Doom metal comes in all shapes and forms. And, often, the most peculiar of them are the most intriguing. Enters Five the Hierophant, a trio from London that makes doom their very own way. The most striking aspect of the band’s sound is, of course, the use of instruments seldom heard in metal music: djembe, Tibetan horn, violin, saxophone (though this last one is now rather common sight)… Beyond this, they also take a heavy leaning on drone passages, spoken word excerpts, and a natural sense of song progression and structure. All of this can be found on their … Read more
Big|Brave is a Montréalais doom-leaning experimental rock trio, and they’re releasing their latest full-length, Ardor, on September fifteen. With only three tracks, the album manages to go on for almost forty-five minutes. Their sound is overwhelmingly huge and hopelessly, crawlingly slow, yet Robin’s voice, at the forefront of the music, sounds fragile and vulnerable. This apparent dichotomy moulds Big|Brave’s sound into something rather unique. The desolate songs are really drawn out and quite uneventful, but so emotionally crushing it’s terrifying. With only two guitars and a drumkit – and a voice –, Big|Brave are able to craft some of … Read more
Gravetemple‘s newest barrage of sound, Áthatolhatatlan félelmek (English title: Impassable Fears), comes out on June second. This experimental, droning, and abstract death metal album consists of Hungarian chants screamed through a musical haze consisting of mostly low-register notes, uncertain rhythmics, and absent melodies. If you want a more imaged comparison, I’d say it’s like listening to Portal underwater. Áthatolhatatlan félelmek is really an odd but entrancing release. It’s relatively short, the meat of it being concentrated in three songs – ‘A szarka’, ‘Elavúlt földbolygó’, and ‘Áthatolhatatlan félelmek’ -, making up around twenty-seven minutes, and the three other tracks … Read more
Danish and American bands LLNN and Wovoka unite on a split album regrouping the former band’s part, Marks, and the latter’s, Traces. The synth-tinged blackened doom of LLNN is perfect for a soundtrack to pessimistic futurism, with its slow, droning, and heavy riffs atop which the singer screams his wrath. The six tracks of this first side make up a little less than twenty minutes, the same as Wovoka’s single song, ‘Traces’. While I was unfamiliar with the Denmark armada, Wovoka’s latest album, Saros, stuck with me as an example in post-metal. They’ve put yet another badge … Read more
Genève-based Rorcal have an extensive catalogue of furious and obscure metal that goes all the way back to 2007, with their debut EP, The Way We Are, The Way We Were, The Way We Will Be…. Throughout the years, they have carved a name for themselves in the metal community by pushing the boundaries of doom and black metal, releasing songs up to 70 minutes in length, and never making any compromise – be it on their artistic vision or the quality of their releases. Világvége, in particular, brought them to a wider audience, including myself. On March … Read more
Cetacean is a band from Los Angeles, California, that came to being in 2015 under the direction of David Sais, with members from well-established bands, such as Black Sheep Wall and Horse the Band, and other musicians. The result is a progressive blackened doom sextet and a 35-minute EP called Breach | Submerge, which was released on January 29th on CD, and will see a vinyl release on March 27th. The designation of EP for a piece longer than half an hour is quite unusual, but understandable given the lengthy nature of doom music, where slow and atmospheric riffs … Read more
The presence of jazz in metal music seems to be an increasingly popular trend. Most noticeably, it’s the addition of the saxophone that’s often just enough to make us think that the band has successfully merged the two genres into one, but most of the times it’s just a clin d’œil to it, and the music itself doesn’t bear any of the subjacent characteristics of jazz.
The first ones to incorporate jazz, in a form or another, into metal were Atheist, Meshuggah, and Cynic, back in the early ’90’s. Since then, it gained in popularity and it’s … Read more