There’s a slow, mournful funeral march coming through the mists, on a still silent plain, on The Buried Storm (Prophecy Productions), the latest release by Darkher. Led by multi-instrumentalist Jayn Maiven, the album at times bears a resemblance to Neurosis or Triptykon at their most quiet and reflective. With each song centred around the vocal layering of Maiven, the instrumentation often stripped to cello and violin backing, it’s an evocative and understated musical landscape. Often bringing to mind Bat For Lashes, one that sings her siren song with a doom folk backing, this is soothing music for people who like it dark.
A lot has changed since Hour of 13’s last album, 333, came out in 2012. The project is now a one-man affair with bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis playing all the parts himself, including vocals with Phil Swanson long out of the picture. That nine-year gap also saw a minor genre tug ‘o’ war take place as singles and EPs were torn between the Traditional Doom of albums past and Samhain-style Deathrock, often determined by whether the 13 was retained as a number or spelled out. With this somewhat convoluted frame in mind, it’s a relief to see the former style win out on their fourth full-length, Black Magick Rites (Shadow Kingdom Records).
This is a really interesting release to say the least. Velnias have been crafting what they call, ‘Oppressive Rocky Mountain Dirge’ for well over a decade and have had a continual place on my radar. This upcoming release though, Scion Of Aether (Eisenwald) seems to be something else, something greater. The band has managed to fuse their progressive tendencies with post-black metal in order to craft something transcendent and powerful. This record leaps from peak to peak and seems to continually prove that this band is one of a kind.Continue reading
We’ve spent a lot of words here at Ghost Cult discussing “Doom Folk” as one of the strongest sub-genres in music right now. Naturally, like all forward-thinking and risky music, we now see the fans catching up to the visionary artists, not the other way around, One such visionary is singer/songwriter Conny Ochs, who has a legion of admirers and collaborators that reads like an underground music all-star team. We have followed his career closely, and Ochs may be about to reach another creative summit with his new album, the appropriately named Doom Folk, out next week 15th of February from Exile On Mainstream. Ochs will be touring extensively in 2019, celebrating 20 years of Exile on Mainstream, including a highly anticipated return to Roadburn Festival this April. We are honored to share his latest single ‘King Of The Dead’ with our readers! Continue reading
If ever an album title was created with the subconscious aim of getting my attention it’s Doom Folk (Exile On Mainstream Records), the fourth solo album from multi-faceted German troubadour Conny Ochs. More famed in Metal circles for his collaborations with Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, Ochs’ own output is equally as relevant – perhaps more so.Continue reading
Even in this musically idiosyncratic world of genres, sub-genres, tribes, sub-tribes and singleton geniuses, the desire for Finnish psychedelic folk rock may not have been top of your musical shopping list. You should change that forthwith now that Hexvessel’s third album, the striking When We Are Death (Century Media), has arrived for our collective delectation.
Four years ago, their second album, No Holier Temple was a curious and often compelling blend of Woods of Ypres inspired atmospherics, Opeth tinged acoustics and an obvious and deep-seated love of drug influenced 60s and 70s rock, particularly that made by Mr. Jim Morrison and his partners in crime in The Doors.
No Holier Temple was about the trip and the mood; it was inviting and beguiling. By contrast, When We Are Death initially appears as a straightforward folk rock record. Before you jump to a logical conclusion that they have thrown the baby out with the Finnish bathwater, hold your psychedelic horses. The band’s love of psychedelia remains resolutely intact: when you have songs called Drugged Up On the Universe and Mushroom Spirit Doors it is fairly self-evident how the band spend part of their leisure time but there is also a much more deliberate attention to song structure and that oft-ignored discipline of the tune in distinct evidence here. Have a listen, for example to the sparky, keyboard soaked friskiness of When I Am Dead or the smoky jazz backdrop of the reflective and melancholic Mirror Boy and you’ll immediately understand what I’m getting at.
At the heart of this collective endeavour is the vocal prowess of British born Mat McNerney who has a fragility and emotional heft to his voice that does three things particularly well. First: it brings an authenticity to the songs that cuts through with striking immediacy. Second: as narrator, his range is never overbearing nor irritating. Third: he does the best Jim Morrison you’ve heard in ages. Oh and, yes, this is the same Mat from Beastmilk, by the way.
Hexvessel are an intoxicating proposition. They are not, repeat, not, a heavy metal band. Not in the stereotypical sense of the phrase anyway.However, Hexvessel share some of the same qualities and attitude that underscores the metal aesthetic. This is a record is a record of charm and wit and invention. It is a record that is warm and inviting and, being released in the depths of winter, you cannot say any fairer than that. So we won’t.
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Wood and Wire sees Oxford’s Undersmile sharing a split with, well, with themselves. The sludge/doom quartet have an acoustic alter ego by the name of Coma Wall. This is where the name of the split gets clever. Wood being the acoustic side of Coma Wall’s three tracks and Wire being Undersmile’s amplified contribution.Continue reading