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)
  • MorniumGoatahl

doom metal top albums

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4.90 | 8 ratings
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TRIPTYKON Melana Chasmata Album Cover Melana Chasmata
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SAINT VITUS Lillie: F-65 Album Cover Lillie: F-65
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CANDLEMASS Nightfall Album Cover Nightfall
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doom metal Music Reviews

MY DYING BRIDE The Vaulted Shadows

Boxset / Compilation · 2014 · Death-Doom Metal
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FMOTP
I think essential ratings should be used very sparingly. For death or doom inspired metal, it just doesn't get much better than this in my mind. MY DYING BRIDE is one of the greatest metal bands in the world, and not as well known as they should be. The Vaulted Shadows compiles two of the band's best extended plays into a full album-length release. "The Barghest O'Whitby" does run pretty long for new MDB listeners. Sitting through the whole 54 minutes might be tough, but I'm really nitpicking. The Vaulted Shadows demonstrates what the band is about brilliantly. Any one with an interest in the more extreme end of metal should really enjoy this.

KING WITCH Under The Mountain

Album · 2018 · Doom Metal
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Nightfly
From Edinburgh, Scotland come King Witch out of the ashes of Firebrand Super Rock which featured vocalist Laura Donnelly and guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, a band I must admit to knowing nothing about despite releasing two albums. Still I’m certainly glad to have discovered King Witch fairly early in their career, Under The Mountain being their debut album coming after their 2015 EP Shoulders Of Giants.

I approached King Witch expecting a doom metal band and to an extent this is true. Songs like album opener Beneath The Waves and Solitary do nothing to dispel that. However for every song that fits the doom label there’s another that treads in more traditional retro metal territory – take the title track and Carnal Sacrifice for example and some of these songs crack along at a fair pace. This album is certainly heavy with nods to Black Sabbath littered throughout and the dense and organic production aids this. Vocalist Laura Donnelly is a revelation – definitely more of an old school singer with a powerful and soulful delivery shown to full effect on the excellent ballad Ancients which offers a bit of diversification and a brief break from the overall heaviness. The rest of the band are no slouches either and turn in strong performances with the rhythm section of Joe Turner and Lyle Brown laying down a strong foundation with plenty of syncopated rhythms whilst guitarist Jamie Gilchrist has an arsenal of memorable and inventive riffs at his disposal.

I just discovered on the day that King Witch were playing 35 miles up the road from me last Saturday but sadly it was too late to organise a trip to see them. Hopefully catch them next time but for now I’ll make do with this great debut album.

MY DYING BRIDE Unreleased Bitterness

Single · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Unreleased Bitterness" is a one-sided 7" flexi disc single release by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The single was released through the Unbridled Voyage label in 1993. It´s a pretty rare item as it was only pressed in 1.150 copies. The track is also included on the "Meisterwerk I (2000)" compilation album.

"Unreleased Bitterness" features a rehearsal version of the track "The Bitterness and the Bereavement" recorded on the 27th of April 1991. "The Bitterness and the Bereavement" was later featured on My Dying Bride´s debut full-length studio album "As The Flower Withers (1992)". The rehearsal version on this single is quite raw and features a lo-fi sound quality and therefore "Unreleased Bitterness" is more a fan item that anything, as you can easily live without ever having heard this version of the track unless you´re a die hard fan.

Quality wise there is absolutely nothing wrong with the track, although at this stage it´s a bit underdeveloped. It´s crushingly heavy and drenched in melancholy just as you´d expect from an early My Dying Bride track, but the sound quality is a bit of a show stopper, and overall a 2.5 star (50%) rating isn´t all wrong.

HAMFERÐ Tamsins Likam

Album · 2018 · Funeral Doom Metal
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Nightfly
I’ve only just discovered Faroese doom metal band Hamferð. Their first album Evst released in 2013 having totally passed me by. Still, better late than never and I’m certainly glad to have caught up with them now as Tamsins Likam is the best album I’ve heard in the doom realm for quite some time.

Tamsins Likam is part three of a trilogy that began with their 2010 EP Vilst Er Siðsta Fet. It’s the story of a man who’s racked with guilt over the fate of his family. The story however goes backwards, starting with his death on the EP. Evst was the run up to his death and Tamsins Likam goes back to an earlier time where he and his wife are dealing with the loss of a child. You’ll have to take my word for this however as all the lyrics are sung in Faroese.

Funeral doom is a genre that I generally can only take in small doses despite enjoying work from Evoken, Shape Of Despair and Ahab in particular. The deathly slow tempos wear a bit thin with me after a while and it can sometimes come across as a little one dimensional with little room for variation despite many bands injecting atmospheric and mellower moments between the crushingly heavy riffs. Whilst Hamferð take funeral doom as a starting point, there is more to them than this. Sure there’s the expected doom drenched guitar riffs but drummer Remi Johannesen has a musicality not often seen in the genre amongst drummers with some inventive patterns shaping the song structures. I know very little about the Faroe Islands other than it’s around 200 miles north of the top end of Scotland, but through their music they manage to convey a feeling of cold stark beauty echoing my impression of the place, or what I imagine it to be anyway. This gives their music a unique flavour making them stand out from the doom crowd.

The album kicks off with Fylgisflog in a very understated way. Sparse guitar work and Jón Aldará’s clean mournful vocals take centre stage until it explodes into more familiar doom territory with Aldará using growls for the heavier sections. The music has a cinematic feel for want of a better way of putting it, aided by atmospheric keyboard work, with big riffs displaying a melodic sensibility with much musical tension present. There’s a beauty in this music that in a way reminds me of the way Opeth used to do it in their metal days – the way they could inject beauty in and around the most heavy riffs. Don’t mistake this for thinking they sound like Opeth though but you could say Hamferð are to doom what Opeth were to death metal. This sets the scene for much of the album with quiet restraint juxtaposed against the heavier sections. An exception is the death doom of Hon Syndrast which sounds huge from start to finish with some imaginative chord progressions, riffs and time changes making for a totally captivating listen and is perhaps my favourite of the entire album.

Tamsins Likam is a complete masterpiece of metal and I was so impressed I immediately ordered their last album Evst and plan on doing likewise with their first EP shortly. So early in the year yet I can already declare with confidence that this will be one of the best albums I’ll hear in 2018.

PARADISE LOST Medusa

Album · 2017 · Death-Doom Metal
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MorniumGoatahl
The UK's Paradise Lost are a band I've always liked despite not being that into the genre that they are most associated with: gothic metal. In a genre that seems flooded with so called beauty and the beast bands, they stand out thanks to Nick Holmes' commanding clean vocals, which depending on the album can have some classic James Hetfield vibes to them. But Paradise Lost started their career as an extreme metal band and were a pioneer of the death-doom metal style and it's this style of their early albums that I've personally always been most fond of, with Gothic being my favourite. The sudden reintroduction of death growling vocals on The Plague Within, didn't change that although that album has risen to become one of my favourites from the band. The band's latest album Medusa though, changes everything about my relationship with the band and has already become my favourite album of theirs.

That's because Medusa is Paradise Lost's first death-doom metal album since the early nineties and thanks to the wonders of modern recording and production equipment and techniques, is the most powerful they've ever sounded when playing this style. Sure, there's a brief resurgence of their gothic metal style (with added growling like on The Plague Within) for a couple of tracks, The Longest Winter and the title track while Blood & Chaos is a bit too upbeat to be considered a doom song, but otherwise they've slowed their tempo right down and Nick Holmes is growling even more than on the previous album and certainly in a more death metal manner than is used on the Shades of God album. I don't thinking they've ever been heavier.

Fearless Sky is the perfect opener for this album. Despite it's slow and crushing sound, there's also a triumphant feel to it, especially in the chorus growls from Holmes. Some clean vocals are used, but it's not until those middle tracks that they ever become dominant on the album and by the time of No Passage For the Dead they've back in the centre stage again. I like Nick as a clean singer and am glad he didn't throw those vocals out completely, but despite years of not using growls in the band he can still deliver them and arguably is even better than ever. His appointment to the death metal band Bloodbath may have something to do with that.

The standard version of Medusa is eight tracks long but it's worth picking up the special edition if you can which will also net you two extra tracks: Shrine and Symbolic Virtue. Which both, especially the latter, feel more like The Plague Within or even earlier material compared to the death-doom of the main album, they're definitely worth having. Symbolic Virtue is a good reminder of why Paradise Lost are one of if not the best gothic metal band despite this return to their roots.

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