Split albums – content shared by two or more bands, as opposed to an album by one band that’s logistically divided into obvious sections – are effective ways to show off the firepower a label wields. But they can also act as a double-edged sword if one band categorically steals the show.
One thing became crystal clear very quickly after listening to MØL’s most recent effort, Diorama: this band can do it all. They’ve devised eight elegant tracks to prove just that, frankly leaving fans wanting more. Listed as “Post-Black Metal/Shoegaze” on the Metal Archives, these Danes dabble in Progressive Rock, Black Metal, Melodic Death Metal and even a snippet of Pop Punk. Another appealing aspect of MØL’s Nuclear Blast debut is the apparent influences vocalist Kim Song Sternkopf takes from fellow Scandinavians Dark Tranquillity and Omnium Gatherum. There is even a whiff of Parkway Drive.
South African post-Black outfit Constellatia arrived just two short years ago, and already last year’s debut album The Language of Limbs (Season of Mist) has earned a power-label reissue. A blast of atmospheric harshness and aching melody with a touch of doomed romance, its four tracks are a paean to the outer edges of Emotion.Continue reading →
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 →
It’s no secret that Charlie Fell has issues. Anyone reading the few interviews he gave to promote Death Mask (Profound Lore Records), his last outing with Chicago’s Lord Mantis prior to his acrimonious departure from the band, won’t fail to be staggered by some of the personal revelations feeding his lyrical contribution to that album. Coupled with the tragic loss of revered drummer Bill Bumgardner in 2016, it was hard to see a way for the soul of this truly disturbing entity to continue forward: yet here we are with Universal Death Church (Profound Lore Records), Fell back behind both bass and microphone and re-absorbed by the nucleus of Andrew Markuszewski, fellow returnee Ken Sorceron and honorary fifth member, vocalist Dylan O’Toole.Continue reading →
Highly-respected Ulster Sludge/Doom outfit Slomatics is as well known for its countless splits, most prominently with fellow Doom yellers Conan, as it is for its own produce. So it’s something of a surprise to discover that Canyons (Black Bow Records) is the band’s sixth album in its fifteen-year existence, but as expected it shows a soupçon of originality in the unrelenting, slothlike heaviness.Continue reading →
Some things in life carry a level of excitement and anticipation that seems life-changing, almost transcendental: marriage; the birth of a child; a pilgrimage. It seems over-trivialising to compare the release of a Pelican album to any of the above, but after six long years, a new offering from the iconic post-Metal instrumentalists is akin to the herald of a new dawn. Nighttime Stories (Southern Lord Recordings) is an emotional, dramatic and involving as one would expect it to be.Continue reading →
A band name that works beautifully on so many levels – profound, Sci-Fi, comedic – Italian quintet John, The Void’s sound is now firmly attached in the former, having spent time dallying in the first two descriptors. Second album III: Adversa (Argonauta Records) adds a further, more grave distillation of that desolation whilst maintaining a subtle, warm influence.Continue reading →
Home to the likes of Khemmis and the sickening might of Primitive Man, Denver Colorado has carved out a significant Metal niche in the last few years, and rag-tag trio The Munsens intend to mean more than a jagged splinter in that hole. Formed from a background of Hardcore, Punk and Black Metal, this particular identity offers an exciting amalgamation of the three disciplines with a huge dollop of gravity thrown into the mix.Continue reading →
When the words ‘experimental’ and ‘French’ precede the word ‘Doom’ in a preamble, surely it’s impossible to ignore. Bordeaux trio Endless Floods, formed by members of cult outfits Monarch and Bombardement, are such a band and third album Circle The Gold (Fvtvrecordings / Bigôut Records) sees them test their expansive minds to new, sometimes more melodic limits.Continue reading →