On Monday of this week I began a two-part collection of music whose title was intended to have a dual meaning. Some of the music I chose was recognizably death/doom metal. Other tracks had very little to do with death metal, yet death loomed large in their atmosphere, even envisioning the extinction of all human life.
In this concluding part of the post, doom is still (in widely differing degrees) a through-line in the music, and visions of extinction still uncoil in the mind as the sounds flow through it. But as in Part 1, there’s considerable variety in the music.
I’m indebted to HGD, a faithful reader and a frequent source of recommendations, for urging the last three of these selections upon us, and for allowing me to use his own words as brief introductions to the streams. But we’ll begin with one choice of my own.
Eterno, the new three-track EP by this Italian band presents enormous contrasts of sound and mood. It is usually slow, and as heavy as anything I’ve heard this year — heavy enough to shatter granite boulders as if they were tiny brittle pine cones leached of moisture by the sun… massive, mountainous, megalithic music, and equally immense in the scale of its bleakness.
And while the drum blows and the riffs are threatening to liquify your internal organs, the lead guitar scrabbles and claws at your sanity, vibrating like a fever in the blood or ringing out in displays of shimmering, spectral magnificence. And so, the music is both crushing and celestial, mortifying but mesmerizing, apocalyptically desolate yet also delirious, reaching frenzies of intensity that seem to straddle the line between shattering grief and the rapture of being burned by holy fire. I was left stupefied by the first listen, in thrall to Eterno’s power.
TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT
HGD: “Temple of Abandonment are a funeral doom band from Vancouver, BC. Their second demo, Chasm of the Horned Pantheon: Through Your Death, They Live, was released a couple of weeks ago. As far as the music here is concerned, it’s a particularly grime-ridden take on funeral doom. Some parts remind me of Bell Witch while others bring to mind Tyranny or Evoken. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who’s out there searching for something new in this particular subgenre.”
HGD: “Those with an ear to the underground will probably already be familiar with Dispirit, the blackened doom band featuring current and former members of Weakling and Wild Hunt among others. They recently released a new demo titled Enantiodromian Birth, originally on cassette and now on Bandcamp. Those familiar with the band’s previous output will be right at home with the psychedelic-tinged black/doom on offer here.”
HGD: “My last selection comes from a black metal band called Deschain who hail from Bloomington, Indiana. They released a new album on July 4 titled Grit Pt II: Drift, mixed and mastered by Damien Herring at Subterranean Watchtower Studio. As you’ll find upon an initial listen, Deschain incorporate elements of Americana into their blend of atmospheric and melodic black metal and choose to focus on the Wild West as a source of inspiration”.