Sep 062021


As amalgams of death and doom metal go, we’ll be so bold as to say that you won’t find a more formidable offering this year than the new album-length split by the Dutch bands Grim Fate and The Sombre. Entitled From Ancient Slumber / The Horrid Silence Thus Began (reflecting the names of each band’s side), it will get a CD and digital release by Chaos Records on September 10th, but we have a full stream of this ravishing experience for you today.

As you’ll discover, these two bands have different approaches in their explorations of death/doom, with Grim Fate‘s music more crushing and crippling and The Sombre‘s more entrancing (but still heavy as hell). This difference is part of what explains why the split is so tremendously good as a whole, and the rest of the explanation comes down to just how talented both bands are in the pursuits they’ve chosen for themselves on their sides of this split.

We have further thoughts about each band’s sequence of tracks (three from each of them), but of course feel free to skip ahead to the album stream so you will know more immediately what’s going on as you read. Continue reading »

Nov 102020


The Dutch musician Maurice de Jong has become well-known as the man behind such projects as Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum, Cloak of Altering, Hagetisse, and Golden Ashes, among many others. Each of these entities has its own identity, but it’s fair to say that despite their stylistic divergences they’re often unpredictable, disturbing, and even frightening, and just as often represent de Jong pushing at musical boundaries, or simply punching his fist right through them. And then there is The Sombre, which surprises in a different and mesmerizing way.

For those of you who are discovering The Sombre today for the first time, it is a vehicle through which de Jong pays homage to such early-’90s pioneers of doom/death as My Dying Bride, Anathema, and Paradise Lost. Compared to many of his other projects, the music is more traditional, yet if you might be expecting a formulaic clone of the sounds that inspired the music, perish the thought. De Jong still finds ways of putting sparks into the sounds, and there is also much to be said about the mastery displayed in the carefully crafted sonic ingredients within the music, and the emotional power of the downcast melodies.

The Sombre‘s first album, Into the Beckoning Wilderness, was released last year via Kapmes Records, and just in time to greet the pall of winter, a second album is coming soon. Entitled Shapeless Misery, it will be released on November 20th by Brucia Records. Several songs from the new album have already been revealed, and today we bring you one more — “A Terrible Silence From Above“, which is the song that opens the album. Continue reading »