Messa – Belfry [Italy, Doom] (2016)

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Aural Music | 5-6-16

Aural Music | 5-6-16

Doom can be so hot and accessible. Usually my searches through Bandcamp trawl on on the bottom of the ocean floor looking for new black and death albums with the occasional doom thrown in for good measure. Belfry, the debut album from Italian traditional/stoner doom outfit Messa, has come on the wings of no previous material nor no huge press hype yet it has been 6 days and already it is relativity popular and a hit with certain crowds. Why is this? Well, it is my belief that not only is doom with female vocals backing traditional doom enticing to people but Messa does this formula exceedingly well.

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Into Coffin – Into a Pyramid of Doom [Germany, Black / Death / Doom] (2016)

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Caligari Records | 4-8-16

Caligari Records | 4-8-16

Look. At. That. Fucking. Cover. There is a certain feeling one gets when they find a style that clicks with their personality. Into a Pyramid of Doom has everything from occultic obsessions to comic book styled horror. I do not know exactly what it is about Lovecratian monsters looming over Ancient Egypt, but I know Into Coffin knows exactly how I feel.

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Ad Baculum – Opening the Abyss [Brazil, Black] (2016)

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Hammer of Damnation | 3-15-16

Hammer of Damnation | 3-15-16

Oh Lord look at that cover. I wonder if Gustave Dore knew his legacy would be enshrined in the work of so many heavy metal album covers. What is on the cover of Ad Baculum’s third cover is a picture of “The Suicides” from Dore’s extensive illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy. What was meant to be perhaps spiritually horrifying educating wayward Christians to a brighter path has turned into being an ominous cover for a cool as fuck metal band. Its a fair trade off.

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Flesh of the Stars – Hosanna [US, Stoner Doom] (2016)

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Self Released | 1-19-16

Self Released | 1-19-16

I do not cover a lot of doom. I think I cover even less stoner doom. This is not becasue I feel the style is without merit rather the imagery does not grab me as much as black and death metal. It takes a certain angle on stoner doom to grab not just me but anyone that isn’t specifically looking for that style. I want to pay attention to more doom this year as I feel there are some great bands hiding behind dark columns of smoke. If 2016 is going as well as Flesh of the Stars second record, I may be more persuaded to stay.

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Majesty In Ruin – All Light Shall Fade [US, Traditional Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 7-7-14

Self Released | 7-7-14

If you are at all familiar with this site, traditional and doom do not make it on here with any sort of frequency. This isn’t because it is disliked rather black and death are given more of a spotlight. Shadow Kingdom records is a label which is dedicated to both unearthing lost gems of traditional and doom metal as well as supporting current doom and traditional metal. Majesty In Ruin is only really connected by the bassist, John Shamus Gaffney, who currently plays in Sinister Realm. Rich McCoy was in a variety of New Jersey metal bands including Coffin and Primitive Realm. Other than that Majesty in Ruin is an unattached traditional doom act who has one demo released in 2014. This sounds like a perfect place to start for a quality release.

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Abjvration – The Unquenchable Pyre [France, Death / Doom] (2015)

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Caligari Records | 4-15-15

Caligari Records | 4-15-15

Of course. Another Caligari Records release. I will not go into how much I adore this label save for the mention that this cassette heavy label specializes in unearthing some of the more forward thinking and disturbed black/death/doom acts of recent memory. Imagine my lack of surprise when I heard yet another above average doom act with dripping tendrils of misery.

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The Slow Death – Ark [Australia, Death/Doom] (2015)

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Chaos Records | 3-16-15

Chaos Records | 3-16-15

Before traveling into The Slow Death’s third full length release, one has to note the band members and their billion projects. Because this is Australia, bands like Mournful Congregation, Temple Nightside, Murkrat, and Nazxul dot the resumes of the band members involved. Brett Campbell from Pallbearer slides in an the American guest who has been working with the band since 2012. This all seems really odd considering the Slow Death has never been a high profile band seeing their first two releases gone independent and their third being released under a Mexican extreme metal label Chaos Records. I am just going to sit here sitting on my hands and listening to time slowly unravel.

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Spectral Voice – Necrotic Doom [US, Death / Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 1-15-15

Self Released | 1-15-15

Sometimes one just needs the sound of pummeling death/doom to get them through the week. Spectral Voice represents a small piece in a yet to be recognized Colorado metal scene. Spectral Voice is connected to a series of death and doom bands including Abysmal Dimensions and Blood Incantation. While there are of course other bands from Colorado, this small blanket of misery is what is currently most interesting. Perhaps this is the first experience, for many, with Rocky Mountain Death.

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Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden [US, Doom] (2015)

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Dark Descent Records | 2-24-15

Dark Descent Records | 2-24-15

This is perhaps the easiest review I have done in recently memory. This isn’t even due to Crypt Sermon being more than decent. The reason Crypt Sermon and their debut Out of the Garden is so easy to write about is due to not only its loyalty to a retro style but also the band’s dedication to Christian imagery. There is also the kick ass album cover. Let us not forget. Regardless of anything that can be said about the band, it is important to note how effective and decent their debut is. If you have forgotten what being embraced int he warm arms of traditional doom feels like let Crypt Sermon be your shepherd.

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