People like to point the finger at Candlemass as being the originator of the idea of epic doom metal as being “slowed down power metal”. This isn’t entirely unfair since, y’know… they were the band who got the band rolling on the subgenre to start with. That being said, I’d argue that it’s more generally applicable to Solitude Aeturnus a bit more than the Swedish band.
Scald were a short-lived epic doom metal band from Russia with just one album to their name – Will of the Gods is Great Power. This singular album is among the best the genre has to offer and is a must listen. After decades of inactivity, the legendary Russian band are back with longtime fan and scene veteran Felipe of Procession and Capilla Ardiente as the frontman.
When it comes to metal, you have the usual rung of classics, and then you have the albums that are epochal in nature. The works that, regardless of whether you enjoy them or not, are the ones that fundamentally altered the landscape of the genre and for everything after them, for better or worse. Candlemass’s debut is, naturally, one of these albums – an album so blatantly influential that it spawned the subgenre in its own title.
Most people probably don’t think of Bulgaria in the ‘80s as a particular hub of heavy metal. If they think about epic heavy metal, they almost definitely don’t. In fact, the metal-archives only has eleven releases marked for the entire ‘80s as being Bulgarian, with several being from the same bands. In spite of this, two of those releases feature some of the ‘80s best epic metal.
On the journey to the violet heart of doom, next stop for John Gallo and the co. is Ruins of Eternity. 16 years after the previous full-length and seven years after the latest EP, Orodruin are here with their new offering.
Solitude Aeternus’s Beyond the Crimson Horizon is an inimitable masterpiece, a crown jewel of epic doom metal that represents the genre’s pinnacle. It will never be replicated, but The Siege is perhaps the closest a young band will get. I have a feeling when all is set and done, Capilla Ardiente’s sophomore album will be looked back on as one of the finest doom metal releases in the modern era.
It has been called the album of the year. Best epic doom release of the decade. A game-changer. Reviewers who were fortunate enough to acquire the album are praising The Ruins of Fading Light even months before the release, creating a sense of impending doom, as the day of the release is upon us. One thing is certain; The Philadelphian quintet created an almost unprecedented ruckus that surrounds their sophomore release, which comes four years after their debut Out of the Garden.
Over the past decade or so the geographic expanse comprising the northeastern US and the metropoles of Ontario and Quebec have seen the rise to prominence of a number of epic and occult heavy/doom metal acts. To name some of my favorites, Crypt Sermon, Cauchemar, Magic Circle, Blood Ceremony, and Smoulder have set the bar high. Five years after their genesis in Boston, Massachusetts, not far from ground zero of the Salem witch trials, Concilium make a robust entry into this regional scene with this debut EP titled No Sanctuary.
Hailing from the heart of Italy, Night Gaunt are a doom metal band that proudly carries on their country’s tradition of occult, dark, epic, and, quite frankly weird doom metal. They released their sophomore album titled The Room last year and it was a standout as one of the best records in the genre last year. We caught up with guitarist, vocalist, and founding member Giuseppe Colio to talk about the band’s recent success and the evolution of their music.
Ohh boy, what a year 2019 is turning out to be for doom metal- I am pretty sure that by December, your “best of” lists will feature more than one doom metal album, or at least, I know mine will.