doom metal

HIGH PRIESTESS - "High Priestess"

High Priestess - “High Priestess”

(Tridroid Records)

Driving bass, deadly guitar riffs, and soaring, melodic vocals make this enchanting mixture of classic death metal and psych rock and a powerful dark magic aesthetic a must listen record. Imagine if you could take all the driving rhythms, crunchy guitar riffs, and screaming guitar solos of classic death metal and shroud that sound in a veil of enchanted mysticism, and you might be close to imagining the sound of High Priestess.

Originally released in May of 2018, the Los Angeles trio's first full length album, self-titled High Priestess is a dark declaration of the bands intent to ensnare the hearts and minds of every listener with their well-honed incantations. Crunchy bass lines by Mariana Fiel and infectious guitar licks by Katie Gilchrest work in tandem to create a swirling atmosphere of tantalizing death metal propelled forward by the mesmerizing drum work of Megan Mullins. Over the top of this hammering doom, fly the harmonized and commanding vocals that can both simmer and soar or howl and growl all within the scope of one song.

The opening track, Firefly is an 10 minute rock excursion that leads in with a slow boil of churning drums and mounting tension of throbbing bass that culminates in an all out sludge thrash with both Fiel and Gilchrest providing call-and-response style vocals that echo down into the underworld. Summoning powers from far below in the tracks such as Banshee, High Priestess creates a tangible atmosphere of shadowy mystique punctuated with intense doses of good old fashioned slow doom thrashing.

High Priestess is now re-released on cassette through Tridroid Records. It’s 40 minutes of high-quality rock and roll with all the pounding rhythms and ancient magic that you don’t want to miss.

Gray Lee

https://tridroid.bandcamp.com/album/high-priestess

VRSA - "Cvlt of Machina"

VRSA - “Cvlt of Machina”

VRSA’s latest EP Cvlt of Machina is a three-track tour de force of brutality, precision and dynamics. Each track ebbs and flows between intensely heavy riffage and pensive interludes. Their sound takes doom and sludge metal to new technical heights with odd time signatures and dynamic shifts that turn on a dime. This makes this 15-minute EP one hell of a ride and a worthy addition to the collection of any metalhead or hard rocker. Click the link below to join the Cvlt! No defooing required!

https://vrsa.bandcamp.com/album/cvlt-of-machina

Theron Willis

GOBLINSMOKER - "Toad King"

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Goblinsmoker - "Toad King"

(The Sludgelord) 

Heavy sludge drips over every inch of this driving slice of stoner metal. The toad king is indeed alive and well, and he's got some dastardly deeds in store for the dwellers of murky, shadowy places.

Crunchy guitars of doom lockstepped with throbbing stabs of toxic bass and banging thuds of percussion dominate the track as an unholy minion of the underworld screeches out gargled incantations of filth in the opening title track of this terrifying triptich.

The second offering in this slimy ritual is a lenghty tome of unfortunate, and muddy profanity known as Take the Dead. We are not certain where the dead are being taken, but we do not care to argue with the growling creature that directs the dead to be taken. A slowly churning chord progression of psychedelic death echoes across the swampy pits of ruin that the Toad King inhabits, only ordered from chaos by clang and clamor of orc-hammered drums. A inhuman litany of unspeakable deeds is hurled from the witch-mouthed amphibian as the dissoving waves of sludge boil and swirl faster, sweeping up into a funnel of dark, dingy muck.

At last, a dank stone door is heaved aside, and in a rank cave filled with toadlings, a dark ceremony begins in the track Time to Ride. The hideous creatures gather their ill-begotten powers to mount a new offensive, screaming into the night sky that "The time has come." As the final driving pulse of rotten metal surges in intensity, the Toad King laughs manically and orders his murderous army to march upon the unsuspecting inhabitants of the earth.

Gray Lee

 https://thesludgelord.bandcamp.com/album/toad-king

BAST - "Nanoångström"

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Bast - "Nanoångström"

UK trio Bast slaughters ears and conjures fears with Nanoångström, a concept-driven, megolithic ode to brooding metal forged in the cores of distant planets long since darkened from the view of our own galaxy. A smoky slow burning intro, Distant Suns, leads into an array of five lengthy movements made of adrenaline and fire. While each successive track has its own unique sound, their dynamic structure and scope are always complimentary to the broader picture, and thus move as one.

The power of narrative composition is what sets Nanoångström apart from other metal records. There is a degree of patience and control here, amid the crispy doom metal guitars and pounding rhythms. Long passages of music go by without any vocal commentary. Patterns ebb and flow, grow and change. Amid the dramatically-timed voice work are the aggressive growls and snarls we crave, but also there are surprising moments of harmonized singing that produce some nice chills.

Exploring themes of loneliness, rage, and anguish against a backdrop of science fiction fantasy, Bast elevates the art of metalmaking with longform compositions that blend raw energy with ancient, galactic lore and legend. Overall, the churning rock apocalypse of Nanoångström is outstripped by its own artistry of arrangement, making it an easy repeat listen for the thinking metalhead, with just as many sorrowful asides as chunky doom metal riffs. 

Gray Lee

https://bastmusic.bandcamp.com/album/nano-ngstr-m

KOSMOGYR - "Eviternity"

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Kosmogyr - “Eviternity”

Eviternity is a full-length black metal album from collaborative duo Kosmogyr.

Kosmogyr is Xander Cheng of Shanghai and Ivan Belcic of Prague. Xander provides the ferocious guitar and bass work, while Ivan provides programmed drums, and pulls off some amazing vocals.

There is some good balance in here between dramatic, orchestrated pieces of instrumental storyline, and ear-splitting metal passages of violent action, creating a black metal experience that is filled with all the deep and dark anger, aggression, and hatred you're looking for, sweetened by emotive symphonic interludes.

The title track of the release is a standout hit, with Xander raging out on an easily accessible doubled riff that plays across a pulsating rhythm. The chorus comes in with a satisfyingly heavy thrash before locking back into the main drag. Ivan is a monster whose demonic howls and far-from-clean vocals capture the raw, tortured entropy that makes genuine black metal so compelling. Tracks such as Sui Generis and Refulgence bring orchestral and acoustic styles into the mix that balance the album, and provide further contrast when the big waves of metal come crashing down.

Eviternity is certainly a hell of an album, and if you were looking off the beaten path for hidden gems, you will find one here with Kosmogyr.

Gray Lee

https://kosmogyr.bandcamp.com/album/eviternity-digital-version