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DOOM * STONER * SLUDGE * DRONE * PSYCHEDELIC ~ HOME OF THE DOOM METAL ALLIANCE REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

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    TalismanStone is one of the recent female-fronted doom-oriented heavy bands in the Italian underground scene. Like Shinin’ Shade, TalismanStone is related to the Italian underground label Moonlight Records, because one of the band members is one of the guys behind the label. TalismanStone is a bit peculiar. At the moment the band is looking for the drummer.

    However until recently and at the time of the album, the band consisted of a trio proudly “playing without guitars, made for 2/3 by women and for 2/3 by bassists”. Members are Andrea Giuliani, “da man”, on vocals, 5 strings bass guitar, sitar, synth and effects, with Erica Bassani on vocals and 4 strings bass, and Lucia Certolani playing drums and tabla. So the peculiarity is not really the presence of the ladies but the coupling of double bass and sitar (plus tabla) for composing quite heavy music. The band describe their sound as derived from “shoegaze, noise rock, post punk, post hardcore, industrial, dark, metal and indie influences”. I feel a bit more confident with a wide-angle tag like avantgarde psychedelic doom, for what tags may mean.

     Anyway, TalismanStone’s style is surely curious because of the employment of sitar, common in ambient music but not so much in metal. In doom I remember UK doom-drone band Bong using sitar but of course the context is different. After a debut album called Sunya, the band released Lovecraftopolis during 2012. The album ranked high in the list of the best 2012 albums for the Italian heavy magazine Rockhard.  Album Lovecraftopolis includes four long tracks (lasting between 8 and over 18 minutes) for a total length of about 46 minutes.
    Surely what immediately strikes since the onset of the opening track By the Sun of the Light Keeper is the contrast between the raw, gritty sound of distorted bass guitars plus drumming and Erica’s sweet vocals. Slow plodding rhythm, sinister melodies inspired by traditional doom and grimly hypnotizing in their repetitiveness ... But the introduction of sitar and tabla in a rather traditional way acts like an escape towards airy horizons, the sunbeam chasing away the night ghosts. So when Andrea starts singing again by reciting lyrics in a low voice, his creepy half-spoken chant sounds like the minister of an exotic cult. Darker atmospheres created by dissonance and deformed sitar sounds, flute and percussions open Internal Dictatorship, the track where the band mix its exotic doom with noise.

     Erica’s sweet singing is duly and disturbingly  dissonant. So melody is unexpectedly brought about by Andrea who starts with soft singing and then turns to evil roars. Suite Power Is a Splendid Shroud starts via a long, quiet and very traditional-sounding ethnic intro before the dull roar of the distorted bass beats the time in a funereal march. The suite is sickly hypnotizing especially as soon as Andrea starts his low, menacing ritual-sounding chant. So Erica’s echoing vocals are like restless ghosts and then turn into light breeze from the tallest mountains whenever growling bass chords give way to sitar and tabla. The monumental, +18 minutes-long suite Lovecraftopolis (Part I) closes the album with a long mystic drony intro made of viscous, rough and wavy sounds similar to didgeridoo but probably produced by distortion and effects on  bass. Such molasse-like sound is able to swallow the gentle sitar notes at the beginning and will further slowly swallow everything at the end of this charming although exceedingly long track. The core of the suite develops according to the interaction between Erica’s and Andrea’s vocals accompanied by a bass-driven mindwarping, alienating rhythm encompassing doom, psychedelia and ethno ambient music.

    TalismanStone’s original recipe for contaminated occult, shamanic psych doom is well worth of note and tells about a band much inclined to experimentation. I personally enjoy the use of double bass in doom (like, for example, in War Iron and Horse Latitudes), as it is able to create earthquake-like vibrations and extremely dark ambience. Also, in TalismanStone the two bass guitars are played with different techniques leading to some intriguing solutions and effects. The mystic element introduced by TalismanStone mainly via ethnic sounds is charming and may recall Om, although not always the band succeeds in deeply digesting and truly blending the different components of their music. So sometimes the ethnic parts maybe still sound a bit too “ethnic” and just mechanically overlapped to the leading doomy theme. As to the vocals, I personally enjoyed them most when they were distorted or deformed instead of clean: they were not loosing their melodic charge but they were melting into the distorted tunes. So there is maybe a tiny bit of work yet to do for these endowed musicians but surely TalismanStone is well worth being kept under your radar for this and future releases.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

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    Official Website
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    Moonlight Records | Facebook
    Talisman Stone | Bandcamp




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    In Italy we might not actually need to cross oceans and climb mountain chains for enjoying some great female-fronted occult psych doomy or, in general, hauntingly dark heavy tunes. Why? Because we were and are graced by the presence of several female-fronted heavy bands. A few names are Hands of Orlac, Alix, Stake Off The Witch, … or else SaturninE and Into Darkness, if you like it nasty!  Two more cool bands fronted by some charming lady vocalists contribute to the list. I am speaking about Shinin’ Shade and Talisman Stone .

    Both bands hail from the historical town of Parma and are deeply related with one of the outstanding labels for stoner and psych doom in Italy, Moonlight Records. Shinin’ Shade are by now what may be called as a well-established band that started out in 2005 as Madness City Band and adopted the present-day name in 2008. They released a demo during 2009 and their self-titled debut full-length as a male-only quartet in 2010. I had seen Shinin’ Shade playing live in an unbearably sticky hot summer night of 2010 when they opened for Baroness in a half-empty Milano. Not the best conditions for playing for sure for a young band. Nevertheless you could tell about the solid potentials of those long-haired guys looking like hippies and who dig hard rock, smokey groove and fuzz of desert rock, the sonic trips of the vintage heavy bluesy prog rock and acid psychedelia as well as some experimentation.



    These guys adopted English-sounding artistic names, which might seem a bit weird, but is quite a vintage-sounding habit as it may remind of what some Italian rock and pop musicians were used to do back in the 60s.  The core of the line-up included Mek Jefrey on guitars and vocals, Allen Kramer on guitars and mellotron, Roger Davis on bass and, since 2009, Mike De Chirico on drums. Mike De Chirico then entered also another cool band from Parma, Caronte  ( HERE ) in full activity. The EP Slowmosheen arrived in early 2012, after two years of experience as well as after a remarkable change, i.e. the inclusion of a fifth member, lady vocalist Jane Esther-Collins. Both components, i.e. experience and a completely different singing style, surely contributed to a remarkable evolution in this cool band. I happened to see their solid debut gig for launching EP Slowmosheen when the band opened for Pagan Altar in their home town and you could say the band had grown professionally quite a lot. The appreciation for the new EP and line-up almost naturally lead to the release of a new full-length album called Sat-Urn during 2013 via Moonlight Records. Album Sat-Urn is undoubtedly charming. The name, either in full or in its parts, is evocative of dark and occult atmospheres, not to mention the stunning, gloomy yet flamboyant graphic ornaments of the CD by Matteo Tumulash.

    As to the music, in its 7 ballads lasting altogether over 48 minutes Sat-Urn testifies what might be called the “maturity” of the band, although I prefer to see it as the attainment of a high level of skill for this quintet. The tag “maturity” is a bit limiting … The band didn’t change its multifaceted style during these years, as the guys are still blending elements of doom and desert-stoner rock with substantial amounts of retro prog psych/krautrock and a whiff of experimentation, but they do it in a tighter and heavier way. As a matter of fact in the new album their amount of heaviness increased together with the sense of occult,  or better, of introversion.  Tracks are long enough (between 6 and +8 minutes) to allow the different shades of this band unfold. Guitars and bass sounds are fuzzy, gritty and thundering, as is the slow plodding drumming in the ritualistic development of the ballads. In the whole album explosions of doomy distorted sounds may often give way to more atmospheric intervals where the braided guitar sounds let you escape into airy psychedelia, in an ideal oscillation between darkness and light. In this respect the deeply doom-laden opening track Our Time and Space offers a cool welcome to the listener with its Electric Wizardesque ambience pleasantly relieved by trippy psych rock. However there is no rigid scheme for the songs in this album.

    Jane's vocals are crystal clear and powerful and imposing even over the roaring guitars. Jane’s tone is vintage-sounding and comparable with Jess of the Finnish band Jess and the Ancient One and Alia O’Brien of Canadian Blood Ceremony. After listening to the album a friend of mine in love with psychedelia told me “not quite like Grace Slick, but … but sometimes not that far”  Jane may transform her vocals in a surprising way, be it either in a doomy refrain or a prog rock structure or an atmospheric psychedelic interlude. Listen, for example, to what she can masterfully do in tracks Keyhole/Inner Saturn and Over-Sea Nightmares. These second and third tracks are some great dynamic heavy ballads lead by a tight and rapidly evolving and catchy rhythms. Halfway through the ballads as soon as guitars and drumming rapidly slow down and enter the darkness of doom mixed with space or acid psychedelic jamming, like a spaceship entering the foggy atmosphere of a mysterious planet, Jane’s vocals strikingly change, get deformed and dissonant. Jane becomes a real witch casting spells with an amazingly and dangerously seducing rogue voice.

    Track Through the Wires provides further weapons of mass seduction via blending a proggy intro with the intimacy of a surprising retro-jazzy core simply lead by touches of bass and Jane’s vocals turning to the softest velvet.  Tracks Nowhere Dimension and the stunning Denied Lovers are where the band devote particularly to prog and heavy psychedelics and introduce mild contamination of retro doom imparting power and a creepy, occult touch. But the core of suite Denied Lovers is lead by a circular heavy riff which may sounds bluesy/proggy but is pure groove straight from Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Gloomy space noise is what annihilates the powerful riffs in Denied Lovers but this is not the way the band is going to close the album. The last track Epic Talking is an intense yet refreshing ballad  where the band further celebrates heaviness and atmosphere by blending the addictive simplicity of desert-stoner rock with the exotic complexity of prog and krautrock. These guys know how to write and play great songs, bar none. Having a female singer is not automatic guarantee of success for a doom-oriented band, even if in this period this feature seems to be very much appreciated. In any case you need something “substantial” below, craftmaship in writing and playing good music, otherwise everything may turn into a flash in the pan.  And this is surely not the case for Shinin’ Shade.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

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    Shinin Shade | Moonlight Records

    Shinin' Shade - Keyhole/Inner Saturn





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    Like a snake biting its own tail, time is circular, and with their upcoming tour, UFOMAMMUT further corroborate their own ouroboric tendencies...

    This autumn, UFOMAMMUT will excavate items from their pliocenic past, keeping their third eye pointed at the future with the Magickal Mastery Tour; a journey through fifteen years of UFOMAMMUT music, performing songs from Godlike Snake through ORO in a new light, as thanksgiving to audiences worldwide for their support and devotion.

    In a collective statement UFOMAMMUT commented: "We are very excited to come out and play material from across our album catalog. Whereas the recent focus has been on ORO, an album which we are most proud of, we are looking forward to playing older material also, as it's been a while! This marks the last tour we shall do for a period, whilst we concentrate on writing a new album."

    Watch the curtains being drawn back on the Magickal Mastery Tour through a visual trailer HERE.

    Additional tour dates and a array of supporting acts will be announced over the coming weeks; stay tuned for further details.

    UFOMAMMUT Magickal Mastery European Tour:
    9/25/2013 Arena - Vienna, Austria
    9/26/2013 Stattwerkstatt - Linz, Austria
    9/27/2013 Kulturpalast - Wiesbaden, Germany
    9/28/2013 Het Depot - Leuven, Belgium
    9/29/2013 Vera - Groningen, Netherlands
    10/01/2013 The Fleece - Bristol, UK
    10/02/2013 Brudenell Social Club - Leeds, UK
    10/03/2013 The Underworld - London, UK
    10/04/2013 4AD - Diksmuide, Belgium
    10/05/2013 Römer - Bremen, Germany
    10/06/2013 KB18 - Copenhagen, Denmark
    10/07/2013 Blitz - Oslo, Norway
    10/09/2013 Luttako - Jväskyla, Finland
    10/10/2013 Kuudes Linja - Helsinki, Finland
    10/11/2013 Yo Talo - Tampere, Finland
    10/12/2013 Nuclear Nightclub - Oulu, Finland
    10/17/2013 Progresja - Warsaw, Poland
    10/18/2013 Bii Nu - Berlin, Germany
    10/19/2013 Keep it Low Festival - Munich, Germany

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    Definitely Corrections House know how to grab people’s attention …
    Recently they had released a single that was just a mouthful of a wider work, an opus about to come. The opus “Last City Zero” will be out October 29th 2013.  There’s more to wait but the band donated another mouthful of tunes to the fans a few days ago. It is worth spending a few words about a single and a teaser track especially when these items embody the first wailings of a particular creature bearing the sinister name of Corrections House. In his interview kindly given last year (HERE ), Mike IX Williams had spoken about how he likes to keep himself busy apart from Eyehategod, and he and had mentioned a series of activities he was into together with other well known musicians, like, for example, Bruce Lamont of Yakuza. So there it is now, Corrections House.

    The band, or project, could not be baptized in a more adequate way. Corrections House is the creature born from the artistic collaboration between Mike IX Williams, Bruce Lamont together with Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and Sanford Parker (Minsk and, previously, Nachtmystium). Roles and duties are as follows: Mike IX Williams on tortured vocals, Bruce Lamont on vocals, beloved sax and effects, Scott Kelly on guitars while Sanford Parker is devoted to percussions / electronics and more effects.  So, what might be called as a ponderous line-up … The debut 7” came out a few months ago via Burning World Records in Europe and War Crime Recordings in USA. Corrections House’s new album, Last City Zero, will be out via Neurot Recordings. The release will be followed by a tour extending to early next year and sweeping Europe first and then USA. Surely a full-length album is more appropriate for entering into the hallucinating limbo created by Corrections House.  The two tracks of the 7”, Grin With a Purpose / Hoax The System, and the new “toxic pill”, track Serve or Survive, previewed (and reviewed) via Pitchfork (HERE), are just outlining what will come. However the band had the brilliant idea of grabbing the fans’ attention and interests by coupling the two preliminary tracks with some visual art, two cool official videos.

    Well, actually Corrections House might be considered a multifaceted artistic project: not only music but also visual art as well as poetry. Words, desperate, bitter, caustic and provocative words exhaling from Mike IX Williams’ poems. Hence in this project also the intensity of Mike IX’s interpretation contributes to the effects. As expected, Mike’s interpretation is very involving: it is bleak, apocalyptic, it is a survivor telling his scary tale while he is still wiping blood away from his wounds. The visual aspect, not only from the official videos but also for the musicians’ live interpretation, might be what further filled people with enthusiasm during those few full concerts that this mega band held a few months ago around USA and accounted for on several webzines. Can you imagine? Being in front of these underground monsters in a quite intimate ambience and seeing them interacting and Mike IX spitting bitterness live? Well, it won’t be long before more people will be able to enjoy the exhibitions of these four musicians. At the same time it is cool that they paired the single tracks with two impressive and, obviously quite disturbing b/w videos.   Listening to the new teaser track on Pitchfork is compulsory. However my impression is that the experience is more complete if you enter the band’s mind via the single + videos as well. In the 12 minutes of the two tracks of the 7” you can appreciate Corrections House’s style. The quartet like to mix sounds, effects and atmospheres that are deeply disturbing and that range from the grim minimalism of dark/blackened ambient-drone to the rattling industrial noise but never loosing a faint trail of melody, the sinister “groove” of sludge and post-metal exhaled from Scott kelly’s guitar. Tempo changes and the way musicians interact with their own vocal and instrumental contributions further make these teaser tracks surely and deeply haunting.

    In Grin With a Purpose the background glacial ambient drone and Mike’s atonal elocution via his deformed, almost robotic voice are in contrast with the dissonant but solid, boiling hot vibrations coming from Scott’s guitar. Groove will then be further gradually intoxicated by the obscures atmospheres imposed by the background drone industrial noise, which is even able to suffocate the roars of Bruce Lamont’s sax . Also in the corresponding video the desert rock ambience and the clarity of the images are clashing with the terror inspired by both the masked face of the key player and the nightmarish irreality of the creatures popping up along the road during the trip narrated in the video. Terror is piling up until masked human faces alternate with skulls, knives and hands with long nails like witches’claws caressing a mysterious, occult-looking book. And there, on the book you can recognize the puzzling, esoteric-looking logo of the band. In Hoax The System, i.e, the track paired with the first official video, rhythms are tighter and faster, even martial. Also Mike’s spoken chanting is more furious and urgent than ever, when not desperate. This track is very powerful and is perfectly combined with the alienating video where peaceful natural scenes hastily alternate with bleak images of cages and destroyed houses. The scenes again host truly menacing masked people armed with drums chasing after someone, maybe you, big knives, skeletons and sinister occult objects. All these nasty things should be the System from which it seems impossible to escape. 

    No matter from which video you start, Hoax The System instead of Grin with a Purpose or the other way round,what you will notice are all those covered or masked faces everywhere: balaclava, masks, but also veil, chords, strings of pearls, ribbons, … Probably those mysterious, impenetrable masked faces end up being more disturbing than the animal and human skulls and bones. This feature reminds me of two beautiful artistic books I had bought some years ago, devoted to the whole range of monsters in the Japanese tradition. There are hundreds of them, scary and amazingly fantastic. However the one considered as the most terrifying of all, and duly put in the last page of the graphic collection, had a fully human shape but was without a face. Yes, it was scary indeed.  As a matter of fact, the “System”, the one that Corrections House folks urge you to “hoax” for auto-defense, is the totally human system made of everybody and nobody, the one establishing values and targets, distributing powers to few and trying to “correct” or eliminate those who ask too much and do not follow the established rules. 
    Lets’ wait for October for Last City Zero to see how the story goes on …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

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    Neurot Recordings Official Website
    Neurot Recordings Facebook

    Corrections House - "Hoax The System" (Official Music Video)




    Corrections House - Grin With a Purpose (Official Music Video)




    Corrections House - FULL SET - live at Churchills Miami (SFLHC)




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    New Writers Wanted

    It is time again to get some fresh blood to the site. We are mainly looking for reviewers and someone to keep up with the latest in doom metal news. Please send a email via contact@doommantia.com if you are interested. We are not looking for much, one good review a week would be more than enough. We can forward downloads to you or you can review albums of your choice. That is totally your call.

    Comments

    Comment settings are being changed to disallow anonymous comments. It is getting too hard keeping up with all the spam and the work of idiots. Some of the comments are just mind-boggling in their stupidity. 

    Ed Update

    Thanks to the wonderful couple from Melbourne, Australia who sent me a wonderfully heart-warming email regarding Ed. They read about Ed's plight and have given him somewhere to live. This is the best news I have heard in months, thanks for the email and the pics.  They also have internet in almost every room in their house so expect a comeback from Ed soon.

    Emails & Contact Info

    The new and only email for Doommantia.Com is contact@doommantia.com. You are completely wasting your time by sending mail anywhere else so you have been warned. Don't send Ed any messages, they won't get read, let alone answered as those email addresses are in the process of being retired.

    Thank You

    Thanks to all the loyal supporters of the site who keep on coming back. Amazingly hits to the site have actually increased despite the lack of posts. I guess that backs up the less is more theory. We expect to cross over the 7 million view mark by the end of the year.

    Words: Tony C

    PS: Thanks for putting up with me thus far in Ed's absence. I am not a writer and get confused by the TV Remote so working my way around the site settings and so forth has been interesting to say the least....T

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    Slomatics from Belfast, Ireland are across for a couple of dates in Scotland. Maybe best known for last year's Split 12" with Conan, the threepiece doom machine consists of twin guitar attack from David and Chris, with Marty on vocals and drums. Tonight they play Bannermans in Edinburgh as the second date with touring partners Headless Kross. Slomatics launch their juggernaut riff assault. Any misgivings about the lack of a bass player are also forgotten. The two guitars are massive downtuned beasts that create a  rich, distorted wall of fuzz with plenty of heavy, heavy bottom end grumble. They smash down with "Troglorites". Next up is a trip "Beyond Acid Canyon",  a massive slab of a riff so ssslloooww, it's almost painful. Like being gored on the ground by a malicious but ponderous bull that leaves you wondering when the next inevitable rib-crushing blow is coming. They switch into the equally crushing "Running Battle"  and the audience raise their hands as one to help claw down the riffs from the darkened skies (well, grotty roof of Bannermans anyway). I indulge in some of the slowest headbanging ever.
     
    The tension breaks with some banter from Marty the drummer about the lack of reverb and delay on his vocals. The audience help out by repeating everything he says. Helpful. It's to the band's credit that they can shift from these huge powerful, hostile songs to being natural, cheery geezers, up for a bit of craic with the audience. Once the music starts up again there's no loss of tension or atmosphere. They crank into "...And Yet It Moves" with David continuing to throw some of the best rockstar shapes ever. Tucked away at the back of the stage, churning out crushing riffs and spaced out psychedelic noise, classic legs apart stance with the lowest slung SG ever. 

    The band unleash "Return to Kraken"  with some pretty fly tempo changes - kicking off with a flurry of frantic paced fills, the dropping to a sludgey grind like a filthy glacier of riffs. Riffs that could erode mountain tops. Then back to propulsive rolls around the kit. Fast/slow technical stuff that leaves my poor neck confused. "Tramontane" beams in like an eerie voodoo ray, all spacey phasing and creepy swirls. It sounds like the soundtrack to some lost cult sci-fi movie. A black and white alien monster that's been biding it's time for half a century and has come back to slay all bystanders. They finish up with "Flame On", all huge rumbling chords and Sabbath style lead hooks whirling around. Marty's gruff vocal incantations like an unholy Zoroastrian prayer to the all consuming element. Fading out to sound of  huge doomy bell peals ringing from some faraway unconsecrated ruined church. Slomatics are on fire tonight.

    Words: Gordon

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    The Doommantia Webstore is getting ready to re-open its doors but we need to clear some unwanted stock so here is the deal. The next 10 people to donate $30 or more or $40 for non-US readers will get a CD sent their way. You must leave your mailing address along with your donation. You will be notified once your order has been shipped. This offer will stand for 2 weeks only.

    Words: Tony C

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    The famous saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" should not be applied to our case here. Black Oath's sophomore album is represented astonishingly well by their cover artwork. It might be more suitable for a funeral doom band or something in the likes of Gallow God, but I like it very much nonetheless. It makes you aware of the music that would follow - traditional doom metal inspired by the days of old.

    "Ov Qliphoth and Darkness" starts with a song named "esbat" and it indeed sounds like one - you can hear the numerous chants followed by a mournful guitar and a slow regal drum. It's a great intro and to be honest, I like it better than the track that follows. It's one damn great dark album opener. The second song (first if you exclude the esbat) reminds me in sound of the new Black Sabbath album, it's neither too "touched" nor does it sound very primitive. A good song, but nothing that special or memorable compared to some other songs on the album, which are undoubtedly better - I don't know why the band put it so early in the playlist. It wouldn't be my choice for a first track anyway (oh stop it, you forget your place damn reviewer). What doesn't really strike a chord for me are the vocals - the singer is not some annoying wailing prick, he is not a falsetto battle warrior, but there's still something missing for me. That little thing that makes a record your favorite.

    All songs on this release possess a very gloomy and troubled spirit. Whether you hit song two or five, five or one, you'd still hear this sorrowful mourning that seems to have soaked the whole of Black Oath's second work. I think of myself as a person that always “understands” most music from the first listens, but I can freely say that this album has to be listened several times before you can "pick" the songs up. In the beginning it might sound quite dull, but it isn't. As gloomy as they are, songs like "Sinful waters" became quite catchy after the third listen of the album. 

    Compared to the first Black Oath, this one is better. Maybe not something ultra different or supreme, but a little more coherent. Their songwriting is more developed  and the ideas flow clearly. The album sounds like one whole big piece, not like very well-began, but lacking at some places material. You can still easily see the potential of the band on their debut, of course. What is true about both releases is that they need some time to get under your skin.

    For good or bad, Black Oath sing in English, not Italian (their mother tongue) and this at least is good for your clear understanding of the song topics - cheerful and sunny themes like death and departing with the ones you love. From the first listens this release sounded too poor on the matter of riffs and rather empty, but it's not like that. I am really glad I gave it several listens, ‘cause it’s worth it.

    Black Oath’s second album is not a representative of my favorite wave of doom. It sounds neither very angry/willing to break things up, neither as sorrowful as I love to hear. However, it still is a very decent traditional doom release – check for yourself.

    Words: Teddy Mateeva ( Sixth From The Sun )

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    Some time ago, a bit after Jex Thoth's self-titled album was released, I was complaining to a friend that doom metal bands with female vocalists suck - well, you guessed right - that was before I actually heard Jex Thoth's actual recording. The first second my ears were touched by Jessica Bowen's voice I was mesmerized and all my previous doubt on the matter of female-fronted doom vanished into thin air. However, I have to correct myself - for Jex Thoth is not about doom as you would suppose - it's more of a fairy, folky hardrock messing with the doom from time to time rather then Conan-like sound of tectonic plates collision.

    The s/t album from 2008 is a true masterpiece, there's no denying it. Start with the ultra mythical cover artwork and the moment you hear 'Nothing left to die' you know there's no joking here. Wherever you look it upon, it's a great album. It's not a secret for anyone that the best of this band is their lady's astonishing voice. Seriously, I've heard this and that, but nothing matches the mighty vocals and live performances of this woman, she knows perfectly well how to use her tools of the trade.

    So, when you have released such a well-received and flawless album, what do you do to top it? I am not sure whether they have topped the s/t with Blood moon rise, but at least it's not bad in any way. The one thing that I think is obvious from the first listen is that it sounds a little more mellow-hearted. You can literally play songs like "Keep your weeds" to grandmother and she would find them enjoyable if she's not a sour granny. On the other hand, there are songs like "The Divide" which stand out like a lot heavier and sour. I like this album loads, because at one moment it sounds like a sweet forest lullaby, it would make you take a nap around the fallen autumn leaves, smell the pine spruce in the air and walk in peace, at other times it  is so much darker, from the lighted forest your enter the dark cave. Blood moon rise somehow managed to find the perfect balance. Not to mention that Jex's voice would easily be mistaken for the one of a forest priestess. Truth is, I am sure that if they exist, they sound like her.

    The reason for which I mention the presence of doom metal in Jex Thoth's sophomore are songs like "The four of us are dying" and "Psyar". There are the characteristic grim moments and unlike bands like Jess and the ancient ones, the heaviness is not entirely lost. Also, while there are many fashionable bands these days in the like of Jex, the music here really lives in a world of its own. You just wouldn't mistake this record with the thousands of others female-fronted hardrock bands. Witchcraft's debut reminds me of this in a way, only that the folk influences here are even more massive.

    If you loved the previous Jex Thoth, you would find the sophomore at least appealing. There's no need to dig in it with a thousand listens, it's potential is revealed from the very beginning and starts to grow with every listen.

    Words: Teddy Mateeva ( Sixth From The Sun )

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    Oct. 4 San Antonio TX @ Korova
    Oct. 5 Norman OK @ The Opolis
    Oct. 6 St Louis MO @ Firebird
    Oct. 7 Minneapolis MN @ 7th St Entry
    Oct. 8 Chicago IL @ Reggies
    Oct. 9 Grand Rapids @ Pyramid Scheme
    Oct. 10 Detroit MI @ Magic Stick
    Oct. 11 Cleveland OH @ Grog Shop
    Oct. 12 Pittsburgh PA @ Rex Theater
    Oct. 13 Baltimore MD @ Metro Gallery
    Oct. 14 Upstate NY @ Bogie’s
    Oct. 15 Boston MA @ Middle East
    Oct. 17 West Chester PA @ The Note
    Oct. 18 Brooklyn NY @ Europa
    Oct. 19 TBA
    Oct. 20 Springfield VA @ Empire
    Oct. 21 Richmond VA @ Strange Matter
    Oct. 22 Asheville NC @ The Orange Peel
    Oct. 23 Nashville TN @ Exit / In
    Oct. 24 Atlanta GA @ The EARL
    Oct. 25 New Orleans LA @ One Eyed Jacks

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    Joey LaCaze, drummer for legendary New Orleans sludge metal outfit Eyehategod, has reportedly passed away at the age of 42. We don't have anymore details than that but Doommantia would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and band of Joey LaCaze. This is truly a great loss.

    Photo by JJ Koczan


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    “Not since TROUBLE have I worked with a band in this genre so talented. YIDHRA! I have no clue what the name means, but to me it means DOOM!” - Bill Metoyer

    "Hexed", the first full length studio album from Los Angeles' doom-metal wizards YIDHRA, is set to be released through all major digital outlets on Friday the 13th of September 2013. A vinyl release is slated for winter 2013. "Hexed" is the long awaited 9-song follow-up to 2009's critically acclaimed self-titled EP and was recorded at Skull Seven Studios in North Hollywood, CA by legendary producer Bill Metoyer (SLAYER, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, TROUBLE, ARMORED SAINT, DARK ANGEL, SACRED REICH, CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, D.R.I.) Metoyer had this to say about working with YIDHRA, “Not since TROUBLE have I worked with a band in this genre so talented. YIDHRA! I have no clue what the name means, but to me it means DOOM!”



    "Hexed" track listing:

    01. Witch Queen
    02. Oath Breaker
    03. Blood is the Harvest
    04. Raven's Flight
    05. Ancient Ones
    06. Conquest for Nova
    07. Mai-cob
    08. The Lament of Longinus
    09. Dagon


    YIDHRA are streaming the entire "Hexed" album on their bandcamp page. Check them out using the link below.

    Bandcamp

    Says YIDHRA founder and guitarist Dave Krocker: "Working with Bill was awesome. Just the thought of his history, and reading his name on all those influential records, it was kind of crazy. He knows his stuff and he's super easy going. It was great!"

    Comments vocalist Ted Venemann: "We went in the studio with a plan to make a record that ebbed and flowed. One that would organically segue, like our live shows, from one powerful emotion to the next and Bill helped us capture all of that intensity and more. "Hexed" is a super heavy and grooving album and we are really proud of what Bill and us accomplished."

    Bassist Thomas Harris says: "We've developed a far more solid musical bond as a band since the EP. Honing and refining our sound and having a master of the craft such as Bill capture it is fantastic!"

    Drummer Chris Hannan adds: "Bill, is an absolute pro. He has the gift of understanding your band's sound & purpose. He's extremely patient, and really knows how to capture the feel of each song."

    YIDHRA is:

    Ted Venemann: Vocals/Theremin
    Dave Krocker: Guitars/Vocals
    Thomas Harris: Bass
    Chris Hannn: Drums



    In the Cthulhu Mythos, Yidhra is a powerful Outer God. She is referred to as, The Dream Witch. Yidhra's powers are vast and include shape shifting, thought projection, and the ability to provide immortality to her worshippers. When Yidhra devours a life form she can morph into that creature and harness the powers of its essence. This description of Yidhra, the goddess, mirrors the sonic and bombastic nature of L.A.'s Doom Metal powerhouse whom carry her name, Yidhra! They have a vast sound that shifts shapes with riffs that are thick as molasses and grooves that ebb and flow like an untamed and brooding beast waiting to devour the world.

    The path of Yidhra has been a rocky and sometimes treacherous journey. Their story begins with lead guitarist Dave Krocker meeting up with rhythm guitarist and singer Grant Story in late 2008. Riffs were born, lyrics were conjured and Doom was forged. A search for band members brought in Thomas Harris on bass and Johnny Tsunami on drums. This line-up was short lived though with only one live performance before Johnny left the band due to work issues. Two weeks later Bradley stepped in to fill the void but things soon took a tragic turn. Grant was involved in a horrible car accident while trying to avoid hitting a wayward dog. From the injuries he sustained, he was rendered paralyzed from the neck down. Unsure of the bands future, Dave asked long time friend Ted Venemann to fill in as a temporary vocalist so that Yidhra could perform at the “Grantstock” Benefit to help Grant, and his family, with his medical bills. This line-up went over so well that Ted was asked to be a permanent fixture in Yidhra so they could continue their conquest for Doom.

    More upheavals occurred as drummers came and went for various reasons. But once again, much like their namesake, Yidhra morphed and adapted in order to survive. Shortly before Bradley left, the band recorded their masterful 4 song self titled EP. This EP became one of the highlights of 2009 in the underground Doom Metal scene. It received many positive reviews and even stands proudly as top disc of 2009 for several websites. Countless others applauded its superb musicianship, earthy grooves and straight from the heart honesty, which so clearly shone through from each song. Soon after the EP’s release Yidhra recruited powerhouse drummer Chris Hannan and the line-up has been solid ever since. 

    In a world where rock has become watered down, manufactured and studio manipulated, Yidhra's approach is a return to the days where heavy music was about true expression, raw emotions and powerfully catchy kick ass songs. Yidhra’s new, full length, 9-song album “Hexed” stands as a monument to those ideals and was pushed to even greater heights with the help of legendary producer Bill Metoyer at Skull Seven Studios. Bill, who has recorded the likes of Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, D.R.I., Sacred Reich, Hirax, Dark Angel, Morbid Angel and many more, helped sow the seeds of Doom with Yidhra and now they are ready to reap their bountiful harvest. A harvest, which seems inevitable for this band is the real deal.

    While exceptional reviews of their disc are still being published and people continue raving about their intensely stunning live performances, Yidhra have shows lined up that will impress and surely create an even bigger buzz surrounding them. Yidhra is the future of Doom Metal, one of the bands most likely to be positioned along side Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Trouble and Candlemass in the Doom Metal Throne Room. This gruesome foursome will leave a permanent mark on the "real" metal world. Maybe in the underground for now, but it's only a matter of time before the entire metal universe gravitates towards the majestic power of Yidhra!

    YIDHRA, much like their namesake the Lovecraftian “Dream Witch,” wield and convey immense power. Not of thought projection or the ability to provide immortality, but to immerse their audiences into a vast sonic soundscape of DOOM wrought with heavy riffs, grooves that ebb and flow like the oceans and vocals that shift from gut wrenching terror to blissful tranquility. In a world where rock has become watered down, manufactured and studio manipulated, Yidhra's approach is a return to the days where heavy music was about true expression, raw emotions and powerfully catchy kick ass songs. Yidhra’s new, full length, 9-song album “Hexed” stands as a monument to those ideals and was pushed to even greater heights with the help of legendary producer Bill Metoyer. Bill, who has recorded the likes of Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, D.R.I., Sacred Reich, Hirax, Dark Angel, Morbid Angel and many more, helped sow the seeds of Doom with Yidhra and now they are ready to reap their bountiful harvest. Yidhra is the future of Doom Metal, one of the bands most likely to be positioned along side Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Trouble and Candlemass in the Doom Metal Throne Room.

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    Swedish rockers NOCTUM will release their new album, "Final Sacrifice", on October 29 via Metal Blade Records. The cover art was painted by Timo Ketola (SUNN O))), ARKTAU EOS) and fits perfectly with the album's raw, natural sound. "Final Sacrifice" is a fictional horror story where each song communicates a portion of the overall narrative. The "final sacrifice" is like a red thread that ties the songs together and is the concept behind the art.

    "Final Sacrifice" is an analog piece of art in both audio and visual aspects. In the town of Uppsala, Sweden in the year 2009, a band called SÉANCE was formed. Moving at breakneck speed the band formed in September, recorded a two-song demo after adding guitarist Per Wikström to the lineup in October, and by November had changed their name to NOCTUM.

    Within those three months, the band signed an LP deal with High Roller Records, and a CD deal with Stormspell Records. NOCTUM's debut album, "The Séance", was released in September 2010 via High Roller and in December by Stormspell. The band finally embarked on its first European tour in July of 2011, and followed that up with a new EP, "The Fiddler". By August of 2011, NOCTUM created enough buzz in the underground to gain the attention of Metal Blade Records, which led to a new worldwide record deal. With a new record deal in place with a global label, NOCTUM spent the majority of 2012 refining their sound and writing new songs.

    Their search for original and interesting material led them to a heavier and darker sound. The progression came very naturally for the band and differs from the typical '70s vibe. The new material successfully evokes a heaviness and emotion one might not expect from a "retro"-sounding band. NOCTUM toured Europe again in 2012, and then welcomed the addition of drummer Fredrik Jansson after Gustaf's departure. Jansson, who spent time in WITCHCRAFT, COUNT RAVEN, and ABRAMIS BRAMA, was added to the lineup in time to record "Final Sacrifice" in April 2013.


    "Final Sacrifice" track listing:
     01. Conflagration
    02. Liberty in Death
    03. Resurrected in Evil
    04. Deadly Connection
    05. Void of Emptiness
    06. The Revisit
    07. A Burning Will
    08. Temple of the Living Dead
    09. Azoth

    NOCTUM is:
    David Indelöf - Guitar/Vocals
    Daniel Johansson - Guitar
    Tobias Rosén - Bass
    Fredrik Jansson – Drums.

    Source: Blabbermouth

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  • 09/01/13--10:06: Wheel - "Icarus" ...
  • One could make the argument that “traditional” doom metal is a uniquely European phenomena. The North American purveyors of doom tend to combine slow tempos with blues-based punk rock (i.e., sludge) or larynx-destroying growls à la death/doom. Frankly, most doom bands from the New World are too into punk and the various metal sub-genres that borrow from hardcore (grindcore, powerviolence, death and black metal) to even come close to the purist-derived realm of “traditional” doom metal.

    Of course, America produced Saint Vitus, arguably the first true-blue doom band, but even Saint Vitus eschews the elements of mythology and high fantasy in order to spin tales of LA’s gutter class and the interior war that rages when the jingoist is alcohol, drugs, or raven-dark depression. Over on the Continent, the original doom bands may have sounded like Black Sabbath, but their lyrical content was usually closer to Led Zeppelin. Sweden’s Candlemass were known for both their operatic vocalist (Messiah Marcolin) and their luscious, yet sombre compositions. In the U.K., bands like Cathedral and the hard-to-classify Paradise Lost blended the epic quality of traditional doom with goth rock, psychedelia, and progressive music. In short, European doom typically avoids the street art of punk rock in favor of Northern Europe’s trademark strain of “glorious and victorious.”

    Dortmund, Germany’s Wheel are a prime example the European strain of doom. Their latest release, Icarus, is a triumphal, well-sung record that embraces the bombast of hard rock while at the same time making plenty of room for doom metal’s crushing heaviness. On seven tracks, the boys in Wheel (Benjamin Homberger on guitar, Marcus Grabowski on bass, Arkadius Kurek on vocals, and Carston Jercke on drums) keep alive the flame that Ronnie James Dio first ignited in the mid-1970s. Indeed, songs such as “They do for us” and “Icarus” sound like they could have been originally penned by Rainbow-era Ritchie Blackmore.

    Despite the genre tag of “traditional,” Icarus does contain a few moments of more modern doom. For instance, the maudlin opening and slow pacing of “Eclipse” sounds more like Electric Wizard than “The Wizard.” And even though Kurek spends most of Icarus deftly wailing through song after song, there are moments when the harsh screams come out, thus revealing the fact that before Wheel there was McDeath - a trash band that once housed several members of Wheel. On “Frozen Sun” and “A Daughter’s Song,” Kurek, like Joe Caper (lead vocalist for Righteous Pigs) before him, intersperses harsh growls in between his primarily clean vocal delivery.

    Speaking lyrically and aesthetically, Icarus has a mostly Germanic character and flavor, and yet “Misinterpretation of Kadar,” the record’s sixth track, is a decidedly Eastern turn. Even before the music picks up on “Misinterpretation of Kadar,” a Muslim call to prayer can be heard in the background, letting the listener know that scimitars, not battle axes, will the weapons for this war chant. Another wrinkle to “Misinterpretation of Kadar” is the fact that it might be based on the 1978 novel Night of the Kadar, which deals with a Muslim crew of interplanetary colonists. Even more striking, the leader of these colonists (Osman) has the same name as the founder of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - the great Islamic empire of history. A German band using the motifs of Islamic music is very interesting, especially considering Germany’s often difficult relationship with its ethnically Turkish population.

    Global politics aside, Icarus is an enjoyable record that not only rocks hard, but also manages the quieter moments well. For over forty-six minutes, Icarus charts a mid tempo path of pleasurable doom that rarely becomes gloomy or morose. Like the pagan heroes of old, Icarus has its eyes set upon the sun and its music tuned to grandeur.

    Track List:
    1.    Oblivion (There is no Alternative)
    2.    They do for us
    3.    Icarus
    4.    Eclipse
    5.    A Daughter’s Song
    6.    Misinterpretation of Kadar
    7.    Frozen Sun

    Icarus is currently available from Eyes Like Snow, a division of Northern Silence Productions

    Words: Benjamin Welton

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  • 09/04/13--07:08: Paul Chain - "Alkahest" ...
  • When someone asks you to describe a doom metal band these days it is not as easy as it would have been ten years ago. There is stoner doom, death doom, funeral doom, traditional doom and so on and the diversity is bigger than it used to be. While many people hate these classifications and prefer to refer to the music just as "doom", the classifications are also very much needed in order for one to make a proper description.

    Italian doom bands, however, always resemble other Italian doom bands regardless of their exact style. There is always this 'old' feeling, the smell of ancient times and this specific Italian flavor to the music that makes it sound Italian.

    While I like Paul Chain's albums, I must confess that having Lee Dorrian on "Alkahest" is what made it really pleasing for me. Okay, the truth is that I literally found myself jumping with exhilaration (as if Christmas presents had arrived two months earlier) when I found out that Lee is doing some of the vocals.


    To the point. As expected, my favourite tracks are the ones with Lee on vocals plus "Roses of Winter" and "Three Water". If I were to be a superhero I'd definitely choose "Voyage to Hell" for my theme song. Just hear that fucking starting riff, it is one of the most awesome, tight doom riffs and will literally make you piss in your pants from sheer exhilaration. The organ thing in the beginning prepares you to enter the church of evil doom. As if you're on the last level of a zombie apocalypse game - you know the tough shit is just going to come for you. Lee's vocals are excellent again, some of his best performances and sound as wicked as ever, but maybe a bit faster than his usual singing pace. Maybe some of the lyrics will help you emerge in the atmosphere. Prepare, you are going to be dragged to hell and back:

    ''The Goat of fire in me ablaze
    Oh cosmic furnace I behold
    In Hades summer you live there
    I've pulled you through the seven gates''

    I don't even need to mention the solo guitar, it slays. Paul Chain is a fucking genius when it comes to guitar solos, man. So well-fitting, towering, bad-ass doom stuff. Songs like "Sepulchral Life" sound like taken from an early Cathedral record, I almost wait for Gary Jennings to pop up from somewhere with his excellent guitar sound. Records like this one make me wonder how awesome can you get. "Sepulchral Life" is overflowing with awesome solos. You think "Fuck, this shit is too good" and here comes another one. Slow drums, Cathedralesque sound, Lee on vocals, Paul Chain solos - nah, this is too much for my little heart to bear.

    Like on every good record that is not "Forest of Equilibrium" there are songs that stand out more than the rest and are obviously better in composition and overall mastership. "Alkahest" is no exception, but overall all songs are good "enough" to pass the ''mediocre'' level barrier. "Roses of Winter" is a sweet nod towards Sabbath's "Children of the Grave", having almost the same pace and everything. It just sounds like other version of the same song. The remaining part of the album is the usual Paul Chain - strange vocals, great guitar experimental work and a lot of velvet magic.

    All in all, if you think of yourself as a Cathedral fan or fan of good doom in general, introduce your ears to this. It's nothing too slow or too heavy, but still absolutely awesome, at times creepy and EVIL. Long live evil doom.

    Words: Teddy Mateeva ( Sixth From The Sun Blogspot )

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    Adrenaline’s Flowing is not only the title of the opening track of album Tales From The Sun but is also hinting to the palpable tension flowing through this new crushing album by the long-lived Italian band Lost Moon. A tension created by an unstoppable stream of pure f***in’ heavy metal mixed with tribal percussions and tons of atmosphere. Lost Moon is a long-lived Italian metal band that we met before via their cool album King of Dogs (here) and while waiting for the completion of this new album.   Band Lost Moon involves frontman composer, vocalist and guitarist Stefano Paolucci with his brother Pierluigi on drums, Adolfo Calandro on bass and Francesco Panarese on percussions. The band comes from the town of Benevento, in Southern Italy. Albums King of Dogs and Tales From The Sun are paradigmatic for the style of this band on several viewpoints, including the habit of taking care of all technical aspects, including production (mixing, mastering, etc.) as well as touring.

    The band’s musical style is heavy and definitely hybrid, or else “experimental”, in the sense that the band’s style is quite unique. A definition the band’s guys were liking was “heavy stoner tribal band”, which, however, doesn’t fully fit. Lost Moon’s music incorporates stylistic elements from heavy and prog metal, traditional doom, acid-space psychedelia and desert rock, noise-garage rock, and, last but absolutely not least, hard, jazzy tribal rhythms and percussions. All of this, combined by some magic formulas, is unfolded in the 8 tracks of  album Tales From The Sun which runs for about 42 minutes. In this new album you’ll find much of the “old”, outstanding Lost Moon features. One is Sefano Paolucci’s peculiar assertive, grungy vocals, either clean or distorted by effects, which are often imparting a sense of urgency to the leading melodies and enhancing tension, or restless pathos, even in those tracks or instances when the music gets more intimate.  Another feature is the tendency of the band to shift between highly tense, aggressive, muscular metal and an atmospheric and moody state, in different tracks or even within the same track. This feature was a distinctive feature for album King of Dogs. The new album Tales From The Sun is probably heavier, more metallic and so there’s probably less space for moody states. But this doesn’t mean that the band gave up with atmosphere. For example in track “ Tales From The Sun” the band is conjugating dynamic sounds of strong impact with escapes into spacey psych metal. Track “The Path I Walk” is where the band slows down and embarks in a soulful, mostly acoustic ballad drenched with emotions and atmospheres. The interplay of Stefano’s narrative guitar patterns and grungy vocals with the afro percussions, the brief insertions of electric guitars and the final escape into space psychedelia creates a seducing diversion from the more aggressive character of the other  metallic tracks.




    Tales From The Sun is heavy and its heaviness is knitted by Stefano’s great skills on guitars and the amazing interaction of complex, multi-layered riffs with the great jazzy bass line, the rambling drumming and the haunting afro percussions. Riffage is neat yet complex and multifaceted both in the styles and in the production. Riffs may range from classic heavy metal to intricate proggy constructions to spacey or Hendrixian convoluted solos to downtuned heavy doom, to beefy hard rock. The guitar sounds may range from crystalline clear (and sound “modern”) to rough, dull, downtuned and distorted (and sound “old”).  Riff styles and sound production vary continuously and create different effects while Stefano and his eclectic guitar patterns are dynamically interacting with the other musicians. Listen to the great up-tempo, eclectic tracks like Adrenaline’s Flowing, Lay Down Your Hands on Me, Event Horizon,  “Ransom” and “Burn America” are probably the tracks that may be best tagged as stoner metallic. “Ransom” is lead by mid-tempo rhythm and an enjoyable, slightly more laid back attitude. Track Burn America has a surprising start that recalls the ambience on the old songs by Santana! The afro beat percussions soon gives way to the infectious and relentless heaviness of the downtuned metallic riffs.

     The closure of this powerful album is via an intense ballad, “Building A New Wall”. In this track raw metallic tension alternates with passionate intervals where Stefano’s vocals are like a chameleon, i.e. change tone, get doubled, deformed, etc. But the best way to close can’t but be by letting Stefano’s guitar  howl while building up an intricate texture of heavy metal, prog and psychedelia. Album Tales From The Sun is great and results from a combination of factors including the “chemistry” between musicians playing together, and enjoying it fully, since ages. Lost Moon are a totally DIY underground band involving skilled musicians and sound engineers who rely on themselves totally.  Yes, I know, it sounds like the story of many cool bands in the underground scene.  Anyway, while gigging extensively, notably also across Europe, Lost Moon gathered much enthusiastic support outside the boundaries of their country. That’s probably why the quartet is now busy organizing the third Euro tour for this year during next October and November. Here are the first dates confirmed for the “Tales from Europe Tour” part III: 31st October 2013 in Wienn (A) 1st November 2013 in Norden (GER), 2nd November 2013 in Amsterdam (NL).  Keep Lost Moon’s websites checked for more infos. You can listen to some tracks from the new album on Lost Moon’s Soundcloud page (see link below). Get hold of Lost Moon’s new crushing album, in CD format, by contacting the band (at least for the moment) and, if you have the chance, go and see these unusual yet “trve”, experienced metallers in their powerful live shows: great time guaranteed! And get the cd from their very hands!

    Words: Marilena Moroni

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    Tracklist:
    1. Adrenalin's Flowin'
    2. Tales From The Sun
    3. Lay Your Hands Down On Me
    4.The Path I Walk
    5. Ransom
    6. Event Horizont
    7.Burn America
    8. Building A New Wall

    LOST MOON - Tales From The Sun (title track)





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  • 09/04/13--20:10: Eibon - "II" ...
  • It’s doubtable that the Hyperborean world had such great music, but Paris’s fearsome quintet Eibon sure do make the case for a more primitive brand of metal. Combining black metal with the plodding, bludgeoning pacing of doom-infused sludge, Eibon, who are vocalist Georges Balafas, guitarists Max Hedin and Guillaume Taliercio, bassist Stephane Riviere, and Jerome Lachaud, present crushing tones and even heavier dissonance on their latest album, which is simply called II.

    There is something degenerate in II: from the menacing and misanthropic duo of “The Void Settlers” and “Elements of Doom” to the grotesque cover art, Eibon’s newest invective against the world is hate à la française. The word choice here of “degenerate” is intentional, for the album’s cover (which is taken from Otto Dix’s War Triptych) presents not only the degradation of warfare, but the artist himself was labeled a “degenerate” by none other than the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.



    Rather than just being an invocation of the art of the Weimar Republic (which is known for its dour pessimism and its surrealistic violence), II is an exhausting two-track album that performs a marathon march towards oblivion. On “The Void Settlers,” Balafas unleashes his black metal-like shrieks over a steady beat of pounding, yet simplistic chords. “The Void Settlers” begins as a somewhat mid-tempo monster before transforming into a feedback-laden doom crawl that beats the listener into abject submission. “Elements of Doom” does something similar, although its slough is much deeper and far more protracted. “Elements of Doom,” with its rainswept moments and its slow sludge-meets-war metal complexities, is a fitting title for a song that presents a Discordian conjuring; a spell of ire from a band named after Clark Ashton Smith’s primordial wizard and his ancient tome of hideous lore.

    II at times comes close to doom metal prog rock, and its many instrumental passages only further enhance the record’s gloomy ambience. Like Burzum’s Filosofem, II approaches the well-traveled space of heavy metal with a deep-seated attachment to minimalism. II may lack melody and the conventional song structures that we all know so well, but its abrasiveness belies a metalgaze core - an atmospheric quality that sounds very much like electric funeral music. In just two songs, II will lead you to believe in the transcendental aspects of metal without also accepting the type of pretentious buffoonery and poorly disguised navel-gazing that comes along with the term “transcendental metal.”

    Track List:
    1.    The Void Settlers
    2.    Elements of Doom

    II is currently available from Throatruiner Records/Aesthetic Death

    Words: Benjamin Welton

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    You might have seen the announcement already on The Sleeping  Shaman.
    Matt Schmitz, that you all know as “da man” behind Sleestak, is busy with the making of a Multiple Sclerosis Benefit Compilation. The reason for it resides in one of those peaks of misfortune that some people and families experience and that here, at Doommantia, are well known. Matt Schmitz started putting together this compilation following a troubled period after his wife was diagnosed with the debilitating disease of Multiple Sclerosis. The project will involve several volumes. The preparation of the first volume is currently in full activity accepting submissions. It is worth mentioning that the project gathered the immediate support by a bunch of big big and whole-hearted bands. Matt also contacted us at Doommantia for helping in spreading the news. So let’s duly do it! Please, spend a few minutes in reading the press statement sent in by Matt.

    Here is what Matt Schmitz wrote:

    “This past April, my wife Kim was diagnosed with relapse/remitting multiple sclerosis. We have been dealing with her symptoms for several years which have included horrible fatigue, muscle spasms, depression, pain, digestive problems, numbness, and more recently even cognitive and sight issues. The doctors we had visited never once mentioned MS as a possibility and she was being treated in a compartmentalized manner, i.e. take this medication for depression, take this other pill for pain, and so on and so forth. We were told she just had all these seperate health issues with nothing she could do but take pills. Finally, after her left side (including her face) had went numb we went to an Urgent Care clinic. The quack doctor there saw us for literally less than two minutes, concluded she was getting shingles, and told me in earshot of every other patient and staff member that we should not worry, that she did not have a stroke, and that she did not have MS. He handed us a shingles pamphlet and told us to follow up with our primary doctor in a week. We proceeded to do so and visit our new primary doctor established based on a change in our insurance. Luckily we did as this was the first time a doctor suspected she had multiple sclerosis and soon thereafter we had a diagnosis and were able to put a name on the cause of all these things that were going wrong with Kim’s body.

    I consider us lucky in a sense: we no longer have to wonder about certain things, we can establish a plan for ourselves, and now we can do everything in our power to try and fight this as best we can. We also have insurance to help somewhat. I cannot imagine the position we would be in without it. Mind you, all is not golden. We have accumulated well over $5000 in medical bills and it’s continuing to rise and set to go on for the rest of her life. This has put me into a corner with trying to take care of my family in the ways I need to provide. Kim is in-between treatments right now after quitting a brutal regiment of the Copaxone daily injection, leaving her with softball-sized welts, hardening tissue at the injection sites, and not the least of which is more pain. The plan right now is to try a daily pill treatment of Tecfidera. In the coming months, due to the looming Obamacare, we are expecting an insurance “glitch” as told to us by her neurologist where there may be a few months when her treatment is not covered. This pill is $55,000 a year wholesale. Needless to say we are nervous about this, on top of our mounting doctor bills.

    I have been brainstorming about ways to help my family get through this and I came to the conclusion to do a benefit compilation. I have seen how these have helped others in need, including Ed from Doommantia. Here is my plan though: the comp I put together is going to be unique in several ways. First, on the music side of it, most all of the submissions are special in the fact that they are live, rare, demo, unreleased, or alternative version of songs, some being even exclusive to this collection. In this regard, the bands I have been in contact with have been absolutely amazing in their support and their willingness to dig through their archives. I have already met some incredible folks through emails from putting this together and one thing I am encountering is the number of people in our scene who have been affected by this disease. This has led me to want to do even more than help my own family. I want to do more music compilations, multiple volumes, to help others affected by MS, to raise awareness about it as well as money to donate to those less fortunate in their situation, and for organizations who are dedicated to the fight. One example is to get people on board here in Wisconsin and other states to legalize CBD, a component of marijuana with almost miraculous medicinal qualities and no psychoactive effects, which, as far as I know at the moment is still considered Schedule 1 even though it doesn’t get you high. Other states like California now have access to this for people with neurological diseases but not Wisconsin, which has the highest number of MS cases in the country. So, there you go. I have got some fight left in me and I want to do something with it.

    Now for the JUICY DETAILS OF THE COMP. It is being called “MYELIN CONSTELLATION”, myelin being basically the protective coating around nerve bundles, which in MS deteriorates and exposes the nerves to all the symptoms that are talked about. The “constellation” part is in reference to all the bands and individuals who make up the scene as a whole, worldwide. There are several bands which I can name drop at the the time of this writing that are getting involved: The Gates Of Slumber, Northless, Sons Of Otis, Backwoods Payback, Wo Fat, Stone Magnum, and Coltsblood. There are a bunch more which will be confirmed in due time and I am blown away by some of the bands which are lending their support – these are some heavy hitters and names you will know.  While no solid release date is set right now, we are aiming for a mid-late September digital download on Bandcamp.
    I also want to thank a few individuals who have lent their talent and help to get the ball rolling on this: Steve Somers for the wicked awesome artwor(http://stevesomersart.blogspot.com), Mike from Days Of The Doomed festival, and Lee from The Sleeping Shaman. I consider these guys good friends and good people along with all the bands who are getting behind this.
    I THANK YOU and my wife, Kim THANKS YOU.

    - Matt Schmitz/Sleestak

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Please keep the following websites under your radar for information and updates:
    Facebook
    Bandcamp         

    For more info on multiple sclerosis, please visit:
    National MS Society
    MS Focus.Org

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    Here at Doommantia we dig heavy metal and monster riffs, and so we were digging the US heavy doom metal band Ghost Tower a lot.
    Ghost Tower released two haunting full-length albums "influenced by Mercyful Fate, early Fates Warning, old horror films, Black Sabbath, and obscure cult metal in general".

    Here is the line-up:
    Ameven: Vocals, Lyrics
    Matt Preston: Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
    Mike Biggs: Drums

    Ghost Tower's music is drenched with crepuscular atmospheres thanks to great dark melodies and to singer Ameven's peculiar, strained vocals, not to mention the impressive guitar shreds provided by master guitarist Matt Preston. Skills on strings were invariably backed up by skills on skins by drummer Mike Biggs.
    You can read my rants about both albums by Ghost Tower HERE and HERE

    The band is presently on hold but this doesn't mean that cool things are not happening. As a matter of fact, Ghost Tower's "Head of Night" full-length album (which had been released during February 2012) has been finally re-mastered in summer 2013 specifically for the official cassette release on Germany's MetalPunxRex label.  Cool, eh? It gets even cooler if you think that label MetalPunxRex is host to some of the Bands of The Week selected by the metal guru Fenriz of Darkthrone fame! 
    I mean, folks at that label have good sniff and good taste ...




    TRACKLIST
    1. Ninth Tooth of the Gravekeeper's Grin
    2. Secret of Black Moss Lake
    3. The Brooding Silence...
    4. ...Of Untimely Death
    5. House of Wary Shadows
    6. An Elusive Encounter
    7. Scroll of the Lunar Tribe
    8. Island of All-Knowing Eyes
    9. Elegy of Dreamtime

    The cassette tape of Ghost Tower's "Head of Night", is in limited edition and comes with a poster.
    Check out the the link below to get hold of the new, tape edition of this magic album, 40 minutes of great heavy doom metal.

    This is also the occasion for reminding you that during these last years guitarist Matt Preston has been a busy man. Beside interacting with thrash metallers Infectonator and reviving act Dungeon Beast (see HERE), he has been and is currently playing guitar in the Michigan-based traditional heavy metal band Borrowed Time. Their debut full-length LP will be available in late 2013 on High Roller Records (another cool label, btw …).

    As a fan commented on Ghost Tower’s Facebook page, this music yells for vinyl release. Well, hopefully, soon, and maybe together with new tunes …

    Words: Marilena Moroni

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    Ghost Tower's "Head of Night" tape - on MetalPunxRex

    Full album available for streaming on Bandcamp - HERE

    Contact for Matt Preston:  mpreston717@gmail.com

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    While “Cult of the headless witch” may sound like the title to a Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode, this unsigned trio from western Sweden are anything but child’s play. With a deadly seriousness and an abiding worship of the riff, Cult of the headless witch blazes a path of traditional doom and glorious heavy metal. Whilst singing in both English and their native Swedish, the boys in Curse of the headless witch (Crister Olsson on guitars, Jimmy Holmberg on drums, and Björn Olzon on bass) manage to bridge the gap between the classic Anglo-Saxon doom of Witchfinder General and epicus metallicus of Sweden’s own Candlemass. Indeed, the finale on Curse of the headless witch—which is entitled “The fallen ones”—bears a striking resemblance to “Bewitched,” Candlemass’s concert standard from 1987’s Nightfall.

    This is the big knock on Curse of the headless witch, which is an otherwise fairly good four-track demo. Songs such as “The fallen ones” and the opener “Ghost of the headless witch” reek too much of the band from Stockholm’s brand of operatic, grandiose doom. The fact that Cult of the headless witch are Swedish probably means that they can’t help but to be influenced by Candlemass, but this shouldn’t excuse moments of outright pilfering.

    Still, despite session singer Tomas Eriksson’s anemic attempt at being Messiah Marcolin, Cult of the headless witch can be appreciated as a strong harbinger—a clear sign that this oddly named band has a bright future. Tracks such as the Black Sabbath-inspired “Master your fate” and the sharply melodic “En ny tid” showcase Cult of the headless witch’s ability to provide for its listeners quality doom at a quality level. For a demo, Cult of the headless witch is extremely well produced and has that pristine quality that black metal bands despise like unlit churches. Musically speaking, the playing on this demo is reserved, with slow, yet precise riffs that contain no frills or Rococo add-ins. Cult of the headless witch is pretty much bare bones doom without any traces of shoegaze, psychedelia, or stoner rock. This fact alone should appeal to many, especially those in doom metal’s prelapsarian crowd who get nettled when Sabbath’s formula is toyed with too much. For them, Curse of the headless witch is an omen, not a malediction.

    Track List:
    1.    “Ghost of the headless witch”
    2.    “Master your fate”
    3.    “En ny tid”
    4.    “The fallen ones”

    Curse of the fallen witch is currently available as a digital download.

    Words: Benjamin Welton

    Bandcamp: HERE
    Facebook: HERE

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