Mourn the Light – Suffer, Then We’re Gone
Mourn The Light offers Traditional Doom Metal with a few twists on their first full-length album. It doesn’t quite hit the full operatic scope of Epic Doom or reach the speeds of Classic Metal, but influences from both at work throughout Suffer, Then We’re Gone (Argonauta Records). The riffs and song structures are in line with the busy nature of Psalm 9-era Trouble while the vocals offer a husky but theatrical bellow, drawing further comparisons to groups like Altar Of Oblivion and Argus.
There’s a risk of the album playing its full hand too early with the opening ‘When The Fear Subsides’ immediately bursting in with its most climactic dynamics, but ‘Take Your Pain Away’ and ‘End Of Times’ feature sturdy mid-tempo riffs and solid vocal hooks while ‘Refuse To Fail’ and ‘Progeny Of Pain’ brings in more anthemic gallops. One can imagine more cohesive songwriting in the future, but all the ingredients are here for a winning formula!
7 / 10
Bottomless – Bottomless
The self-titled debut from Bottomless is deeply immersed in old school Doom. The monolithic but steady riffs are rooted in Pentagram and The Obsessed tradition, the vocal delivery comes with a wide-eyed warble that is somewhere between Saint Vitus’s Scott Reagers and Layne Staley, and the whole package is wrapped in Seventies Sabbath swagger. While the formula’s simplicity risks wearing thin, the performances are tight with songwriting that maintains a catchy quality throughout. The second half mixes things up as ‘Ash’ and ‘Loveless Reign’ bring in darker moods while ‘Losing Shape’ has a Hard Rock flair, but there really is something to the four-on-the-floor grooves of ‘Centuries Asleep’ and the obligatory self-titled song. Definitely the sort of thing that Doom fans can enjoy nodding along to.
7 / 10
Lucifer’s Fall – III: From The Deep
Coming off a series of splits over the last couple years, the third album from Lucifer’s Fall is their first full-length since 2016’s II: Cursed And Damned. The band’s bawdy approach to Traditional Doom hasn’t changed too much beyond gradually refined production and musicianship, and their songwriting is as on point as ever. The band’s sleazy duality is kept firmly intact as songs like ‘The Cave’ and ‘Across The Void’ make the most of their slothful builds and catchy riffs, ‘Doom ‘n’ Roll’ is a frenzied onslaught between Midnight and High on Fire, and ‘Reverend Revenant’ features a driving upbeat strut. Lucifer’s Fall releases tend to be cases of what you see is what you get, but From The Deep (Sun & Moon Records) just might be their strongest declaration yet.
8 / 10
Purification – The Exterminating Angel
With the release of their fourth full-length album in three years, Purification is poised to become one of the most prolific bands in Doom Metal. The Exterminating Angel continues down the path last seen on Dwell In The House Of The Lord Forever six months prior, diving deeper into melancholic atmospheres accentuated by murky atmospherics and tripped out filters and effects. The song lengths are also pushed to their furthest reaches yet, generally settling around the nine-minute mark with a couple shorter outliers.
Shifting the focus away from heavier riffs in favor of more subdued textures also helps this album apart from its predecessors. The title track’s Goth Rock flavor reminds me of Lord Vigo at their most drawn out and ‘Sublime Thrones in Kaaba’ lives up to its title with some appropriate guitar ambiance that flow smoothly into the especially distraught ‘Dreamtiger.’ It’s a little funny how Purification’s albums take some extra feeling out when they’re released at such a frequent rate, but they excel in their lo-fi executions. This one is especially recommended if you want your Traditional Doom with extra haze and longing.
8 / 10