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Abysmal Grief - Mors Eleison (IMPORT) (LP)

Limited edition of only 500 copies. Deluxe gatefold sleeve!

An absolute master piece of Italian horror Doom Metal! Four of the darkest and most haunting audio horror ever recorded. Mors Eleison is a thematic work dealing with the topic of spiritism.

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Black Oath - Ov Qliphoth and Darkness (IMPORT) (CD)



Black Oath is nourishing their music with the sounds of their ancestors like Dark Quarterer, Abysmal Grief or Black Hole. But Ov Qliphoth and Darkness is more influenced by the Northern Europe scene. There's a rampant Candlemass nod throughout the album. You can feel the same epic feel a band like Solstice has but with a darker presence. I thought the sophomore release was much more epic than the debut, but I realized it's because of its clearer and solid production. The guitar tone is a bit less crude and the mix between the guitars and the bass is more equal. It's a bit softer than The Third Aeon as well but I think the songwriting is stronger. If you're hungry for solid epic doom, look for no further, this release along with the new Procession are gonna be the jewels of 2013.

In case you think that “Ov Qliphoth And Darkness” deals with the traditional branch of Doom Metal, you’re damn right; despite the fact that Black Oath belong to the Southern part of Europe, their sound has many distinct ties with the Northwestern coasts and bands like Candlemass, Memento Mori and Memory Garden. And this is evident in Black Oath’s almost theatrical approach in songwriting and the too-traditional Doom Metal guitars that shine in any given chance (yup, I’m talking about the Saint Vitus vibrato guitar preaching - Amen). “Ov Qliphoth And Darkness” contains 8 gloomy, epic Doom Metal tracks filled with slow and mournful hooks that come to life via the clear and solid production.

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Black Oath - The Third Aeon (IMPORT) (CD)



Black Oath are on a pursuit to bring the secrets of specters to ears eager to listen. The certain degree of anonymity the band demonstrates only appears natural under these circumstances - the unknown horror is always the most intriguing. So with lyrical themes and an image such as this Black Oath’s music of choice was naturally doom metal, or perhaps it is more accurately described as traditional epic doom metal with a strong penchant for the legendary early albums by Candlemass. These influences – the mournful sounds pioneered by the Swedes and the conspicuously strong Italian musical heritage – are consistently woven together to create doomed music that any fan of the genre cannot hope to ignore.

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Burning Saviours - Boken Om Forbannelsen (IMPORT) (CD)



8 years have passed since BURNING SAVIOURS and I HATE last joined forces for the group's second full-length album 'Hundus'. This offering, the CD 'Boken Om Förbannelsen' collects four 7" singles recorded during 2011-2013. Since BURNING SAVIOURS' foundation back in 2003, the interest for 70s (doom) rock has more or less exploded. No matter what the trendies have been throwing out, this group has been going slow but steady and the material displayed on 'Boken Om Förbannelsen' ('The Book About The Curse' in English) really shows what they are made of!

For some classic "namedropping", think of Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Led Zeppelin, Bedemon, Jerusalem, Buffalo, Iron Claw, Atomic Rooster, etc. The 70s is indeed their biggest influence. But before anything else, this sounds like BURNING SAVIOURS! Of the 8 songs featured on the compilation, 2 are sung in their native Swedish tongue and the rest in English. People into classic heavy rock, created with both brain and passion, get ready to be engulfed by your burning saviour!

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Burning Saviours - Hundus (IMPORT) (CD)



There is scarce doubt in my mind that Burning Saviours’ momentous debut, along with Witchcraft’s sublime sophomore effort and Pagan Altar’s Lords of Hypocrisy , is very much the finest recording I’ve laid ears on in the new millennium. A wistful, otherworldly flight of fancy that meshed the drifting, languorous weightlessness of vintage Spring/Dark/Czar-esque prog and bucolic whimsy of Jethro Tull with the off-balance doom rock of classic Pentagram, Burning Saviours was a consummate exercise in mesmeric, bewitching, TIMELESS rock n’roll that has yet to leave my disc changer. The growth that the band has exhibited since their more Witchfinder General and Quartz-slanted demo material cannot be understated, and it would be rather foolhardy to expect the band to dwell in artistic complacency for Hunuds.

Indeed, this record flaunts a degree of ambition and imagination that effortlessly distinguishes it from its predecessor, the band’s penchant for progressive angularity edging out, for the most part, their emphasis on soporific textures. This is transcendental music that will likely outlive most anything that will come out in 2006.

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Burning Saviours - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD)



Not since Witchcraft's debut album has there been a group so acutely attuned to the mystical frequencies of '70s proto-doom, so sensitive to the cryptic mystery that made bands like Atomic Rooster so special. Not til now, that is, because this record is a fucking corker. Drums are full and rich and the cymbals are crisp, sonorous and musical. The guitar tone is fucking gold, swooning with sultry Hendrix sensuality. The bass is velvety and dulcet. What results is a sound that emanates all the resonating warmth of a vintage record. The guitar sound and mix absolutely radiating with warmth, yet synthesizes this sensibility with a more aggressive modern sheen. Everything about this release is instant classic. Hell, I'm about to pull out all my old Pentagram, Trapeze, Black Widow records after this.

Burning Saviours, along with Falcon, High Rise and Ogre have managed to encapsulate all that was magical about a bygone era, revitalizing blueprints adopted by some of rock's most esoterically enchanting outfits and renewing them for today's audience. Dark, progressive, hypnotic doom of the very purest strain. So fucking essential.

Burning Saviours dives deep into the underground cult rock of '70s but they also are inspired from the old school traditional doom metal. The ghosts of Black Sabbath and Pentagram wearing Saint Vitus and Witchfinder General T-shirts are wandering into the hard rocking paths of Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix, carrying some of Rocky Erickson’s madness. The characteristic vocals of Andrei Amartinesei inspired by Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) and Zepp Parkes (Witchfinder General) are the strongest feature of this album. It has everything: good songs, dark atmosphere, cult old school production (you can actually feel the warmth of the red hot amplifier tubes hehehe) and great vocals.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Burning Saviours - Self Titled (Re-issue) (IMPORT) (CD)



Not since Witchcraft's debut album has there been a group so acutely attuned to the mystical frequencies of '70s proto-doom, so sensitive to the cryptic mystery that made bands like Atomic Rooster so special. Not til now, that is, because this record is a fucking corker. Drums are full and rich and the cymbals are crisp, sonorous and musical. The guitar tone is fucking gold, swooning with sultry Hendrix sensuality. The bass is velvety and dulcet. What results is a sound that emanates all the resonating warmth of a vintage record. The guitar sound and mix absolutely radiating with warmth, yet synthesizes this sensibility with a more aggressive modern sheen. Everything about this release is instant classic. Hell, I'm about to pull out all my old Pentagram, Trapeze, Black Widow records after this.

Burning Saviours, along with Falcon, High Rise and Ogre have managed to encapsulate all that was magical about a bygone era, revitalizing blueprints adopted by some of rock's most esoterically enchanting outfits and renewing them for today's audience. Dark, progressive, hypnotic doom of the very purest strain. So fucking essential.

Burning Saviours dives deep into the underground cult rock of '70s but they also are inspired from the old school traditional doom metal. The ghosts of Black Sabbath and Pentagram wearing Saint Vitus and Witchfinder General T-shirts are wandering into the hard rocking paths of Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Hendrix, carrying some of Rocky Erickson’s madness. The characteristic vocals of Andrei Amartinesei inspired by Bobby Liebling (Pentagram) and Zepp Parkes (Witchfinder General) are the strongest feature of this album. It has everything: good songs, dark atmosphere, cult old school production (you can actually feel the warmth of the red hot amplifier tubes hehehe), and great vocals.

Out of Stock (temporarily)
Price: $13.99
Centurions Ghost - A Sign of Things to Come (IMPORT) (CD)



The incredible raw production manages to capture the spirit of the '80s whilst the music heads for Autopsy, Venom, Frost and Amebix revisited vibe, by way of primitive death metal tendencies. The music features crashing drums and crushing, groove-laden guitars. The sporadic changes in tempo, from monolithic, bludgeoning Winter-sections to faster, equally relentless Slayer-ish passages make for an aggressive and chaotically beautiful sound. Everything from the guttural vocals, killer riffs and the quite good song structures fit together perfectly, making an album that truly stands as a single unit. Good use is made of torture samples in places, and disharmonies add to the pitch black atmosphere. With the natural evolution that occurs when a band cements its style, London's Centurions Ghost have a bright future. A Sign of Things to Come is one of those albums that just needs to be in your collection.

Unbelievable! That was the first thought I had when I received this CD. It´s like back in the beginning of the '80s when Venom´s Black Metal came out. Slow, doomy with some old school death metal influences. Merciless and straight forward. The boys must worship bands like Celtic Frost, Hellhammer Venom and Entombed. The music also reminds me a lot of Lair of the Minotaur. A Sign Of Things To Come is evil through and through.

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Centurions Ghost - The Great Work (IMPORT) (CD)



No retro trad doom here, though doom it still is. The first thing that clearly steers away from the pitfall of old school doom are the vocals which are shouted and spitted out more in a post noisecore Neurosis sort of way. Also musically Centurions Ghost don't have too much in common with traditional doom. The band's approach also takes in elements of death, thrash, black and hardcore therefore making it no easy beast to either tame or categorise. One second your thrown into one corner only to be pummelled over the head by bludgeoning hardcore vocals, thrash bass, blackish death guitar, doom guitar, and drums which are too up-tempo for your usual doom band the next but all of which is somehow always still firmly rooted in that doom foundation.

Centurions Ghost are a band that once again proves that doom isn't solely about slow plodding music but is more about an approach and a general feel to the music, or if you will, a certain type of mindset. Because of this a band such as the way too early departed and already, by many, sorely missed, Keen of the Crow, keeps springing to mind. Musically almost impossible to pigeonhole but in essence still 120% doom. A must for all doom fans with a penchant for off-kilter doom, and also worth checking out for people who think that doom is just only slow plodding music grabbing back to the Black Sabbath catalogue. Having absorbed The Great Work I am still banging my head against the wall for not knowing about these guys before and that surely breaks my black heart.

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Price: $6.66
Count Raven - Mammons War (IMPORT) (CD)



Mammon is a term that was used to describe greed, avarice, and unjust worldly gain, and that let's you know the band still covers topics about social injustices and how fucked up the world truly is - especially today. Old fans should not be disappointed by this album musically either; it feels like no time has passed since the mid-90's. The Raven flies again, more inspired than ever!

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Damnations Hammer - Disciples of the Hex (IMPORT) (CD)



Damnations Hammer's Lovecraftian doomy Death - deathly Doom, or whatever, turns out to be pretty darn awesome on this disc. Seriously, the crispiness of guitars' tone, the utter heaviness of a pounding bass sound, the drums of true doom and vocalist Tim Preston's serious attempt to sound like Mr. Warrior himself, they all together create one helluva scary and menacing atmosphere over the songs on "Disciples Of The Hex", that one and only Celtic Frost-ian atmosphere that always gets some loud applause and deep nods among a cultivated Metal crowd. But yeah, whether someone finds this UK trio's total Celtic Frost worship somehow disturbing - or even ridiculous and silly, I guess it's pretty much his / her headache then. I enjoy the album as it is offered to me: with its dozens of musical hints about being a true bastard child of Celtic Frost's past times. In fact, it's great even to notice some band has decided to give a fair try for Celtic Frost's heritage.

That's truly something worth cherishing I think - and Damnations Hammer should definitely earn a few extra thumbs up for that on "Disciples Of The Hex".

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Dwarves - That's Rock 'n' Roll (7 inch)



The Dwarves are a hard hitting non-stop rock/pop machine.

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Price: $3.99
Dwell Within - Monkshood (Color) (IMPORT) (LP)

Limited edition of only 444 copies on white vinyl.

Dwell Within aren't newcomers to the world of doom metal. In fact, it could be seen as Mark III in the progression of a band previously known as Cor and Oversoul, led by Dennis Cornelius, a musician who really knows the ropes of the genre as a one-time member of Revelation and Place of Skulls. Constantly honing their skills and perfecting the craft of adventurous heavy music, Monkshood firmly falls into the conforms of true doom, yet simultaneously contorts beyond regular conventions, all the while preserving a coherent and developed sound that stands out in a world of copycats.

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Ereb Altor - By Honour (IMPORT) (CD)



This is first class heavy metal, meaning epic, heavy, melodic, melancholic and true to the style created by Bathory, Scald, DoomSword with elements of Candlemass and Isole.

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Evoken - A Caress of the Void (IMPORT) (2LP)

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Limited edition of only 475 copies. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Doom. Any music that can drive someone to kill themselves is okay with me. This is my way of being "green" as I think overpopulation is a massive issue that mankind won't address. Evoken flies the flag of slow and plodding funeral doom. This music wants you to be in a cold dark place for a long long time and A Caress Of The Void puts you there with ease. Reminiscent of greats like Thergothon, Winter, Morgion, Catacombs and the slower moments of Incantation's career, Evoken plays slow and hypnotizing funeral doom with precision.

Imagine four really old trees playing metal. It would be doom, right? No other way around it. It would be slow, of the tenebrous kind, sort of eerie, supernatural in some ways. As fast as the wind shakes the heavy and oddly long branches, slow and long movements, massive string strums shall be let rung. As long as there is, feeling is fine. This, the feeling, shall not be of the good kind. Actually, the uglier, the more negative, the more depressive and suicidal, the most negative, perverse and antagonistic, the better. This is doom to drown to.

'A Caress Of The Void' is seven songs full of atmosphere, loads of echo on the guitar sounds, deep gurgling death grunts and very little space left for compassion or pity. The uncanny doom swelling up from the deepest thoughts are maybe a bit predictable but surely pleasantly recognisable. You have to be made of stone not to like or have suicidal thoughts listening to 'Mare Erythraeum' or 'Suffer A Martyr's Trial (Procession At Dusk)'. Evoken plays doom on a high standard and of course the common doom influences of My Dying Bride are there, but also The Swans or King Crimson or the dark sound scapes of Lustmord can be heard. They truly sound like the nails being hammered in the lid of your coffin. Great CD!

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Price: $22.99
Evoken - A Caress of the Void (IMPORT) (CD)



Doom. Any music that can drive someone to kill themselves is okay with me. This is my way of being "green" as I think overpopulation is a massive issue that mankind won't address. Evoken flies the flag of slow and plodding funeral doom. This music wants you to be in a cold dark place for a long long time and A Caress Of The Void puts you there with ease. Reminiscent of greats like Thergothon, Winter, Morgion, Catacombs and the slower moments of Incantation's career, Evoken plays slow and hypnotizing funeral doom with precision.

Imagine four really old trees playing metal. It would be doom, right? No other way around it. It would be slow, of the tenebrous kind, sort of eerie, supernatural in some ways. As fast as the wind shakes the heavy and oddly long branches, slow and long movements, massive string strums shall be let rung. As long as there is, feeling is fine. This, the feeling, shall not be of the good kind. Actually, the uglier, the more negative, the more depressive and suicidal, the most negative, perverse and antagonistic, the better. This is doom to drown to.

'A Caress Of The Void' is seven songs full of atmosphere, loads of echo on the guitar sounds, deep gurgling death grunts and very little space left for compassion or pity. The uncanny doom swelling up from the deepest thoughts are maybe a bit predictable but surely pleasantly recognisable. You have to be made of stone not to like or have suicidal thoughts listening to 'Mare Erythraeum' or 'Suffer A Martyr's Trial (Procession At Dusk)'. Evoken plays doom on a high standard and of course the common doom influences of My Dying Bride are there, but also The Swans or King Crimson or the dark sound scapes of Lustmord can be heard. They truly sound like the nails being hammered in the lid of your coffin. Great CD!

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Evoken/Beneath the Frozen Soil - Split CD (IMPORT) (CD)



Ever since their inception in 1994, Evoken's (U.S.) genre defining Death/Doom has stood unmatched in terms of density, darkness, dolefulness. Their fifth and latest full length (2007) album A Caress of The Void (I Hate) sent reviewers all over the world into fits of abysmal lethargy, something that is bound to be repeated once the four new doors to the void presented on this split CD is flung open.

Omniscient was written in 2002 by original keyboardist Dario Derna but was re-recorded in 2008, when vocals were added and slight enhancements in the composition were made. The Pleistocene Epoch and Vestigial Fears are new songs written with new members; Dave "Grave" Wagner and Don Zaros in 2007/2008, i.e. immediately after the recording of "A Caress of the Void" while the instrumental Into The Primal Shrine is the most recent addition to the Evoken book of un(der)worldly psalms. Bow to the masters of Doom Death!

Swedish Beneath The Frozen Soil started in 2004 inspired by the likes of Candlemass, Paramaecium, My Dying Bride, Khanate and Evoken. Not the ones to wear their influences on their respective sleeves though, they have instilled their Doom Death with a cinematic chilling and clearly northern/Nordic vibe. Hate and frustration leading to release and cleansing - the paradoxically thawing wave of emotion encapsulated in the three cold BTFS tracks seeks to drown the listener in icy pool's of paralyzing regret.

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Price: $14.99
Fall of the Idols - Solemn Verses (IMPORT) (CD)



From its early days Fall of the Idols has been a talented and unique voice in the doom community. Their work is rooted in traditional doom, but their sound is anything but. The band’s always had a subtle psychedelic aura that’s not overbearing but definitely contributes to the Fall of the Idols personality. Central to that sound are the rich, distinctive vocals of Jyrki Hakomaki. He has a fantastic, muscular clean delivery, but also escalates into the odd roar, as well as a barbiturate-laced droning delivery that’s layered with accompanying vocal tracks to supply an almost blunted, bleary-eyed gloominess.

The band certainly hasn't collected any rust over the last handful of years, and Solemn Verses sees Fall of the Idols continue the directions on The Séance; namely to descend deeper into darkened despondent depths, yet also lashing out with uptempo, very un-doomish aggressive passages. Solemn Verses is a dark work of meditative doom, yet on occasion seems to transcend the genre with an almost rock-like spirit. It’s also the most dynamic album to date, as the band’s morose, haunting doom is draped with consistent turns into a subdued, hypnotic, and occasionally fragile psychedelia (“Genius Loqi” and stretches of “Hymn”) or an uncharacteristic cathartic belligerence, such as the coda of “Descant Deific Psalms” and the almost Celtic Frost-like propulsive staccato riffing and snarling vocals on “The New Crusade.” The centerpiece of the record is “Cycle of the Fallen,” a mostly slow-burning lugubrious doomster that touches on ‘70s rock and features some glorious, impasisoned vocal transitions from Hakomaki.

Solemn Verses is an evolutionary step for Fall of the Idols, and although immediately impressive, my early impression is that this album will also be a true grower. It’s more deeply textured and employs a wider breadth of mood and melodies than their earlier work while retaining the band’s distinctive personality. Another fantastic album from a fantastic band that has yet to receive the attention it deserves.

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Fall of the Idols - The Seance (IMPORT) (CD)



"The Seance" is Finnish Doom in its bleakest, most despairing shape. Fall of the Idols second stab at your mental health will either drag you down with it or make your day brighter, all depending on who you are. Decidedly heavier and even more monotonous than "The Womb of the Earth" this one has nothing but spite to offer.

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Fall of the Idols - The Womb of the Earth (IMPORT) (CD)

Artwork by Albert Witchfinder (Reverend Bizarre).

The music presented on The Womb of the Earth is considerably more downtrodden and anguished than post-Epicus... Candlemass or the comparatively effervescent Count Raven. To listen to Fall Of The Idols is to be ushered, by phantasmal spirits, through collapsed, dilapidated ruins, abandoned shambles that once housed vitality and happiness. There isn't a hint of optimism to be exhumed from the suffocating mire of solemn cheerlessness, and the dogged languor and despondency of the band, at the very least, exudes a frightening sense of determination/conviction. For all the despairing single-mindedness of the album, Fall Of The Idols manage to imbue the proceedings with a captivatingly hypnotic quality that, coupled with the smothering, billowing atmosphere of the mix, makes each listen a headfirst plunge into the ghastly abyss of sorrow.

The emphasis here is clearly on FEELING, locating the listener in a treacle-thick miasma of animosity and anguish as opposed to assaulting the listener with a barrage of progressive musical ideas.

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Price: $8.99
   
 
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