TEN – TOKE (Orange)
Damn this band fucking rules HARD!!! My bad for not having a full review, but here is what Meghan said when we premiered their video:
If you didn’t get a hard copy of TOKE’s 2017 exhalation Orange on vinyl or cassette, then you are shit outta luck (you can still pick up the digital version here). These guys know how to get stoner heads banging, and that crushing magnetic force is in abundance in their new video for “Weight of the World” off their most recent album.
NINE – UNEARTHLY TRANCE Stalking The Ghost
It took seven years, but Unearthly Trance have returned with Stalking the Ghost, the catchiest, most direct album they’ve done since their 2006 Relapse Records debut, The Trident.
That the band has managed to conjure up an album of this caliber after such a layoff should come as no surprise. Since their inception in 2000, Unearthly Trance has been one of the most consistent and prolific bands in metal, regardless of subgenre. Over the course of six full-length albums and a staggering amount of EPs and splits, the band has established a sound that can mutate at will, yet always deliver.
Nowhere in the UT canon is this more apparent than Stalking the Ghost. With this album, the band has captured every facet of their broad palette while distilling those elements into a cohesive whole. Coupled with a newfound streamlined approach to their songwriting, Stalking the Ghost not only encapsulates what has come before, but points an all-seeing eye towards what may follow.
EIGHT – MONARCH Never Forever
This is a doozy of a record. It’s one of those albums that from the minute I hit play was going to be on my top 10 of 2017 list. Featuring the same unique brand of brooding doom metal that defined Mariner, last years landmark release from Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas, Never Forever is a helluva musical statement from France’s doom darlings. The resonant frequencies and overwhelmingly slow crush of Monarch is stunning. It crunches forward step by step with waves of distortion crinkling into your ears, tracks like “Song To The Void” delicately unwind themselves in such a way as to prove, inch by booming inch, that Never Forever is a masterful piece of art. Perhaps I’m just a Subrosa nerd, and this record hit my exact set of tastes, but I think it’s a lot more than that. Anyone who spends a significant amount of time with Never Forever will quickly come to realize the depth of the riffs at hand and the overwhelming power and choking majesty of this release. Pinched from Metal Injestion
Read full review Here...
SEVEN – CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC The Glitter of Infinite Hell
If any band could imbue the concept of infinite Hell with a magical quality it’s these guys. The massive atmosphere they create is untouchable, and today we’re very excited to share the track “Wrath” off the upcoming album. Listening to this track is like having your soul called to the crossroads for reaping, then traversing a fiery path into the depths of Hades, passing writhing souls and towering demon overlords as you make your way to the center of the earth. You sold your soul and it’s fucking rock n’ roll. You can pre-order The Glitter of Infinite Hell right here, which features Hieronymus Bosch’s Christ’s Descent into Hell on the cover and original art by Goatess Doomwych on the inner gatefold.
SIX – MINDKULT Lucifer’s Dream
Fost of MINDKULT is a one man DOOM killing machine. His 2017 LP is called Lucifer’s Dream and every moment of it is STELLAR. This dude puts so much soul into his songs.
FIVE – ATOMIC TRIP Strike #1
“Take a breath. Drink a beer. Smoke weed. Relax. Drink another beer. Push the volume up. Press play. Explode. Get fuzzed.” These are the words that ATOMIC TRIP live by and for good reason – this band fucking rules! These DOOM warlords have created the Instrumental Doom album of the year entitled Strike #1. Over the course of 40 minutes, this band proves that they can’t be fucked with when it comes to creating riffs that kill on contact. What I love about this record is how they are able to manifest such dynamic songs without using vocals.
FOUR (Tie) – BATHSHEBA Servus
Bathsheba, the newly formed band from Belgium, carries a lot of the scene’s DNA in its lineup. The history of the individual members goes into some of the more interesting releases of the extreme metal genre of the past years, including ex-Serpentcult vocalist Michelle Nocon, Dwight Goosens of death metal act Disinterred, Raf Meukens of Death Penalty and Jelle Stevens of, the under appreciated, SardoniS. With such a pedigree you can get an idea of what you are in for, and the band has already showcased elements of their approach with a first demo and the The Sleeping Gods EP.
What comes in at the start of this new record, Servus, might trick you into thinking you are walking into an old fashioned doom album, a calling for heavy riffs, drenched in the genre’s Sabbath-ian essence. But “Of Fire” acts simply as the opening act of this journey, and soon enough more elements begin to come to the front. The band carries on down this path, causing slight mutations of their sound, moving toward the occult doom/rock movement, enacting a dark theatrical play, before switching gears and bringing in a bit of Serpentcult in, with the more furious and faster parter reminiscent of Weight of Light.
Svart Records Release: 24 February 2017
FOUR (Tie) – BEASTMAKER Inside the Skull
Beastmaker are a prime example of doom metal revival. They joined this revival slightly late, releasing their debut album in 2016, but came in with such force and energy that it is hard to ignore them. The band’s first record, Lusus Naturae, took everyone by surprise, with its raw energy and its ’70s doom and proto-heavy metal influence. Even though it was not perfect, it was a great first step for the band.
Inside The Skull comes just one year after Lusus Naturae, and the band is seriously stepping up its game. They return with an improved production, capable of retaining their raw essence and at the same time presenting it with more clarity. But more importantly, Beastmaker structure their work more efficiently. Trimming down any unnecessary fat, the record clocks just under 40 minutes, with the music retaining its energy throughout, and without causing any listening fatigue.
On the actual sound, Beastmaker have been marinating in the Sabbath-ian sauce, when it comes to the heavy riffs and their overall perspective. The old-school tone is alive and vibrant in their music, not rehashed and hollow, showing a deep affection for the style. What further enhances this quality is the fact that the band is comprised of really good musicians. In heavy rock and doom bands, technicality does not score high as a requirement, but on the classic form that Beastmaker takes, there is a need for a higher technical aptitude. Obviously, do not expect them to go virtuoso on you, but their playing is just right. The flourishes of the drumming compliments the groove, while the guitar solos are fantastic and well placed. It is another quality that has been augmented through this filtering process that resulted in a shorter album, with Beastmaker making sure that each note, each drum hit, has its place and purpose.
THREE – WITH THE DEAD Love From With The Dead
I feel like a total loser for not having a review of this insanely killer album. That being said we giving it’s just do by making it our number 3 doom pick of 2017! WITH THE DEAD killed it this year respect due!
TWO – UFOMAMMUT 8
I feel like a total loser again for not having a review of this insanely cosmic album. That being said we giving it’s just do by making it our number 2 doom pick of 2017! UFOMAMMUT melted my brain with this one!
ONE – JUPITERIAN Terraforming
Are Brazilian sludge-doom heathens JUPITERIAN the Primitive Man of the southern hemisphere? May as well be – can’t really think of a band from down under that crushes your head more than this one (now that Meth Drinker is no more that is, RIP). After a staggering debut cassette on Caligari Records, these Brazilian destroyers have now teamed up with Transcending Obscurity Records to unleash the second chapter in their suffocating end times doom saga – titled Terraforming, it is a work of deeply traumatizing heaviness and of moving atmospheric prowess that has seemingly brought together the classic doom crush of bands like Yob, Unearthly Trance, and Neurosis and the discordant and atonal atmospherics of bands like Terra Tenrbrosa and Blut Aus Nord. Noteworthy is the fact that even Maurice de Jong AKA Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues fame makes an appearance on the title track – just confirming even further the fact that Jupiterian fuck with the darkest side of things, HARD.
Read full review Here...