With the first release in eight years, Norway’s Dødheimsgard return armed with a reputation for the abstract and the almost absurd. Formerly a more pure Black Metal act, 1999’s seminal 666 International saw the band broaden their sonic palette to incorporate a widening range of styles within their sound, often incorporated in sudden ways as opposed to fluidly throughout, with 2015’s return, A Umbra Omega, receiving plaudits and adding to their cult following.
Moths, the five-piece stoner/prog outfit from San Juan, Puerto Rico, take a voyage into space on their debut LP. As cosmic and inter-galactic as the results are, this mission perhaps required more focus, more direction and a tad more discipline. The myriad metal genres, frequently-changing time signatures and disparate musical sections idiosyncratically grafted together into songs can make it hard to grasp or nail down any plan behind it all.
Atmospheric black metal project Tome of the Unreplenished have upped the ante on Earthbound (Avantgarde), the band’s forthcoming album. After laying the groundwork on a few initial releases, multi-instrumentalist Hermes brought in a full-band for 2017’s Theurgy – Act I. A departure from the more musically straightforward debut, 2015’s Innerstanding (both I, Voidhanger), the first “full-band” release, probably alienated some listeners. If you aren’t open to noise and industrial experimentation (think more Throbbing Gristle than Nine Inch Nails) you may want to leave that one alone. The latest release is far more in keeping musically with the debut record and it’s a satisfying forty-six minutes of riffing and atmospherics.
Kontact’s debut EP is rather tricky to pin down in terms of style. Voivod makes the most immediate comparison with an aesthetic immersed in similar cosmic theming and the vocals channeling Snake in a similarly manic yet almost robotic sneer. However, the guitar work draws more on Speed Metal gallops and doomy riffs than the high-pitched dissonance that would come with such an association. King Gizzard at their heaviest might also be an applicable reference point though there isn’t quite as much psychedelic fuzz wafting about.Continue reading →
Not content to just let the sludgy boi/spooky girl pairings have all the fun with multi-artist collaborations in Doom, A Story Of Darkness And Light (Stickman Records)features the coming together of Elder and Kadavar as Eldovar (I don’t know where that ‘o’ comes from either). The two groups certainly make for interesting bedfellows; while both are arguably rooted in Seventies Rock traditions, Elder has evolved to Heavy Prog splendor while Kadavar largely subsists on off-the-cuff Stoner Blues. However, their shared interest in various genre experiments as well as established track records of high quality material gives plenty of fertile ground for such a union.
It’s fair to say that Kal-El’s fifth full-length is easily their most elaborate outing yet. The Norwegian quartet’s previous efforts have presented their brand of Stoner Metal with an increasingly spacy edge that seemed to peak with 2019’s Witches Of Mars. However, Dark Majesty (Majestic Mountain Records) sees the last signs of restraint fade into the ether; its eight tracks reach sprawling eight to ten-minute lengths that culminate to an hour-long experience, far eclipsing the runtime of albums past.
Late 2020, the somber Seattle slayers of Sun Crow released their debut album, Quest For Oblivion. Though Ghost Cult missed the initial release, we’re happily taking advantage of the album’s re-release on Ripple Music. It’s no surprise the record topped doom charts, as it’s a perfect showcase of doom and gloom mastery.
While the core sound behind Book Of Wyrms has always been a balance between Doom Metal and Space Rock, their third album sees the band committing much more to the latter. Occult New Age (Desert Records) retains the methodical tempos and some of the beefy riffs of 2019’s Remythologizer but ultimately devotes its atmospheric ends to lighter textures and looser structures. The heavier sequences have more in common than Kyuss than Cathedral and their underlying Hawkwind influence had previously never been highlighted to this extent.
Anna Von Hausswolff is a singer-songwriter who has always embraced a progressive attitude to creativity. Never unafraid to straddle genres as diverse as metal, Krautrock, and dark pop, and always remaining elusively undefinable, she has made waves over the past decade with her four previous albums and numerous illustrious collaborations. As well as following her own unique musical path, Von Hausswolff (to name just a few of her achievements and endeavours): runs a record label, has guested with Wolves in the ThroneRoom and Swans, has supported Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and has hosted visual art exhibitions.Continue reading →
Kingnomad’s Prog Rock tendencies have been at the forefront from their inception, but these elements are expressed in their purest form on Sagan Om Rymden (Ripple Music). The group has about completely phased out the Stoner Doom tinges that helped shape their first two albums, allowing their third to expand their dynamics without a single hint of fuzz to be found. While this does make a less heavy album on the surface, a combination of energy and commitment to atmosphere results in what is easily the band’s boldest effort yet. Continue reading →