Ghost Cult up to solo artist Anne O’Neil – a.k.a. Serpentent about her new album Ancient Tomes Vol. 1: Mother of Light – out now via Svart Records. We talked to Anne about the pivot to her current style, how the new album is part of a wide-ranging trilogy, her philosophical inspirations for her lyrics, and much more!
With almost nothing revealed about their identity, singer Elitha Treveniel is an enigmatic presence in the contemporary world where true mystery is hard to maintain. As the main songwriter/vocalist for Ianai, this project’s music is equally as cryptic in part as it transcends across multiple spectrums. If there is one thing clear about the album Sunir (Svart Records) however, is that it is a captivating and wonderful experience.
We chatted with Markus of Finland’s long-running Doom band Kuolemanlaakso! Featuring Mikko of Swallow The Sun – the band just released their first new album in 8 years, Kuusumu (Svart Records). Markus was great and shared a lot of insights about the new album, and the band. Continue reading →
Italian Doom Metal band Messa has completed the follow-up to their critically acclaimed Feast For Water (Aural Music) entitled Close (Svart Records). Messa is one of those bands that instantly caught my attention by combining melancholic, haunting music with impressive, powerful vocals. After the release of Feast For Water, which is considered one of the best Doom Metal records in the past five years, I was already wondering about how a new album from the band would turn out. I believe that there is always a bit of extra pressure to write a follow-up album after a “breakthrough album”, but the Italians were able to just knock it out of the park once again with Close.
Considering that music, and life in general, has become increasingly less local and much more globally accessible and transferable, it is powerful and interesting that there is something intrinsically locked to a place about certain bands and musical styles. And, accepting their protagonists were forging recorded Metal identities since 2000 when there was more of some semblance of “local” and “scene”, it is fair to say that Kuolemanlaakso are undeniably and gloriously Finnish, with national metal musical traits from the land of the thousand lakes littered in abundance throughout their third album, Kuusumu (Svart Records).
In the world of doom, there are seemingly as many subgenres as there are bands out there to choose from. I listen to so many different things and love that the genre just lets bands be who they truly are and express themselves naturally without conforming to something they are not. We have all heard bands who try to force elements in their music that they just simply do not shine at. This is not the case with A Nocturnal Crossing (Svart Recordings); everything has its place and works very well together.
Having left their Doom Metal roots behind on 2016’s Wider Than The Sky(Radiance), 40 Watt Sun completely doubles down on slowcore with their third full-length album. In fact, Perfect Light (Svart/Cappio Records) might even be a little softer than its predecessor with nary a trace of fuzz or distortion to be found. It often feels more like a slow-motion singer/songwriter record, especially with the Jerry Cantrell-esque twang throughout. I suppose it’s only fitting when you consider that guitarist/vocalist Patrick Walker is the only returning band member, having recruited an entirely different cast of musicians for this effort.
With Blackwater Holylight’s unique brand of Doomgaze getting gradually heavier with each passing album, it makes sense that their third full-length, Silence/Motion (RidingEasy Records), pushes that heaviness to its furthest extents yet.
For the most part, the fourth album from Jess And The Ancient Ones continues down the low-key approach to Occult Rock that was established on 2017’s The Horse And Other Weird Tales. Just about every song on Vertigo (Svart Records) is driven by a short length, an upbeat structure, and extensive layers of psychedelic instrumentation. Aside from the eleven minutes of the closing ‘Strange Earth Illusion,’ the first two albums’ more drawn-out runtimes seem to be a thing of the past.
As much as I enjoy Reverend Bizarre and plenty of Sami Hynninen’s other various projects, I’ve honestly not been as enthused about Opium Warlords. Their experimental brand of Drone Doom tends to be rather hit and miss, producing ideas that can be intriguing but more frequently stretched beyond their limits or constructed haphazardly. Their fifth full-length album, Nembutal (Svart Records), doesn’t promise anything different yet I find its execution to be somehow more palatable than anything else they’ve released.