Doom Metal

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Doom metal is an extreme form of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much 'thicker' or 'heavier' sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England (Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General) and the United States (Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Trouble) defined doom metal as a distinct genre.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doom_metal

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres and shared with Stoner Metal and Drone Metal):
  • Nightfly (leader)
  • MorniumGoatahl

doom metal top albums

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SAINT VITUS Die Healing Album Cover Die Healing
SAINT VITUS
4.69 | 11 ratings
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CANDLEMASS Nightfall Album Cover Nightfall
CANDLEMASS
4.42 | 44 ratings
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TRIPTYKON Melana Chasmata Album Cover Melana Chasmata
TRIPTYKON
4.52 | 14 ratings
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CELTIC FROST Monotheist Album Cover Monotheist
CELTIC FROST
4.35 | 38 ratings
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PENTAGRAM Review Your Choices Album Cover Review Your Choices
PENTAGRAM
4.56 | 8 ratings
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THE RUINS OF BEVERAST Exuvia Album Cover Exuvia
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST
4.56 | 8 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours Album Cover The Dreadful Hours
MY DYING BRIDE
4.37 | 25 ratings
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WARNING Watching From a Distance Album Cover Watching From a Distance
WARNING
4.50 | 10 ratings
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REVEREND BIZARRE In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend Album Cover In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend
REVEREND BIZARRE
4.46 | 11 ratings
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TROUBLE Run to the Light Album Cover Run to the Light
TROUBLE
4.48 | 9 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Medusa Album Cover Medusa
PARADISE LOST
4.36 | 18 ratings
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SKEPTICISM Stormcrowfleet Album Cover Stormcrowfleet
SKEPTICISM
4.43 | 11 ratings
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doom metal Music Reviews

BLOODMOON Voidbound

Album · 2013 · Doom Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Coming from the central California coastal city of San Luis Obispo, BLOODMOON is a band that’s been around since 2010 and has joined the ranks of those metal bands that take a pinch of this and a touch of that and creates an interesting hybrid of metal styles all served up in an album’s run of music. This power trio consists of Patrick Mulholland (bass), Jason Goldie (drums, vocals) and Peter Tomis (vocals, guitar) and has been compared to Isis for its long drawn out sludgy post-metal hypnotic runs but actually takes a cue from the doom metal and black metal worlds to create its debut release VOIDBOUND which came out in 2013.

With a playing time of nearly 39 minutes, VOIDBOUND hosts only three tracks with the opening title track just shy of 18 minutes. This is one of those bands that likes a lot of foreplay before the grand climaxing money scene and that’s exactly what BLOODMOON delivers on this haunting spectral slice of blackened doom metal that cranks out sludge metal monstrous riffing laced with atmospheric eeriness graced with clean and growly vocals that parade down the runway at a non-quickened pace but yet still has the extra energetic touches to keep this from being slow and slimy like a snail’s trail. To be clear the sung vocals are growly and the wordless ones are clean and ethereal.

With tracks this long things have to be spiced up to keep the boredom from setting in so BLOODMOON has mastered the art of engaging in lengthy developments and then punctuating the regularly scheduled program with clean guitar passages as well as emphatic angularities in the form of proggy time signature outbursts. As the title track unfolds the drumming prowess begins to create monstrous percussive bombast and the track becomes ever more unstable despite the melodic riff sticking to a fairly predictable procession. While the references to bands like Isis and Pelican are well founded, BLOODMOON is a bit more diverse in how often it changes things up and has no qualms taking the doom metal into highly excitable metal quickenings that deviate from the pattern and jump into completely different sounding motifs.

“Black World” is the second longest track at just over 13 minutes and perhaps the most haunting as the background vocals are absolutely spooky when they emerge from behind the clean segments as well as the sludgy doom metal distorted din. Most of all i’m impressed on how many different styles can be eked out of a single predictable doom metal riff for so long without getting boring. Did i mention how cool the vocals are? Howling and haunting they add a new dimension to the metal march that allows the basic triumvirate of guitar, bass and drum to improvise a bit while the focus is upon them. “The Singing Flame” is downright short by just missing the 8 minute mark but instead packs of punch of intensity with guitar feedback, more amplified guitar distortion and increased tempos. The vocals are set back and have to shout from beneath the din. This one also becomes more loose and melodic as it wind the album down. Very effective.

So what exactly is this? Doom metal? Sludge? Prog? Definitely not black although there is some of that too? Don’t know but eclectic doom would cover it i guess. One thing is for sure and that is the fact that BLOODMOON maintains an even keel pace throughout VOIDBOUND but yet manages to throw enough curve balls to make this a fascinating debut release which also allows the musicians to display their chops unlike many other variations of doom metal. This was a surprise that i loved this so much. These guys really know how to make the most out of a little and have the creative chops to pull it off. The atmospheric vocal contributions serve as a fourth instrument that a keyboard normally would tackle but the way BLOODMOON does it makes it utterly irresistible. This is a highly recommended slice of progressive doom metal with all kinds of cool extras.

SMOULDER Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring

Album · 2019 · Traditional Doom Metal
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Warthur
There's a thick field of traditional doom metal bands singing about retro-fantasy subjects with women on lead vocals these days, but I guess fair's fair: back in the early days of metal hard rock was a bit of a boy's club, and if redressing the balance sounds this good sign me up.

Packed with lyrical references to classic fantasy - from Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard, and C.L. Moore to Dragonlance - the album has something of a variable mixing job (the vocals can get lost a little, which is a shame), but nonetheless takes the listener on a journey into the barbaric border region between traditional doom metal and classic heavy metal. (I detect a certain amount of classic-period Manilla Road influence which is especially welcome.)

WITCHFINDER GENERAL Death Penalty

Album · 1982 · Traditional Doom Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Before metal was even a decade old the heavier sibling of rock was already shifting gears away from the dark dreary doom metal of Black Sabbath and amping up the sounds of the more operatic and melodic constructs of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple into what would be called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Despite the trend which found bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Saxon and Def Leppard bringing metal to ever larger audiences, a few bands refused to join the new game in town and looked back to metal’s earliest origins that took the more occult route laced with the slower doom metal riffs.

WITCHFINDER GENERAL was among only a handful of bands which included Sorcery, Pentagram and Death SS which continued the occult themes along with the slower doom metal riffs that would basically launch the subgenre of metal into its own in the 80s alongside the NWOBHM. This band got its start in Stourbridge, England alongside other NWOBHM but stood apart with its horror themes which matched its moniker which came from the 1968 British film of the same name. The band was founded in 1979 by Zeeb Parkes and Phil Cope and although considered a part of the NWOBHM, owed more to early Black Sabbath for its heavy doom riffing and Ozzy Osbourne styled vocal phrasings however the band did implement some of the faster riffing practices of the early 80s.

DEATH PENALTY was the band’s debut and immediately caught attention for the racy cover art which featured a topless model in a yard of a church which sparked outrage and criticism. Along with Parkes (vocals) and Cope (guitar, bass), the band was only a trio with Graham Ditchfield sitting in as drummer. DEATH PENALTY was in effect one of the earliest album’s that took on the full-fledged Sabbath worship since although Pentagram had formed as early as 1973 didn’t release a full-length album until 1985 making WITCHFINDER GENERAL one of the most influential of the second wave of doom metal as the guitar riffs evoked Iommi inspired Sabbathry with nods to classic tracks like “Paranoid” and others.

Perhaps what makes DEATH PENALTY stand apart from other early traditional doom metal albums is that it did mix in a bit of Judas Priest styled riffing as heard in “No Stayer” which sounded like a veritable hybrid of early Priest mixed with Sabbath. There are also much more traditional hard rock blues and overall the album feels like it was created around the 1975 timeline rather than the year 1982 when it was released. DEATH PENALTY is a strong album of doomy NWOBHM inspired retro songs that finds the perfect balance between raw occult fueled sounds and the more operatic rampaging speed metal that was coming of age. While not as evil sounding as early Venom or Celtic Frost, WITCHFINDER GENERAL revived a style of doom metal that some would call witch metal that would be influential for bands like St Vitus of the same decade as well as later bands like Blood Ceremony. All in all a really compelling early slice of doom metal with some NWOBHM influences on board.

NOVEMBERS DOOM The Knowing

Album · 2000 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
Novembers Doom's debut album established them as working very much in the death-doom mode that the early work of the Peaceville Three (My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and Anathema), but with The Knowing they truly produce an album which can stand in the top tier of the subgenre.

In particular, it's steeped in this melancholic, romantic take on the death-doom sound which reminds me of some of the strongest moments of early My Dying Bride - the sort of death-doom metal that's not afraid to show the influence of the more serious sort of gothic metal here and there. It's rather grand.

ВОЙ Кругами вечности

EP · 1991 · Funeral Doom Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The Soviet Union was an impenetrable fortress of sort that covered a staggering portion of the entire landmass of planet Earth and remained a bastion of state controlled everything where Western influences were repelled like mosquitoes in a DEET factory. Despite the strict censors and gatekeepers suppressing the thoughts and actions of the populace, tenacious souls managed to smuggle in music and other forbidden paraphernalia that would thrive in the underground. In the world of heavy metal, despite bands like Iron Maiden being outside the reach of hungry metalheads wanting to join the world party, bands like Aria picked up the slack by creating homegrown versions.

When the USSR collapsed in 1991 under the pressures and onslaughts of western interference, suddenly an entire universe of music flooded into a deprived culture and literally changed the entire scene in a blink of an eye. Extreme metal was one of these forbidden fruits to rampage into the hearts and minds of the youth and suddenly new paradigms were sprouting all throughout the lands from the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia all the way to the western port city of Vladivostok, however the larger cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) were the quickest to adopt the new world ways.

One of the earliest bands to jump on the bandwagon was вой (Voj) which means “howl” in Russian. This band sprouted up around 1991 when Russia became a new nation and eschewed the 80s heavy metal scene and instead adopted a darker, gloomier sound most like influenced by Swiss band Samuel who played in Moscow shortly before the political collapse of the USSR. Having had these darker sounds gestate, this trio introduced a newly independent nation long deprived of the metal underground to a completely new unthinkable monstrous vision of what music could sound like. The band only ever released one demo called кругами вечности (Circles of Eternity) which contained five tracks and just ran past the 33 minute mark.

Interesting enough, вой could possible be the first example of funeral doom metal with its snail-paced viscous riffs that prognosticated the gloomy Chinese water torture stroll of sound that future bands like Esoteric would develop into a bona fide subgenre of the metal universe. In the timeline of 1991, three bands actually emerged independently to forge this new sound. One was the Moscow based вой, the other the Swiss band Mordor and the other was the Finnish band Thergothon. Due to the fact that all the releases from these bands were demos, it’s hard to tell which came first but it’s almost certain that in these days before the internet that one can conclude that each can to the same outcome independently in what is called convergent evolution.

While innovative for the time, вой crafted a rather primitive crude example of funeral doom metal that doesn’t hold up well by modern day standards. Granted this was a mere demo eventually released as an EP and an interesting example of a popular style of music in its birth pangs but the five tracks are fairly monotonous plodding glacial examples of doom metal slowed down to the speed of fingernails growing that implement long distorted guitar chords sustained to eternity along with bass, drums and growly demonic vocals in the Russian language. This surely must have been quite shocking at the time and in the place but sounds rather tame two centuries into the 21st century. Credit given where it’s due though. These guys were innovators and although it’s doubtful the bigwigs of funeral doom ever heard this EP at the time, it’s interesting how these things develop. While not essential, this is an interesting early slice of funeral doom metal that will interest music buffs who like historical contexts.

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