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

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MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours Album Cover The Dreadful Hours
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4.43 | 11 ratings
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Christ Is Resin
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doom metal Music Reviews

CANDLEMASS Ancient Dreams

Album · 1988 · Traditional Doom Metal
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SilentScream213
Candlemass deliver the same kind of quality, riff-driven epic Trad Doom as always. Again with Messiah’s intense vocal prowess, the album retains the sound from Nightfall. Ancient Dreams tends to be seen as a drop in quality, but I instead see it as a trade off of sorts. There is no doubt that Ancient Dreams fails to deliver the same highs as Nightfall; however, it also does away with any sort of filler material, which dragged Nightfall down a bit. What remains is an extremely consistent album where every song is of equal quality – an odd exception being the title track, who’s riffs are just odd, and Messiah’s vocals don’t really play off them well.

All in all, another high quality Trad Doom album that should be given the same respect as the rest of Candlemass’ first four albums.

ANATHEMA Serenades

Album · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Serenades" is the debut full-length studio album by UK, Liverpool based doom/death metal act Anathema. The album was released through Peaceville Records in February 1993. Anathema formed in 1990 under the Pagan Angel monicker, but soon changed their name to the current one. The band released the "An Iliad of Woes" demo in 1990 and the "All Faith Is Lost" demo in 1991. In 1992 Anathema released the "They Die/Crestfallen" single and "The Crestfallen" EP. The time was ripe for releasing melancholic doom/death and artists like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Cathedral, Enchantment, and Katatonia had simultaniously layed the groundwork for an album like "Serenades" to succeed. And "Serenades" did end up a successful release for Anathema, helped along by the airing of the promotional video of "Sweet Tears" on MTV´s Headbangers Ball.

"Serenades" predominantly features freshly written material, but the band have opted to re-record and re-title "They Die" from "The Crestfallen (1992)" EP. It´s titled "They (Will Always) Die" on "Serenades". Considering the amount of minor releases from the band´s early days Anathema had plenty of (or at least some) writing and recording experience before entering the studio to record their debut album, and that´s audible. The band are well playing and although not all material on the album are equally intereresting, there are some high quality songwriting ideas here and there. "Serenades" opens on a particularly strong note with the trio of tracks, "Lovelorn Rhapsody", "Sweet Tears", and "J'ai fait une promesse". Three very different sounding tracks. The former is a slow doom/death track with heavy riffs and a dark atmosphere. It´s quite epic and atmospheric and towards the end of the track Anathema play a little faster and enter death metal territory. "Sweet Tears" is a heavy, mid-paced (...well slow mid-paced), and groove laden 70s influenced doom metal track (the main slide guitar riff is killer), featuring a catchy and melancholic lead guitar melody and loads of heaviness, and "J'ai fait une promesse" is a beautiful atmospheric track with female lead vocals (and gorgeuos harmonies) by Ruth Wilson. Darren White has a raw throaty semi-growling delivery, which isn´t always pretty to listen to, but mostly suits the music well anyway. He also occasionally speaks and sings some clean type vocals.

The goth (The Sisters of Mercy and The Mission come to mind) influenced "Sleepless" should be mentioned as a highlight too while the short "Scars of the Old Stream" and "Where Shadows Dance" and the 23:22 minutes long instrumental closing track "Dreaming: The Romance" aren´t particularly interesting. The latter even crosses into tedious territory pretty quickly. "Serenades" features a heavy and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, but overall the album is a bit of a mixed bag. Some tracks are high quality doom/death compositions while others have a tendency to outstay their welcome or plod along with very few climaxes to speak of. Compared to some of their contemporaries (mentioned above), Anathema weren´t fully up to par on this release, but it´s still a quality release in the genre and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

CANDLEMASS Nightfall

Album · 1987 · Traditional Doom Metal
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SilentScream213
Candlemass enter one of their most celebrated lineups here with the addition of Messiah and record the great Nightfall. By 1987, Candlemass was pretty much indisputably the best Doom band around, especially solidifying the fact after dropping a follow up album just as amazing as their debut (both of which remain their finest works in most people’s opinion).

They continue the same style as their debut, adding an epic and even uplifting sound to the slow and simple Doom genre, rife with religious symbolism as well as occult fantasy. Messiah and leif grab all the attention here, as Leif wrote most if not all of the music, including many of Trad Doom’s most memorable riffs, and Messiah puts on a vocal performance that would sound at home in an opera show. The act works well for the epic Doom rockers, and many of the songs tell small tales that effectively play off this aesthetic.

Unfortunately, while the debut was strictly 6 great songs, this album has a bit of filler found in mostly pointless interludes between songs. At the Gallows’ End and Samarithan are two of the greatest songs the band ever wrote, but the filler puts this album just below the debut in my opinion.

CANDLEMASS Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Album · 1986 · Traditional Doom Metal
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SilentScream213
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. The name carries immense weight, even before hearing what lies therein. Often given the title of the greatest Doom Metal album of all time, bandleader Leif Edling carries the band with immense riff-writing prowess, and Johan Längqvist wields a powerful, epic operatic bellow. Here, he sets the now solidified trope of epic vocals in Trad Doom. His voice was very unique at the time, being capable hitting highs and lows and everything in between, but always remaining melodic and full of vibrato. The riffs here are reminiscent of early Sabbath, but heavier, groovier, and better.

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus has no shortage of quality riffs and vocals, and in fact, there is absolutely no filler to be found. Something Candlemass hadn’t expanded on for Doom, however, was the mood and atmosphere. The songs here remain rather generic worshippings of demons, god, and death in general, and apart from some nice acoustic sections, there is no variation in style or sound. Candlemass are no doubt gods at what they do, which is play straightforward Trad Doom. Unfortunately, to call this the greatest Doom Metal album of all time when the genre has expanded into something so much more than straightforward slow metal is rather unfounded.

TROUBLE The Skull

Album · 1985 · Traditional Doom Metal
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SilentScream213
Not incredibly impressed by Trouble’s debut album, their sophomore effort The Skull completely blew me away. I will say that this is the first Doom Metal album that makes the transition from Trad Doom to the more modern, melancholic Doom that I personally favor.

Musically, the lead guitar focuses on simple albeit effective melodies that add an extra layer of mood to the basic riffs that litter Trad Doom. The song structures are much more progressive – not that the music is incredibly complex, but there is a lot of variation, changes in speed, and many, many riffs in each of the rather long tracks. The solos have a fantastic balance of going for purposeful melodies that work perfectly with the rhythm work, or outright breaking into distorted, droning chaotic buzz. The drumming is another thing I love; I’d say this is also the first case of what I’d call “intelligent Doom Metal drumming.” Instead of simply playing slow, plodding beats, the drummer adds some progressive beats, and adds a great amount of double bass drumming in as well. Occasionally, all the musicians break out into speedy sections and just have at it, which I love in Doom. One song even has synthesized strings – a staple to modern Doom!

The lyrics and mood are the biggest separators from Trad Doom. No, I’m not talking about the Christian lyrics, I mean the references to depression, suicide, loss and death. The rich symbolism and more poetic style of songwriting is something that would be heavily expanded upon by Death Doomers of the 90’s, but it started right here. The music is also much more set to reflect the mood here, and there’s a clear difference to previously Satanic or drug and party influenced Doom of before.

Another aspect I haven’t seen in Trad Doom displayed here is passion. There is true passion in the lyrics and vocal delivery, even if those vocals are pretty rough. It’s clear the vocalist is not only 100% struggling with loss of hope and other issues, but also completely has faith in his God to help him, and to help others, and he’s truly thankful for it. This is music written for purpose; not just to sound good, but to deliver an important message. I myself am not a religious person of any kind, but I can still appreciate the passion and meaning to the music here, and the groundbreaking achievement that it was for my favorite music genre, Doom Metal.

doom metal movie reviews

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.

Artists with Doom Metal release(s)

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