Tag: doom metal

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays R.I.P. Releases a Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Over the past handful of years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Portland, OR-based doom metal act and JOVM mainstays R.I.P. And as you may recall, with the release of their first two albums, 2016’s In The Wind and 2017 ‘s Street Reaper, the Portland-based doom metal act quickly established a grimy, punishing and depraved take on metal that they dubbed Street Doom.

The Portland-based JOVM’s long-awaited, third album Dead End is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album’s sound is the result of the band going through a massive lineup change that involved the addition of a much more aggressive rhythm section. while also drawing from a broader and more diverse array of influences, including John Carpenter films, grungy professional wrestling and lo-fi hip-hop among others. In many ways, the album’s material is a decided move away from their earliest influences — i.e., Pentagram and Saint Vitus — and yet it may arguably be the most hook-driven batch of songs of their growing catalog. However, despite all of the other changes, R.I.P.’s thematic concerns have remained the same as always: death, insanity — and leather.

So far I’ve written about two of Dead End’s previously released singles — the Black Sabbath-like “Out of Time,” and the Headbanger’s Ball/Kill ‘Em All Metallica-like album title track “Dead End.” Dead End’s third and latest single “Moment of Silence” is another Headbanger’s Ball-inspired ripper, centered around enormous power chords, howled vocals and a mosh pit friendly hook — but with a cinematic quality that belies the scuzz and grime. d

New Audio: Portland-based JOVM Mainstays R.I.P. Releases an Accessible, Anthemic and Sleazy New Ripper

With the release of their first two albums — 2016’s In The Wind and 2017’s Street Reaper — the Portland, OR-based doom metal act and JOVM mainstays R.I.P. quickly established their grimy, punishing, and depraved take on metal that they dubbed Street Doom. Now, that many of us are sheltering in place and maneuvering through a dystopian and kleptocratic hellscape, their work’s thematic concerns seems frighteningly prescient. 

Dead End, the Portland-based JOVM mainstays’ long-awaited third full-length album is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records. Dead End sees that be band going through a lineup change that has resulted in the addition of a more aggressive rhythm section — while drawing from a more diverse range of influences including John Carpenter films, grungiest professional wrestling and lo-fi hip-hop among others. Moving a bit further away from the influence of Pentagram and Saint Vitus, the album may be the most hook-driven of their growing catalog but while still thematically touching about death, insanity — and leather. Additionally, the material’s overall feel was inspired by West Coast tours with Electric Wizard and Red Fang and a month-long headlining tour of Europe. 

“Out of Time,” Dead End’s blistering first single is centered around Black Sabbath-like riffs, enormous arena rock friendly hooks, thunderous drumming and a sneering punk rock air. While still thematically focusing on the prototypical doom metal themes of death, insanity, sick societies on the verge of collapse and the like, “Out of Time” manages to be accessible without scraping off the sludge, slime and grime that has won them attention. 

New Audio: Montreal Doom Metal Trio Shezmu Releases a Punishing New Single

Shezmu is a Montreal-based doom metal trio — founding member Oliver Bérubé Emond a.k.a. Comte Bergaby (vocals, guitar) and Marc-André Labonne (drums), along with the band’s newest member, Sol Miracula’s and Aiauasca’s Yanick Tremblay-Simard (bass) — derive their name from the ancient Egyptian god of wine, oils, blood and slaughter. Founded back in 2016, the band released three efforts as a duo, a self-titled demo cassette in 2017, which they followed up with two mini-albums 2018’s The Scent of War and Breaching The Tomb. Interestingly, that same year saw the band expand into a trio with the addition of Tremblay-Simard. 

The band has long had a deep and abiding love of history — and because the band’s name is inspired by one of the more contradictory Egyptian gods, the Montreal-based doom band’s sound can generally be described as contradictory, explorative, expansive and genre-defying: pummeling drumming, enormous power chord riffs and rumbling down-tuned bass help to create a murky and evil sound.  Slated for a July 27, 2020 release through Krucyator Productions, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut A Travers Les Lambeaux, reportedly finds the band taking a much different songwriting approach. While still drawing from ancient history, the album’s material explores themes of rage, sorrow and madness — but the album features some of Emond’s most personal and urgent lyrics to date. 

“Les Secrets des Ziggourats,” A Traver Les Lambeaux’s lattât single is a furious and forceful aural assault centered around pummeling drumming, enormous power chord-based riffage, rumbling bass and howled vocals. While the song — to my ears, at least — seems to evoke the gates of hell slowly being opened, the track is a howl of desperate and seemingly unending despair and of awe.  “‘Les Secrets des Ziggourats’ talks about mental health — more precisely schizophrenia and epilepsy — and their roles during ancient times,” the band explains in press notes. “People with such mental illness were often portrayed as they came from the gods themselves.” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Blackwater Holylight Releases a Gorgeous and Feverish Visual for Doom-laden “Jizz Witch”

Led by founding member Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass), the acclaimed Portland, OR-based heavy psych act Blackwater Holylight can trace its origins to when Faris’ previous band split up. And at the time, Faris started the band as a way to experiment with what her own version of heavy should and could be both sonically and emotionally — while celebrating vulnerability in all of its forms. Secondly, Faris, who was frequently the only woman in many of her bands, desperately wanted to see how it was to work exclusively with women. 

Blackwater Holylight released their critically applauded self-titled, full-length debut last year, and as a result of extensive touring to support it, the band has managed to hone their sound and identity — with their sound evolving to the point that their live show has become about the slow build.  Interestingly enough, as a heavy band, the Portland-based JOVM mainstays sonically and structurally manage to do something unlike any of their peers in the scene: their material generally isn’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in rippling and undulating waves that surface through meditative and entrancing songs, while focusing on building tension and intrigue. 

The band released their sophomore album Veils of Winter last October through RidingEasy Records, and the album finds the band with a different lineup — Faris (bass, vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths) along with the band’s newest members Mikayla Mayhew (guitar) Eliese Dorsay (drums). And perhaps s a result of their new lineup, their sound and writing process has changed dramatically. “The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” Faris says in press notes. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” Faris continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

Now, as you may recall over the course of last year, I wrote about two of the album’s previously released singles — the one part doom metal, one part shoegazer “Motorcycle” and the nuanced, yet more straightforward shoegazer-like “Death Realms.” The album’s latest single “Jizz Witch” is an ominous track that further cements the band’s reputation for crafting a doom metal take on shoegaze — or better yet a shoegazer take on doom metal. In any case much like its predecessors, it’s a slow-burning and nuanced dirge that you can simultaneously light incense to and sway and headbang. 

Directed by Phoenix Wolfe, the recently released video is a gorgeously shot yet surreal and symbolic fever dream that features powerful women. 

Founded back in 2016, the up-and-coming Brooklyn-based metal act Fliege began as an inside joke shared between its founding duo of Coleman Bentley and Peter Rittweger: a metal band based solo upon David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly. Although they initially wrote and recorded their self-titled debut demo for a laugh, the effort received praise from Decibel, who called the six song set infectious,  and went on to say “Every once in a while, a band comes along, transgresses all genre boundaries and cuts a demo that stands as a genuine demonstration of a singular sound.”

Building upon a growing profile, the band, which recently expanded to a trio with the addition of Chris Palermo (synths) will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut The Invisible Seam on January 31, 2020. Interestingly, the newly constituted trio’s full-length debut finds the band moving on to more serious cinema as an influence: Ingmar Bergman’s existential masterpiece, The Seventh Seal. “Our demo tackled The Fly, but we soon realized we had to expand from that universe in order to have anything new to say,” the band’s Coleman Bentley explains in press notes. “So for this one, we chose Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, the story of a Swedish knight returning home from the Crusades to find his homeland ravaged by the plague. He challenges Death to a game of chess, staving off his advances long enough to make it home one last time — questioning mortality, the meaning of life, and the existence of God, while trekking across a dying countryside.  Within the framework of that film, we tackle the nihilism of modern life and the paradox of depression – not wanting to live but not actively wanting to die.”

Musically, the material on The Invisible Seam reportedly features a much more refined sound than its immediate predecessor: the addition of Chris Palermo finds the band adding synths to their sonic palette; but along with that, the album features Bentley’s vocals taking up a more central role while ensuring that it’s also heavier, more heartfelt and more grander, in order to fit the epic concept behind it. Along with this decided refinement of their sound, the newly constituted trio’s full-length effort finds them drawing influences from the likes of Immortal, Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, Cloud Rat, John Carpenter and a lengthy list of others.

Now, as you may recall, last month I wrote about album title track “The Invisible Seam.” Centered around towering 80s metal riffage, thunderous, industrial metal-like drumming, Bentley’s howled vocals and a shimmering and brooding bridge, the song was a certifiable Headbanger’s Ball-inspired headbanger that found the trio further cementing their reputation for intelligently pushing the boundaries of thrash metal both sonically and thematically.  The album’s second and latest single “Four Suns” continues in a similar vein as its immediate predecessor: a Headbanger’s Ball-era ripper, with fiery and towering riffage, thunderous drumming, Bentley’s howled vocals and atmospheric synths. But unlike its predecessor,”Four Suns”  is a pummeling and forceful bit of unease that in light of the most recent developments in Australia, Iran and elsewhere should hit close to home.

“‘Four Suns,’ as they say in Hollywood, is our threshold to adventure—a fitting intro to both Fliege and the world of ‘The Seventh Seal,’ marked for death by forces beyond understanding,” the band’s Coleman Bentley told MetalSucks. “Following Antonious Block, medieval knight, and his squire as they embark on a journey home from the crusades, it’s an OSDM-tinged banger that paints a picture of world a in rot. Graves overfed. Doors painted red. Eyeless corpses gazing up at a quartet of flaming stars that will soon burn them alive. Sound familiar? It should.”

New Video: Long Beach’s O ZORN! Releases a Sludgy, Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

O ZORN! is a Long Beach, CA-based post-sludge trio led by Bill Kielty (vocals, guitar) and currently featuring Danny Walker (drums) and Billy Mud (guitar). Comprised of grizzled vets of Long Beach’s underground scene, the band formed in 2010. And since their formation, the trio have developed a reputation for a sound and songwriting approach that draws from and meshes elements of doom metal, sludge, hardcore and psych rock into a roaring and pummeling sound centered around enormous riffs and fiercely focused angst. 

The Long Beach-based post sludge act’s sophomore album Your Killer is slated for a March 6, 2020 release through Hard Drugs Records and the album, which was recorded at theFoo Fighters’ 606 Studio finds the band crafting the most boldly ambitious, focused and diverse material of their catalog to date. “Casket,” Your Killer’s first single is centered around enormous, power chord-driven riffs, relentless and thunderous drumming, mosh pit friendly hooks and Kielty’s anguished howls. And while bearing a resemblance to Screaming Life/Fopp EP and Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden, Melvinsand others, the song as the band explains “depicts a story of a Marine that survives the Vietnam War against all odds, only to come home and his watch his wife battle cancer. In an ever changing World, now with fewer wars than ever before, the story of ‘Casket’ is a dark reminder that the ‘Rolling Death Machine’ of war is still a haunting memory for those on the battlefield and those at home fighting their own personal hell.” 

The recently released video employs an extremely DIY approach — footage of the band performing the song, shot on two iPhones and a GoPro, with a couple of strobe lights and a fog machine.