Being a doom metal fanatic my taste for the heavy and doomy but definitely metallic has significant elasticity. I enjoy doom metal that more discerning ears might not have the time nor inclination for. I’ll leave the lower end of my listening spectrum out of my writing but over the years the shear amount of doom I’ve leant an ear to is significant. Amidst the boulders, forests, and rubble of that mountain of doom there are some quality bands that seem to have gotten lost and left off the radar of most doom fans. These are not the very top shelf, the legends of the genre, but they are really good and considerably enjoyable. It is this article’s intent to get a few more doom fans to discover them.
Color the decade starting in 2020 as looking to be a stellar one for doom with women at the mic. Solstice has Hilda Thorne out front now, Stygian Crown just released a monster debut album, and for this review we have King Witch’s second album Body of Light.
The Cult Metal Classics label is known for digging up past metal jewels and re-releasing them. Most of them are from the 80’s and here we have a new band and a new album from this label and I gotta tell you: if Steelwitch were an 80’s band this EP would be considered a stone cold classic and they’d be straight to the top of this label roster.
After an impressive demo, Los Angeles’s epic doom juggernaut Stygian Crown is bringing the thunder on a new full-length album. And some high-class retro thunder is what they do indeed bring on their debut for a well-chosen label Cruz Del Sur. This seems to be the year and the season for top shelf female fronted doom.
So here is an album both well deserving of and well served by a bit of back story. A new Cirith Ungol album. The first one in 29 years.
True Traditional metal, while never as hugely popular as hair or thrash, has been a field in which California has yielded an embarrassing amount of riches. While often not appreciated enough back in the day (much like Cali’s doom pioneers Saint Vitus, the number of people claiming attendance at early shows for many of these bands has inflated far beyond what the actual attendance was) names like Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm and The Lord Weird Slough Feg are now rightly hallowed and revered in the metal underground. There is still a lot of good stuff happening.