Autumn is here and Halloween is quickly approaching, so my thoughts are beginning their seasonal migration into the darker side of metal. Detroit, Michigan-based death/doom act Temple of Void is back with their sophomore album, Lords of Death. Although this album released in the middle of summer, it slipped through the cracks and I hadn’t thought about it until a friend mentioned it recently.
No lie — this album might have been my highest anticipated album for 2017. Avatarium’s prior album, The Girl With the Raven Mask caught me by surprise, and I fell completely in love with this band. For anyone not familiar with Avatarium, I’ve often described them as Jefferson Starship passed through a Candlemass filter and fronted by Dreamboat Annie-era Ann Wilson.
Given there’s a new throwback stoner doom band seemingly releasing an album every day, it seems what was once old is new again. Instead of treading down that old familiar path, the English quartet Lucifer’s Chalice embarked on a different path. Their trek takes them through the glory days of Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, and other metal stalwarts from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. Throw in some Candlemass-style extended track lengths, and you’ve got their debut album, The Pact.
I’ve made no secret about my love for female-fronted metal bands. My affinity for doom metal/occult rock has been established as well. So when you combine the two, it definitely grabs my interest. I reviewed Psychedelic Witchcraft’s first album, The Vision over on The Sons of Metal Podcast. The band is back not even a year later with a new release, Magick Rites and Spells, which features some songs cut from The Vision, the entirety of their debut EP, Black Magic Man, and two cover songs. Are these equally choice cuts, or merely leftover scraps destined for a doggie bag?
Concept albums can be tricky beasts, and single-song concept albums even more so. The symphonic doom metal duo comprising Cyclocosmia seek to invoke images of live-buried vestal virgins with their new EP, Immured.
As we approach the solstice, the days are getting shorter, and my free time appears to be following suit. Here are some brief thoughts on some newer releases.
As spring rolls in, vacations and family obligations are getting me behind on reviews, so here are several short ones to tide everyone over until life settles down.
Generally speaking, when I throw on some funeral doom metal, I’m looking for a slow, bleak dirge steeped in crushing atmosphere. Japan’s Funeral Moth eschew that formula and deliver nearly forty minutes of Zen on their second album, Transience.
As I’ve said in the past, stoner doom can be a tricky beast. UK outfit Camel of Doom is a beast of a different sort, however. Bucking the trends of their counterparts, Terrestrial is an unsettling ungulate of trippy spaced-out doom metal.
Drone/doom can be a tricky beast to try and review. The nature of the music is a repetitive crushing beat typically with minimal vocals. The key to being effective in this subgenre is either creating a specific atmosphere or sucking the listener into the band’s headspace. Herscher is a French trio trying to accomplish that very thing.