Category: doom metal

Live Footage: EarthQuaker Sessions: Ruby the Hatchet Performing “1000 Years” at EarthQuaker Devices Headquarters

Philadelphia-based quintet Ruby the Hatchet — Jillian Taylor (vocals), Johnny Scarps (guitar), Lake Muir (bass), Owen Stewart (drums, vocals) and Sean Hur (keys, organ) — quickly established a unique take on heavy psych rock with their self-titled 2011 debut EP, which featured a sound centered around Taylor’s soulful vocals, Scarps’ old-school, power chord-driven riffs and Hur’s Rainbow and Deep Purple-like organ chords.

Their debut EP received attention both locally and elsewhere. And building upon the buzz of the EP, the Philadelphia-based heavy psych outfit self-released their full-length debut, 2012’s Ouroboros.

Ruby the Hatchet’s sophomore effort, 2105’s Valley of the Snake received attention across the global heavy music scene while revealing a band that was constantly evolving their sound and approach. The band then spent the next two years on a relentless global tour, sharing stages with Kadavar, Black Mountain, Earthless, Arthur Brown, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and The Sword. They capped off this busy period with their third album, 2017’s Planetary Space Child, which debuted on the Billboard Top Indie Albums Chart and received widespread critical praise.

The acclaimed and rapidly rising heavy psych outfit signed to Magnetic Eye Records, who will be releasing the band’s first batch of recorded outfit in five years, Live at Earthquaker EP. Recorded live to tape at EarthQuaker DevicesAkron, OH-based headquarters, during a stop on the band’s US tour with Kadavar, the three-song EP features a cover of Uriah Heep‘s “Easy Livin‘” and two new songs, which the band had road-tested over the past handful of years — and will appear on their long-awaited fourth album slated for release later this year.

The EP’s first single “1000 Years” is a power ballad centered around Taylor’s soulful, powerhouse vocals, Scarps’ bluesy power chord-fueled riffs, Hur’s soaring keys and some enormous, arena rock friendly hooks. Sonically, “1000 Years” is a synthesis of Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” and “Planet Caravan” — but delivered with a raw, forceful intensity.

“Our first foray with Magnetic Eye Records is going to be a major ear-tease, showcasing an in-studio live session recorded at Earthquaker Headquarters of two new songs from our upcoming studio full-length”, Ruby the Hatchet’s Jillian Taylor says. :”We had been road-dogging for a few years straight and felt very much in the pocket.  As we tested out new material throughout the tour, these two songs were fan favorites every night. ‘Primitive Man’ is an in-the-pocket groover that everyone gets to riff on. ‘1,000 Years’ is an emotionally long-winding melodic ballad that had me sharing tears with strangers in the crowd as we closed our set with it each night. Jeff France and the Earthquaker crew captured us at the height of our tour tightness, and we love that these songs were captured live with footage from EQ and exist in their own realm, apart from their studio versions which came a year later. Oddly enough, our cover of ‘Easy Livin” was also tracked live and without computers, so it only felt right for it to make a vinyl debut along with our other raw cuts. This live session deserved a special release of its own, and we cannot wait to get it out and build some excitement for what’s to come on our new album.”

Live at Earthquaker EP is slated for an April 22, 2022 release.

New Audio: Gothenburg’s Firebreather Shares Scorching “Sorrow”

With the release of 2019’s sophomore album Under a Blood Moon, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based doom metal trio Firebreather — currently, Mattias Nööjd (vocals, guitar), Axel Wittbeck (drums) and the band’s newest member Nicklas Hellqvist (bass) — found the band quickly establishing a raw, in-your-face and incendiary sound.

The Swedish doom metal trio’s third album Dwell in the Fog is slated for a February 25, 2022 release through RidingEasy Records. Much like their preceding two albums, Dwell in the Fog was recorded and mixed by engineer Oskar Karlsson at Gothenburg-based Elementstudion. The album’s material features a streamlined focus on driving, symphonic riffs in the vein of acts like High On Fire, Inter Arma and labelmates Monolord among others, while rumbling and raging with a fury that the band has only hinted at on their previously released material.

“The album is a cathartic journey inwards and a musical continuation from Under A Blood Moon, but with more emphasis on groove and feel,” the band’s Matthias Nööjd says in press notes.

Dwell in the Fog‘s third and latest single “Sorrow” is a furious and sludgy dirge centered around thunderous drumming, scorching riffs and tweeter and woofer rattling low-end paired with Nöörd’s guttural yet melodic howling. While arguably being among the hardest and most forceful songs I’ve written about so far this year, “Sorrow” evokes the frustration, heartache and despair of sorrow — and in turn, loss — with a simmering yet visceral fury.

New Video: French Act Chafouin Releases a Punishing New Single

Chafouin is a Brest, France-based outfit with a rotating cast of collaborators. Clocking in at a little under two-and-a-half minutes, “Tout Casser,” the French outfit’s latest single is a slow-burning and bruising bit of doom metal centered around sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming and vocals delivered with a menacing yet child-like sing-song delivery.

The end result is a song that to my ears reminds me a bit of The Melvins and Spelljammer among others.

The recently released video for “Tout Casser” features home video of the band’s members shot in 1995. It’s sweetly nostalgic — and a reminder of how the time has flown by.

New Video: Spelljammer Releases a Trippy and Brooding Visual for Bruising “Abyssal Trip”

The members of Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) — have developed and honed a unique, attention grabbing sound rooted in their penchant for sludgy, power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

Spelljammer’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system. 

Released earlier this year through RidingEasy Records, Spelljammer’s fourth album Abyssal Trip is the first batch of new material from the Swedish doom metal band inver five years, and the album finds the band bridging their early desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent penchant for slow-burning, massive, sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a brooding and hypnotic quality. 

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains. 

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void. 

The recently released video for “Abyssal Trip” features footage of the band performing the song in front of some trippy, lava lamp-like lighting and equally trippy stock footage of wintry forests, of diver struggling to survive in the ocean and more.

New Video: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Technicolor Fever Dream Visual for “Lake”

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Additionally, the album finds the band employing a much different recording process than previously releases: the members of the Swedish act opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

The recently released video is a uneasy and hallucinogenic fever dream that features grainy Super 8 footage of a devil a technicolor field, pulsating to the oceanic sounds of the single.

Abyssal Trip is going to drop tomorrow release through RidingEasyRecords.

New Audio: Spelljammer Releases a Bruising New Single

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

The Swedish doom metal act’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth album is the first batch of new material from the acclaimed Stockholm-based act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent, massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a hypnotic quality.

The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality. “The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

The album’s first single, the expansive “Lake” was seven-and-a-half minutes of alternating sections of crushing and sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing, galloping trash paired with a shimmering and gorgeous melodic break, and a scorching guitar solo, centered around enormous mosh pit friendly hooks. The song manages to evoke the vastness and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records.

New Audio: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Brooding and Forceful Ripper

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingE

New Audio: Elephant Tree’s Scorching Live Version of “Aphotic Blues” off “Day of Doom” Live Album

London-based doom metal/stoner rock quartet Elephant Tree — currently founding members Jack Townley (bass, guitar) and Sam Hart (drums) with Peter Holland (bass, vocals) and John Slattery (guitar, synths) – can trace its origins back to 2013: Townley and Hart would meet every week at a rehearsal space nestled behind the now demolished 12 Bar Club, where they actually started cobbling the first notes of what would eventually become their debut single “Attack of the Altacia.”

Townley and Slattery had a random encounter with Peter Holland, who had an almost mythical status in the scene at a local bar. After talking for a few hours, they all agreed that they should get together to jam. The idea was further cemented after the trio caught OM play at The Village Underground — with Holland taking bass duties, allowing Townley to switch to guitar. As a newly constituted trio, the members of Elephant Tree began polishing “Attack of the Altacia”‘s rough edges before progressing onto newer riffs and melodic ideas paired with Holland’s vocals. And yet, the trio felt something was missing from their sound — until they met Canadian-born Riley MacIntyre (guitar, sitar, vocals), who competed the band’s first lineup.

In 2015, Elephant Tree was handpicked by Magnetic Eye Records from an early demo submission that featured a unique blend of stoner rock, doom metal and sludge centered around a warm, syrupy fuzz and soaring vocal harmonies. Their debut effort Theia and 2016 self-titled effort wound up becoming two of the most popular records of the Magnetic Eye Records’ catalog.

Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, their third album, this year’s critically applauded Habits finds the band’s sound and stylistic range expanding to include elements of post-metal and acoustic folk paired with unconventional songwriting.

Last year, Magnetic Eye Records celebrated their first decade with the Day of Doom Showcase at Saint Vitus Bar, which featured nine of the label’s acts including the Swedish doom metal act DOMKRAFT and Elephant Tree. Much like DOMKRAFT’s Day of Doom set, the British quartet’s set was recored by Deafheaven‘s and Summoner’s Chris Johnson as part of a set of four exclusive live albums. Elephant Tree’s Day of Doom set is a career-spanning set of what Metal Injection describes as “gloomy atmosphere with head-bobbing grooves.”

“Aphotic Blues,” is the first single off Elephant Tree’s live album and the single is centered around syrupy and sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming, Alice in Chains-like harmonizing within an expansive song structure. And its all delivered with a snarling forcefulness.

New Audio: Stockholm’s DOMKRAFT’s Scorching Live Version of “The Rift” Off Soon-to-Be Released Live Album

DOMKRAFT is a Stockholm-based doom metal trio that can trace their origins to when its members met and bonded over a mutual love of Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, Sleep and Hawkwind. Drawing from those influences, the trio have crafted a sound and songwriting approach that blends towering dirges, mind-bending psychedelia and trance-inducing minimalism, embodied by the act’s first two albums, released by Magnetic Eye Records — 2016’s full-length debut, The End of Electricity and 2018’s sophomore effort, Flood.