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.
Just two years ago Stygian Crown released their impressive demo and now they’ve released their debut album and they’re already being enlisted for international festivals! This relative success isn’t for nothing. Although it’s still early to tell, it’s pretty clear that Stygian Crown’s self-titled debut is something special and likely to be one of the best traditional heavy metal records of 2020 with its specific brand of crushing epic doom reminiscent of Solitude Aeturnus and Capilla Ardiente. We caught up with Rhett A. Davis for an interview that you can read below!
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.
The traveler stood on the crossroads. One would be a tranquil path through colourful, cosy forests. The other would lead him right into moldy crypts where arcane magic was practiced. Little did the traveler know that he didn’t have to choose one as both paths would eventually merge into one anyway…
II is an album that is much better than it first seems and demands respect. I hope you give it a chance. Do not miss this and it’s a great addition to any doom metal fans.
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 today know about the bands that were direct results of Black Sabbath; for example, Candlemass, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, Solitude Aeternus, Trouble, Solstice etc. These bands are classics for a reason, they provide something new and they excel at it. Sometimes, though, a band takes their influences and innovates just enough to “perfect” the sounds. In doom metal, it’s not as clear as who that might be, but I’d argue that band could have been Blood Farmers.
The first three Pentagram albums and the First Daze comp are essential to anybody metalhead’s collection; Day of Reckoning is no exception to the bunch. Excellent album, and at times absolutely stellar.