May 142018
 

 

(After a seven-month hiatus, we present the continuation of a series of reviews prepared by our Russian connoisseur of all things doom, Comrade Aleks.)

First, I was busy finishing the Doom Metal Lexicanum book, and then I put the weight of the “Lexicanum II” project on my shoulders, but blood calls for revenge! And I have some obligations, so here are four overviews of doom albums you may have missed at the end of 2017.

 

Alastor: Blood On Satan’s Claw (Ljudkassett!)

Blood On Satan’s Claw is the second Alastor EP for 2017, and actually I wonder why they didn’t release one full-length album instead. This time the Swedish quartet prepared two ten-minute tracks with a deep psychedelic touch and pop-occult lyrics. The record surpasses its predecessor, Blood Magic, with more effective songwriting and delivery, though the production is on the same underground level. The vocals on these new songs sound different. Actually I was thinking that Alastor had recruited a lady on vocals, but I was wrong. It’s still their bass-player, R, who sings. Continue reading »

May 032018
 

 

(In this new interview Comrade Aleks poses questions to Frederyk Rotter, founding vocalist/guitarist of the Swiss band Zatokrev.)

Fourteen years ago Basel-based power-trio Zatokrev recorded their debut self-titled album. Frederyk Rotter (vocals, guitars), Marco Grementieri (bass), and Silvio Spadino (drums) brought forth a tensive, savage, and energetic blend of extreme doom and sludge. Over the years the band went through a series of metamorphoses, developing with each new record and enriching the sound with post- and some avant-garde influences.

Since April 13, a vinyl reissue of Zatokrev has been available for shipment via Plastic Head. It’s a good reason to talk with Frederyk about Zatokrev’s milestones, as he’s the only member left of the original lineup. Continue reading »

Apr 162018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with three members of the Tennessee funeral doom band Loss, whose new album Horizonless was released last May by Profound Lore. All photos accompanying the interview were made by Diana Lee Zadlo.)

 

Some doom bands are really slow in everything they do. The depressive, crushing, unearthly funeral doom band Loss (Nashville, Tennessee) was formed in 2004, yet their first full-length Despond appeared only in 2011. Well, the band recorded two demos before it and took part in three split-releases, but they really used their time in considering Despond. Six more years passed, and then we got the second album – Horizonless.

I’d like to point out that Loss recorded it with the original lineup, so that’s a good sign of healthy atmosphere, however it doesn’t change the fact that Loss’ sound is damned ruinous again… but what else could we expect?

We had a conversation with three of Loss’ members not so long ago. Here it is — John Anderson (bass), Tim Lewis (guitars), and Jay LeMair (drums) tell their story of Loss, Horizonless, and their 14 years of doom. Continue reading »

Apr 062018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks presents this interview he conducted with Pascal Vervest, founding guitarist of the Dutch band Fall.)

 

Doom metal isn’t the slowest music in the world, but playing slow sometimes means “recording slow” as well. Netherlands-based funeral / death doom outfit Faal (which means “Fail” in Dutch) appeared in the heavy underground in 2005 and their first album Abhorrence-Salvation saw the light of day through Ván Records in 2008.

The combination of sub-genres Faal practiced brought some fresh vibe, but the band didn’t make haste and took their time in finishing a second album. The Clouds Are Burning appeared in 2012, offering the listeners a 45-minute-long voyage in the depths of depression and bitter grief; and, well, it even has some pretty extreme moments there…

With the third full-length record, Desolate Grief (Ván Records, February 2018) it seems that Pascal Vervest remains the only original member of Faal. How did he manage to keep the band in the same vein? I’m going to sort it out. Continue reading »

Apr 032018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this extensive interview with Vanessa Nocera, vocalist and bassist of Wooden Stake and a central figure in other bands such as Cauldron Burial and Vaultwraith.)

 

Originally born in Kentucky, this project was raised by Vanessa Nocera, who has performed in a half -dozen of more extreme bands, such as black death outfit Cauldron Burial. In Wooden Stake she has mixed old school death doom with traditional doom metal since 2010.

From the very beginning she has handled bass and performed all sorts of vocals, from clean ones to hungry and savage harsh ones. She recorded the debut full-length Dungeon Prayers & Tombyard Serenades with Wayne Sarantopoulos (guitars, drums, keyboards), and the second album A Feast Of Virgin Souls was done with William Wardlaw (guitars, drums). Three years have passed, so what’s happening now? Where are the new stories of gore and horror? Where are new tunes from the gloom of the basement?

I approached Vanessa to clarify the current status of Wooden Stake and to learn about its origin. Continue reading »

Mar 162018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with Andy Clarke of The Crawling from Northern Ireland.)

 

Lisburn-based death/doom outfit The Crawling have been philosophizing on the themes of depression and misery since 2014, yet their debut full-length record Anatomy Of Loss, released by Grindscene Records in 2017, sounds like a full-scale anger-management course. Seven songs with an ideal total running time of 45 minutes will draw you in to an aggressive and bitter mid-paced death/doom nightmare. The Crawling are pretty melodic, but these melodies are razor-sharp and effective as a knife; besides that, the lyrics are quiet realistic. There’s not anything unnecessary on this album.

Do The Crawling have something new? I’ve asked Andy Clarke (guitars, vocals) about it, and thanks to him for the time he spent answering this. Continue reading »

Feb 202018
 

 

(In this new interview Comrade Aleks brings us an extensive discussion with Kat Shevil (ex-Blessed Realm), the vocalist/drummer of the British death-doom band Uncoffined.)

 

Uncoffined was raised on the ruins of the traditional doom metal outfit Blessed Realm in 2011. Blessed Realm existed as Tears from 1993 ’til 1994 and then the band acted under its blessed name ’til 2002. It was split without even a full-length album in its discography, but in July 2017 At War With False Noise released Doomography 1993-2002, a collection of demos and unreleased tracks.

Besides that, three ex-Blessed Realm members — Kat Shevil (drums, vocals), Gory Sugden (bass), and Jonny Rot (guitars) created the horror-movie-influenced satanic death-doom metal outfit Uncoffined together with guitarist G.Hall. Well, how much of death is in their doom? Do they still hold on to the traditions? Kat knows better, let’s give her the floor. Continue reading »

Jan 152018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings u this interview of Tim Preston, guitarist/vocalist of the UK band Damnation’s Hammer.)

 

Damnation’s Hammer is a strange beast. They’re usually tagged as “death doom”, but despite this label this UK project is strongly influenced by the late Celtic Frost sound. As the band’s founder Tim explains, “The vision of the band has always been to create dark, doom-laden metal incorporating surreal atmospherics”.

Tim Preston (guitars, vocals) has been in the underground scene since the early ’90s, so he knows for sure a few things about how to play dark and heavy, and the band’s second album Unseen Planets, Deadly Spheres was recorded with a new, though experienced, lineup.

And yet despite the new blood in the veins of Damnation’s Hammer, the sound of this album is very close to the debut record, Disciples Of The Hex. What new things did Tim and his crew incorporate into the band’s sound? Let’s ask Tim. Continue reading »

Jan 052018
 

 

(Comrade Aleks secured the opportunity to interview Nortt, the influential Danish black/funeral-doom band, whose new album was released near the last day of 2017 after a 10-year absence.)

 

Nortt is a semi-legendary project that first appeared in the European underground about 22 years ago. Tagged as “pure depressive black funeral doom metal”, this one-man band held its position as the genre’s pioneer ’til 2007. Nortt’s cold and nihilistic sound inspired his followers, and after a collection of well-received records (including three full-length albums) the project simply disappeared.

The news of Nortt’s fourth coming on December 29, 2017 become a kind of event for those who remember the dark and ominous records Gudsforladt, Ligfaerd, and Galdenfrist. So now, as the new full-length Endeligt (and the first one in ten years) is appearing on the famous Italian label Avantgarde Music, it’s a damn right time to ask some questions to Nortt himself! Continue reading »

Dec 212017
 

 

(Comrade Aleks brings us one more interview for 2017, and it’s a big one — an extensive discussion with Detroit-based vocalist/guitarist Michael Erdody, who is a key part of two distincive bands who released excellent albums this year — Acid Witch and Temple of Void.)

 

Michael Erdody is a perfect interlocutor. He plays in a bunch of bands, including two outfits which represent the stronger side of US extreme doom bands and has a lot to tell.

In 2010 he joined a lunatic psychedelic death doom carnival known as Acid Witch; he plays guitar with these monsters, and the release of the band’s third full-length Evil Sound Screamers on October 31st was a big event in the underground metal scene. Besides that, since 2013 he has run the bloodthirsty Temple Of Void, who are well-known for their uncompromising and aggressive death doom works; Michael is responsible for growls in the Temple, and their sophomore album appeared a few months ago on Shadow Kingdom Records.

I’ve tried to shoot two hares with one round and asked Michael about both bands. It took some time but I’m glad to say that he provided answers patiently and in detail. Continue reading »