After over a decade of activity, Ysengrin, the project directed by Guido Saint Roch, released their final album: Initiato. The musical trajectory of the band was always very interesting and it is therefore fitting to end the life of this musical project by an even more curious final album. The main constant of Ysengrin’s career is the aim to create a music that sounds obscure, even a bit mystical, by the means of mid-tempo blend of black and death metal.
Not much is known about Hungary’s Devil Seed, even as of writing this article their self-titled debut album has not received much attention with no related or past projects to speak of. All we have to go off of is the band name presumably being a reference to the song off of Candlemass’s King of the Grey Islands. Lucky for us, as far as hints go, that’s a pretty good one. Marrying the synth-rich riffy atmosphere of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus with powerful, front-and-center vocals reminiscent of Solitude Aeturnus, Devil Seed’s self-titled debut album presents an unexpected and incredibly welcome slab of epic doom firmly rooted in the classics of the genre.
To me traditional doom metal has always been a genre of imperfection – it is in this imperfection and passion where thunderous doom riffs, enveloping atmosphere, and passionate yet often flawed vocals coalesce to some of the best metal out there. With their full-length debut, Purification is perfectly emblematic of this quality.
In that light, Crush the Insects is a surprising follow up to the debut because it takes several VERY different tacks on the band’s patented take on the genre: namely, it bothered being accessible in a way their other full lengths really aren’t. Whereas that first album was innately gripping, by virtue of its riffs and the way the band painstaking arranged/structured the way each passage glacially flowing into one another in lieu of conventional hooks, Crush… was very clearly an attempt at crafting a more traditionally memorable record than its predecessor ever attempted. It’s the closest thing to a “fun” album the band ever crafted; the band themselves even cheekily pointed it out with a sticker on the original CD issue of the album as “The Biggest Sell-out in True Doom”. Go figure.
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.
There aren’t a ton of doom metal bands more revered than Saint Vitus, and it is for good reason. Of Black Sabbath’s disciples in the 80’s, they are perhaps the most honest and soulful of the bunch, if not exactly a 1:1 copy of the original masters. Rather, what Vitus did is that they applied the atonality, loose song structure, and just pure griminess of American punk to the emerging doom metal format at a time in the 80’s when the early bands were forging their own styles and defining the subgenre on their own terms.
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.
From the ashes of several previous bands and the eerie corners of Sweden came Head of the Demon. In the eighth year of their existence, they are about to release their third album, aptly named as Deadly Black Doom, on Walpurgis Night, the 30th of April.
Fully intent on striking while the iron is still hot, Smoulder are primed to release a new EP titled Dream Quest Ends in just over a week. In partnership with our friends over at the NWOTHM Full Albums YouTube channel, we have an exclusive track premiere and interview for you all to enjoy ahead of time!