[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Dead Summer Society - So Many Years Of Longing (Rain Without End)
The one-man Italian project returns with his second album, melding Gothic Metal with heavy doses of Doom. Rich keyboard textures lay the base, while the massive riffs and interludes steal the show. Most songs include some standard gothy female vocals, but they fit in nicely. The male vocals are, of course, mostly growls, but there are some clean surprises in there. While it’s certainly not groundbreaking, this is a solid addition to any Doom/Death catalog.
Evoke Thy Lords - Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms In Your Cellar! (Solitude Productions)
Psychedelic Doom with flutes…does that sound like something you’d be interested in? I thought so. I don’t how the Russians keep churning out the best Doom around, but Solitude Productions never releases a bad album. On their third album, this quintet cranks out the most massive riffs of the year and tops it off with heaping doses of psychedelic flute and vocals that alternate between Salem’s Pot-esque creepy and old school death growls. If this isn’t in my top 5 at year’s end, I’ll be shocked.
Sorcerer - In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross (Metal Blade)
A Swedish Doom band that sounds like Candlemass? Imagine that. This quintet released a couple of demos in the late 80’s/early 90’s and then went dormant until now, when they finally unveil their debut full-length. This is a pretty standard Epic Doom release, but they do it well. You have the killer riffs, the D&D vibe and the solid, upper range vocals. There are a few too many “soft” moments for my liking, but when they go full Doom, it’s pretty damn good. There’s not enough traditional Doom these days.