[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Ancient Altar - Dead Earth (Black Voodoo/ Midnite Collective)
The second album from this Los Angeles quartet is a brutal exercise in sludged-out Doom Metal. It’s a bit more caustic than your average modern-day Doom record, thanks in part to the tortured screams of the dual vocalists. The album only contains four songs, but it totals more than 40 minutes, so be prepared for some long journeys. The strong riffs are pure, classic Doom Metal and the guitar leads are pretty excellent. It basically sounds like a killer European Doom record with the standard American sludge shouts. Not a bad listen, especially the instrumental moments.
Beneath the Storm - Devil's Village (Argonauta)
This is another fairly abrasive Doom record, courtesy of a Slovenian solo act. On his 3rd album, Igor Šimon conjures up a terrifying blend of Doom, Sludge and Drone that mixes in a healthy dose of soundbytes and weirdo synth parts on each song’s intro. The rest of the record is detuned heaviness to the max, with pounding rhythms, chugging guitars and beastly, guttural vocals. All in all, it’s a pretty ambitious record for one dude to take on. It’s not the easiest listen, but it’s too damn heavy to pass up. Check it out.
Clouds Taste Satanic - Your Doom Has Come (Kinda Like Music)
Stunning instrumental Doom records are a rare find, but this Brooklyn quartet manages to pull it off with their second release. With the album cover homage to 1980s Candlemass, you have an idea of what to expect here: classic riffs, gorgeous tone and fairly complex song structures that generally eclipse the 6-minute mark. With no vocals to preach about impending misery and woe, the onus for conjuring up the feeling of crushing Doom falls squarely on the instruments and they are certainly up to the task. Very cool record.