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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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    Update - Nov 26th.

    We are still living without power so no internet, phone, so no means of communication. We are slowly working through messages but it may take several weeks to get caught up with all the email we have been receiving. Be sure that ALL album review requests are being noted, even if we don't reply. Thanks again to everyone that bought the Doommantia Compilation, Volume II is already in the planning stages. Special thanks to those that bought the download and donated extra or simply just donated. We are living on a razors edge right now with no electricity and no guarantees on how long we will be able to live where we are at. Rent is due again in under 3 weeks and we are dead broke so the future is very uncertain. The main focus for us right now is getting the power on so we can get back to what this site is all about - doom metal. Number 2 priority is coming up with next months rent ($750) because if we can past that hurdle, we may be borderline secure for the time-being. Thanks again to everyone that has helped us. It means so much to us to think people actually care about what we are going through.....Ed

    PS: Just a quick update on the forum. We now have over 20,000 messages posted with over 400 members, 95 of which are female doom metallers. Why not join in the fun?

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    Candlelight Records has announced the signing of DEMON LUNG. The Las Vegas-based quartet, featuring guitarist Phil Burns, basisst Patrick Warren, drummer Jeremy Brenton and vocalist Shanda Fredrick, is set to begin recording its full-length debut in the coming weeks at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California with producer Billy Anderson (SLEEP, HIGH ON FIRE, EYEHATEGOD) for a spring 2013 release.

    The band commented: "We are very honored to join the Candlelight roster. To be included among such talented artists is very humbling, and we thank the great people at Candlelight for giving us the opportunity."

    Metal Hammer called DEMON LUNG's four-song demo, "Pareidolia", "earthy yet horror-themed doom metal a la CANDLEMASS with an ACRIMONY groove." The magazine called Fredrick a "wild-eyed, satanic songstress." Popular music and film site Ave Noctum noted, "DEMON LUNG has a deft touch and solid sound. Their music is clearly from the soul. Fair to say they are a welcomed addition to the ranks of the doomed." Teeth Of The Divine added, "Fredrick has the requisite sultry pipes that keep a steady, hazy tone. She has a deep, bluesy voice that fits the languid music perfectly."

    DEMON LUNG has performed alongside PENTAGRAM, HIGH ON FIRE, JUCIFER, WITCH MOUNTAIN and CASTLE and will resume performing once recording has been completed.

    A video for the song "Lament Code" is available below. It was directed by Dustin Mills, the mastermind behind "The Puppet Monster Massacre".


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    Venomous Maximus is not a typical Doom/Stoner band but I’ll be damned if songs like “Give up the Witch” won’t be worshiped by fans of Doom, Stoner, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock…you name it! Mixing all kinds of hard (and not so hard) influences, their debut “Beg Upon the Light” was one of the best surprises of the year. Whatever your background is a great record is a great record. In this is an interview with Gregg Higgins (Vocals, Guitars), talks about his vocals, the sacrifices the band members had to make, and Texas…what else!


    Dr.Doom: Hello Gregg, before we start this interview do you mind giving some details about the background of the band’s members and how you guys got together?

    Gregg: Montrose is a very small neighborhood where we live, At the time I was running a tattoo shop. They wasn’t a very big awareness of the music we play in the area so we would all end up in the same places and the band formed.

    Dr.Doom: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS is not the typical Doom/Stoner band. How would you describe VENOMOUS MAXIMUS to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?

    Gregg: I wouldn’t describe us as a stoner or doom band. We consider the band to be a Hard Rock Heavy Metal band. The only thing that is doomy about us is the dark content & the subject matter. We always say we sound like Ozzy and Priest.

    Dr.Doom: “Beg Upon the Light” signifies a slight shift to a more 80’s Heavy Metal direction. I mean, in this album the IRON MAIDEN and KING DIAMOND references are more apparent. Between the 70’s musical era and the 80’s which one you believe had the biggest impact on the band?

    Gregg: Yea its exactly what I was just talking about on the last question. Our earlier material was more basic and rock driven, due to us only being a band for a short time. The new album is closer to the original idea of what we wanted to sound like. When it comes to the 70?s and the 80?s I love them both. There are certain things I don’t like about the 80?s and I love everything about the 70?s, but the point was to mix them.

     Dr.Doom: Your singing style is one of the most characteristic aspects of VENOMOUS MAXIMUS. Back when you started the band did you ever considered going with a more orthodox vocal style or a more mainstream singer?

    Gregg: I never wanted to be the singer. We couldn’t find anyone that fit. All I know is I wanted clean distinguishable lyrics chanting timeless tales of human experience. Things now days are so confusing with the genres, the underground, mainstream. I dont care about any of it. I am not a computer person.

    Dr.Doom: I also noticed that in “Beg Upon the Light” vocals are cleaner and louder, do you feel more confident about his vocal abilities?

    Gregg: Yes way more confident. Singing for a band is the most embarrassing thing I have ever done in my life. Whatever the show was good or bad but it’s still terrifying.

    Dr.Doom: VENOMOUS MAXIMUS has adopted an occult-type image. Do you ever have second thoughts about it since lately almost all underground bands have a similar theme?

    Gregg: No not at all. Occult imagery has always been in rock n roll. It’s the basics of rock n roll. Bands have always just hidden it. It’s a product of our modern day society. Let it all hang out and 1/2 of those bands dont even know what the imagery they are using means.



    Dr.Doom: Now that the word “underground” came up, a lot of artists express their discomfort concerning the sacrifices they have to make to keep doing this (that is being in a band). For example it was only until recently that ORANGE GOBLIN managed to quit their day jobs. What kind of sacrifices have you done to give birth to VENOMOUS MAXIMUS and take it to the next level with the release of “Beg Upon the Light”?

    Gregg: I have given everything up a person can give up. 1st go the physical possessions, then relationships and friends. After that your physical health and your sanity. But isn’t that the point of this music is to give up everything you have and see what’s left when your bone dry.

    Dr.Doom: You are from Houston, and in my mind Texas is the crossroad of many different musical styles: Rock’n’Roll, Blues, Country, Jazz etc. So, how much Texas is there in VENOMOUS MAXIMUS?

    Gregg: There is a side of the band that is not in our artwork or stage presence that is 100% Texas! The music of course. We have all been raised on ZZ Top and Pantera. I think it’s important for art to reflect its environment.

    Dr.Doom: THE SWORD, WO FAT and VENOMOUS MAXIMUS are three Texan bands that just poped into my head. All three are heavily inspired from the 70’s yet they are quite different. It seems like the local scene is quite flourishing. Are there any other bands, fans of VENOMOUS MAXIMUS should know?

    Gregg: Maleveller, Eagle Claw, Ancient VVisdom, Texxxas. Pushmen, Beau Beasley, War Master, Wet Lungs and thats just Texas!

     Dr.Doom: You are known for supporting big names of the scene! Are there any moments you remember and you feel like sharing?

    Gregg: Hanging with Bobby from Pentagram talking about guitars was cool. Talking to Matt Pike about Alien agendas, but the best was Phil, he’s a super intense person.

    Dr.Doom: … It’s been an honor talking with you Gregg! Before we close I would like to the thank you for the interview and would you mind revealing any goals the band has set for the future?

    Gregg: More of the same and see you on the road……

    Interview By Dr Doom Metal (Dr Dooms Lair)

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    Mark Kadzielawa of  69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with guitarist Dave Chandler of doom metal legends SAINT VITUS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

    69 Faces Of Rock: How would you describe the new songs?

    Chandler: Well, I try to keep them true to what we do. I wanted them to be modern enough, so the kids, like younger kids, or maybe kids getting into us, may be able to enjoy it. But at the same time, I wanted to keep it the same, the old way, so the old fans would dig it. I personally hate it when a band reforms and they don't sound anything like they were. I think that's just ridiculous. So, I try to get it to come out that way, and it seems to work. A lot of people say the new album sounds like it was recorded in the early '90s. So, I'm very happy with that assumption. That's what I was striving for.

    69 Faces Of Rock: And the general response from the fans to the new record ["Lillie: F-65"]?

    Chandler: Oh, it's really good. It's really cool. I guess during that time we were gone, doom metal became a legitimate genre. There are bunch of newer bands that play doom metal, and they cite us as the influence. So, during that time we were gone, many people who never heard of us before got into us through seeing other bands wearing our shirts, and talking about us. So, when we came out again, they wanted to see the band everyone was talking about over the years. There were all kinds of weird rumors about us circulating.

    69 Faces Of Rock: What is the meaning of the album title?

    Chandler: It's like a double meaning. If you look at the artwork, the girls is like an addict, left behind in the deserted hospital. Her name is Lillie, F stands for female, patient number 65. And she's deserted, and whole concept of the album is the weird trip that she goes through when she realizes that she stuck in there. And if you take it literally, Lillie: F65 is a barbiturate that was popular when we were in high school, and we used to take it all the time. I used to take it all the time. It's basically a horse tranquilizer. It's just a little thing for the fans to puzzle over.

    69 Faces Of Rock: Unfortunately, your longtime drummer, Armando Acosta, who is no longer in the band, passed away recently. Care to say few things about him?

    Chandler: Well, you know, unfortunately, Armando got real sick, and he didn't want to go to the doctor. He was pretty much in denial, he couldn't play anymore, even told Mark and me, "I can't play anymore." We did Roadburn festival with him, and it was like three shows after that, he just couldn't do it anymore. So, we had to hire somebody to do the Hellfest show, and I've already played with Henry in DEBRIS INC. so he was my first pick. As for Armando, like I said before, he refused to go to the doctor, and everything caught up with him, and he passed away, which is terrible. Since I'm the leader of the band sort of speak, I was the one who had to call him and tell him he was not in the band anymore. Of course he got mad, and talked a bunch about it on the internet, which was expected. But, unfortunately, that was the last time that I got to speak to him when he was pissed at me, so he passed away being mad at me. I feel crappy for that, but we begged him to go to the doctor, and he just refused.

    69 Faces Of Rock: What general memories do you have of Armando?

    Chandler: He was always a good guy. He was always a joker, always doing stupid, silly kid jokes. Saying stupid things, and making us laugh. He was really cool and fun to jam with all those years. He was a good guy.

    69 Faces Of Rock: After all that hard work in the '80s and '90s, were you surprised by the legacy you've left behind?

    Chandler: I was very pleasantly surprised. We quit in 1995 because it didn't make any difference, and it didn't. Nobody gave a shit at all, except for us. We'd figured, that's it. And once this started happening, we were like, "What the hell is going on?" People were bringing their children to us who grew up listening to us. It's a really good feeling to know that all the hard work we actually did, did something. We just didn't know about it.

    Read the entire interview from 69 Faces Of Rock





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    Mala Suerte and Uzala—both practitioners of heavily mired, psychedelic doom—have joined forces to release a split 7” that highlights some of the best that both bands have to offer. Mala Suerte’s Illumninati inspired, New World Order thwarting “The Veil of Secrecy” is a heavy, hook-laden response to corruption, inequality, and clandestine abuses of power. While “The Veil of Secrecy” was recorded in 2010, not long after the release of the band’s sole full-length album, ‘The Shadow Tradition’, it is a track that really fits in well with the band’s previously released material while at the same time showing compositional growth. “Burned”, Uzala’s contribution, embraces a cleaner sound than what is found on both their self-titled album and the ‘Cataract/Death Masque’ single which ultimately places even more of a focus on Darcy Nutt’s ethereal vocals.

     “The Veil of Secrecy” has two things going for it that really elevates the track above anything that Mala Suerte has put out before it—the opening lead guitar and Gary Rosas’ vocals. The entire song is a mid-paced plod, but the opening lead guitar instantly draws the listener in with its emotive, killer tone. Immediately noticeable with Mala Suerte’s latest is that Gary Rosas’ vocals have been dialed-back a bit which really works well on this tune. “The Veil of Secrecy” sacrifices the abrasive, up-front vocal delivery found on ‘The Shadow Tradition’ in favor of a more restrained, chant-like cadence that complements the conspiratorial lyrics. Mala Suerte’s contribution is a welcome addition to the band’s catalogue and thankfully “The Veil of Secrecy” has finally been revealed.

     The relatively cleaner production of Uzala’s “Burned” really stands out and brings Darcy Nutt’s seraphic vocals to the forefront. While the production is a bit clearer, this isn’t a night and day difference. The bands still dwells in the depths of a psychedelic slurry, though the waters are a bit less murky. “Burned” still displays all of the musical elements that make Uzala so great. The interplay between the riffs and lead guitar courtesy of Chad Remains and Darcy are ever-present as is the dark, uncompromising atmosphere that seems to permeate all of the band’s recordings. For those needing a fix while they are waiting for the band to finish their next album, “Burned” just may temporarily hold them over.

     Both of the doomed-out tracks on the split are strong compositions that complement each other well and should momentarily appease fans that are looking forward to new material from either band. While Mala Suerte and Uzala approach their disciplines from different angles, each band is unified by their dedication to dark, atmospheric doom. Here’s looking forward to new material from each band in the upcoming year. Pick up the 7” from King of the Monsters Records.

    Words: Steve Miller

    Mala Suerte | Facebook
    Mala Suerte | Bandcamp
    Uzala | Facebook
    Uzala | Bandcamp
    King of the Monsters Records

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    Brant Bjork, John Garcia and Nick Oliveri — formerly of KYUSS — have announced their new project: VISTA CHINO. The group, comprised of the three founding members of the legendary rock band and guitarist Bruno Fevery, is currently recording new material in anticipation of a 2013 worldwide release that will coincide with major touring plans.

    The final live appearances of KYUSS LIVES! — featuring the same lineup as VISTA CHINO — will take place in early 2013 as part of Australia's Soundwave Festival. The guys are looking forward to playing their classic songs along with new material. Ex-KYUSS members Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit against their former bandmates in March, claiming that they "made every attempt to help [Garcia and Bjork] continue KYUSS LIVES! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, KYUSS LIVES! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name KYUSS. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid."

    In his August 2012 ruling, a federal judge said that the new band may not use "the 'Kyuss' mark in any capacity unless the word 'Lives' follows the word 'Kyuss' in equally prominent lettering," He also prohibited KYUSS LIVES! from using the name "in conjunction with any studio album, live album, or other audio recording." The judge also warned the members of KYUSS LIVES! that "future concerts under the 'Kyuss Lives' mark might continue to subject them to liability for trademark infringement" and suggested, "It may be in Defendants' best interest to begin re-branding under a new name."

    In a May 2012 interview with RolllingStone.com, Bjork stated about Homme and Reeder's lawsuit, "They don't want to mention that they trademarked the name KYUSS after I left the band, assuring that I had no rights in KYUSS' future. They're both accusing John and I of doing something that they actually did themselves. Their inner conflict is this: both Josh and Scott want control and money from KYUSS LIVES!, but they don't want to participate and they ultimately don't want us to exist. The double standard is unbelievable."

    He added, "Josh and I were the creative force within the band and after the completion of our second record, 'Blues For The Red Sun', we developed an opposing view on how the band should exist and operate. In 1992 Josh discovered publishing, which is the financial revenue stream for songwriting. After that, he wanted to write all the songs. As a drummer, I couldn't make him play my songs. I wasn't going to compromise my heart and soul and play drums for Josh to make money in a band I started. So I left the band. I was a confused, angry and sad 19-year-old idealist who sacrificed my love of my band for what I believed in. Two and a half years later, Josh would break up the band after John confronted him about the same thing; his need to control the band for personal gain."

    Photo credit: K. Campbell

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    Oakland, California-based power trio HIGH ON FIRE will have its next two shows professionally recorded for the band's upcoming live album:

    Nov. 30 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
    Dec. 01 - Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Brooklyn. NY

    HIGH ON FIRE's latest album, "De Vermis Mysteriis", sold around 7,400 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 63 on The Billboard 200 chart. Released on April 3 via eOne Music, the CD was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts' GodCity Studios with producer and CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou. The 10-song effort — touted as "direct, eye-opening and powerfully supernatural" — is the band's sixth studio recording and the follow-up to 2010's "Snakes For The Divine" which debuted at No. 62 on The Billboard 200 chart and has been called "wonderful" by The New York Times and "an exhilarating rush" by the Chicago Tribune.

    "De Vermis Mysteriis" (or "Mysteries Of The Worm") takes its title from a fictional grimoire created by "Psycho" author Robert Bloch and incorporated by H. P. Lovecraft into the lore of the "Cthulhu Mythos" (Lovecraft mentioned "De Vermis Mysteriis" as one of the books that "repeat the most hellish secrets learnt by early man"). The album carries a deeply mystical undercurrent, incorporating fantastical themes and lyrics detailing, among other things, time travel, a serum called liao that is made out of a black lotus and "a Jesus twin who can see the past through his ancestors' eyes." And that's just scratching the surface!

    Musically, "De Vermis Mysteriis" is absolutely explosive, showcasing the California power trio's thundering roar and expanded harmonic and rhythmic palettes while the songs move confidently through multiple riffs and movements. HIGH ON FIRE construct tough, burly stoner metal that is at once devastatingly epic and mercilessly metallic as superstar guitarist Matt Pike's sizzling ax and avenging-angel riffs fuse with Des Kensel's double-kick-drum onslaught and Jeff Matz's concrete crushing, Burton-esque bass guitar. Over the course of forty-five minutes, HIGH ON FIRE have created an amalgamation of fantastical lyrical ideas and brute force musicianship anchored in an endlessly captivating, punkishly frantic sound. Simply put, the band generates awesome on demand and has a virtual chokehold on monolithic-sounding, masterfully crafted epic music. HIGH ON FIRE is a savage bull in the china shop of modern metal.

    Source: Blabbermouth.

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  • 11/30/12--16:28: Seremonia - "Seremonia" ...
  • When it comes to the psychedelic acid rock era of the late 60's many bands to this day are still gathering new fans while dragging their long-time existing fan base along with them. However some bands have been slightly pushed aside or forgotten about. One band that I think fits that criteria is Iron Butterfly of 'In A Gadda Da Vida' fame. Now why in the hell am I talking about this band of flower-power acid pop hipsters?

    Well this band from Finland Seremonia remind me of the butterfly in a strange but heavier way. If the truth be told, Iron Butterfly were never a heavy band so why they get the proto-metal tag by some people is a mystery but they did record some heavy tunes that were really ahead of their time for 1968/69 and Seremonia in many respects have tapped into that sound in a small way. Along with 60's psyche-rock and heavy pop sounds, they are also heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, Cream and Deep Purple. If you are looking for a modern reference point then think Ghost, Blood Ceremony and Jex Thoth.


    Now the occult rock thing has been taking a bit of a bashing of late from folks growing tired of the whole style as bands become more and more predictable. I am sorry to say this but this Finnish band won't give you fresh hope either. The band who do a good job at recreating the psychedelic, occult rock 60's/70's vibe are obviously good players but it is just what you would expect to hear from a band like this and that is the first of many flaws this album has. Yes they have a female vocalist that sounds like many other females doing this kind of thing. They have short catchy songs with a poppy edge a-la Ghost but rather than worshiping at the feet of Tony Iommi it is Geezer Butler who they seem to take great influence from. The rumbling bass lines are very much in the "Geezer" vein but take that away and you are left with a fairly dull album.

    Highlights - there isn't many but 'Rock ‘N’ Rollin’ Maailma' is a catchy heavy pop tune with the Iron Butterfly vibe I mentioned earlier while 'Kosminen Ruumisvaunu' has Deep Purple written all over it. 'Antikristus 666' has child-like, almost sinister chanting vocals that are mesmerizing but everything is so predictable right down the Jethro Tullish flute work - yes they have that as well. 'Hautakiven Varjossa' closes the album in a sabbathy style and is also solid but they ruin it with a overly cheesy flute solo. One of the problems is the album seems half-assed. Half the songs are three minutes or less and the other songs are not much longer so none of the songs have much time to set up any kind of groove or vibe. Even 'Kosminen Ruumisvaunu' which is my favorite tune from the album is over and done with in little over 2 minutes leaving the listener frustrated and wanting a lot more. Seremonia have a lot of good things going for them, fine musicianship, good (although predictable) vocals but need some fine-tuning and an injection of originality. The guitars are nice and fuzzy but they seem to end songs long before they have a chance to build in any one direction. There is great potential here but this misses the mark for me personally. For fans of above mentioned bands....5/10.

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    Elliott Sharp of The Village Voice  recently conducted an interview with frontman Matt Pike of the Oakland, California trio HIGH ON FIRE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

    The Village Voice: Back in August it was announced that you were heading to rehab. How's that going?

    Pike: I'm doing good. I've just been on the straight and narrow, trying to drink tea and doing my fucking — it's just been fucking granola and guitar, you know? I'm feeling pretty well. I'm managing it okay. There's been some tempting moments, and I've fucked up a few times, but I'm just staying the path and trying not to die young. There's too much fucking music to make.

    The Village Voice: I've read that HIGH ON FIRE tours in the past were a long, hard party. Is it a challenge to stay sober when you're on tour?

    Pike: A little bit, yeah. It's hard sometimes, but I manage. Our bass player quit drinking before I did, and I'm on tour with Bill from MASTODON — there are quite a few guys who are older with us that are — you know, the party catches up with you and you have to take a chill pill on it. Instead of doing cocaine and taking a bunch of shots every night, you put on your PJs and get healthy after the shows. It's different, so you just have to find things that make you happy.

    The Village Voice: How has being sober impacted the shows themselves? Are you playing better?

    Pike: Oh yeah, we're killing it. I'm playing much better. I get a little more anxiety now because I don't have that comfortable buzz. You know, you're not quite as confident as you were, and cocky, but at the same time, you end up playing better after the first few songs and you really get into it. It's like, "Oh, okay, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and that's why everyone is staring at me." It's harder to get my brain into that thing where I'm gonna go out — there's just this clarity to it, and having that clarity puts everything under a microscope. Every little note you hit, you're very conscious of it. But I think it'll make me play better in the long run.

    The Village Voice: You're speaking very openly about all this, but how do you feel about these private details of your life being made public?

    Pike: I'm the one who made the love affair with the public, so I expected that if something like this happened, I'd have to explain it. I suppose I could just ignore all of it. But, shit, lesson learned. And I had a lot of fun with it for 40 years. I'm not that different of a person now. I drank my liver into submission, so I had to take a different path. I'm still the same guy. I still just wanna do what I do best, and that's play music and be a good person. That's who I try to be. Whatever puts me in that spot is what I have to do. And hopefully I'm a good influence on the people that I play for.

    Read the entire interview from The Village Voice

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    Can raging wilderness be tamed? Eh …
    Those of you who happened to see UK death metal band Ravens Creed recently, for example at the last edition of the Live Evil Festival or in the new album, may hardly believe that frontman Al Osta can be any tamed. But Doom can do miracles, even if actually Doom sometimes sounds like or stands for the voice of a sleeping volcano. The volcano can always wake up …

    Peacemaker is an emerging heavy old school doom band based in London, UK. The quartet includes founders guitarist Sam Taylor and drummer Rich Maw from the death metal band Infliction straight form the 90s, bassist Al Lawson from Satanic Fatwa, and  Leeds-based singer Al Osta, from Ravens Creed and previously in Satanic Fatwa as well.  Well, the “doom” tag is OK for this band but you have to expect also other shades. In any case, these lads can play hard indeed …



    You can test, or better, taste what Peacemaker are up to in the Album Sampler spread around by the band during these last months: three tracks definitely stating that Peacemaker are a most welcome addition to the British doom scene. The three tracks of the Album Sampler are part of an 8-track full-length album that is being completed right in these very days. So the Album Sampler is just a slice but enough for arising great expectations, as the three teaser tracks developed over substantial time lengths (between 4 and 7 minutes) and therefore adequate for displaying the potential of this band. Peacemaker is not a doom band singing about wizards, witches, ghosts, mushrooms, occult rites in old foggy cemeteries, even if they are from UK. Give a look to the old photo with three hanging men in the cover of the Album Sampler and/or go through the synthetic explanations of what is behind the lyrics, as reported on the band’s Facebook page. All this hints to a band that employs a powerful, dark form of heavy music for telling about adversities in life, both when doing hazardous or foolish things and when Fate is ruling. This is the case for the first two tracks, “Dead Man’s Key” and the almost 7 minutes-long ballad “Sorrow Trip”. Or else heavy music is there for telling about the halo of mistery possessed by some populations even if they live nearby, like in the third and final track “The Siberian Problem”. Music-wise Peacemaker appear to be much inspired by the very early Black Sabbath and old-school doom, right from the beginning.

    As a matter of fact, in the opening track Dead Man’s Key, huge, distorted fuzzy riffs and crushing drums and cymbals build up a bleak, Sabbathian slow, and massively plodding rhythm where even the silent intervals between the downtuned riffs are toxic. In those intervals Al Osta is just whispering over a note of piano. Well, let’s say, Al is growling in whispers, but whispers have never been more menacing as they sound like the narrating voice in a old, sinister tale where outcomes are bound to be baleful. With the progression of the song Al’s voice will eventually also burst into expected, impressive roars and screams, like with an imprisoned wild beast. The explosions of Al’s roars backed by the outbursts of the distorted riffs plus the contrast with the first half make the second half of this stunning opening track no less than overwhelming to me. But this is Sabbathian doom, so the magic blend of wicked heaviness and heavy metal groove keeps the tunes attractive and intriguing.  There is much affinity between the first and the second track, Sorrow Trip, as the leitmotiv is again the plodding, slow leading narrative rhythm where Al Osta’s raucous, sludgy voice again tells a tale. But the plodding melody here is more somber or moody than horrific, due to a general Southern-flavoured bluesy vibe. A sudden, brief but effective escape into strained, atmospheric psychedelia in the core of the track and the periodical riff-driven accelerations make this long track flow easily.


    The third and last track “The Siberian Problem” displays what else these guys are able to do. This track is lead by a remarkably dynamic pace and a high tension, as if all musicians unleashed their energy previously compressed. The time for tight headbanging has come, with loads of faster riffs and bombing drumming like in High on Fire, continuous tempo changes and Al’s vocals as tortured and fierce as ever. Kickass and evil …This preliminary but solid, polyhedric display of doom tunes by Peacemaker is provided with a mastering/production that duly enhances dirt, rage and the vibrations of downtuning that doomsters love. And speaking about recording, mastering etc., how cool is when you read on the wall of Peacemaker’s page that they were doing final rehearsing while Serpent Venom were playing in the next room of the recording studio? How cool is to have such doom-drenched Rooz Studios as neighbour? Get hold of Peacemaker’s Album Sampler, in case you haven’t done it yet, keep these British doomsters under your radar, and stay ready for more yummi tunes coming soon via Peacemaker’s full-length album, called “Cult 45” … \m/

    Words:  Marilena Moroni

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    When I say that I like my music “solid” I mean two things. The first meaning is that I like music from my fave bands in a less ethereal, “volatile” format than digital one (although I think all the best possible of the digital diffusion of music).
    The other meaning is that I love music that is crushingly heavy, be it fast or slow. So it comes as natural for me to get stuck into and addicted to bands devoted to creating oppressive soundscapes bulldozing your mind, like for example those bands adopting twin bass or else downtuning and distorting their guitars as to make them sound as distorted bass. UK twin bass sludge-doom band War Iron, from Belfast - Northern Ireland, had been a great discover for me last year (read my previous post  HERE), even if these guys have been around for a while in this and in other reference acts for the British and Irish heavy music scenes. Especially last year War Iron massively conquered the world doom scene with their monumental debut full-length album, the plus 30 minutes-long two-tracks album The Faceless Sea. This haunting and devastating album is out on Infected Wound Records as CD and, since January 2012, on Punkerama Records as beautiful, limited edition, hand-numbered sea-blue vinyl LP mastered by James Plotkin.

    Just to refresh memory, War Iron was started in 2006 by singer Andrew Bagwell aka Baggy and drummer Martin Harvey aka Marty. The band arose from the ashes of Belfast fuzzy doom act The Naut, together with Slomatics. After some changes, War Iron’s present-day line-up involves the two bass players Dave McCallum and Ross Duffy in addition to Baggy and Marty. Slomatics and War Iron share Marty as drummer.  These guys cannot exhaust their charge of heaviness in one band only: bassist Dave is also in the death-thrash metal band Devilmakesthree whereas Baggy and Ross (who was is in the Irish “sl-oom” band Two Tales of Woe) are militating in the fierce sludge crust act Fuckhammer. The guys took long in releasing their debut album due to delays and problems piling up, including incredible adversities like the demolition of the recording studio! Now that’s a crushing doom band, eh eh … While attending the fine Dublin Doom Days Festival - Chapter IV in late September 2012 I had the privilege of seeing a punishing live exhibition by War Iron ending a first “taste” of the new album, track “Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum”.  Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for being further knocked down by a new, substantial dose of twin bass heaviness, as late October  2012 saw the release of War Iron’s new album: The Fifth and Final Sun, again out on Punkerama Records as CD (for the moment).

    Album The Fifth and Final Sun is 40 minutes for 4 tracks. A “barrage of heaviness” aiming to “crush souls and maim minds of an unsuspecting world”, according to the intentions of these doom gangsters. Well, they did it again, even if the world had been warned about them … War Iron are fascinated by historical legends and myths and the huge natural entities. Previously they had sung an old British poem about the implacable sea and the dangerous pettiness of humans, and depicted the shapes of the enigmatic rock heads of Easter Island on their cover art. In the new album they again stray the boundaries of the “local”, European heritage. In spite of the fact that the final monumental track is devoted to the pirate Jeanne de Clisson and her Black Fleet, War Iron travel in space and time to Central America. The album title and the pre-Columbian pyramid in the blazing occult-looking CD artwork hint to the exploration of Aztec legends. One of them is about the origin of the sun and of the moon, about the creation of five suns, about the destruction of four of them and about the humankind living in the critical time of the fifth and last sun. And we are facing the enigma of the Maya prediction about the end of the world (or better, of time) in a short while …

    The music is more effective than any excess words of mine for conveying the (menacing) message. War Iron still employ the winning style heard in the previous album, i.e the oscillation between  tricky, highly atmospheric, almost silent parts with soft vibrations and the devastating charges of plodding dual bass blows plus Baggy’s devilish hissing roars. Riffs are always tremendously heavy and vary from simple combinations of notes aimed to make you feel dizzy while suffocating, to complex patterns. This great variation probably, together with the great narrative power, earned the band the of “prog” sub-tag.   In this new album we can definitely recognize a style, War Iron’s own style. Although my impression is that in the new album heaviness has turned into ultra-heaviness and the general trend is towards a higher dynamics. The first part of the opening track Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum is marked by such coupling of contrasting “moods” although most of this long suite (over 8 minutes), like the rest of the album, is definitely dominated by the deafening vibrations of the bass chords that sound like mountains crumbling down. Such dense, dull and extremely raw sounds are arranged in a sinister leading melody which gets hypnotic, if not almost obsessive, in its cyclic repetition. The sense of being listening to something otherworldly and huge is further enhanced by some chaotic, pulverizing interplay between the ultra-distorted basses where sweeps over the fretboard evoke roars like in a rocket engine. Monster …

    In contrast with the menacing impact of the opening track, the leading melody in the second, almost 10 minutes-long suite, The Place Where the Silent Ones Kill, is dripping sick, dirty groove like a basket full of rotten tomatoes. This track is pure swampy sludge in the vein of Grief, Buzzov*en, Weedeater, Morbid Wizard or so, but made ultra-heavy and corrosive, like drinking molten tar with glass shards sticking out. But the addition of drony noises and those obsessive, meandering thundering riffs can turn groove into something sick and dark. In this song double vocals can be heard as well: hellish hissing peeling your skin and deep, occult background growls.  The third track, (Crossing) The Sacred Tree, is the shortest of all, “only” 7:30 minutes occupied by a sinister rhythmic chanting developing like an epic battle poem. The track is plodding but quite dynamic as well thanks to the complex combination of braided riffs that is used to describe the end of the world and of time into a magmatic chaos in the core of the track.  In this track the band again employs that crushing oscillation between hammering sounds and breathtaking silence thereby relying on shocking contrast for keeping tension always extremely high in spite of the numbing effect of the repetitive buzzy sound. The final part of this track is emblematic.

    The fourth and final, eh eh, track, the monumental “Black Fleet”, is bringing us back to European history and to sea tales as it tells about ferocious lady pirate Jeanne de Clisson and her black-painted fleet. A different feature here is represented by the addition of a female voice speaking in French in a somehow mechanical way and overlapping the vibrations of the basses. The base melody in this track is less occult and duly more epic. The length of the suite allows the band to fully develop a wide range of effects and combinations of their sounds. I was particularly struck by a highly atmospheric central section where obsessive drony noise is backed by a great rambling charge of the drums. But, well, the whole track is impressive. 

    War Iron are definitely eligible for the soundtrack of the end of the world to those who appreciate polyedric if not schizophrenic, hieratic to extremely raw, ultra-heavy doom and sludge sounds, with or without twin bass. War Iron possess the unbearable heaviness of bands like Horse Latitudes, Loinen, Stumm or Conan, the murky, crushing groove of sludge-doom bands like Weedeater, Grief, Seven  Foot Spleen, Spancer, Moho, Moloch, Salome, and the brutal, suffocating mixture of noise and slowness like in Khanate. Just to name a few.  But War Iron are no Frankenstein monster. They are monster, indeed, but with a personal, unique style.

    If War Iron’s sounds are slow, things are moving quickly in Belfast, eh … The guys are organizing several shows there before the end of the year. So those who can, go and get your hairs instantly dyed blond and your ears bleeding by War Iron.
    Moreover, before the end of the year another release by War Iron might be out, i.e. a split with the Glaswegian sludge-doom band Headless Kross. The new year, 2013, will see the a limited release on tape of the 2nd album, and then several UK and Europe dates. People going to Roadburn, watch out as you may get hold of this bunch of ultra-heavy doomsters playing somewhere in Tilburg (hopefully!).  For more details, ask Baggy. He utters like a demon when he sings but he is very friendly. In the meantime, get hold of War Iron’s new album The Fifth and Final Sun, and the previous one as well (especially in that sea-blue vinyl version), from Infected Wound or the Punkerama pages (see links below).

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Facebook
    Official Website
    Infected Wound | Big Cartel
    Punkerama Records

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    Whats happening ...

    Ed and Sally are still missing in action due to being up to 16 days without electricity and therefore without internet access. Emails are still getting read a few times a week but time to answer those emails is limited but the album review requests are still being processed so keep them coming. Ed's health has been taking the rocky road of late due to no cash being available for his medication. This means his existence is on a razor's edge and I know that expression has been used before but there is no other way of describing the very delicate place he is in right now. It goes without saying that the donations received made a big difference. The donations received over the last couple of months have played a large role in keeping his life in a liveable situation and it also given them the means to have a roof over their head. Even without electricity, this is immensely appreciated.

    The donation drive has now entered phase three which is raising funds to have the power switched on and to help maintain medical supplies coming in. This cry for help is all about health and the $40,000 medical debt from hospital stays and the almost $1,000 a month needed to keep his meds up to date. Anyone who has had a heart attack will know that the after effect of it is the constant treatment via the use of various medicines. In Ed's case this is made even more expensive by the fact that he also needs breathing treatments for acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Because the donations are more or less grinded to a halt, I have taken it upon myself to start something new using a service called "Chip-In." In the sidebar under the Paypal donation button you will find the "Chip-In" widget. As you can see it displays a very depressing zero dollars raised thus far so I ask you to dip into your pocket or wallet to kick this campaign in the guts and get it moving.

    The goal of $40,000 I know is a big call and the goal will probably never be reached but we can try to push it as much as we can. I am a part-time writer of Doommantia but I am also a huge fan of this site and without the input from Ed, it seems like a cold, lonely, empty place so I have decided to try and raise some cash myself. I hope you will take my words on-board and help out. This situation needs to be taken care of as soon as possible so life can get back to normal or as normal as it can be with someone with a life threatening condition like Ed has. It has to be pointed out that the new house that Ed and Sally moved into is not permanent and they are both likely to be homeless again in just a matter of weeks. The rent can't be paid while there is this overwhelming cost for healthcare constantly looming over their heads. Health is the issue here but being homeless will only make the health situation even worse.

    It also has to be pointed out that this new campaign is all my doing because I love and respect Ed and I don't want to see him go to the other side just because the US health system stinks. Being without electricity is bad enough (you try going 16 days without electricity, hot showers and heating) but not being able to do what he loves the most (music) is also slowly killing him. Please help anyway you can.

    Words: Doomm@niac with help from Jack Sabbath.

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    One thing you have to say about Saturnus is they have at least been pretty good at releasing solid albums. Whether you like them or not, they are a band that is pretty hard to hate. Normally I stay clear of any kind of goth-tinged death doom and Saturnus are a good example of the Gothic come death doom style. Looking back at their 21 years as a band, they haven't been the worlds most productive band. They have only released 4 full length albums including this one but the wait between albums has always been worth it. This time around the wait has been 6 years but the band have released what might just be their best album yet. This is a big call on my part considering their late album ('Veronika Decides to Die') was about as close as they have ever come to releasing a fully fledged masterpiece but this new album gets even closer to that elusive "essential listening" status. As has been the way throughout their career, this album sees more line-up changes but just like in the past, it hasn't seemed to have affected the way they produced dark metal music.

    The album is produced by Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Morbid Angel, Blind Guardian) and so as you can imagine, this sounds pretty damn good but it still comes down to the songs. Now in the past I have been a little critical of the band writing songs that tend to go off the rails from being too long or too overly emotional for their own good. 'Saturn In Ascension' still suffers from these some inconsistencies but compared to earlier albums it seems more solid than usual. The band have always played and wrote in the vein of Swallow the Sun, Draconian, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost and nothing has changed, even after a 6 year break between albums, it seems like time has stood still for Saturnus. Normally with most albums, I do a track-by-track review starting with the opening track. With this album I am going to review the albums second half first because that is where the albums only flaws seem to exist. Track 5, 'Mourning Sun' is twice as long as it should be with some of the albums weakest riffing. Like 'Mourning Sun,' 'Call of the Raven Moon' starts promising and interesting but falls into a heap from just dragging on too long without the ideas or dynamics to warrant its lengthy playing time.

    'Forest of Insomnia' reveals the albums first real groove in almost 20 minutes and it is very welcome at this point in the albums playing time. There is good riffing and the somber leads are mesmerizing and do a good job at putting the listener in a trance-like state. Using strings and keys, the album closing 'Between' is also too long for the ideas it has but with so much going on with the song, it remains interesting right up its dying seconds. So the second-half is good but inconsistent, the first half of the album however is almost perfect. The album opening 'Litany of Rain' might just be the most memorable piece of music the band has ever written. Starting with female choirs and ambience that slowly build into huge, dramatically crushing doom riffs, this track is a gem. This track that pushes the 11 minute barrier has something none of the tracks in the albums second half and that is no lack of ideas. You never get the sense they are simply adding passages to the song as a means of just filling out the song. The song movements are perfectly executed but more importantly, they never drag on.

    The songs are of course grim, foreboding and extremely morose at times and the vocals of Thomas Akim Gronbaek Jensen with his deep growl are a surprisingly good addition to the gloomy atmosphere. It is interesting that some in the underground media in the past have suggested that Saturnus are a band best suited for depressed teenagers and are a emo-doom band for the want of a better description. I have never understood why this has even been thought about, let alone published but the people who wrote such comments should find some comfort that this album seems like a more mature effort overall. There is not just more depth in the musical side of the things but lyrically too, this album seems to have a lot more depth to it. A good example of this is tracks two and three, 'Wind Torn' and 'A Lonely Passage.' The latter piece featuring a clean spoken word vocals instead of the usual death growl and at under 6 minutes it comes off as the albums most concise piece of songwriting excellence. The albums odd track out is 'A Father's Providence' which is aggressive compared with what else is on the album but what is really strange is it sounds like something you would expect from a goth band of the 1980's. The mix of the dark and the upbeat is interesting and it is surprisingly an album highlight.

    There are two main elements in doom metal that make or break an album and that is riffs and atmosphere. Well the atmosphere on this album is hypnotic from start to finish and the riffs on the albums first half at least are some of the finest the band have ever come up with. The albums second half is where things fall apart ever so slightly and seeing as the albums total running time is a whopping 71 minutes (or 77 minutes if you buy the digipak version), the album could have benefited from some trimming of the fat. At its best, 'Saturn in Ascension' is as good as any death-doom album ever released but it is let down by having too much padding and below-average riffing in the last 30 minutes or so of the album. I am not a huge fan of the band even though this is a good album but even I know this will be considered the bands finest work by a lot of their fans. If you never liked the band before, this is the perfect oppuninity to give Saturnus another chance. The band is slow at releasing albums but sometimes the wait is justified, this is one of those times....8/10.

    Saturnus | Facebook

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    The Argus EP 'Blood, Fire, Beer is sold out or so I have been told so that makes this review a little painful to write. It was limited to just 100 copies which makes me think these tracks may appear somewhere else in the future, I hope so because this is a way above-average EP that needs to be heard. The EP could be seen as a teaser for the 3rd Argus LP, 'Beyond the Martyrs' but seeing as it is sold out, it is not really teasing anyone much. I have nothing against limited editions but when they are limited to this degree, it is frustrating if you are a fan but I will move on....this EP is great. The first thing that will grab your attention is the covers that are featured. Pink Floyd's 'On the Turning Away,' 'Thin Lizzy's 'Johnny' both get the Argus treatment and they are both great versions. With the Floyd cover, they crank up the heavy and make the song into a surprisingly, monolithic beast which I didn't think was possible with this particular Floyd track.

    The Thin Lizzy cover is equally as impressive. Of course 'Johnny' is one of those timeless Lizzy tracks that doesn't deserve to be messed with and thankfully Argus give it the quality treatment it deserves. The Floyd cover is a bit of a musical adventure for the band but they still nail it but the band seem right at home covering Thin Lizzy. Along with the 2 covers, you also get three live tracks - 'Pieces of Our Smile,' 'From Darkness...Light' and 'Devils Devils.'Argus are a killer live act so there is very little danger of the band recording inferior versions of these songs and indeed, they do not disappoint. However as good as all those tracks are, they are overshadowed by one of the very best Argus tracks ever titled 'The Hands of Time Are Bleeding.' This tune with the trademark Argus twin guitars weaving their magic is a pure monster cut with classic riffing, stunning unforgettable melody and fantastic lead work. The EP is worth getting anyway you can just for this track alone. This track is breath-taking in every detail.

    Not many bands marry proto-doom, traditional heavy metal and classic melodic 70's rock as well as Argus do and this EP is a gem. It has already reached collectors status and it is certainly an EP worth getting hold of, even if you have to illegally download it and that is something I don't say often but it will be worth it to hear this little EP. 'Blood, Fire, Beer' might be sold out but these tracks need to be re-released, they just have to be, they are that good....9.5/10.

    Words: Doomm@niac

    Argus | Facebook

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    This Swiss stoner-doom metal band sat around and smoked a trunk load of the strongest weed imaginable and then proceeded to make the most fuzz laden album that could muster in their stoned stupor. Well that is what it sounds like anyway. It has been about 3 years since they released the very impressive 'Raunacht' album and it seems they have turned everything up a notch for this release. Their nihilistic bare-boned take on sabbathian sludge and doom metal is still there but they seem to have coated this album in a extra layer of slime and filth for your listening pleasure and damn it is filthy. What you get here is 5 long and even longer still tracks that kick off with the 15 minute 'Raping Zombies.' If there is a early criticism to be made, it is the fact they take their sweet time in getting the songs moving and this opening onslaught is by far the worst offender but that wait is all worth it in the end.

    Everything about this album seems stoned; from the sludgy, distorted fuzzy guitar tones to the vocals that also seem to be heavily under the influence of some very toxic weed. Even the production which is buried in a pile of mud seems to be targeted at stoners everywhere but don't worry if you are not a smoker of the herb, this album will make you feel stoned anyway. The band have a nice balance of 70's retro proto-doom sounds and modern louder than loud sludge grooves with heavy self-helping of horror movie vibes. Sounds cliched right? Well yes it is to a point but when it is done right, it is immensely enjoyable heavy rock and Lord of the Grave have indeed nail it in more ways than one. The obvious comparisons to be made are Electric Wizard and Sleep but they are certainly not a direct clone band in any shape or form. Rather they take that much used formula and seemingly give it a new lease of life.

    If you are already tuned into Electric Wizard and co, you will know what to expect and to be honest there is not much in the way of surprises with this release but it don't mean diddly squat at the end of the day. This album crushes but also has enough grooves and melodies to be catchy and thankfully they avoid senseless unemotional drones and pointless feedback. If you can get through the 15 minutes of 'Raping Zombies' without feeling restless, the rest of the album should be smooth sailing for you all. The title track that follows begins with clean guitar and a surprisingly nice melody....well nice in relation to what this band normally comes up with but after a few minutes you soon find yourself drowning in fuzzy riffs and bongwater once again. 'Green Vapour' is a great track that showcases the fact that there is far more to this band than just stoned-out doom riffs. The following 'Horsepunchers' (I wonder if they got the song-title from watching 'Blazing Saddles'?) amps up the intensity with a stronger emphasis on the metallic. This track reminds me of early High on Fire but I don't know if anyone else will hear the connection.

    'Mountain Rites' is big on grooves and is a very sweet 8 or so minutes of primal sludge-doom and the closing track which I don't have the title but I think it is something strange like ' 00/15' or something similar ends the album in typical amp-destroying fashion. Fans of Sleep, Electric Wizard, Serpent Venom, Pombagira and High on Fire should be all over this. It is not perfect, the production at times seems too muddy, even by sludge-doom standards and some of the tracks (especially the opening track) do have moments where you wish they would just get down to business a little quicker than they do. However those minor question marks aside, this is a impressive stoner, sludge doom attack that all fans of these genres should dig...8.5/10.

    Lord of the Grave | Facebook


    Editor's Note: Thanks to my darling Sally for keeping me sane enough to get reviews like this one completed and thanks to Whitney for maintaining this website and giving us some motivation to keep going. I might return full time one day but then again I might be dead tomorrow so let me just say, thanks and keep on supporting the site while you still have the chance....in case you never hear of me again, I really do appreciate all of you....Ed.

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    Heavy Days In Doom Town, a festival that runs for 4 days in Copenhagen, Denmark have now announced CONAN, SAMOTHRACE, PAGAN ALTAR & DARK BUDDHA RISING are the first bands that have been confirmed to play this monumental weekend which takes place between the 2nd – 5th May 2013 and ticket sales start on the 1st January 2013.

    Read on for more info from the festival organisers about the recent announcements…

    The first band to be announced for HDDT 2013; UK heavyweights CONAN! Hailing from the grim North West of England. Three men bear the wretched burden of this abyssal, droning, charging heaviness. Through yawning chasms and bleak devastated battlefields they deliver riffs and tone so grim and so thick that the Gods turn away, to avoid suffocating under the band’s unearthly delivery.

    Conan

    “This festival is one we have wanted to play for quite a while. We played Denmark on our last European tour and enjoyed the city and the atmosphere, when we were asked to play this year we had a very easy decision to make – we’ll see you all in May. ONWARDS NORTHMEN” – Conan

    In a series of “first time in Europe ever bands”, HDDT are very excited to announce the first performance of Seattle based SAMOTHRACE on European soil ever!

    Samothrace is a pacific north western atmospheric doom band with members and ex members of Bell Witch, Lethe, Book of Black Earth, Splatterhouse, Sentient and Septinomicon among others. Samothrace initially came together out of friendship made through involvement in DIY Punk/Hardcore/Metal community. Although currently based in Seattle, WA, their hometowns span from New Mexico, Kansas, New York City and Oklahoma. Their lyrics, albeit poetic, are rooted in the ideals of social change, political incoherence, and a bleak but positive outlook on life… intended for those who’ve taken back their breath and risen on their own and those who wish to do so. The band is named after a Greek island that is the home of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, a site of important Hellenic and pre-Hellenic religious ceremonies. The most famous artifact from this site is a large, half-crumbled statue of Nike, the goddess of victory in ancient Greek mythology. Samothrace is an evolving beast. Keep it heavy… keep it underground. Heavy music for heavy times.

    “Its about fucking time we got ourselves over to Europe, and at a badass diy festival like Heavy Days none the less” – Samothrace

    It didn´t work out last year, due to unfortunate circumstances, but HDDT are thrilled to announce that legendary masters of classic doom, PAGAN ALTAR will make their much anticipated appearance at HDDT II!!!

    Pagan Altar

    “After the unfortunate cancellation of our planned performance of HDDT 2012 we are very pleased to have been asked again to play at HDDT 2013. With our new album ‘Never Quite Dead’ due to be completed next year, We hope to perform a set covering all the classic favourite tracks along with coverage of our brand new material. See you there….” -Pagan Altar.

    To those of you who aren´t familiar with Pagan Altar; They were formed in 1976 by Alan and Terry Jones and are one of the few NWOBHM bands to play doom metal. The band’s concerts are characterised by moody, epic and heavy music, blended with stage effects which accentuate their interest in occult themes. Prepare to be doomed!

    And finally, the 4th band to be confirmed is the performance of DARK BUDDHA RISING who perform a black arts of psychedelia, which manifests in hypnotic crushing riffs and lysergic passages that erupt in order to descent deeper into the abyss.

    Dark Buddha Rising

    The band is known for its weird hypnotic abstract soundscapes combined with slugde doom riffing and a theatrical dark atmosperic stage performance that will give you goose bumps all over. Prepare for a journey through the deeper levels of the mind with the black arts of Dark Buddha Rising!

    “The collective human participants in the summoning that is Dark Buddha Rising are compelled to convey our nefarious delight at the vibrations and repercussions that our trip to Denmark will bring. The black sun will rise upon the Doomtown and impregnate its dwellers with drugged horror” – Dark Buddha Rising

    More bands to be confirmed over the coming days/weeks so keep an eye on their website HERE and you can ‘Like’ them on Facebook HERE

    Source: The Sleeping Shaman

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    Roadburn are very excited to report that Cough has been confirmed for The Electric Acid Orgy, Jus Oborn‘s curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 19th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    Richmond’s Cough delivers a dirge-laden take on excessively drugged out doom. Both their albums, Sigillum Luciferi and Relapse Records debut, Ritual Abuse, feature heavy, dark, psychedelic doom that sounds like a thousand pharmaceutical-whacked zombies just escaped from Manchester morgue wailing away at an all night party after a pharmacy-raiding crime spree.

    At other times, Cough‘s monolthic sound is less warped and hallucinogenic, but strongly suffocationg and claustrophobic, and becomes so densely hateful it’s nearly black metal in its ambience.

    Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Tickets for the Afterburner are still available.



    ROADBURN.COM

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    Roadburn is proud to present the return of Sabbath Assembly, who first graced the Roadburn stage here in 2010, at Jus Oborn‘s The Electric Acid Orgy on Friday, April 19th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    Currently fronted by Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune and Wolves in the Throne Room), Sabbath Assembly continues creating your darkest liturgical nightmare by combining the nether regions of apocalyptic doom with the twisted world of spiritually-delusional obsessions. Specifically, Sabbath Assembly is performing the hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, a 60?s cult eerily linked to the Manson murders and the widespread dispersal of Satanic Underground culture in the US and UK.

    Their new album, Ye Are Gods, offers the first-ever glimpse into the highest and holiest mass of the Process Church, and features Genesis Breyer P-Orridge in the role of High Priest(ess). Exclusively for this Roadburn engagement, Sabbath Assembly will be joined by Genesis in the EU premiere of this Processian “Sabbath Assembly” ritual.

    Be forewarned — Satan and Lucifer will be summoned!






     Roadburn very pleased to announce that Finland’s Tombstoned will bring their 70?s influenced psychedelic doom-metal to Jus Oborn‘s The Electric Acid Orgy on Friday, April 19th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    Tombstoned deliver a tube-driven Sabbath meets Blue Cheer meets St. Vitus vintage doom assault featuring insanely catchy riffs and Witchcraft-like vocals, and this power trio’s very heavy yet very hypnotic wall of sound is capable of transporting you from your local pub’s friday-night energy to the vast cosmos.


    Last Roadburn Festival, Finland’s nature-mystics, Hexvessel, had been garnering rave reviews from the media and fans alike with their debut album Dawnbearer. One of the biggest revelations of the festival, they hinted towards a sound from their forthcoming second album that both surprised and excited the audience.

    It was that September-released follow-up album, No Holier Temple, which fuses the acoustic 70s folk vibe of its predecessor into a more psychedelic, doom-folk sound, juxtaposed with deep ecology, like the thinking man’s acid-rock, that has caused a real stir and gave rise to the idea that we just might need to invite them back to Roadburn 2013.

    Reaching what Metal Hammer Magazine describes as “portals” of “spirit-trafficking menace” and “moments of transcendent beauty,” About.com calls their new album “a cult-born liturgy for all who appreciate nature’s splendor.” With Rock-A-Rolla Magazine dubbing it “an ever-shifting beast, floating between unhurried bliss and fevered rapture.”

    Prog Magazine identifies it containing nods towards “the Beatles, HP Lovecraft and King Crimson,” whilst reminding that they have created “their own world, both whimsical yet also biting.” Soundi Magazine, from their Finnish homeland, even calls the band “the Black Sabbath of this decade.”

    Walter & Co are all extremely happy to welcome back, as Ondarock from Italy puts it, “the rising stars of psychedelic folk in Europe,” as their European tour with fellow label cohorts Sabbath Assembly, reaches it’s climax at Roadburn Festival 2013 on Friday, April 19th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, Holland.


    Portland, OR’s Witch Mountain will bring their crushing doom to Roadburn Festival 2013 on Friday, April 19th at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, Holland.

    Founded by guitarist Rob Wrong and drummer Nate Carson in 1997, this was not yet the Witch Mountain that would come to fruition. In 2009, the addition of vocalist Uta Plotkin transformed the band into something extraordinary with her bluesy, sensual and commanding voice as captured on both South of Salem (2011) and Cauldron of the Wild (2012).

    Plotkin’s powerful and soulful pipes sound almost out of place, but this is exactly what makes Witch Mountain so special. She belts out the band’s massive, doomy, bluesy tunes like a metallized Janis Joplin or the lost sister of Heart‘s Ann and Nancy Wilson who chose the left-hand path.

    Distilled from thick churning down-tuned guitars and dense drumming infused with Plotkin’s sad and sweet vocals, Witch Mountain lumbers without plodding and soars without drifting off. The epic sound and unique take on doom metal has earned them both a highly acclaimed reputation and a rightful place among the current crop of wickedly talented female-fronted bands. We are super stoked to welcome Witch Mountain to the Roadburn Festival during their first-ever European tour.

    “2012 has been the biggest and best of Witch Mountain’s 15 year history”, says Nate Carson, “Two successful headlining American tours, two albums on Profound Lore, a new single, Scion Rock Fest (with Sleep and Saint Vitus), and now this.”

    “It is truly an honor to end this year with the official announcement that we will finally tour Europe. Many thanks go out from us to Roadburn for this fantastic invitation. My only concern is that Cauldron of the Wild LP pre-orders are coming in so quickly that we may run out of vinyl before we get over there! Cheers!”



    Roadburn are very pleased to announce that C R O W N will bring their massive slab of industrial-doom-noise to Roadburn Festival 2013 on Thursday, April 18th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    Hailing from France, C R O W N,  are two men and a machine who tune their neutron guitars to the Richter scale, and deliver the sound of a molten universe collapsing. Touching on early Isis, Godflesh, Floor and even Killing Joke, C R O W N  explore the depths of slow tempos on their debut album, The One, and their split EP with St Valley through sheer exuberant heaviness.

    The duo’s depth-charging guitars and buried melodic tendencies snake around hissing electronics, a tribal / military percussive thwack, and the splashing cymbals of a minimal-yet-completely-effective drum-machine. Their sound is further emboldened by a massive bestial roar, heavy and oppressive, leading to an abyss of nothingness….  Welcome to the dark, spiraling, and obscure experiments of C R O W N.

    Roadburn Festival 2013 will run for four days from Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, April 21st, 2013 (the traditional Afterburner event) at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Ticketsfor the Afterburner are still available!

    Source: THE SLEEPING SHAMAN




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    Xibalba is a Mayan phrase roughly translated means "place of fear." What is interesting is the tags this band gets lumbered with. Take any notice of it and you can be excused in feeling a little confused over what kind of band this is. They get called doom metal, hardcore, sludge and even death metal and there has even been comparisons to bands like Sunn 0)) which I don't get at all but shit happens. This is an album that tooked me a hell of a long time to get into. One of the hurdles I had to jump was looking for some songwriting ideas that would make me want to listen to this album again. On the first few spins, all I could hear was riffs with a very heavy sound but you know the impact that comes with that soon wears off and you are left looking for something more and that begins this review proper. This album is good, let me say that but when thinking about how good this album is.....well it raises some questions.

    For a start the musical tags that this band receives..... there are only two that seem important to me and that is sludge metal and hardcore. Indeed this album is very hardcore influenced and that hardcore is filtered through a sludgy, doomy, metallic sound. Their 2011 début 'Madre Mia Por Los Dias' was tagged as being a "metalcore" album but they have since moved to Southern Lord records with the focus being to make one of the most crushing records ever released. Well they don't quite get there even though this is extremely heavy and punishing but the novelty of the over-the-top guitar sounds and the wall of sound production wears off pretty damn quick after a song or two. The hardcore element is what in the end makes this album seem average after a few songs. The sound is heavy, their approach is lethal but their songwriting is less than impressive most of the time. There is also a couple of unforgivable flaws. One track 'Mala Mujer' has female vocals that sound seriously out-of-place and simply don't work but there are a couple of other elements within this album that sound like a hasty mashing of styles. The title track and the 8-minute 'Lujuria' has the band stretching their musical horizons but I am not sure a blending of black metal, sludge and hardcore really works for them in the long run.

    That question marks aside, the rest of the album is pretty good. There are fine breakdowns, tempo changes and the guitar attack can be jaw dropping at first. Out of all the songs I haven't mentioned, there is no clear favorites for me personally but they are at least consistently decent. It is all about simple guitar riffs so don't go looking for unique drumming or interesting bass lines because there isn't any really. Those instruments are just here for the ride and to fill out the sound just that bit more. This is all about guitar riffs and mostly shouted hardcore vocals but if that is your bag then you must check this band out. To sweeten the deal they have Greg Anderson who adds some extra guitar here and there. The strangest thing for me is who do you recommend this album to? It is sludgy and has doomy overtones but it is also likely to appeal to fans of death metal bands such as Morbid Angel and Dismember and fans of metallic hardcore acts. I can also see many doom and sludge-metal fans getting a thrill out of this but then again, I could be wrong. The production is great and the performances seems passionate and they certainly don't seem to be faking anything. If you want to hear something hardcore that still has enough musical ideas to take it above and beyond the average hardcore outfit then this band could be up your alley.....6.5/10.

    Words: Jack Sabbath

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    OMEGA MONOLITH: I had zero expectations as I practically knew nothing about them. Their show was brief and I heard only about 10 minutes from it but they managed to impress me. OMEGA MONOLITH is an instrumental duo with serious mediation direction to their music. Unlike OM or BROTHERHOOD OF SLEEP they have practically zero oriental influences and they rely mostly on Post Rock and heavier norms to get the job done. Their drummer has some real skills and was probably be the first time I enjoyed live recorded guitar loops. The first impressions were generally more than encouraging so I am waiting for a full length.

    AGNES VEIN: No matter what I say about these guys isn’t going to be enough. Without doubt AGNES VEIN has to be one of the most talented bands in the underground scene. Their style combines elements of Doom, Black and Sludge. If you are a fan of extreme, dark, epic, doomy stuff then you simply have to listen to their debut. From what I know they are about to release their second album. The two songs I heard from their upcoming record outclassed anything they have done so far. On the negative side, these guys don’t know how to move on stage. I don’t mean how they play, I am referring to their overall presentation on stage here…Still if you give a shit about great extreme music, then do yourselves a favor and check them out now.





    CONAN: One of the 3 bands that can currently claim the title of “Heaviest Band of the Universe” (BLACK SHAPE OF NEXUS and SLOMATICS are the other two). I don’t think there will be many objections when I say that the power-trio have made their reputation by blowing everything up wherever they go. The stage of Six D.O.G.S. was no exception. As a matter of fact, that stage was proven too small for the 3 mammoths from U.K. The amps were shaking (no, literally shaking) IMG_20121209_000054with every riff. When I talk about riffs, I refer to those monolithic riffs that only cavemen would appreciate. Apparently, the club was full of cavemen Saturday night, shaking their heads in a primitive attempt to dance (?!?) along with the music (?!?). I don’t think they managed to surpass the shocking performance of BLACK SHAPE OF NEXUS but they came close. That was a fiesta of ultra-low frequencies really hard to forget. One more thing: Their new material should be recorded live. Trust me the when I say that a studio recording will do no justice to this band.



    Words: Dr Doom Metal (Dr Dooms Lair)

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