Find here all Doom, Sludge and Stoner releases packed up in a SONIC WINTER SURVIVAL KIT that helped us recover from cold and ugly times at Doom Metal Front lines in the first two month of 2017:
1968 is not only a band name, it is a musical statement that could not be cemented better than on "Fortuna Havana", rolling out monstrous stoner riffs carrying the blues rock roots of the late 60s translated into up-to-date heaviness. The track "War Dogs" is an amazingly bass-laden, catchy monolith, and the rest too. Great stuff! (SM)
Spaniards AATHMA are back with their new album "Avesta" presenting quality sludge/stoner spanning from blues-laden heavy rock with clean vocals to crushing riffage with monstrously rolling bass lines and hatred shouting. 2017 shows AATHMA at the climax of their compositional evolution. "Avesta" is highly addictive! (SM)
BANTHA RIDER is part of the pretty active Polish underground music scene and have recorded an instrumental gem combining their obvious love for maximum fuzz on the vintage style guitars and science fiction. This is possibly the first Star Wars inspired stoner/doom release ever, and heavy as hell at the same time! (SM)
BATHSHEBA recruits of no one less than Michelle Nocon (ex-Serpentcult, Leviathan Speaks & Death Penalty) at vocals, Jelle Stevens (ex-SardoniS) at drums, Raf Meukens (Death Penalty, Torturerama) at bass guitar and Dwight Goossens (ex-Disinterred) playing the guitars. I have been waiting for an album by these Belgians since the demo (2014), the grandious "The Sleepless Gods" EP (2015) and their great show at Doom Over London (2016). Now, in 2017, Svart Records is finally releasing the full-length debut called "Servus" presenting the band on top of the doom genre. "Demon 13" is undoubtedly a highlight showing Michelle easily switching from clean vocal beauty to guttural harshness that goes hand in hand with the schizophrenic idea of the song serving heavy pounding riffage and pointed shredding guitars. Also "The Sleepless Gods", which is still as graceful and touching as it was on the EP. New track "Ain Soph" surprises with experimental saxophone tunes adding a refreshing jazz reference to BATHSHEBA's rolling doom, which is framed by relentlessly thrashing guitars at the beginning and at the end. Majestically crawling opener "Conjuration Of Fire", melodious "Manifest" in the middle and final "I, At The End Of Everything" complete this gem of doom metal bleakness, which is bleeding grief and despair in rivers. (SM)
"Nothing To Lose"
BATTALIONS from Hull in the UK have "Nothing To Lose" and spit hate infested sludge dirt off the speakers that was brutalized by the crushing boomy Skyhammer Studio sound. (SM)
The Italian scene is famous for bringing up unorthodox ways of interpreting hard rock history. CONCRETE JELLŸ aren't only "Getting Noticed" for owning the funniest band name of the month, also for delivering pretty entertaining tunes that can be described best using words like trippy, fuzzy, crazy, heavy, progressive, catchy ... This is not the common psychedelic, 70s influenced stoner thing as the dudes obviously are having loads of fun playing extremely pushing music that spreads positive vibes from the start to the end. C'mon, CONCRETE JELLŸ is a great name, isn't it?! (SM)
Paris based DDENT is a project by Paris based Louis Lambert and Marc Le Saux, who deliver highly athmospheric music combining the rolling heaviness of doom with post-metallic shyness and dark industrial ambience throughout the album that is following an instrumental thread, guided by enigmatic words 'Habouz', 'Arzel', 'Houri' etc., which come from arab psalms depicting the melancholy and depression of a horseman. DDENT's debut album is an intelligently arranged sonic drama that has to be listened carefully and in full to empathize with the lonesome traveller. This is for open-minded fans of quality epic soundscapes and ethnological research. (SM)
DEMONIC DEATH JUDGE
The new album, "Seaweed", by DEMONIC DEATH JUDGE serves extremly groovy heaviness like Weedeater gone on a crazy space trip in search for new sludge experiences on unknown water planets! (SM)
"Tales From The Cosmonaut"
If you love your stoner vocally as desperate as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains then DSW is your band of choice coming around the corner with maximum blues-driven guitars and trippy spaced-out journeys. Even 'Mother In Earth' – a western style version of 'Mother' by Danzig – turns out way slower, deeper and bluesier than the original. Long story short: "Tales From The Cosmonaut" is a great stoner album mixing the best grunge feel of the early 90s with slow doom riffage that is deeply rooted in the heavy blues! (SM)
"Sleep Of The Silent King"
Louisiana's ELECTRIC AGE are serving a serious slab of southern metal on "Sleep Of The Silent King", pleasing with blue melodies and crispy guitars that play on a level with Black Label Society when talking about instrumental and vocal skills. ELECTRIC AGE sound way doomier and grounded. High-quality! (SM)
ENDLESS FLOODS from France serve two lenghty tracks – 'Impasse' and ' Procession' – on their new album, "II", both sending wave after wave of sky high riff monoliths filled to the brim with utter grief that slowly and relentlessly erode your desperate soul. Also the bridging acoustic track 'Passage' lucks of any hope and light. This full-length is made for pain addicts, who love wading in darkness and solitude whilst enjoying minimalist, almost droning beauty drenched in mournful melodies. A feast for doom extremists and feedback junkies! (SM)
"Can'-Ka No Rey"
The four piece EPHEDRA from Zofingen/Switzerland have their musical roots all over the place, spreading from stoner rock, metal and punk to death metal. That influences mixed up and stirred well, the new album, 'Can'-Ka No Rey', serves music that pleases friends of trippy instrumental music, which is deversified, entertaining and heavy at the same time, reaching its peak with the track 'Mother Stone', from my very doomish point of view. (SM)
FROZEN PLANET 1969
The fourth album by FROZEN PLANET 1969 is called 'Electric Smokehouse' and contains once more improvised heavy instrumental music that seems to have survived almost five decades to revive heavy music's roots before Black Sabbath was on the horizon. Jamming heavy blues riffs and leads with maximum fuzz on the guitars FROZEN PLANET make you feel as if evolution had just stopped back in 1969. That pimped to the maximum with spacy effects shoots you directly in the universe of never ending psychedelic ecstasy. (SM)
"The Light Is From Below"
Black Bow Records released "The Light is From Below" EP by GRIM RAVINE from Portsmouth delivering four tracks of abyssal gurgling and shrieking, boomy, brutally rolling doom destruction that seems to have crawled directly out of earth's lava spilling wounds to cover human scum with neverending misery and disgust. Highly enjoyable, ultra heavy material! (SM)
Coming from Finland HEREM are not riding the traditional horse like Reverend Bizarre or Spiritus Mortis. The band has been following a crustier path of doom for eleven years. Now, having "III" out, HEREM find themselves playing utter slow, heavy pounding riffs that are painted black with possessed death and sludge style vocals reminiscent of Dopethrone and contemporaries. Also serving athmospheric parts that dive deep down into human abysses bringing fear and desperation to the surface. Once at light, trippy mood breaks free ending up in blues-tinged guitar leads here or mid-tempo death'n'roll there. (SM)
HORISONT's fifth album is once more a time travel through the history of heavy rock spanning from the blues-laden, psychedelic 60s and the proto-metallic 70s to the NWOBH era of the 80s. The Swedish serve ten frightening catchy earworms on "About Time" that seem to have directly jumped out of a whormhole connected to times when classical rock was played and danced to in the discos. There is an overall pop feel to some of the songs, rhythmically and vocally, and a crystal clear production that could sound way too clean for the one and another fan of heavy music. (SM)
"Created In The Image Of Suffering"
KING WOMAN's actual album was literally "Created In The Image Of Suffering" taking you on a journey through subliminal fear and isolation as felt in a misty dream where black waves reach the shores of desperation, carrying the Siren like desolate, breathed vocals of Kristina Esfandiari. Softly scratching at your mind over a lengthy period of time to finally erupt all agony and pain. The intensity of sound and emotion of the whole album is majorly based on its minimalist beauty and calmness spreading from acoustic guitars that sound like wind blown through the deserted prairie and gently played soloing violines to eruptive heavy rolling riffage that is permanently accompanied by Kristina's perfectly performed monotony and hopelessness. This album is like a lonesome black flower sipping from the ocean of despair and crying tears of neverending grief. (SM)
"Total War Power Bastard"
Australia's LIZZARD WIZZARD is pulling you through ultra heavy and thick sludge dirt with "Total War Power Bastard"! Absolutely brutal and crushing – no more, no less! (SM)
"Feel Your Fire"
"Feel Your Fire" serves a catchy mixture of blues, psychedelic and 70s heavy rock. With a sound focused on energetic vocals and diversified quality guitar play, MAGNET throw you in a void of slow and dreamy rhythms. The band was founded in the first half of 2016 by Psychedelic Witchcraft bassist Riccardo Giuffrè, who is playing the guitars here and showing his vocal abilities. (SM)
MANGOG was assembled by bassist Bert Hall Jr. after a year of Revelation and Against Nature being on hiatus. Consisting of himself playing the guitars now, drummer Stephen Branagan in the beginning, who is replaced with Mike Rix (ex-Iron Man) in the meantime, Darby Cox (Major Company) at the bass and Final Answer’s Vocalist Myke Wells MANGOG are celebrating typical Maryland style doom metal infested with crispy blues guitar solos and heavy pounding riffage. The opener kicks off with the quintessence of the slow rolling music genre stating that "Time Is A Prison". This beautifully arranged with catchy melodies and hooking guitars brings you directly on the album's way heading straight towards doom heaven. It is unneccessary to tell that MANGOG is reminiscent of the styles of Revelation and Iron Man that are both pulled through the whole album in the one and another track. Do you complain about that? I do not as long as it turns out as authentically as "Awakens", serving a blues infested fuzzy doom tornado that is as punk as Saint Vitus. Favourite tracks: 'Time Is A Prison', 'Meld', 'Ab Intra', 'Of Your Deceit', 'A Tongue Full Of Lies' and 'Eyes Wide Shut'. (SM)
"Into The Arms Of Darkness"
MARCHE FUNÈBRE are having the third full-length album called "Into The Arms Of Darkness" out, which is marking a milestone in the band's sonic evolution that started back in 2008 to hail the originators of doom/death metal. After experimenting with pure upspeed violence on the "Lost" EP in 2015 the Belgians started composing material that incorporates everything early 90s doom/death stands for: mournful melodiosity and slow rolling heaviness as well as relentless death riffage combined with touching clean vocals and guttural aggressiveness. Once more they recorded at Studio E Klangschmiede guaranteeing that the intelligent arangements sound as crispy and heavy as needed. Especially lengthy track "Lullaby Of Insanity" is a prime example for diversity and attraction that only top bands like My Dying Bride, Draconean, early Paradise Lost, Katatonia back in the days, and grandious Mourning Beloveth are able to deliver whilst wading in the deepest abysses of human grief and solitude. "Into The Arms Of Darkness" shows MARCHE FUNÈBRE having found their final sound and putting themselves midst the big names of doom/death metal. (SM)
"Magick Rites And Spells"
Once more, Italy's PYCHEDELIC WITCHCRAFT prove that they have drunk from the bottle of blues, swum in the psychedelic grounds of the mediterranean sea and spent more time listening to the heavy stuff from the 70s music era after last year’s debut album "The Vision". The new songs of "Magick Rites And Spells" are pretty much focusing on Virginia Monti's vocals sorrounded by easy going rhythms and pointed leads celebrating the greatness of slow rocking riffs and witchery. (SM)
"The Law Of Purity"
Argonauta Records owns a good hand when it comes to pull quality stoner out of the Italian underground. This time RHINO from Catania, who are following "The Law Of Purity" on the new album serving a fuzzy blend of 70s, 80s and 90s heavy rock with a special love for catchy desert riffs and whisky soaked vocals singing about monsters, nuclear space, eating dust and dog cocks. What else? Rock'n'Roll! (SM)
"In The Wind"
R.I.P. from Portland are celebrating the raw punkish attitude typical for early American style doom metal in the vein of Pentagram and Saint Vitus that is deeply rooted in Sabbathian riffage. This paired with maximum fuzz and playfulness a la Iron Man brings forth heavily driving 'street doom' as the band calls its retrospective feast. R.I.P. make extensive use of old school heavy metal cliches like sex, death and rivets as presented on the album's cover artwork, which might impress the youngsters in the rumble. As for me, I prefer sonic quality, which is omnipresent on "In The Wind". (SM)
SANTO ROSTRO stand out of Iberian doom metal with their third album – "The Healer". These Spaniards are worshipping the ultra heavy riffs and leads, also giving speed without ever leaving the path of doom that is crossing road with oscillating psychedelia and 70s progressiveness, then building up a slowly rolling wall of sound again. Imagine Black Sabbath rotatory on coke and weed, travelling through the land of Pink Floyd, crossing mount Cathedral and rolling through the desert of Sleep whilst fighting with epic Trouble. SANTO ROSTRO are joining doom aristocracy with "The Healer"! (SM)
"Stalking The Ghost"
New York's UNEARTHLY TRANCE are "Stalking The Ghost" of doom on their sixth album, teaching him fear the paths that unfold from the underworld. Crawling after him through the dark, they frighten with abyssal growls and whispers to finally crush him with utterly brutal riffage and distortion. This album is a demonical sludge ride! (SM)
And here another three hands full of noteworthy releases of early 2017:
ASOFY "Nessun Luogo", Avantgarde Music – LISTEN HERE!
BURIED FEATHER "Mind Of The Swarm", Kozmik Artifactz – LISTEN HERE!
CRANIAL "Dark Towers / Bright Lights", Moment Of Collapse Records – LISTEN HERE!
ESCAPE IS NOT FREEDOM "Goldsmith", self-release – LISTEN HERE!
FREEDOM HAWK "Sunlight" (re-release), Ripple Music – LISTEN HERE!
GLOSON "Grimen", Art Of Propaganda – LISTEN HERE!
KINGNOMAD "Mapping The Inner Void", Ripple Music – LISTEN HERE!
MIRES "Loom", self-release – LISTEN HERE!
NULA "Kenoma" EP, Black Bow Records – LISTEN HERE!
RÜCKWATER "Bonehead", Inverse Records – LISTEN HERE!
STINKING LIZAVETA "Journey To The Underworld", Translation Loss Records – LISTEN HERE!
STRANGE BROUE "Seance" EP, Sunmask Records – LISTEN HERE!
TETHRA "Like Crows For The Earth", Sliptrick Records – LISTEN HERE!
THE DARKHORSE "The Carcass Of The Sun Will Sleep", Attic Records – LISTEN HERE!
THERA ROYA "Stone And Skin", self-release – LISTEN HERE!