Evoking more than a whiff of the spirit of Siouxsie Sioux with a tight, goth-rock unit, Shaam Larein’s second full-length Sticka En Kniv I Världen (Svart Records) may have you seeing visions of witches dancing barefoot under the moonlight.
Hjartastjaki (Svart) is an almost cinematic experience, as Isafjord create bleak and desolate landscape pictures with their sombre atmospheric music. The duo of Solstafir vocalist Addi Tryggvason and multi-instrumentalist Ragnar Zolberg (Sign) wrote the album while holed up together in an old house, during the depths of an icy winter and using a broken piano to start many of their ideas.
Part experimental jazz, part progressive, part sultry but all Getsemane – the newest work of art they’ve created for Svart Records is entitled Viimaa. There is a darkness to the sound, like mushrooms and the mycelial network dark. It’s taking the Hobbits to Isengard black. It’s underground clubs in New York City and Frankfurt, the ones with the brick on the inside; smokey, dense, hot.
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.