Various Artists – Doombanomicon

It’s not often I am interested in compilation releases with a multitude of artists, but Doombanomicon (Black Doomba) really took me by surprise. A collection of thirteen songs by thirteen different artists, all of which express some differing style of doom metal. Think of it as the doom metal subgenre dictionary done by some artists you may not know of quite yet. Oh and the album title is perfect thanks to the reference to the Necronomicon, also known as The Book of the Dead.

Each song is honestly different from the next on this record and that made picking out my favorite tracks on this album difficult. The opening track, ‘Imperli Exsules’ by Negative Wall, opens this album better than any other track on this compilation thanks to some heavy yet catchy guitar riffs. The clean vocals really round out this one to give it that classic, bluesy doom metal feel. Probably my absolute favorite track is towards the end of Doombanomicon, ‘Izhar’ by Coffin Torture. This song will remind listeners of ‘caveman battle’ doom but with all harsh vocals. Loads of distortion with a marching tempo but still breaks away from the chord progressions to lay down a good riff or two. The last track on the album shows just how far doom has come. ‘Hymn’ by Xothun paints a nightmare using elements of drone and noise elements without a single word spoken. Perhaps this is even the song that plays in the background as Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead mistakenly calls upon evil by reading the Necronomicon.

From the melodic/blues influenced doom of years ago to stoner doom, sludge, doom with shoegaze and gothic rock influences, all the way up to drone and noise, Doombanomicon showcases just how diverse doom metal can actually be. While some of the tracks I may not have enjoyed so much, that particular style of doom metal was being represented well. Black Doomba Records has done quite the job of hand selecting these tracks, in this order, to create their own Book of the Dead.

7 / 10

TIM LEDIN