar feedback and an unedited drum count-in like many sludge records, but opts for the cleaner bass guitar sound found in more traditional metal genres, rather than the fuzz-saturated bass sound of many stoner and sludge recordings. The first track, "Soothsayer" begins slow as expected but builds to a nice, up-tempo groove reminiscent of stoner bands like C.O.C. and St. Vitus. The riffs in "Blackhand" bring to mind a slow motion murder scene from a horror movie. "Fog Cutter" is an interesting track, with two guitar solos that could not be more different from one another in style, building into a section that is moody, mature, and melodic. The main tempo of the song generates that wonderful urge to slowly nod the head like a pump jack on an oil pad, and just when you think they're going to speed it up they run the slow riff for another 40 seconds. "Synthetic Sense" feels like it could be a newly-discovered track left over from a Crowbar or Acid Bath session, so much so that I kept instinctively expecting Dax Riggs to make a vocal appearance. The dynamic tempo changes of "Dissemination" register very much like a non-sludge record, reminding me more of Gojira or Mastodon, and the track definitely supports Haarp's diversity of influence." ~ (


Shroud Eater - Demo 2009

This is a 3 piece band that has released it's first release, a demo this year. With a female handling the vocal duties, this band plays sludge, the down-tuned way mixing the grooves of stoner metal, to the in your face style attitude and vocals of punk rock and elements of early 90's alternative rock.
They sound really original, and unconventional with this 3 track demo lasting a little less than 14 minutes with all tracks lasting near, and around the 4:30 minute range.
They sure have the talent, but not much can be said just by listening to 3 tracks by a band. This not groundbreaking or extra ordinary but it bring a breath of freash air, and is enjoyable. Rumor has it, they plan to release their debut next year, and I definitely suggest you look forward to it.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Horrors of the Black Museum - Gold From The Sea

Slow, loud doom metal with clean vocals and a very powerful bass. The band is hard to label, but funeral doom, stoner metal, industrial and perhaps even drone play major parts. The music varies from very calm Reverend Bizarre or Pantheist like music, to an approach closer to Abdullah. (


Dragged Into Sunlight - Hatred For Mankind (2009)

Incredibly sinister, malice-filled, hatred-drenched, Blackened Death/Doom from this relatively new Liverpool 5-piece; "Hatred for Mankind" is a monolithic slab of misanthropy from a band destined to make waves in the underground in the months and years to come.

Seriously, this is mandatory stuff.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arkham Witch - Demo 2009

This is the first demo by Simon Strange of The Lamp of Thoth, from his solo band called Arkham Witch. In the first track he introduces 3 different members, one on drums, the oter on guitar and the last doing the vocals, but make no mistake, it's just a joke, they are all the same person. There are some things common with his current band but this is a much more Traditional Heavy Metal concept. There is still some Doom but this band is more along the lines of early 80's British Metal and 70's Hard rock all combined with a theme from Lovecraft stories.

Out of all the tracks on here, there is really only one that isn't as good as the others. "Hyades" that has a change in guitar sound that kind of sounds like something you would find at a toy shop. Its a plodding slow track which doesn't seem to serve any function apart from trying to sound heavy which its not for the most part. The rest of the demo though is brilliant, the opener gets the fun started with a tale based on "Dreams in the Witch House" story. "Let England Prevail" is up next and is a metal thumper, its a mid-paced classic sounding metal tune that has a infectious groove about it. Third Track is "Suicide 75" which has a similar sound to proto-metal bands of the mid 70's like Sir Lord Baltimore to name just one. Extremely catchy and while its the heaviest track on here, it is still the best to my ears. "Legions Of The Deep" is the other standout track here, this is a classic metal track in the vein of Priest, Maiden and Manilla Road. Every time you play this track you will hear a different old band in the sound. This is a great demo apart from the last song which is a misstep, it doesn't help when the song seems to go on forever but i am sure some people out there will love it. Yet, I feel this is better than anything Lamp Of Thoth has ever done.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Gorilla Monsoon - Extermination Hammer

This is a stoner/doom band that infuses sludge and southern elements in their brand of music manufactured in Germany. Their music is the heavy down tuned goodness backed by influences ranging from traditional doom metal to a genre that tilts more towards late 90's rock.

Think of this as a blend of Black Sabbath, Crowbar, Corrosion Of Conformity and Dozer. Now, this hardcore fans of doom may not like this a lot because it seems at times that the band tries to commercialize doom metal for creating a blend of genres in a way that will appease to the masses, ruining the essence of doom metal by giving the audience what they want rather than putting out what they want and gathering fans, but yes it's quality and catchy tunes and vocals cannot be questioned.

"Her name was Jeniffer, she was a 50$ whore, who wanted more." ~ Yeah this isn't actually very poetic, but still makes for an entertaining listen.


Fatum Elisum - Fatum Elisum

Hailing from Rouen (France), Fatum Elisum was formed in march 2007 with the following members, Céline (keyboards), Hugo (lead guitar, also member of Last Offender), Christophe (guitar), Sator (drums) and Asgeirr (bass guitar); and with the intention of playing doom death metal. After several weeks of writing music and rehearsals, the band decided to go on without any keyboards, in order to play a more gloomy music.

In July 2007, Ende (ex member of Warkult and Area 51) joined the band as singer. Quickly, the quintet composed three songs. On November the 3rd 2007, Fatum Elisum did his first gig in Emporium Galorium, in Rouen, opening for Indesinence and Ataraxie. After that, the band continued to rehearse and played once again at Emporium Galorium with two local bands, Absynth and Yuck, on March the 1st 2008. On May the 31st 2008, Fatum Elisum played at Le Klub in Paris with Esoteric, Rising Dust and Lava.

In June and July 2008 Fatum Elisum recorded his first album with Julien Bous of Post Ghost Recordings, the latter one mixed and mastered this album in September. In October 2008, the band separated from his former drummer Sator. Christophe, Asgeirr's brother, joined the band in November 2008. In April 2009, the band played at the first edition of the Rotomagus Doomicus Metallicus Fest, sharing the stage with Mournful Congregation, Ataraxie and Longing For Dawn. The same month a deal was signed with English label Aesthetic Death (Esoteric, Eibon, Murkrat, Stumm …) for a release in September 2009.

Fatum Elisum plays doom death metal in the old way, without keyboards or female vocals. The band is inspired by My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Cathedral, Saint Vitus, Mourning Beloveth, Evoken, Ataraxie, Indesinence, Deinonychus, Bethlehem, Shining, Silencer, Hellhammer and Celtic Frost; and by these following literary references: Antonin Artaud, Cioran, William Blake, the Coran, the Bible, Bardo Thodol, Charles Beaudelaire, Lautréamont, François Villon, Joachim Du Bellay, Nietzche and Schopenhauer.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Revelation - For The Sake Of No One

The sixth and latest release by the band.

The creativity of this band is amazing. These are the same guys that belong to the band Against Nature, another doom band that is known for its prolific catalogue, due to the fact that releasing 2 - albums a year isn't that much of a surprise when it's coming from them. And to top it all off, the band never seems to get monotonous and they do not do the same thing again and again. Whatever you get by the band, there is something new as no 2 records sound same.

So it's not a surprise that this year's release by Revelation is a lot different from last year's gem of an album, "Release.". This album, named For The Sake Of No One is a very laid back doom metal record,with long instrumental sections, that has some stoner influences taken from the likes of Blood Farmers. The progressive elements remain but minimal in quantity. It's neither the band's best, nor is it one of the top records of this year. What it is, is a good and entertaining release by an excellent band, that is capable of doing better. Looking forward to more from them.

For The Sake Of No One

Heathendom - Heathendom

This is the demo that eventually lead the band to a record deal, through which they released their debut LP last year.

Their brand and style of music hasn't changed much, with their music still being a combination of King Diamond-esque heavy metal and Solitude Aeturnus \ Candlemass style epic doom metal. This demo seems particularly influenced by the likes of Lief Edling with keyboards, acoustic guitars, chants and long interludes being the call of the day.The vocals are strong and the axe-work particularly good, especially on the last track.

Production wise, this album is great, almost as good as a studio recording. This however misses to leave as much of an impact on the listener as much as Neiscience did. If you're new to this band I'd recommend their debut LP. Only die hard fans of new school doom and this band ought to give it a try.

Give it a shot

Heathendom - Nescience

A level of skepticism is in order when dealing with power metal hybrids given the mixed track record of late, but when it comes to this album it would be best to just throw caution to the wind and let its epic doom and symphonic additives work their magic on you. Whether it’s something in the water, or just the will of Mt. Olympus, Greece has put forward some astonishingly good doom projects in the past couple years, and Heathendom has instantaneously become a personal favorite of mine.

The contents on here definitely point towards a slight tilt in favor of epic doom metal, achieving dark and haunting atmospheres very much in line with the Solitude Aeturnus model. The power metal elements mostly come in the form of epic riff construction in the mold of Manilla Road and Virgin Steele, though some occasional commonalities between their elder Greek forefathers Sarissa also pop up. The average tempo of the album is just a little too fast for an all out doom band, but definitely falls short of the common speed metal emulation common to the mainline power metal bands of Western Europe. The most intriguing part of the band is the vocal delivery, which establishes this oddly fitting blend of a Messiah Marcolin’s solemn and depressing baritone with King Diamond’s ghostly falsetto harmonies.

But in spite of all the interesting individual attributes brought together here, the sum proves to be much more than the parts, as everything from start to finish superimposes innovative songwriting with a perfect blend of atmosphere and riff work.
The theatrical atmosphere resonates throughout the album, from the King Diamond-esque into and subtle use of keyboards to the epic Candlemass-like process of building up tension within the song.

Indeed, Heathendom seems to exploit the use of metaphors and allegory quite a bit to convey their ideas, the imagery being especially powerful throughout. The pseudo-horror King Diamond influence and the sense of the ancient past from Candlemass in the lyrics are a perfect fit for the music, and the dramatic and emotive vocal performance ties in well with the songwriting overall, assembling a very cohesive recording here in the form of Nescience.

Recommended. Awesome album

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Exitus (Fin) - Statutum Est Hominibus Mori

Early Finnish Doom band that only released one demo before disbanding (after their drummer moved away). Very strong, slow to mid-pace Doom-metal with clear Thrash-metal influences. The vocals sound slightly screamed and harsher than what is sometimes perhaps associated with Doom-metal. There also are some very up-tempo Thrash-metal sections in the music. The band has allegedly inspired more then a few other epic doom bands. After disbanding, one member started the psychedelic space-rock band Dark Sun (with one other Exitus member joining him later on).


Earth Flight - Earth Flight

Earth Flight is a rock band from Nuremberg Germany established in 2005. The music was mainly influenced by heavy, doomed and psychedelic sounds of the early 70s before taking in account an even wider range of influences to form an indiviudal acoustic brand. Down to the present day Earth Flight released a selftitled MCD in 2005 and an Album in 2007. Up to now the release of the second long player is scheduled to spring 2010. The band played more than 60 shows in eight countries in the last years.


Blood Farmers - Blood Farmers

"Riffing doom influenced by B-Movie horror and 70s hardrock. Blood Farmers combines elements of St. Vitus, Sabbath, and Metallica for a unique sound. The vocals are rather harsh, and the tunes are pounding."


Zebulon Pike - II: The Deafening Twilight

Atypical tempo and time signature changes propel climbing, angular harmonies to collide with bludgeoning, stoned-out Sabbathian riffing to create mindscapes that push you to ascend the spiral of the great Pyramid to the grand, firmamental cosmos, channel the fiery passion within your blood to unlock the celestial mysteries of the Black Stallion, and journey to behold the fabled Wizard's Fountain before you are swept away with the ashes of Xerxes by the breath of Titan, and become one with the Deafening Twilight.


Cold Mourning - Lower Than Low

I haven't seen this little gem posted anywhere else on the internet, so this should be a treat to a good lot of you.
Cold Mourning formed in 1989 in Monterey, California. Over the span of their career they released two demos and multiple splits before finally recording this, their sole full-length album in 2000.
They haven't been heard from since.

Anyway, their music is bleak and desolate, a style of traditional doom metal that lends obvious nods to Forest of Equilibrium/Soul Sacrifice-era Cathedral, with sprinkles of impressive guitarwork courtesy of Angelo Tringali who currently plays in The Lord Weird Slough Feg.

Also, there's a Discharge cover.


Wake Up On Fire/In Memory of Kevin Hannigan

Wake Up On Fire was a truly excellent band from Baltimore, Maryland. A ton of other people have done better jobs than I ever could of summarizing their extremely eclectic and unique multi-drummer, multi-vocalist, cello-centric, combination of atmospheric sludge and crust, so I'm not going to even bother to try. Just go here, read up on their radness, dl their album and demo, etc.

No, no, I promise, this post isn't just a plug for Hasan's great blog (though you should totally subscribe to it regardless), as I do have something somewhat special for you guys.

Last week, after learning of the untimely death of one-time Wake Up On Fire/Oak drummer Kevin Hannigan (R.I.P., my best wishes are with his friends and family), a friend of mine shared with me a live recording of the band playing a show at the Baltimore DIY Punk club "The Brewhenge" in 2004. It contains two songs that were never officially recorded, as well as live versions of three tracks fans of the band should be familiar with.

I've not seen this anywhere else, I hope some of you enjoy it.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Skaven - Flowers of Flesh and Blood/Severed

"Skaven are a race of ratlike humanoids in the famous fantasy RPG/miniatures wargame Warhammer."
What an awesome name to have for a band.

The eponymous ep was recorded in 1996 and delivers two tracks of dark emotional crust and my friends is Skaven at their very best. It was released by Misanthopic Records with Noah of Neurosis as producer.The lyrical content reproduces the horror of haunting cover artwork:"Walk with me through the valley of broken dreams, and hopes are crushed by madness and pain,You inflict as you turn the key to unlock a world of shit and greed". No any occult stuff here. Each tracks is about seven minutes long and delivers a blending of Axegrinder, Deviated Instinct, early Neurosis and the likes . The record is a kind of concept since both tracks are connected with the same bassdriven acoustic melody ("Severed" outro is "Flowers..." intro), each side of vinyl is named "Cocoon" and "Moth" side.

Is this heavy you ask ? I think it's time I told you a story. Skaven has two bassists. Moral ? The band is heavy as hell.

Also there is this line on the band's MA page - "Skaven broke up in 1997. There are plans to release a discography CD." And what does the band say a month back on their MySpace ?- "I really appreciate all the influence and credit for that we have been given by people. I LOVE THE PUNKS! I WILL HAVE A DISCOGRAPHY FOR YOU IN THE NEXT YEAR! It's just money and I have to split my time between the DemonSteed release and all my normal life shit. Hell back when Skaven road havoc our lives were much simpler. THANKS AGAIN, UP THE PUNKS, UP THE IRONS, AND NEVER LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YA DOWN!
Cheers, Zebediah".

Download this now

Skaven / Stormcrow - Skaven / Stormcrow

Skaven's latest and last release, containing the one unreleased track. It's not the band most aggressive or their best, but certainly is the bands heaviest with the downtuned doom metal guitars playing a major role. Stormcrow are members of the new school, having formed in 2003. But don't let that fool you; some of their members have done time in Destroy! Since Stormcrow are literally the only legit crust band to emerge from Oakland since Skaven's demise, it's plainly obvious that no other band could be more appropriate to take up the second half of this record. Likewise, they have but one song on their side, but they make sure it's a good one. "Final Plague" is probably their best outing yet.

Hearing both of these bands back-to-back really showed me just how much crust has changed in the time that's elapsed between them. Skaven appears to be of the train of thought where crust bands intend to strip down most of the excesses of '80s metal and keep what makes it good. And it still sounds like a punk band playing their version of metal, at least to me. Stormcrow often crosses those lines in a musical sense, and since a lot of newer bands have caught on to this "even less is more" approach and practice it to some degree themselves, where does that leave Stormcrow and more recent bands of their ilk? Or, what does that make them? That's more of an observation than an actual criticism because, metal or not, Stormcrow brings the brutality. An excellent record that tells a good story in the grooves, which will undoubtedly go down as a necessary piece of the Oakland punk puzzle.

Oh Fuck

Dystopia / Skaven - Blessed are The Worms.....For They Shall Inherit This Barren Dirt!

Oh, where should I start? I am lost in complete amazement. Dystopia is a band we have heard of but how Skaven slipped under the radar I have no idea.

This split between these crust masters is simply amazing, and when you have a band, which is named Dystopia being out performed you know tat you have something very very special and very very rare in your hands.

The Dystopia side is chaos riddled, aggressive, filled with hate as usual (boy did their childhood suck).

The Skaven side with the obnoxious, in your face crust attitude, riff cannons, judgmental vocals, amazing build ups into brutal assaults and amazing atmosphere with tinges of death metal makes for an astonishingly brutal slice of crusty metallic doom.

This unfeasibly heavy split EP brings together two of the more misanthropically destructive bands in recent memory. If heavy means anything what so ever to you, then do not miss this under any circumstances.

Feel the fucking hatred

Orodruin - Epicurean Mass

Orodruin’s first full length album, Epicurean Mass, blends together the finest of the almighty Cathedral and Saint Vitus coupled with their own sparky chic to create a superb and solid album which is both sluggish and smooth, as much as it is eerie and heavy. Here you’ll find the guitars tweaked down to stumps that sound like a volcano churning out lava or some chainsaw fiend put on overdrive, thrusting and prodding itself against your speakers to suffocate you with its doom goodness. It’s tuned down low, to put it simply. The vocals are crispy, no bullshit, with a lot of harmonies. Brilliant riffs are found in every song along with your reliable psychedelic parts scattered about to make a fun listening experience. Combine this with its dismal lyrics, and Orodruin’s songs present this deep crater devoid of any light or spirit. So it’s some gloomy shit, but it works, so be it! The best part about listening to Epicurean Mass is hearing Orodruin flirt with tempos creating roller coaster ride of tunes. Take “Burning the Witch” for example, which is fairly upbeat and bubbly in the beginning, then decelerates sharply only a minute into it. Once the vocals kick in, it starts getting painfully slow. The song is divided by some feedback and then picks up again for a solo only to bring us right back to the beginning riff.

Reviving old school

Orodruin - Claw Tower ...And Other Tales of Terror

This is a compilation of all the Orodruin demos along with a new track.

The album opens with, “Claw Tower” which is the only new song written by the doomed ones. As soon as the play button is pushed, Nick Tydelski and John Gallo let their bar chords ring. This first riff chugs along at a pace and tone that hearkens back to the golden days of metal. The rhythm is mid paced, but with slamming drums and a mini blues solo, this song has a movement made for driving the expressway.

The next song, “Creation Through Death (reprise)” is a remake from the first demo. This track moves like a George Romero zombie. Heartfelt lyrics and slow funeral dirges capture the emotions one may feel during a time of bereavement. A sluggish solo breaks in at the end.

The next track, “Unspeakable Truth” is a live version. It would take a careful listen to determine that this is not a studio track because the production values are very solid. The bass really stands out in several places on this song. Near the four minute mark, the tone softens and Puleo’s voice rises and falls with the harmony of his bass. The bass line combined with the shorter beat of the drum builds tension. This tension is aggressively released once the guitars pounce back into the mix.

Track four is a cover of Quartz’s “Stand up and Fight.” This one has a Seventies hard rock feel it. It is heavy, but in a Di Anno Maiden or 1970’s era Priest sort of way. “Stand up and Fight” ends the first chapter of the album.

The next chapter of Claw Tower is titled “The Beginning,” and showcases the band’s early days. This chapter starts with two tracks from their 2002 Demo. The guitars sound is very dirty on “Epicurean Mass.” Sometimes poor production hinders a demo’s sound, but not in this case. For this style of metal, the dirtier the guitar sound, the better. The same can be said about “Pierced by Cruel Winds.” The bass is amazingly heavy here, and the vocals are very depressing. Also, there is a creepy organ fuzzily played through a processor near the middle of the track. An acoustic guitar accentuates the morbid feeling of the organ, and is played until the end of the song, like drifting into a never ending sleep.

The second part of Chapter 2 highlights the 1999 Demo. “Sons of Nature” is introduced with a soothing acoustic guitar passage. Heavy riffs break up the lethargy to prove that nature can be both beautiful and destructive. The original version of “Creation of Death” is next. This track appears twice on this album, but rightfully so. The two versions contain the same riffs and lyrics, but the production, the vocal styles, and tempo all differ.

Orodruin stands out as one of the best bands in the Doom Metal genre which plays a breed of doom I love, slow and emotive.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Mezmerist - The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty

One man Heavy/Doom metal project along the lines of Coven (US), Cirith Ungol, or Paul Chain, with Hawkwind influences. The vocals are somewhat similar to those of Hyksos or Mercyful Fate.

Released one 12" EP in 1985 that has only been listed on Ebay one time as of early 2007. Since then it has been listed 3 more times.

The only release by the band. What amazes me me is the amazing atmosphere he manages to create, somewhat similar to what early Paul Chain managed to create. Sheer madness I tell you.

Death Magic Damnation Hell

Bloody Panda - Bloody Panda

A sludge band that doesn't intend to spread hate with its aggression or crush the listener with it's riffs but instead intends to create an atmosphere that reeks of insanity, desolation and melancholy may not interest the hardcore sludge listener.

Bloody Panda don't seem to be a band that chooses to walk on different paths of their musical career but gather whatever they can along their straight path, for the music on this EP, their first release and the latest LP, Summon doesn't seem to have changed much excepting a few tweaks here and there.

Slow music with the use of female vocals that are rather operatic and darkwave influenced seem to be the order for the day with a tinge of spoken vocals here and tad of screamed vocals there,

This type of music, for me at least deserves to be listened only once or maybe more depending on your mood. Nothing much to be said about the song writing except the fact that the music goes through on year, leaves the other leaving no impression on what lies between them.


Bloody Panda - Summon

Nothing much has changed for the band since the first release. The vocals shine amongst the backdrop of music which leaves near no impact on the listener. The band , has gotten a bit more experimental with use of droney key boards and the inclusion of post rock moments.

Often quite slow, as we’d probably expect, the American band portrays the emotive side of the songs through a combined effort between the vocals and guitars, surging forward with some mighty riffs along the way, though nothing truly memorable, The drums aren’t that affective. They seem to only be present to layer and thicken the bass sound. Varying speeds distract the listeners attention from the positives and Bloody Panda do not seem to be able to interject small doses of experimentation like bands such as Disembowelment without too much fuss. From slow to double bass fast beats, it's hard to keep up with what Bloody Panda are attempting to achieve with this odd style of music. It's melancholic atmosphere is present throughout and is one of the better aspects of this release.


Bloody Panda - Pheromone

On hearing this one would feel that this is more doom than sludge, but give it some concentration and you'll find the sludge variations buried deep into the fuzzed out distortion. In terms of being a hybrid band, Bloody Panda are interesting, certainly, though not the best. Alongside bands like Salome, Bloody Panda have opted to include the female vocals to make matters slightly more interesting against a backdrop of simplistic instrumentation, though the atmospheres are complex in mood structures.

The vocals are pretty much the highlight of this band, Yoshiko Ohara being the temptress. Her vocals soar above the rather dull portrayal of desolation and despair and are the spark in this rather level headed release.

Hit It

Sea Of Thousand - The Church Of Total Collapse

Everything is bigger in Texas they say. The talent sure is. This sludge \ doom band that is now inactive released this and one demo before calling it quits.

After a laughable first track with ridiculous vocals, the band tightens the screw throughout the entire alum. Mainly inspired by old school sludge, the band attempts to recreate the same filthy sludge and manages to. Their fusion of old school with new school interested me, with some moments like on the track, "Marching On Its Stomach" containing elements that are a definite thowback to modern post rock found in Cult Of Luna's brand of music.Tons of variations, some times too many are the way for this band. One thing however is confirmed by this band's penchant of experimentation is that the listener never gets bored. The vocals are varied from growls to screams to spoken words and so are the song structured with tracks teethering from 90 seconds long to almost the six minute mark.

This band had tons of talent, but were too young to control and channel it in the right path, something they probably would have achieved if they had decided to stay togethor because amidst all that experimentation they would sooner or later find 'their thing'.


Laudanum - The Apotheker

Sick of all the sludge that sounds the same ? This however is some innovative stuff. The songs on this release throw in tons of variation, whether it be a cleverly arpeggiated verse or guitar line, peculiar samples gently woven into the songsgiving them an eerie appeal , intense solos that last long enough to be appreciated, or the overall morbid and very surreal sound they provide the listener with. This album is more of an experience to listen to. There's even suggestions of stoner rock, hardcore, and experimental noise influences in the mix. A very hypnotic and engrossing release that rapidly changes from chunk, raw, and slow, to powerful, aggressive, and in your face at the drop of a hat and without missing a mark. All of that, packed into really great production.


Laudanum - Coronation

The latest release from Oakland-based Laudanum is a fragmented collection of ambient doom-ish noise that only adequately reveals the band’s self-proclaimed “blackened instrument damage” when it’s listened to as a whole. Some moments, such as much of lengthy album closer “Apotheosis,” bring to mind the kinds of dissonant and industrial noises. Framing the disc as the score to an apocalyptic film is a good way to approach it, as expecting conventional structures (even by heavy music standards) will only lead to disappointment. There are a few moments on the album that move closer to more familiar metal shores, such as with the sporadic appearance of the harsh black/doom-style vocals. Even when expecting a less conventional approach to things, however, the album doesn’t always deliver the necessary goods to keep it interesting. It’s not that it’s boring, it's just not my thing maybe, — the whole is just more important than the individual parts. Most sludge band attempt to crush their listeners with their heavy riffs and violent drumming, while this band with its ambient sections attempts to take the listener to the point of despair and leave them there, trembling.

With this all in mind, The Coronation demands a full listen (probably multiple listens) in order to appreciate its larger project and to overlook its less fantastic moments.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Desolate Void - Self Medicated Psycho Therapy

Thrashy a la crusty doom / sludge.

If the fuzzed out guitar tone and general Southern metal on PCP approach is the heart of Desolate Void, the soul is Andy Howard’s vocals which can only be termed as demented as he ranges from unintelligible shrieks, spoken words, deep bellows and everything in between. He makes Phil Anselmo sound like Richard Burton as he covers topics like drugs, society, drugs and overall discontent and hate with everything and everyone.

The album is basically an organized assault on the ears of the listener that bleeds a tinge of randomness all the time. Calculated yet miscalculated drum attacks, certain yer unceratin layer of riffs hit the listener like shards on a battlefield.

When it's all said and done, you find yourself hooked onto this band, ready to press play again.


Desolate Void - No Sign of Better Times

The last time I heard from Crimes Against Humanity Records was actually the last Desolatevoid album, Self Medicated Psycho Therapy and little has changed on the Desolatevoid camp; bassist Nick Carroll still runs Crimes Against Humanity Records, vocalist Aaron Howard still sounds batshit insane and the band still plys a form of gritty, crusty, in your face, Southern sludgy metal that comes across like a more direct, punk fueled, methed out Soilent Green.

Other Southern metal bands come to mind like Eyehategod, Outlaw Order, Goatwhore and such, but with a more chaotic, power chord driven and urgent pace rather than pure Southern drenched drawl though some typically ‘Southern’ metal grooves surface amid the caustic, rollicking noise and the whole affair is over in about 30 minutes.

If the fuzzed out guitar tone and general Southern metal on PCP approach is the heart of Desolate Void, the soul is Andy Howard’s vocals which can only be termed as demented as he ranges from unintelligible shrieks, spoken words, deep bellows and everything in between. He makes Phil Anselmo sound like Richard Burton as he covers topics like drugs, society, drugs and overall discontent and hate with everything and everyone. Tracks like opener “Isolation Embrace”, “Cuts Bruises and an Empty Wallet”, “Wreckage of Yesterday” and “Fucked Up an Furious” deliver raucous, unhinged moments of buzzing yet catchy mayhem that border on grindcore at times.

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