ALBUM REVIEW: Resent – Crosshairs

Everything in Canada is supposed to be nice, right? That Trudeau bloke’s boyish grin; the clean, crisp air; the way the natives go ‘Eh’ at the end of a sentence in a wonderfully endearing way. Tell that to Resent. The 2018 demo from the Victoria, British Columbia based quartet was one of the most frightening exercises in putrid Sludge I’d ever encountered, and new album Crosshairs (Dry Cough Records / Nerve Altar / Rope Or Guillotine) promises only to extend the suffering…

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ALBUM REVIEW: Forgotten Tomb – Nihilistic Estrangement

I’m just going to come right out and say it: Italy’s Forgotten Tomb is one of the most criminally underrated bands in the Harsh Doom arena, most probably because its early fanbase still feels aggrieved at its reinvention from a Black metal band. Get over it: it’s been that way for the last seventeen years and eight albums. With a solid unit existing throughout that period, it’s also safe to say that this is more than Herr Morbid‘s project, and new album Nihilistic Estrangement (Agonia Records) continues to display the trio’s ever-strengthening unity with expansions on the core sound. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Slave Hands – No More Feelings

Usually, Metal from Finland is incarcerated inside a cocoon of cold Death and/or melancholy. For the last seven years, however, Helsinki trio Slave Hands has rebelled against the norm to peddle a particularly horrific brand of Doom-flavoured Sludge, and No More Feelings (Dry Cough Records/Gate Of Deliria/Minor Obscure/Sewer Prison), the band’s fourth album in that time, continues down that solitary, diseased path. Continue reading

Blind Monarch – What Is Imposed Must Be Endured

From the first recording session through to the present day, it’s taken almost eighteen months for What Is Imposed Must Be Endured (Black Bow Records), the debut album from Sheffield-based quartet Blind Monarch, to see the light of day. In that time the band has shared stages with leading lights of the UK Death-Doom scene so it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to suggest that this album is eagerly awaited. Continue reading

Obsidian Sea – Strangers

Whilst steadily garnering a reputation in their native Balkans, Bulgarian trio Obsidian Sea finally saw some US action in 2016 with a repress of second album Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (Nuclear War Now! Records). Third album Strangers sees a Ripple Music release that will undoubtedly propel the psych-Doom outfit further. Continue reading

Un / Coltsblood – Un / Coltsblood

When I heard about this particular collaboration, I swear a little bit of wee came out. Seattle’s Un is still reveling in the success of last year’s coruscating, moving Sentiment (Translation Loss Records), while Scouse / Scottish hybrid Coltsblood have laid waste to the UK Underground for the last five years. This split, therefore, promises to be a leveller on both sides of the Atlantic. Continue reading

Maestus – Deliquesce

It’s staggering that a city supposedly renowned for everything that is good in life produces such harrowing music in abundance. Maestus’ sophomore album Deliquesce (code666), the full-length extension to their 2017 demo of the same name, is the latest slab of darkness to emerge from Portland, Oregon, and it paints a picture of bleak desolation. Continue reading

Yatra – Death Ritual

The word yatra is a Himalayan term referring to a spiritual journey or pilgrimage. Locking themselves in a primitive forest cabin for a three-month creative process, it’s a term that seems pretty apt for Maryland’s Yatra, a Doom trio formed by Dana Helmuth of Blood Raven fame. Death Ritual (Grimoire Records) is the band’s debut album and is as harsh, gloomy yet stimulating as that process must have been. Continue reading

Vouna – Vouna

Even for lovers of the Doom genre such as myself, it’s never a bad thing when a new variant on the strain comes along. Step forward Vouna, a Washington state-based project, whose synth-heavy take on the Funeral sound adds lush, frosted textures to a bleak atmosphere. Continue reading