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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death-doom metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours Album Cover The Dreadful Hours
MY DYING BRIDE
4.45 | 33 ratings
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SPECTRAL VOICE Eroded Corridors of Unbeing Album Cover Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
SPECTRAL VOICE
4.63 | 9 ratings
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THE RUINS OF BEVERAST Exuvia Album Cover Exuvia
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST
4.52 | 13 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Medusa Album Cover Medusa
PARADISE LOST
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NOVEMBERS DOOM The Knowing Album Cover The Knowing
NOVEMBERS DOOM
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MY DYING BRIDE Songs of Darkness, Words of Light Album Cover Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
MY DYING BRIDE
4.26 | 23 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE Turn Loose the Swans Album Cover Turn Loose the Swans
MY DYING BRIDE
4.20 | 37 ratings
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NOVEMBERS DOOM The Novella Reservoir Album Cover The Novella Reservoir
NOVEMBERS DOOM
4.33 | 6 ratings
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SEPTICFLESH Esoptron Album Cover Esoptron
SEPTICFLESH
4.25 | 8 ratings
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NOVEMBERS DOOM The Pale Haunt Departure Album Cover The Pale Haunt Departure
NOVEMBERS DOOM
4.25 | 8 ratings
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KATATONIA Brave Murder Day Album Cover Brave Murder Day
KATATONIA
4.08 | 39 ratings
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THE 11TH HOUR Lacrima Mortis Album Cover Lacrima Mortis
THE 11TH HOUR
4.20 | 6 ratings
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death-doom metal Music Reviews

DRIDGE Gritual

EP · 2013 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Gritual" is an EP release by US, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based death/doom metal act Dridge. The EP was released digitally and on cassette tape in June 2013. Dridge formed in 2011 and "Gritual" is their first release.

Stylistically the material on "Gritual" is a combination of death/doom metal and heavier and slower funeral doom metal parts. It´s safe to say that "Gritual" is a brick heavy release featuring a gloomy and depressive atmosphere. The vocals are intelligible semi-growling, aggressive and pretty mean sounding. The death/doom metal sections remind me slightly of the New York death/doom metal act Winter and their 1990 album "Into Darkness". There´s some of the same almost ritualistic simplicity to the riffs and rhythms, which should (or could) have been pretty tedious, but work well here. Dridge understand the importance of variation, and although "Gritual" is predominantly a doomy release, they do incorporate mid-paced and slightly faster sections. The darkly atmospheric ambient section which dominates the mid-section of the title track is also a nice touch.

Featuring 3 tracks and a total playing time of 24:12 minutes (the cassette tape version features the same 3 tracks on both sides), "Gritual" is at all times an engaging listen, and although you won´t hear much here you haven´t heard before, Dridge are a well playing trio unit, who deliver their heavy music with both passion and conviction. "Gritual" also features a raw, heavy, and detailed sound production, suiting the material perfectly and upon conclusion it´s a good quality first release from Dridge. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

MY DYING BRIDE The Voice of the Wretched

Live album · 2002 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
The first My Dying Bride live album takes in songs from a wide range of their albums - their debut, As the Flower Withers, isn't represented but most others are - and finds the band sounding live much as they do in the studio. On the one hand, you may feel that makes the live album redundant, on the other hand that is at least a testimony of how well they were able to capture their live energy in the studio.

The sound quality feels a bit fuzzy at points, but at least when it comes to this sort of death-doom metal that sort of murkiness is actually aesthetically appropriate to some extent. Good, but not essential.

DISEMBOWELMENT Transcendence Into the Peripheral

Album · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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SilentScream213
A very difficult album for me to rate, as Death Doom is perhaps my absolute favorite genre, and Disembowelment’s first and only album is considered by the some the greatest Death Doom album of all time. It was certainly the first album to have hints of Funeral Doom and would end up becoming influential in that scene, and has a ton of straight Death Metal compared to most Death Doom.

The cooler parts of this album are definitely the way it uses clean, reverbed guitar notes to create melodic atmosphere, but this is only done occasionally. The variety in drumming is also very nice, with everything from Funeral Doom plodding to full Death Metal blastbeats. So, wherein lies the problem for me?

Death Doom was still very primitive in the early 90’s, and Transcendence into the Peripheral is no different. It is extremely basic both in style and execution. The riffs, if you can call them that, are very monotone and minimalistic. That’s not uncommon for Doom, but the way minimalistic riffing works is by creating and relying on strong atmosphere to carry the song. Disembowelment completely falls flat in this regard.

Outside of a few moments with cool backing vocals and reverby clean instruments, there is really no mood created at all, and therein the atmosphere is empty and boring. The songs have no emotion, even the lyrics are spiritual and abstract ramblings that carry no weight. They talk about death and darkness sometimes, but it’s in a Death Metal ad lib sense, none of the beautiful, moving poetry that is so prevalent in the Doom genre. The vocals are another totally monotone aspect of the release, really providing nothing but some extra bass as they’re totally indecipherable without a lyric sheet, with very little variety or expression.

Disembowelment is oppressive, if anything. The music is heavy as hell, challenging, and I will say, unique for it’s time. In addition, it was influential. But to call this the greatest Death Doom album to me is incredibly sad, because the genre grew and expanded so much throughout the years. Where this album is lethargic and devoid of emotion, Death Doom later churned out much of the most passionate and moving music I have ever heard. Where this has little melody or atmosphere, later bands made those qualities a staple in extreme Doom music and use them to great success. Disembowelment represents the genre before it found it’s identity, and evidently, before it became something I love.

MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours

Album · 2001 · Death-Doom Metal
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lukretion
Following on the footsteps of their previous album, in 2001 My Dying Bride completed their full return to form after a couple of full-lengths that had disappointed more than a few fans. The Dreadful Hours is a fantastic album, containing some of the best songs ever written by the British doomsters. Alas, it also contains a handful of songs that I struggle not to see as “fillers”. Despite its somewhat uneven tracklist, The Dreadful Hours sits tall in the band’s discography as one of their best records to date.

Let’s start with the positives. The Dreadful Hours is the culmination of My Dying Bride’s slow metamorphosis from death/doom frontrunners to purveyors of a hybrid style halfway between gothic metal and doom. This process of transition had started on their 1995 album The Angel and the Dark River and saw the band increasingly streamlining their songs and injecting more and more accessible melodies into the music. Songs like the title-track, “The Raven and the Rose”, “Le Figlie della Tempesta” and “My Hope, the Destroyer” are splendid examples of the musical vision of the Yorkshire band. Deeply melodic, yet incredibly dark and morose (also for the subject matters, such a child abuse on the title-track), these songs perfectly combine the slow-tempos and tortuous guitar riffs of doom with the melodic allure of gothic and dark metal.

What is even more astonishing is how different from one another these songs sound. The title-track starts with an almost post-rock clean guitar riff, before descending in doom/death territory with Aaron Stainthorpe’s cavernous growls and Hamish Glencross and Andrew Craighan’s lead-like guitars. “The Raven and the Rose” is balanced between furious (and fast!) guitar riffs and a beautifully orchestrated melodic section, with thick swathes of organ and synths and a monstrous performance by drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels, who here truly gives a meaning to the words “drum fills”. “Le Figlie della Tempesta” is more atmospheric, almost dark metal, as it dances away on a delicate guitar arpeggio and Aaron’s beautiful clean vocals. Meanwhile, “My Hope, the Destroyer” is a gothic beast that again speeds up the tempo relative to the usual sludgy pace of death/doom. All this variation makes The Dreadful Hours one of the most diverse and exciting album the band had written up to that point of their career. It makes for a truly engaging listen, which never bores and surprises again and again with new twists that are ever so tasteful and appropriate.

Alas, the second half of the album does not match the quality of the opening trio of tracks or “My Hope, the Destroyer”. “Black Heart Romance”, “A Cruel Taste of Winter” and “The Deepest of All Hearts” inhabit more traditional doom territories. There are some surprises and interesting sections (the beautiful clean guitar flourishes on “Black Heart Romance”), but the general feel is one of sluggishness and lack of inspiration. The album closer “Return to the Beautiful” deserves a word apart. This is a re-work of “The Return of the Beautiful” from the band’s debut album, As the Flower Withers, when My Dying Bride were firmly playing death/doom metal. Inevitably, this last song stands in stark contrast with the mellower and more sophisticated gothic/doom of the rest of the record. As an album closer this totally backfires as it concludes the record incongruously, with a completely different sound and atmosphere than the rest of the album.

Despite containing hits and misses, The Dreadful Hours is one of my favourite albums from My Dying Bride. Its moments of brilliance far exceed the duller episodes and the diverse nature of his tracks paint a beautiful and exciting picture of the band’s sound evolution at the dawn of the new millennium.

MY DYING BRIDE The Light at the End of the World

Album · 1999 · Death-Doom Metal
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lukretion
After two disappointing albums (the mediocre Like Ghosts of the Sun and the failed experiment to modernize their sound which is 34.788%...Complete), My Dying Bride were quick to jump on the horse again and try to show their fans that they were still a relevant voice in the metal landscape at the turn of the millennium. Seen in this light, The Light at the End of the World is certainly a resounding success. Ditching the experimentalism of their previous record, My Dying Bride embraced again their sorrowful doomy identity (including their original logo!) and showed the fans they could still write memorable death/doom/gothic tunes like no other. At the same time, the album only contains a couple of tracks that can truly be numbered among the band’s best, while the rest of the songs are little more than respectable extras.

In terms of songwriting, on this album My Dying Bride return to their tried and true formula of combining snail-paced tempos, long-winding and tortuous guitar riffs, dramatic keyboards (played by Bal Sagoth’s Jonny Maudling who replaced as a guest the band’s former keyboard player Martin Powell), lots of drum fills (played by Shaun Taylor-Steels, who replaced Rick Miah), and Aaron Stainthorpe’s trademark lamented crooning vocals. Aaron also throws-in growled vocals on a couple of songs, as well a half-spoken recitation on the album’s splendid title track. Structurally, the songs are complex and go through several different sections throughout their duration, with plenty of tempo changes and accelerations/decelerations. As with all My Dying Bride’s albums, this is not music for the faint of heart and it requires some time investment to be properly appreciated.

Yet, many songs on The Light at the End of the World showcase instantly memorable melodies carried by either the vocals or the guitars, which greatly facilitate their assimilation compared to the band’s previous output. This trimming-down and streamlining of the sound is a process that the band had already inaugurated on their 1995 album The Angel and the Dark River, and marks the transition from their early death/doom style to the gothic/doom sound they will embrace at later stages in their career. On The Light at the End of the World My Dying Bride are still in transition, though the desire to write more accessible songs is evident on tracks like the chorus-driven “The Isis Script”, for example.

The album flows away pleasantly, with some peaks and some declines. Among the strongest songs there is certainly the title-track, a 10+ minute beast that is as dark and desperate as the night itself. A beautiful tale of lost love, the song ebbs and flows between Aaron’s sombre recitation and a beautifully decadent vocal melody that keep returning again and again throughout the duration of the song. I also like a lot the three “shorter” and more compact pieces that follow the title-track, “The Fever Sea”, “Into the Lake of Ghosts” and “The Isis Script”, which all contain some great, attention-grabbing melodic intuitions. While not as perfect as some of the tracks on the band’s subsequent album (The Dreadful Hours), these tracks showcase all the potential of the gothic/doom sound My Dying Bride were developing at the time. On the other hand, the record sags a bit when it hits the longer compositions, like “Edenbeast” and “Christliar”, which overstay their welcome with tortuous, unyielding melodies that verge on the boring.

Despite a few missteps and a mastodontic length of 71 minutes that discourages repeated listens, The Light at the End of the World is a fine album and a worthwhile descent into misery. It represents a clear return to form for the British band, which was needed after two albums that disappointed more than a few fans. That things were on the upswing for the Bride will become even clearer after a couple of years, when the band will release The Dreadful Hours, which stands still today as one of the best records in their whole discography.

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PARADISE LOST Live Death

Movie · 2004 · Death-Doom Metal
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martindavey87
Considering this was actually released on VHS in 1990, Paradise Lost must surely overestimate the passion and loyalty of their fan club. Filmed in Bradford in 1989 to coincide with the band’s debut album, this is a 30-minute video of the band playing on stage. They barely move around, you barely see glimpses of the crowd, and in fact, you barely see vocalist Nick Holmes’ face due to his shaggy hair constantly covering it.

I’m not really a fan of their earlier, death metal growly material anyway, but even if I was, this video isn’t enjoyable or interesting to watch at all. Re-released in 2004 on DVD, this isn’t worth the 50p I spent on it if not for the fact that I do, in fact, actually like this band, and have a compulsive obsession to own everything a band puts out.

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