Death-Doom Metal

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Death doom as the name suggests is an extreme metal sub-genre that incorporates elements of death metal into doom. It typically incorporates death growl vocals and aggressive down-tuned guitar parts into slower doom tempos though double kick drum patterns may be used. Its roots can be traced back to the eighties when thrash and early death metal bands started to incorporate doom into their sound. Dream Death are an early example which can be heard on their debut album Journey Into Mystery from 1987 along with bands such as My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Autopsy.

Death doom also had an influence on Gothic metal and played a large part in establishing the funeral doom sub-genre in the nineties.

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Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

MY DYING BRIDE Songs of Darkness, Words of Light Album Cover Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
MY DYING BRIDE
4.30 | 16 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours Album Cover The Dreadful Hours
MY DYING BRIDE
4.26 | 19 ratings
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NOVEMBERS DOOM The Pale Haunt Departure Album Cover The Pale Haunt Departure
NOVEMBERS DOOM
4.42 | 5 ratings
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NOVEMBERS DOOM The Knowing Album Cover The Knowing
NOVEMBERS DOOM
4.40 | 5 ratings
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DRACONIAN The Burning Halo Album Cover The Burning Halo
DRACONIAN
4.30 | 5 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE Turn Loose the Swans Album Cover Turn Loose the Swans
MY DYING BRIDE
4.09 | 24 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Gothic Album Cover Gothic
PARADISE LOST
4.09 | 23 ratings
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CELESTIAL SEASON Solar Lovers Album Cover Solar Lovers
CELESTIAL SEASON
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THE 11TH HOUR Lacrima Mortis Album Cover Lacrima Mortis
THE 11TH HOUR
4.20 | 5 ratings
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SWALLOW THE SUN New Moon Album Cover New Moon
SWALLOW THE SUN
4.07 | 12 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE As the Flower Withers Album Cover As the Flower Withers
MY DYING BRIDE
3.97 | 16 ratings
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KATATONIA Sounds of Decay Album Cover Sounds of Decay
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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death-doom metal Music Reviews

ANATHEMA Serenades

Album · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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aglasshouse
Serenades' story is an unfortunate one, mainly due to the album being unknowingly doomed from the start to be cast aside because of how much of a reputation Anathema would gain with preceding albums. I'm not the first one to say it, but it's fairly cut-and-dry that Anathema's debut does not match up in quality to nearly every other release the band had following it. This goes for not only Anathema's progressive rock material but also in terms of their doom metal albums, because they made leaps and bounds with their previously half-baked ideas with the Silent Enigma two years later. So really what makes Serenades generally thought of as bad?

Well aside from the aforementioned comparisons it gets to later material (that is usually judged to be much higher quality), Serenades is generally not very interesting. It's unnaturally melodic in unfitting places with overly loud guitars drowning out dull, growling vocals from Darren White, making for a seemingly confused doom metal album that shows a different genre within it but refuses to show it to it's full potential, in this case the progressive side of Anathema. I will admit on first listen it packs quite a punch- the double kick, crisp drumming from John Douglas really contrasts well with the very large-sounding guitar duo of the Cavanagh brothers. And then they do it again. And again. And so forth. It really is a neat concept that could use more exploring, but here it's just really maldeveloped. The melodies also get stale extremely quickly. 'Eternal Rise of the Sun''s opening hook isn't anything really special, but it is substantial. Then it gets repeated so much that it just gets annoying.

Honestly I think the biggest problem is Serenades doesn't want to be a gritty, Winter-esque album with very low production value and little eclecticism. Young Anathema wanted to be more than that, obviously, but how they show that is with an underwhelming release that can't decide whether it wants to be complex or simple. And don't even get me started on the twenty-three-and-a-half minute long pseudo-orchestral snooze-fest that is 'Dreaming: The Romance". Usually when you see a song of that length you'd assume something spectacular. Instead you get almost a half-an-hour of flat, programmed strings with very little variation, and sounding like an intro or interlude stretched out twenty minutes too long. Really it's a disappointing ending to an already disappointing album.

Serenades is an album remembered among really only fans, and not really for a good reason. It's an underdeveloped...well, I wouldn't really call it a "mess" but more along the lines of a misstep. It was corrected fairly well but it's a tangled debut with bigger aspirations than it can fit in it's tiny box.

MY DYING BRIDE Symphonaire infernus et spera empyrium

EP · 1992 · Death-Doom Metal
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FMOTP
This EP gets a 3 1/2-star rating from me. MY DYING BRIDE is one of my favorite bands. Their music is a very interesting combination of death metal trappings with violins, keyboards, and sophisticated song structures. That being said, the Symphonaire EP is a good example of the band's music. The lyrics, like on My Dying Bride's early output generally, are far-fetched. They're gothic and violent, but they seem like scattered images without a framework.

The title track is definitely the best of the three. I especially like the bells at the end. There is some variety here, although the song overstays its 11 minutes a bit. "God is Alone" and "De Sade Soliloquay" don't have that problem. They are pretty standard death metal tracks. I'm not a big fan of death/doom metal generally; the parameters are too limited. Symphonaire is an early EP by the band, which is evident when you listen to it. They haven't fully developed the distinctive sound that makes them so listenable. However, the title track does point to the variety of instrumentation and songwriting that makes the band's later records so interesting.

CREEPMIME Shadows

Album · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Shadows" is the debut full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act Creepmime. The album was released through Mascot Records in late 1993 (through Pavement Music in the US in January 1994). Creepmime was formed in 1991 and released the "Anthems For A Doomed Youth..." demo in 1992. They were a relatively shortlived act as they disbanded soon after the release of their second full-length studio album "Chiaroscuro" (1995)". A reunion was attempted in 1997, but the band split-up again in 1998.

The music on the album is technically well played death metal, that while rooted in old school sounding death metal, expands on that style. It´s especially in the rhythm department where Creepmime are slightly more varied than most old school death metal acts, but the band also add dissonance, and unconventional chord progressions to their sound which make their music sound quite different from the death metal norm, yet strangely familiar anyway.

The material are as such well composed, but it´s also in some cases slightly unremarkable, and the 8 tracks on the 47:57 minutes long album, seldom features riffs that stick, or other features to help the songs become memorable. The ideas are there though and occasionally the band are successful in producing a riff or a section that is catchy, and quite often also relatively adventurous and interesting. So "Shadows" is actually an album that´s a bit hard to rate, as it features some pretty mediocre moments but also some pretty exciting ones. After the album is over I always feel like I´ve just listened to something really interesting, but I can´t seem to remember what it is that makes me feel that way.

"Shadows" was produced by Pestilence frontman/guitarist Patrick Mameli, who was also involved in the mixing of the album. So I can point the finger at him, when I say that the sound production lacks power and that the production is a feature on "Shadows" which drags the album in a wrong direction when it comes to the overall quality of the release. So all in all "Shadows" is a death metal album that only occasionally makes my blood boil, but objectively seen it´s still a decent quality release featuring many adventurous and progressive ideas and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating isn´t all wrong.

WINTER Into Darkness

Album · 1990 · Death-Doom Metal
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aglasshouse
Winter embody every negative aspect of the season they name themselves after: the coldness, the darkness, and the immaculate freezing blanket that covers the ground day and night. Speaking as someone who lives in New York, where this band originates from, the winters here are nothing to scoff about. Though perhaps not as gruelingly whittling as Winter may make it out to be, it ain't fun, in simple terms. So why not make an album about it? I can only presume that Winter's 1990 debut Into Darkness is that album. Maybe.

Doom metal is a genre that fits well with a theme of winter because of it's ability to convey the aforementioned somber themes particularly well. However where the true magic comes from is the fusion of death metal in the mix to make it a truly hallowing release. The muddied, very lo-fi guitar of Stephen Flam (whom I heard of funnily enough with his work with the obscure industrial outfit Thorn in 1995) contrasts beautifully yet unsettlingly with the scanty, spacey keyboards by Tony Pinnisi. This comes mainly from the post-punk, college-like recording quality of Into Darkness, which walks just on the edge of being black metal levels of quality and professional, clean cut work. It really makes the album shift around at times, especially when it comes to either having the different instruments meld into a single, trudging unit or when it comes time for things like the vocals to stick out from the rest. The rollicking drums of Joe Gonclaves are perhaps the best part of the mix, having a modest yet not an overbearing amount of fills at any particular time, yet still having a massive weight to them any time they're prominent.

My personal favorite parts of this album come from the tracks like 'Goden', where bassist John Alman's death-like gut-bellows (which I like so much because they don't sound as silly as one might think) coincide fantastically with the droning guitar and bass and the previously mentioned rolling drumming. This especially works on one of my favorite tracks, 'Destiny', where the pace is kicked up a notch into grooving trot. This as well as interspersed returns to a slow, doomy atmosphere lend this song and the album as a whole to be wonderfully quick-witted and able to keep you on your feet and interested. On the flip-side though many of Into Darkness' slow parts are its weak points- sometimes the hard-to-tell-apart-the-instruments recording style of the album makes the slow parts almost mediocre in a way, at least when vocals aren't there to lend a hand. Some of these slow parts have a minimalist style that broadside harshly with the complex stuff that either precede or succeed them, making them sound pretty misplaced and often misused. In all though these negative areas are few-and-far-between and rarely deter the fun and enjoyable ones.

Winter, in my honest opinion, is a much better example of good death-doom than many of their contemporaries (yes, maybe even My Dying Bride). Definitely a stellar release deserving of much more attention.

ANATHEMA The Silent Enigma

Album · 1995 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
If, out of the bands which formed the so-called Peaceville Three, My Dying Bride have stayed the most loyal to doom and death-doom metal over the years, whilst Paradise Lost have wavered back and forth between doom and gothic realms, Anathema may well be the member of the trinity that has strayed furthest from its roots, with heavily Pink Floyd-influenced atmospheric rock dominating the group's discography and little sign of a return to metal happening any time soon.

That makes The Silent Enigma, their last full-on death-doom album and only the second in their extensive discography, a crucial turning point for the band. The subsequent Eternity would steer away from death-doom into a sort of goth-doom hybrid, and then from there on metal would fade away from their sound altogether. Here, though, their death-doom roots are very much in evidence- especially in Vincent Cavanagh's growled vocals and Daniel Cavanagh's crushing riffs - but they're mingled with just enough touches of atmospheric not-quite-prog to be a bit of a different prospect from standard early death-doom.

As such, it's a transitional album, and I personally find that Anathema are more interesting on the cusp of this transition than they ever were before or since.

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