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
4.67 | 11 ratings
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TRIPTYKON Melana Chasmata Album Cover Melana Chasmata
TRIPTYKON
4.52 | 15 ratings
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MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours Album Cover The Dreadful Hours
MY DYING BRIDE
4.42 | 29 ratings
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THE RUINS OF BEVERAST Exuvia Album Cover Exuvia
THE RUINS OF BEVERAST
4.52 | 12 ratings
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TROUBLE Run to the Light Album Cover Run to the Light
TROUBLE
4.50 | 12 ratings
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PENTAGRAM Review Your Choices Album Cover Review Your Choices
PENTAGRAM
4.62 | 7 ratings
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CANDLEMASS Nightfall Album Cover Nightfall
CANDLEMASS
4.34 | 51 ratings
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KHEMMIS Hunted Album Cover Hunted
KHEMMIS
4.72 | 5 ratings
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PARADISE LOST Medusa Album Cover Medusa
PARADISE LOST
4.39 | 23 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
4.44 | 12 ratings
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CELTIC FROST Monotheist Album Cover Monotheist
CELTIC FROST
4.30 | 41 ratings
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doom metal Music Reviews

MY DYING BRIDE The Thrash of Naked Limbs

EP · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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Warthur
After Martin Powell had served as session violinist on My Dying Bride's debut album and the preceding EP, The Thrash of Naked Limbs marked his entry as a full member of the lineup, with his violin contributions adding a distinctive touch to the material here which helps My Dying Bride stand apart from labelmates Paradise Lost and other explorers of the death-doom subgenre.

Between this and the odd keyboard contribution, things seem to be drifting somewhat in the sort of gothic metal direction which Paradise Lost had at this point gone a little further in exploring, but by and large the centre of gravity is still within the realms already explored on As the Flower Withers. If you dig the sound of early My Dying Bride, this will make the EP (or its compilation appearance on Trilogy) a tempting proposition, offering 18 minutes of beautifully grim mope-metal.

MY DYING BRIDE Macabre Cabaret

EP · 2020 · Doom Metal
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Kev Rowland
There was a gap of five years for fans waiting for new material until March 2020 saw the release of ‘The Ghost Of Orion’, yet later the same year the band were back with this three-track EP of more new material, checking in at 22 minutes in length. Apart from drummer Jeff Singer, who joined in 2018, and the addition of guitarist Neil Blanchett in 2019 (who is not credited on this release), the line-up of MDM has been stable for quite some time, with singer Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Andrew Craighan having been there since the very beginning in 1990, while bassist Lena Abé and keyboard player/violinist Shaun Macgowan have both been there for more than 10 years as well. This continuity of tenure means everyone knows what to do to create the classic My Dying Bride sound, and while the doom may be slightly quicker than it used to be, it still has the presence and emotional feeling of a band at the very top of their game.

Melancholic, thoughtful, passionate, powerful, crunching, it is all these things and so much more. Aaron has the perfect baritone for this style of music, while Andrew’s guitars have rarely sounded so on point, with a hard edge to the thunderclaps. Yet what makes this band such a dominant force is their understanding that it does not always need metal to dominate proceedings, such as adding touches of piano to take their music in a very different direction, such as on the introduction to the closing number, “A Purse of Gold and Stars”. Here the guitars take a back seat to a song about holding all our precious things close to us in a purse: it is incredibly dark, brooding, and intense. Somehow the delicate piano creates as much force as crunching guitars, even with simple chords being picked out, with just a hint of reverb – the production and overall sound is incredible. Overall, this is a wonderful piece of work and one can only hope there is yet another new album coning soon.

AVATARIUM An Evening With Avatarium

Live album · 2020 · Doom Metal
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Kev Rowland
Very few bands were able to complete a full tour in 2020, due to obvious reasons, and I am not aware of many live albums recorded during that period, but here is an exception to the rule. This was the set the band expected to take around Europe, but fortunately it was recorded in Stockholm for both a CD and DVD release. When the band came together in 2013, they were something of a supergroup, with Candlemass bassist Leif Edling, drummer Lars Sköld (Tiamat, Jupiter Society etc), former Evergrey/Royal Hunt guitarist Marcus Jidell, and keyboard player Carl Westholm (Tiamat, Jupiter Society etc), with singer Jennie-Ann Smith at the front. Only Marcus and his wife Jennie-Ann are still there from the original line-up, which is now completed by bassist Mats Rydström (Abramis Brama, Backdraft), keyboard player Rickard Nilsson and drummer (Christian Liljegren, Narnia, Royal Hunt etc).

Avatarium are a band whose career I have followed closely and feel all four of their studio albums are worthy of further investigation, although I am aware there are some fans who were not happy with the change in direction between ‘The Girl With The Raven Mask’ and ‘Hurricanes and Halos’ where they moved somewhat away from doom and more into an early Seventies rock direction. Hearing these songs in the live environment, in many ways it is a perfect amalgam of the styles, as the doom numbers are thunderingly heavy with organ lifting them firmly into the early Seventies style, while the rockier numbers have here been dealt a serious amount of doom. While there are sometimes concerns when musicians bring their partners into the band, there is no doubt that this time Jennie-Ann is solidly there on merit. Whatever the guys are dishing out, with the slabs of metal coming out of the speakers, she deals with it, rising high above the maelstrom.

But here is a band who are prepared to push both themselves and their audience into different directions, and one of the standout tracks must be the rendition of “In My Time of Dying”, which features just Marcus on acoustic with Jennie-Ann. For those who are unaware of the son, this was originally written and recorded by Blind Willie Johnson, a bluesman who use to attack his guitar with a harsh vocal approach and died some 75 years before this was recorded. They make the song their own with a totally different arrangement, and while it is totally at odds with the rest of the set, it highlights their strong use of dynamics and contrast. Another powerful example is the song which follows it, “Medusa Child”, where they flit between doom and commercial metal, all with tribal drumming in the background.

Over the course of their four studio albums, they have followed their own path, taking influences from different areas, refusing to sit still yet often imbibing their songs with a healthy element of doom, and this live album is a great look back on their career to date. If you have yet to come across Avatarium then this is the place to start.

ACID WITCH Witchtanic Hellucination

Album · 2008 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"Witchtanic Hellucinations" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Michigan based doom/death metal act Acid Witch. The album was released through Razorback Recordings in October 2008. Acid Witch were formed in 2007 and released a demo that same year before being signed for the release of "Witchtanic Hellucinations".

So it´s not a particularly seasoned act (or at least they haven´t played together that long in this constellation) although all members have played with various other underground acts (Shitfucker, Reaper, Skindcrawler, and Harbinger, just to mention a few). Stylistically the music on the album is psychadelic tinged stoner doom/death metal with lyrics about drugs, witchcraft, and horror. Song titles like "Witches Tits", "Rabid Werewitch", and "Broomstick Bitch", tell that story too, and also the story that there is a humourous cartoonish/twisted fairytale touch to both the lyrics and the band image.

The instrumental part of the music consists of heavy stoner doomy riffs and leads right out of the 70s Black Sabbath playbook, heavy rhythms, psychadelic effects, and some dark burping growling vocals in front (which wouldn´t sound wrong on any Carcass influenced goregrind release). It´s actually only the latter element, which connects the material on "Witchtanic Hellucinations" to death metal, because the remaining part of the music is stoner doom through and through. The combination of the instrumental stoner doom elements and the mucilaginous growling vocals is what makes the material unique, but it´s also an odd combination, which takes some getting used to, and which also wears a bit thin after a while. It´s somewhat charming alright, but also a bit one-dimensional and tedious towards the end of the album.

"Witchtanic Hellucinations" is well performed and also features a suitingly dark and organic sound production, so upon conclusion it´s a quality release by Acid Witch and definitely an interesting debut album with a relatively unique sound. A couple of more hooks, and a little more variation between tracks could have elevated the album from good to great, but as it is, it´s still an entertaining release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

MY DYING BRIDE The Dreadful Hours

Album · 2001 · Death-Doom Metal
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UMUR
"The Dreadful Hours" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in November 2001. It´s the successor to "The Light at the End of the World" from 1999 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as My Dying Bride is again a quintet with the addition of second guitarist Hamish Hamilton Glencross (formerly of Seer's Tear and Solstice).

Stylistically the material on "The Dreadful Hours" is heavy and melancholic doom/death metal. Lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe´s vocal style varies between clean and often subdued melancholic vocals and death metal growling. There´s good variation between slow heavy melodic riffing and mid-paced more energetic riffs. The music is generally dynamic in nature featuring both quiet parts and more loud aggressive parts. The melancholic gloomy atmosphere is always the focal point of the compositions though. The violin which was such a big part of the band´s early releases, hasn´t been part of the band´s sound for a couple of albums now and "The Dreadful Hours" continues the more synth/keyboard laden sound of those albums. The band use string synth sounds to compensate for the lack of violin, and it actually works really well.

The songs are structurally intriguing and generally very well written. But that probably doesn´t come as a surprise if you are familiar with the earlier material by the band. My Dying Bride have always composed unconventionally structured track. The 70 minutes long album features 8 tracks. The first 7 tracks are new compositions while the 8th track on the album is a re-recording of "The Return of the Beautiful", which was originally featured on the 1992 "As the Flower Withers" debut album by My Dying Bride. The band change the song towards the end but otherwise the version on this album pretty much sticks to the original. The dynamic and beautiful album opening title track is definitely one of the highlights of the album, but "The Dreadful Hours" is a consistently high quality release, and there´s not a single sub par moment on the album.

"The Dreadful Hours" features a defined, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly. It´s a less dark and heavy sound production compared to the sound production on the direct predecessor, but it suits the dynamic nature of the music well. Upon conclusion "The Dreadful Hours" is one of the strongest releases in the band´s discography. It may not be as groundbreaking as some of their early releases, but the songwriting is top notch, the performances are tight and adventurous, and the sound production professional and well sounding. Simply put, this is through and through a high quality release and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

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.

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