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:
  • Nightfly (leader)
  • aglasshouse

doom metal top albums

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ESOTERIC The Pernicious Enigma Album Cover The Pernicious Enigma
ESOTERIC
4.72 | 9 ratings
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PENTAGRAM Last Rites Album Cover Last Rites
PENTAGRAM
4.49 | 13 ratings
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SAINT VITUS Die Healing Album Cover Die Healing
SAINT VITUS
4.60 | 7 ratings
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CELTIC FROST Monotheist Album Cover Monotheist
CELTIC FROST
4.38 | 36 ratings
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PENTAGRAM Be Forewarned Album Cover Be Forewarned
PENTAGRAM
4.45 | 12 ratings
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CANDLEMASS Nightfall Album Cover Nightfall
CANDLEMASS
4.36 | 35 ratings
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CANDLEMASS Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Album Cover Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
CANDLEMASS
4.35 | 46 ratings
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CANDLEMASS Candlemass Album Cover Candlemass
CANDLEMASS
4.34 | 32 ratings
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ARGUS Boldly Stride The Doomed Album Cover Boldly Stride The Doomed
ARGUS
4.41 | 12 ratings
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ESOTERIC The Maniacal Vale Album Cover The Maniacal Vale
ESOTERIC
4.42 | 11 ratings
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TROUBLE Run to the Light Album Cover Run to the Light
TROUBLE
4.48 | 7 ratings
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ELECTRIC WIZARD Come My Fanatics... Album Cover Come My Fanatics...
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4.39 | 12 ratings
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doom metal Music Reviews

THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM The Doomsday Kingdom

Album · 2017 · Doom Metal
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adg211288
Swedish musician Leif Edling may be most famous for being the founder and main writer for major doom metal act Candlemass, but it more recent years he's been furthering his doom metal brand with another project, Avatarium and has two studio albums to that name already with the release of the third, Hurricanes and Halos (2017) imminent at the time of writing this review. Further enhancing his doom metal CV now is The Doomsday Kingdom, whose self-titled debut album appeared a couple of months before the third Avatarium album. Edling founded the project initially as a second solo outing following the project under his own name that spawned the album Songs of Torment, Songs of Joy (2008). He released the Never Machine Demo EP (2016) as a solo project, with a few guests to help along the way, but afterwards The Doomsday Kingdom evolved into a full band.

Avatarium fans will of course be familiar with Marcus Jidell, who again joins Leif Edling as the group's guitarist, with Edling taking on his usual bassist role. For a drummer they've brought in Andreas Johansson of Narnia, Rob Rock and Royal Hunt fame. Together the three have crafted some top quality traditional doom metal music full of heavy, prolonged riffs but also a sense of melody and an energetic attitude. Putting the finishing touches to their sound is their vocalist Niklas Stålvind, better known as the frontman of the heavy metal act Wolf, whose fans will get to hear this great singer in a bit of a different context on The Doomsday Kingdom. He certainly sounds at home within the doom metal genre, delivering powerful, often quite raw clean vocals. No better example of how well everything the group has going for them works is the third song, A Spoonful of Darkness. Now this is really what I want to hear when I think of traditional doom metal! Great vocals, heavy riffs and a menacing atmosphere without any cheapening of their brand by borrowing any elements from extreme metal.

The album is hardly a one trick pony though. Some songs have an even more upbeat feel to them. It's doom, but not necessarily gloom. While more straight-forward doom metal in direction compared to the last Avatarium album The Girl with the Raven Mask (2015) a few elements creep in that seem quite Avatarium-like, such as some light progressive and even psychedelic flavours behind the riff driven doom metal. The Sceptre is another clear album highlight in this regard, featuring a 7:19 minute long running time and some extended instrumental work where the lead guitar really goes off on a tangent in true prog style before returning to the song's familiar structure that it had been at previously.

The first of a double dose of new Lief Edling material for 2017, The Doomsday Kingdom may actually be the album for his fans to get their doom metal kicks this year rather than Avatarium, if the two songs released in the run up to their next album are anything to judge by. Of course they might just be holding some more full-on doom metal material back for the full album release, but in any case it would be inadvisable to pass up a copy of The Doomsday Kingdom. Edling's long history with doom metal has made him a true master of his craft. If you like doom metal and especially any of his various projects within the genre, then this is an must have.

AVATARIUM Hurricanes and Halos

Album · 2017 · Doom Metal
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Kev Rowland


Although the band was only formed in 2012 by Soen guitarist Marcus Jidell and Candlemass chief Leif Edling, the guys are already back with their third album. The label describes them as where Black Sabbath meets soul and The Devil’s Blood meets Old School Rock, but they’re wrong. Produced by Marcus Jidell himself, while David Castillo (Katatonia, Bloodbath, Opeth) recorded and mixed it in the famous Ghost Ward Studios, and mastering undertaken by Jens Bogren (Soilwork, Sepultura), here we have an album that was probably a little dated forty-five years ago. What we have here boys and girls, is classic Uriah Heep, with Rickard Nilsson’s Hammond Organ linking with Marcus Jidell’s guitar in a way that is so very reminiscent of Ken Hensley and Mick Box, while Jennie-Ann Smith is different in her approach to the great David Byron, but channels him alongside her Maggie Bell approach.

This is warm, it is heavy, it is comforting and to someone my age also incredibly familiar in its approach. Those first five Heep albums were all classics in their own right, and this should also be judged in the same vein. The absolute standout is “Medusa Child” which twists and turns in many directions during its nine-minute long journey, even bringing in some children singing, while the guitar moves between leaden Iommi-style soundblasts into lighter territory, diving and swirling so that the listener isn’t always sure what is going to happen next. It almost seems as if a few different songs have been taken to pieces and then thrown back together as one, but it works incredibly well. Overall, this is a really enjoyable album, one that any fan of Seventies rock combined with Sabbath doom and a great production would do well to seek out.

PARADISE LOST Shades of God

Album · 1992 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Shades of God" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK doom metal act Paradise Lost. The album was released through Music For Nations in July 1992. Their first two albums were released through Peaceville Records, so a label change has taken place. But other changes had happened too and in many ways "Shades of God" signals the start of a new era for Paradise Lost (or maybe more correctly the start of the transition to a new era). Not in the lineup though, as the lineup, who recorded the first two albums, is still intact.

It´s more in the sound and style of the actual music that you´ll hear the difference from the earlier more doom/death metal oriented albums. While he would pursue an even more clean type of singing on subsequent releases, Nick Holmes already began the vocal transition on "Shades of God", which features a semi-growling delivery and a few more goth type clean vocals. The overall music style on the album is still doom/death metal though. There is a strong emphasis on lead guitars and lead guitar themes throughout the album, and "Shades of God" is probably the Paradise Lost album which features most guitar leads and guitar solos. It´s still heavy, doomy, and occasionally brutal, but always melodic and drenched in an omnipresent melancholic atmosphere.

The complexity of the song structures is another change that´s quite prominent compared to the earlier releases, and at times tracks like "Crying for Eternity", "No Forgiveness", "Your Hand in Mine" and especially the 9:14 minutes long "Daylight Torn" even touch progressive territories because of it. Some tracks are a bit more straight forward like "Mortals Watch the Day" and "Pity the Sadness", but even those are quite intriguingly structured. The most accessible track on the album is the closing track "As I Die". It was not included on the vinyl version of the album, which is a bit odd, as it went on to become an underground hit for the band, but the album is over 50 minutes long even without "As I Die", and long running times seriously decrease the audio quality of vinyls, so that might be the reason for leaving out "As I Die" on the original vinyl version.

The musicianship are generally on a decent level, with especially the vocals by Nick Holmes (and his lyrics) and the lead guitars by main composer Gregor Mackintosh, as some of the highlights and strengths of the band´s sound, while drummer Matthew Archer again drags the collective performance down. His drumming style is clumsy and too simple for its own good. Once he plays a fill on a track, you can expect to hear the exact same fill being played whenever a fill is called for again on that track. No variation and a very stiff and uncomfortable playing style. It´s not a major issue because of the generaly low pace of the music, but I can´t help think what a more refined and skilled drummer could have added to the music.

"Shades of God" features a rather distinct sounding production. The guitar- and bass tone and the drum sound aren´t necessarily that well sounding with the ears of today, but it was not considered an issue in 1992, where the album was generally regarded as a well produced release. Personally I think the sound suits the music perfectly and when those two features go hand in hand in perfect harmony, I´m not gonna complain about minor technical sound issues. It´s probably an aquired taste anyway.

Overall "Shades of God" is another quality release by Paradise Lost and it shows great development of the band´s sound. So at this point in the band´s career, all three of their studio albums featured a very different sound, and it was obvious at this point, that Paradise Lost were still searching for their own unique sound. Thankfully they produced some really great albums in the process including "Shades of God". A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

FLOOR Dove

Album · 2004 · Doom Metal
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Unitron
With doom metal and it's sludge and stoner brethren being pretty underrated to begin with, there's bound to be amazing bands that get forgotten about even among the genre's cult following. One of these bands is the Floridian band Floor, who just so happens to mix doom, sludge, and stoner all into one.

While their self-titled debut album was released in 2002, the band has been around since 1992. While most of their recordings before '02 were singles and splits, they did record Dove in 1994. For whatever reason the album wasn't released until a decade later in 2004, the year the band broke up, only to reform in 2010.

Dove is one of the heaviest albums I've ever heard, yet features no bass. It's hard to believe, but all of the distortion, feedback, and crushing brutality is just completely brought by guitars and drums. The opening two tracks "Who Are You" and "Namaste" are short but destructive rampaging blasts of sludgy chaos, which feature screeching feedback alongside Sabbath-esque riffing that is cranked up to 11. This is followed and perfectly contrasted with my favorite on the album, the more laidback "In a Day". This track has more of a stoner vibe, but not without more high-pitched distortion breaking in from time to time in the song. The main guitar riff sounds incredibly close to a bass with a distortion pedal, but it's not, surprisingly. "Figure It Out" also mixes some stoner elements, and Steve Brooks' vocal style on these two tracks really contribute to the overall stoner feel.

Most of the doom metal is saved for the end of the album, which would contain "Floyd", the title track, and "I Remember Nothing" (Which is omitted on the vinyl version). All three of these tracks kind of blend together, with "Floyd" being the most enjoyable of them. The title track could be an almost perfect eighteen-minute behemoth of sludgy dirges, but it ruined by wasting probably about ten of those minutes. For the first eight-minutes, it slowly crushes your skull with pure force, and if it was just that it would be perfect for when you're in the mood for slow and meandering doom. However, it ends with random annoying talking, which I always find annoying when it appears, as well as just incoherent feedback and drone. The end of the title track pretty much sums up "I Remember Nothing", and unfortunately that title fits pretty well.

Despite the album's shortcomings with the final two lengthy tracks, Dove is a masterpiece of doom/sludge metal. If you love screeching distortion and feedback and crushingly brutal slabs of riffs, Floor is up there with the best and is definitely an essential listen. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

CAVITY After Death

Album · 2017 · Doom Metal
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aglasshouse
A true theme of hell.

Looking back at Cavity's legacy, they were not revolutionaries. Although they did debut in 1995, a mere eight years after Melvins had essentially invented sludge metal, they did no genre creation or pioneering. What Cavity did do on the other hand was take sludge metal and mold it into an even more brutal, raw version of itself. This is, in a way, an equally commendable presentation of music.

But Cavity's tempest of terror ended quite abruptly in 2001, cutting the throat of a growing underground popularity that had been gaining steam since 1995. After a compilation of unreleased material from the 90's, Miscellaneous Recollections, not a peep was heard from Cavity other than a few blips of live performances here and there. Out of nowhere however in 2016, Cavity announced a comeback set for early 2017. Now it's that time, and what we have is the product of pooled emotions that have been brewing for the 16 year long hiatus.

After Death could not be more appropriately titled as the band is practically rising from the grave to record this, but at the same time it's also not exactly a glamorous return. I can easily chalk this up as the most brutal and barbarous Cavity release to date, and it's for a variety of different reasons: Cavity is a husk of it's former self. Gone is the pugnacity towards their work, of a group of young fellas from Miami with an attitude akin to the Melvins. Now what they are (or at least come across as according to this release) is a bitter, hateful group of...well, you know I'm just not sure. Demons, from the sounds of it. Secondly, After Death is not only the most brutal but also the most simplistic of Cavity's discography. The albums four total tracks are long, droning epics of heavy, repetitive, plodding drums, moaning guitar, and twisted, pained vocals. After Death's experimental use of stripped-down instrumentation, heavily balancing on the repetitiveness of the rhythmic structures, is nothing short of uncomfortable. It's actually quite an intimidating release, so far removed from so many other metal albums that it's actually quite alien at times. Tracks like 'Fangs on Beyond' especially utilize a certain industrial sound rarely seen being used by bands like Cavity. The year's already young but I can see this album being one of the most odd it has to offer.

This album is spine-chilling. It's a theme of Charon crossing the Styx. It's so strange too because After Death has gotten very little publicity since it's release, other than their label Valley King promoting it a little ever since it's announcement in 2016. It's truly an oddball of the year that I think, although I'm doubtful it will appeal to all or even many, is very worth checking out just for the experience.

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