(Sending his binary bits all the way from Denmark, MaxR — the proprietor of the Metal Bandcamp blog — makes another welcome guest appearance at NCS with this feature on his Top 10 Metal Bandcamp doom favorites of 2011.)
10 tracks in no particular order plus one honorable mention. 2 hours 26 minutes and 1 second of music. Enjoy.
1. Lycus – “Aghast”. Mournful choral vocal lines accompany the traditional death metal vocals and crashing riffs. And that fantastic fast section as the track goes from stately to pummeling. Cathartic.
2. Bell Witch – “Mayknow”. Ritualistic doom, at the same time both epic and stripped down. The eerie chanting makes it sound almost like a doom hymn. Hypnotic and immersive.
3. Whitehorse – “Time Worn Regression”. A massive crusty sound surrounds the growls and blackened screams. Noises and static give a weird, off-kilter sense to it. Apocalyptic blues.
4. The Flight of Sleipnir – “Transcendence”. Perfectly executed black metal rasps, beautiful clean singing, folk harmonies and a doomy groove. So atmospheric and, yes, mellow.
5. B A T I L L U S – “What Heart”. Percussive drumming, nasty gargling vocals echoing from the cavern. And those hypnotic minutes of synth-underscored riffing in the end. Intense.
6. Ensorcelor – “Crucifuge”. Quoting Kim Kelly: “A sinuous creation of ash and bone, dark and light, Crucifuge is a black metal record at heart.” Hypnotic riffing and a cold, desolate atmosphere create a thing of beauty.
7. Seidr – “A Vision From Hlidskjalf”. Naturalistic doom with passion and emotion. Extremely thick guitar sounds, some of the heaviest shit you’ve ever heard. Crushing and caustic.
8. Abomino Aetas – “Undead”. Funeral doom melded with pure primitive Norwegian black metal. As Cvlt Nation put it: “Picture the vocalist standing above an empty grave screaming at a wooden casket slowly being lowered into the earth.” A black gem.
9. Destroy Judas – “To The Sea”. Melodic doom with the sense of drama and tempo variations of post-metal. Massive, mournful, and yet uplifting. Catchy, in fact.
10. Mournful Congregation – “The Book Of Kings”. Gracefully it transitions from section to section of beautiful guitar solos, haunting cleans, male choirs, deep rumblings, spirited keyboards. This is the one that has it all. Majestic.
Conan – Krull. The honorable mention is really from 2010, but was featured in THE TOP TEN LIST OF “T” and who am I to argue with that? Down-tuned caveman battle doom.