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.
Blackwater Holylight – Silence/Motion
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.
Hevessel has shared their first new single for their upcoming album Kindred. Kindred will be released on the 20th of March 2020 worldwide via Svart Records, digital, CD and LP. Jam it out now! Continue reading
Psychedelic Prog-Folk band Hexvessel will release a new album this spring via Svart Records. Kindred is due out on 17th of April 2020, with cover artwork by renowned artists Thomas Hooper and Richey Beckett, which you can see below. A new single will be released on the 24th of January and full album details and pre-orders are coming soon. The bands back-catalog will also be reissued as well. The album promises a darker sound and owing to that, they returned to their original studio in Tampere, Finland, where they recorded their cult classic No Holier Temple, which fused Hexvessel’s folk roots with an occult undercurrent, with the new album mastered by John Davis (Gorillaz/ Led Zeppelin/ Lana Del Rey) in the UK. Hexvessel was formed by English/Irish singer/songwriter Mat McNerney (Beastmilk -now known as Grave Pleasures, The Deathtrip, Carpenter Brut, Me & That Man, Code, Dødheimsgard).Continue reading
Ghost Cult caught up Rob Wrong and Kayla Dixon with Witch Mountain last year at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn to discuss their most recent, self-titled album, out now on Svart Records. Their first full-length album with singer Kayla, the album is another milestone In the storied career of one of the most consistent, long-running Doom Metal bands in the USA, We spoke to the pair in the basement of Saint Vitus (hence the noise in the background, so bump those speakers) about the new music, performing live, self-care on the road, the other endeavors and musical projects from the band and much more. Purchase, stream and follow their activities via their Bandcamp page. Continue reading