[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Aphonic Threnody - When Death Comes (Doomentia)
This debut album comes courtesy of a six-member supergroup, comprised of members from the UK, Italy, Hungary and Belgium. With all five tracks clocking in over the 10-minute mark, be prepared for some super slow Funeral Doom in the vein of Mournful Congregation. There is atmosphere galore on these tracks with keyboards providing melody atop the doom, while the gravelly vocals are a bit buried in the mix. This is a good soundtrack for your commute across the grim, frostbitten wasteland that you call your hometown.
Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band - Black Power Flower (Napalm)
This is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Mr. Bjork and friends. The Vista Chino (ex-Kyuss, Ex-Fu Manchu) drummer steps into the spotlight on his solo release, covering several instruments and vocals on his own, while relying on other members of the scene to round out the album. The result is some serious fuzzed-out grooves, big drums and Geezer Butler-esque bass fills. The songs are well written, as well, which is no surprise coming from a Stoner Rock legend.
Evil Spirit - Cauldron Messiah (Horror)
After a couple of well-received demos, the German trio has finally unleashed thier debut album. This one falls squarely into the vaunted Doom/Death category, with the riffs generally plodding along at a funereal pace and tormented vocals often morphing into a combination of death growls and black metal rasps. The vocals add a nice element to the proceedings, but this one is really all about the riffs, where classic doom meets black metal tremolo.
Hands of Orlac - Figli Del Crepuscolo (Horror)
The five-piece doomsters from Sweden via Italy return with their second full-length release. This one is full of creepy atmosphere, classic doom riffs, progressive elements and female vocals. Oh, and there's a flute, too. Those of you who are into Blood Ceremony and Mount Salem will find plenty to enjoy here. In a saturated female-fronted doom market, it takes a solid effort to stand out and this release surely fits the bill.