CVLT Nation’s Top Ten DEATH DOOM Releases of 2016
TEN – HEAVYDEATH In Circles We Die
Is that death I hear knocking at the door? No, it’s the clossosal sound of HEAVYDEATH, who are back with their 2016 LP In Circles We Die, released on Iron Bonehead Productions on NOV. 25th. This band has been doing their thing for years, and over time they have really crafted their own sound, which is why we rate them so highly! If you like your doom drenched in death, then In Circles We Die is for you!
NINE – KRYPTS Remnants of Expansion
Wistful melancholia? Perhaps not, but Krypts’ very solemn doom/death metal album Remnants of Expansion is just what a ritual needs for sacred music to accompany dark rites. The vocals are some of the deepest I’ve heard in metal. The rung notes lend some dark dysphoria to the mood induced on the album. I even hear small measures of blackened death metal here. It’s a surprise that Remnants of Expansion hasn’t seen too much buzz since its release. Die-hard Dark Descent Records fans would have exalted Krypts by now, as Remnants of Expansion is no desolate wasteland left behind by the band’s debut, Unending Degaradation. It’s better by far, and a few listens while playing this in the background won’t mesmerize the listener as much as a really intent listen on headset will. Until then, the majesty of Remnants of Expansion doesn’t make itself fully apparent.
Remnants of Expansion is expansive musically, no matter how depreciative the mood it attempts to convey. And one has to marvel at all the minute little riffs and rung notes the band uses here. The songs are epic, evolving, and structurally cohesive. Death metal rightfully turned depressive, Krypts Remnants of Expansion is death/doom metal jugular, and Dark Descent Records’ best release this year.
EIGHT – FUNERAL MOTH Transience
Their music sounds like a gaping void, like the open mouth of Hades, and it slowly slants reality, making everything drift towards it in an unescapable crumbling dirge, until everything finally is sucked into its death. The most insane thing about this band is that it takes interminable minutes for this whole sonic demise to happen. It’s like witnessing someone’s agonizing death at one millionth of normal speed. Of course, the music is grandiose and wildly crafted, full of incredible cleans and sustained haunting atmospheres, drooping and sadness-torn growls, blood-chilling funeral doom passages, and crushing sloth-like riffs. If you like shit like Mournful Congregation, Tyranny, Corrupted, Aldebaran, Loss, Thergoton, Skepticism, and other similar void-filled and slow-moving sonic aberrations made with the sole objective to slowly drain you of all life, then you will fucking love Funeral Moth. Get ready for this pup to become the funeral doom album of the year – it will be hard to top in the next months.
Read the full review here…
SEVEN – LYCUS Chasms
LYCUS are one of those bands that have been on our radar since the beginning of CVLT Nation. Their stunning and almost ethereal funeral doom captivated us from the start, and indeed the whole underground community has come under the magical sway of Lycus. Their newest offering is Chasms, an utterly beautiful record that takes their mournful sound to new depths. Relapse is unleashing this record on the world on January 15th, 2016, but today we’re lucky to be sharing an exclusive premiere of one of the tracks off it, “Obsidian Eyes.” With this track, Lycus takes you on a journey down into the darkness, leaving you with a feeling of being trapped within towering cavern walls, but not wanting to leave. At least, that’s how I feel…hit play below and see how you feel!
SIX – HIPOXIA Si Devs Esset Occidendvs Erit -Monvmentvm ab Khaos I-
Slow moving DEATH, Slow moving PAIN, Slow moving Riffs, Slow moving Drones…Suffocating DOOM that has taken the human form known as Hipoxia. This Spanish band is back with their new LP entitled SI DEVS ESSET, OCCIDENDVS ERIT and it’s fucking stellar! Hipoxia’s music is the kind of tortured dirge that CVLT Nation readers come to this site to encounter! Sonically, this album is a BEAST that has set out to destroy all fuckery, and even human extistence itself. SI DEVS ESSET, OCCIDENDVS ERIT is out now via American Line Productions.
FIVE – HANDS OF THIEVES s/t
This year, I got turned on to what is now one of my favorite new bands, and they go by the name Hands of Thieves. This PDX horde of sonic torment defies genres while at the same time creating songs that are honest in their grief. I know for a fact that this is only the beginning for these humans, because what you are about to hear will have you addicted to their sound just like I am. Our homies Transylvanian Tapes released Hands of Thieves’ tape.
FOUR – CEREMENTED Chaos Mongering Degradation
Primitive. Crawling. Wretched. These are the most simplistic terms I would use to describe the music on Ceremented’s Chaos Mongering Degradation. Almost like a more stripped-down, Death-obsessed version of Burning Witch, the world of Ceremented is all too bleak. Without the smallest glimmer of hope or light, the four tracks that make up this release drag you through the muddy recesses of a path to nowhere; a pathway traversed by humanity – a pathway littered with blood and bone.
Rumbling by largely at a snails pace, Ceremented spend the duration of this release tormenting the psyche with harsh, uncompromisingly soulless movements of utter horror, of the degradation brought about by the only law in our universe: chaos. This isn’t a release you get to head bang to or even “enjoy” per se, but rather, a release that will creep by and altar your experience of the world for 15 long, agonizing minutes. These doom-ridden skeletons of songs have no concern for your judgement of them. They are merely here to evoke harsh malevolent black energy and to dispense it upon unsuspecting ears. A must for fans of sadistic minimalism in 2016.
THREE – VRTRA My Bones Hold a Stillness
Ultimately, when boiled down to its base elements, VRTRA have honed in on something special. As a collective, they’ve managed to wade through all the carbon copy bands that float atop the shit-polluted, tepid river known as “Underground Metal.” Furthermore, the scope and range that they navigate within is terrifyingly majestic. Rather than being a jack-of-all-trades yet master of none, VRTRA have proven that they are capable of twisting and mastering a vast array of influences and ideas. It’s abundantly clear that they’ve refined their sound in the practice space until it mutated and morphed into this hair-raising, bestial release. What’s even more frightening is the fact that this five-piece is just getting started. One can only imagine the inevitable sense of doom felt across the universe if they mustered up a proper full-length.
Simply put, we’re not ready for this. We’re not KVLT enough for this. We’re not TRVE enough. We’re not Metal enough. We’re not Brutal enough. Our battle-vests and unreadable band shirts are looked down upon with scorn by the necromancers who compose the cabal that is VRTRA. They’ve taken whatever sloppy expectation we’ve come to form of new bands and given it a twisted, arthritic middle finger. As of this release, we walk in their world, and are but insects that bicker over the scraps they’ve thrown to us from atop their twisted and reviled spire.
TWO – TEMPLE OF ABANDONMENT From Outer Spheres…Death
In April this year, my mind was melted as I witnessed Temple of Abandonment, whose music moved me beyond fucking belief. When their set was finished, I was left saying to myself, unholy fuck, this band is UNREAL, and I picked up their demo ASAP. While watching Temple of Abandonment, a HUGE smile came across my face, not because their music is happy by any means, but seeing humans create such majestic and depressing sounds did make me happy in a weird way. I have played their tape almost every day since the show. So check it out – you can hear Temple of Abandonment’s demo, From Outer Spheres . . . Death in full below. Please do me a favor – if you dig this band as much as I do, share it with a friend. If you want to buy the demo on cassette, head over to their bandcamp now. Temple of Abandonment are not one of my favorite Vancouver bands; simply put, they are now one of my favorite bands, period. This is the kind of Funeral Doom that makes you happy to be alive!
ONE – MIZMOR Yodh
As is the case with all of Mizmor’s work, the epic element is overflowing in Yodh. This is a big work, with all the tracks spanning over the ten-minute mark, containing an intriguing structure. Slow build-ups, impressive soundscapes and relentless outbreaks are all featured within Mizmor’s vision. It is a heavy approach, leaning towards the extreme side of doom/death, with sludge riffs coming down, devastating in their approach, producing pure punishment with their slow and torturous unveiling. On the other hand, the flip-side of the doom weight is the black metal edge, equally remorseless, seeing Mizmor switch up the gears and go into full-blown, fast attacks.
What has always been the case with Mizmor, and still holds true in Yodh, is A.L.N.‘s ability to switch between all the different styles and influences in the album. Not only does it seem like he is not missing a beat, but he does it with frightening ease. It comes down to being able to retain the energy and momentum of the music, and that is something that Mizmor excels at, becoming unstoppable in that instance, traveling from minimal drone riffs to melodic doom leads to reach a black metal catharsis. It all shows how much a leap forward Yodh is for the band. The grasp of A.L.N. on the extreme side of metal, his compositional skills have been known since the debut album, but Yodh is the peak realization of this vision.