Tag Archives: doom

Underground Sounds: Hamferð – Támsins likam

Label: Metal Blade
Band: Hamferð
Origin: Faroe Islands

Doom from the Faroe Islands

Hamferð is one of those bands hailing from the Faroe Islands. Isolation begets inspiration it seems because the island nation under the Danish crown has spawned various bands in the metal genre that have made a splash. Tyr being the foremost of course, but Hamferð is definitely not an unknown entity, making songs in their own language for the masses. Members have also been active in Barren Earth and Heljareyga, connected to aforementioned Tyr.

‘Támsins likam’ is the second full length of the doom band, after their 2013 debut. Signed to Metal Blade, the group can hardly be called prolific, but definitely has something in their sound that only seems to be found on these islands in the north, something forlorn and melancholic. Not surprising for a band whose very name refers to the epiphany of dead or missing seamen, of which the tales on the island are rich.

‘Fylgistflog’ opens with the class and stature of a bygone age. Filled with a particular mournful mood, the song remains elegant in its opening. Perhaps the sound is reminiscent of the romantic qualities known from My Dying Bride and ilk. Vocalist Jón Aldará has the quality of a story-teller in his voice, which he uses aptly. The story is that of a family in mourning over a lost child. Supernatural entities visit and torment the family, whose sorrow is expounded through the crushing music of Hamferð. Music that is as heavy and cold as the sea.
When the floodgates open, the band reminds me of Ahab in their nautical element. Wave after wave crashes into you, from the depths of the abyss onward. On a track like ‘Tvístevndur meldur’, the grief is tangible, yet the voice of Aldará breaks through the dark clouds with an almost angelic quality, a light that breaks through the turmoil and chaos. The music never loses it’s composure and remains regal and noble in all aspects. Yet the guitar work is so massive and oppressive at times, that even the listener might give up. Even when the darkness completely overwhelms, the northern beauty of this record remains undisputed when the notes of ‘Vápn í anda’ slowly ebb away.
Nothing but appreciation for this exceptionally immersive, but hard record by Hamferð and its fantastic artwork by Costin Chioreanu.

Marijannah: heavy and far-out tunes from Singapore

The band Marijannah hails from Singapore and plays a very fresh and catchy style of stoner/doom. Inspired by films, their music is captivating, playful and a bit unnerving at times. Havint checked out their recent release, I needed to know more about them.

Signed to Pink Tank Records, their ‘Till Marijannah’ is well worth a spin if you haven’t heard it yet. To get you started, first learn something more about the band and where they come from.

Marijannah takes you to Paradise

Hey Marijannah, how’s everything going?

Everything’s great.

How did your band get started and where does the name come from?

We all individually wanted to try something different outside the usual styles of music we’ve been playing for years in each of our respective bands and this is something we’ve never created before.

The name is sort of an accidental double entendre initially. It loosely translates to “come to paradise” in Malay, which is a native language where we’re from and it’s also bluntly a pun to you-know-what.

 

What inspired you to make this particular sound your own? To me ,it feels very much like a mixture of classic psychedelic rock with a hint of occult rock on a thick slab of stoner, which together gives off this timeless sound. What do you think?

I don’t know if we do but if anybody thinks we sound any different from the usual stoner/doom, it’s really just because half of us never regularly listened to this style of music up until like a year ago. We all have roots in different genres. Some of us come from a punk/emo/hardcore background and some of us almost strictly listen to extreme metal so it’s truly a mash of clashing influences.

Can you tell me how you wrote and recorded the album ‘Till Marijannah’? How did the process go and what sort of working method do you have?

Rasyid writes most of the music and I write the lyrics. We record riffs on our shitty phones and send them to each other on a daily basis and dig em out when we need to. There was quite a bit of spontaneity in the studio as well, using weird, new pedals and ancient gongs lying around the room.

I’m interested to learn what inspired the four separate songs. They all have a distinct quality and theme but differ a lot. So what stories and inspiration did you use for each? I’m particularly interested in All Hallow’s Eve.

Lyrically, they’re all tributes to films. I’m a big “film buff” and they go hand in hand with heavy music aesthetically. All Hallow’s Eve is of course about John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and the “Laurie” mentioned is Laurie Strode, portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis in the series.

Tell me more about the artwork. Who did it and what inspired it? I originally thought I was going to listen to something more like Yes!

Again, it was a mash of very different ideas we all had individually backed and executed by a very talented artist in mr. Riandy Karuniawan. Like most metal musicians, we like sci-fi imagery and mystical shit so there’s that.

What sort of response did you get this far to the record and what future plans do you currently have?

They’ve been almost all positive from what I’m aware of. I don’t really pay much attention to reviews, I think the record is dope and so does most of my friends who have a good taste. We’re working on new material right now and have been jamming about 5-6 new tunes, probably aiming to enter the studio by August. We’ll be announcing a short tour really soon, maybe it’ll be announced by the time this interview is out and we have another planned for the year’s end.

Is having a Rasyid in Wormrot in any way limiting for what you can do with Marijannah? Do you feel that your other bands in general have an influence on your output?

Not at all. Neither band is looking to be super busy or touring full-time and I think the rotation works well for Rasyid and the rest of us. I think its inevitable that we will share certain influences amongst our bands, we’re the same people as we are in other projects, just expressed differently through multiple entities.

What is currently happening in the heavy scene of Singapore that the world really should not miss out on? Like exciting bands etc?

Radiant Archery, Bethari, Hollowthreat, HRVST, Yumi, Zodd. None of them are similar to us but all worth checking out.

If you had to compare Marijannah to a dish, what would it be and why?

Bolognese. Rustic, traditional, timeless, best served hot and consumed wearing dark-coloured clothing.

Underground Sounds: Marijannah – Till Marijannah

Label: Pink Tank Records
Band: Marijannah

Origin: Singapore

Marijannah is a project that features members from Wormrot and The Caulfield Cult. As their bio says, two of the hardest touring bands from the island nation Singapore. As it often is, these gents had an itch to do something different. That is, to play stoner/doom, which they do surprisingly well and now on their first record ‘Till Marijannah’.

The band started out in 2016 and it being a side-project, took its time to really get going with their heavy, psychedelic sound and release a record. Sounding rather classical and hazy, this band definitely harks back to the retro-doom sound you hear coming up on and off. Think of bands like The Sword and maybe even a bit of that St. Vitus or Goatsnake vibe. It’s helluvalot catchy.

The foundation of the sound Marijannah offers is a rock-melting buzz of bass and drums, that never lets up. A solid stoner bass on which to build the tunes so to say, like the classics. The lyrics are steeped in horror influences with an occult flavor on opener ‘1974’ and the following ‘Snakecharmer’. It’s really comfortable music to sink into and just ride its waves as you listen to their spaced out sounds. I have to point out the cover, with an interesting color pattern. Definitely does its job too.

Powerful repetition shapes the track ‘Bride of Mine’, which even harks a bit to the sound of Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats with its snarling, whiny sound that just clings to you. The snide sound of the track is pretty catchy. ‘All Hallows End’ is the strange big rock anthem on this record. It stands out like a sore thumb, which is exactly what makes it so interesting. The emotional vocals and the ooh and aah backing makes for a pleasant outro, with creepy lyrics of course.

The charm of Marijannah is that they don’t do anything overly complex. It’s pretty straight forward stuff, but with a tinge of their very own mystery. Looking forward to seeing this live.

Underground Sounds: Krallice – Go Be Forgotten

Label: Hathenter/Giliad Media
Band: Krallice
Origin: USA

How do you even get to this level of productivity, without slacking somehow in your quality? I have no idea how they do it, but here’s the new Krallice, titled ‘Go Be Forgotten’. It’s their second full length of 2017 and one hell of a record, mixing jazzy noise with black metal and hardcore-sludge or whatever.

The band has sort of just released ‘Löum’, together with Dave Edwardson from Neurosis. You’d say that we may have slightly recovered from that piece of work. This is the latest and it actually made it to various end of year lists. Good on you guys, I’d say. I was just a bit baffled after listening to it because these New Yorkers rarely make for an easy listen.

 

It seems like Krallice is moving in the direction of noise or even something akin to industrial, with the gritty beats on ‘This Forest For Which We Have Killed’. A solid layer of bass forms, like a curtain of pulverized glass or construction residue. Beyond that layer is space, for the vocals to bark into the void. Relentless aptly describes the flow of fury that Krallice directs at the listener. Frantically paced and never opening up for a breath, the band sounds more and more like a blend of hardcore, noise and black metal to me.
Remarkably, a grand experience can also be a part of that violent, abrasive sound. The title track embraces big arches and soaring synths. The wide contrast opens up a whole new space for Krallice to play in. The sound explores restlessness, dynamics, and complex structures, sometimes verging on jazz even? The 10-minute onslaught of ‘Ground Prayer’ for example, seems to meander from different pace as much as in intensity, with every new measure, while the vocals keep insistently barking at you.
Krallice may be one of the most intense and surprising bands out there and like every one of their records, this may take you some time to wrap your head around.

Underground Sounds: Nortt – Endeligt

Label: Avantgarde Music
Band: Nortt
Origin: Denmark

For more than two decades, Nortt has been smothering hopes and sucking the life out of things with all-consuming darkness. The funeral doom the one-man band produces is tinged with black metal grimness, fully overwhelming and absolutely destroying. ‘Endeligt’ is the fourth full length fromt he Danish act.

Nortt has previously played in Apollyon and Strychnos, but works in solitude on his self-titled project. Calling his music ‘pure depressive black funeral doom’ is already pushing it to the darkest corners, but Nortt himself doesn’t see it as trying to inspire any sort of dark behavior. Fair point, there is always a natural beauty in the dark. It’s been 10 years since ‘Galgenfrist’, so this is a good moment for some new grimness.

Eerie drones start forming a gloomy soundscape, when the mournful tones of ‘Andægtigt dødsfald’ crush in, with all their languid majesty. Slow and heavy, they offer that crushing effect, swathing aside any sort of hope and liveliness you may still hold on to. The vocals bubble up from somewhere below the earth, like a grave opening up. On ‘Kisteglad’, the sound almost reduces to an ambient soundscape, with only the sound of winds blowing over a desert plain. As a listener, you feel the sound pressing down upon you as it flows by.

The totality of this record is an overwhelming bath of sorrow, particularly when cold walls of distorted guitar just surge forward. Never really pushing, but looming over you in all their might on ‘Fra hæld til intet’. Nortt’s vocals seem completely out of this earth and being used vary sparsely; they come into major effect during the doomed progressions of might funeral tunes. Melodies are woven in there, sounding fragile but strong, to add even more dramatic overtones to the songs.

Underground Sounds: Year of the Cobra – Burn Your Dead

Label: Magnetic Eye Records
Band: Year of the Cobra
Origin: United States

I like that Year of the Cobra is not a regular band. It’s a duo that also is in a relationship with each other. That sounds pretty weird, since relations are always an intense form of being together. To add a band to that, jeez… the fights they must have in the Barrysmith home in Seattle. I would prefer not to get caught up in that. It does result in ample releases though.

But without making light of it, for these two it works and it produces beautiful, harmonious music. The full length is already a little behind us, so ‘ Burn Your Dead’ is a welcome bit of new material after the success of ‘…In the Shadows Below’. The theme seems to linger in warrior/Viking imagery and occult feeling songs, with that typical crawly vibe to them. Now, maybe I’m mythicizing the place a bit, but it’s so typical that a unique sound like this comes from Seattle, isn’t it?

It felt a little quiet around this band, but Year of The Cobra easily regains their status with this new EP. From the first notes of ‘Cold’, the foreboding sound of their psychedelic doom grabs you. The seductive, slivering sound of the bass/drum combo heavily relies on the husky voice of Amy Barrysmith, who can also wail like a banshee if need be. A chill runs up your spine when she wails the words to the songs.

The music moves with the grace of a cobra. Slow and deliberate towards its goal with an almost slithering smoothness. Sometimes, the intensity increases. This happens on ‘Burn Your Dead’, the title-track, where the vocals are filtered through (I suppose) a megaphone, has a frantic pace and energy to it. What is particularly enjoyable about Year of the Cobra, is how there’s a certain kind of groove in their sound. It feels warm, immersive and pleasant to sink into. Check out, in particular, the bewitching ‘The Howl’, which will totally drag you under. Good stuff, so looking forward to the next full length.

Underground Sounds: Summoning – With Doom We Come

Label: Napalm Records
Band: Summoning
Origin: Austria 
Summoning is a must-listen band for anyone who feels strongly about black metal and Tolkien, but Silenius and Protector have long since left behind their musical roots. The band stands apart, thanks to their programmed, composed sound. On ‘With Doom We Come’, that is once more extremely clear and within the dungeon synth world the band is hailed as if they’re venerated, liberators. Unfortunately, the biggest impact this far from their new album came through an interview with Noisey. Well, as long as they talk about you.
Summoning was born out of musicians from Abigor and Pazuzu (and many others), started out as a fourpiece playing black metal, but switched to their current approach in 1995 (two years after starting). Since then the members Protector and Silenius are responsible for the sound of Summoning, which is much more sountrack-like and composed rather than created in a rehearsal space. On the side they duo occupies themselves with some side projects. Silenius plays black metal with Amistigon and industrial with Kreuzweg Ost. Protector occupies himself with Ice Ages, creating EDM.

‘Tar-Calion’ is the epic story of the last king of Númenor, told in solumn progressing tones. Spoken passages and grunts illuminate segments of the tale. The song is highly repetitive, which immerses the listener into the unhindred and fatalistic path of this Tolkien-saga figure. A journey towards ultimate doom. That is the overlying theme for this record, the doom-laden parts of the Silmarillion and other writings, with electronically enhanced music, featuring flutes and heralding trumpets. The music is sonorous, slow and never really building to any sort of climax. Vocals are hoarse whispers, grittedly spat at the listener on tracks like ‘Silvertine’ (a reference to the place where Gandalf battled the Balrog, that even movie watchers must know) or ‘Carcharoth’ (Silmarillion).

A swelling sound can be heard on ‘Herumor’, where a choir appears to sing over the meandering, ambient-like metal of the Austrian band. It’s a noteworthily more expressive part of the record, amidst the static sound of the group. They never seem to really waver much from their flowing music. Generally, the atmosphere oppresses and sounds dense and hazy. This is of course one of the main reasons why this band appeals to the dungeon synth genre-fans so much because it clearly bridges between the two worlds. Playful melodies now and then create interesting nuances in the songs, filling the gaps between the vocals on a tune like ‘Night Fell Behind’.
On ‘Mirklands’ we get a bit grimmer, mostly thanks to the vocals, but the song stays synth heavy. With over 10 minutes of music, both this tune and the title track are powerful compositions that evoke Tolkienesque visages and imagery. ‘With Doom We Came’ offers the doomy, grand finale of the album. The voice is raspy, but clear, a bit like Rob Miller from Amebix/Tau Cross. The highlight of the album for sure.

Aleksey Evdokimov, Author of Doom Metal Lexicanum

Cult Never Dies and Crypt Productions are soon releasing a book that has been rightly called a behemoth: The Doom Metal Lexicanum. This is the work of endless lost hours in late evenings and forgotten nooks and crannies in the life of Aleksey Evdokimov.

The impossible undertaking slowly took shape and Aleksey found the right people to collaborate with to get this passion project out there. Dayal Patterson, known for the fantastic series of books on black metal, is releasing this under the banner of Cult Never Dies Productions. There have been books on death metal and black metal, but doom metal seems to have been overlooked… until now.

I got in touch with Saint Petersburg inhabitant Aleksey to ask some questions about this massive undertaking, which he was kind enough to answer. If you are already keen to get your hands on the book, make sure you order it now!

The Scribe of Doom: Aleksey Evdokimov

Hey Aleksey, how have you been?

Hi Guido! Much better now, because we’ve finished with this. Now only this interview and two more for Esquire and Men’s Health stand between me and long-awaited relax time.

Can you tell a little bit about yourself?

I live and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I listened to metal since my school days, and back in the late 90s, I was a real fanatic, reading every magazine I could find here, translating songs’ lyrics and etc. I work in the field of electrical engineering, but I write for different e-zines, blogs and sometimes magazines since 2006. I have few interviews dated 2004 and 2005, but it wasn’t serious. In around 2010 I’ve joined the doommantia.com crew, then was TempleOfPerdition, few interviews for Doom Metal Front magazine, SludgeLord and PsychedelicBaby e-zines. Nowadays I write for doom-metal.com, nocleansinging.com, OutlawsOfTheSun and bi-monthly magazines InRock (Russia) and Fire (Italy).

Aleksey originally suggested a picture of him dancing amongst the tombstones, but time restrictions made this the result.

So, what got you attracted to doom metal in the first place, what was its appeal to you?

Originally it was death doom metal: Tiamat with Clouds, Paradise Lost album Icon, a few videos from the “Beauty In Darkness” compilation like Celestial Season and Substance For God… Some bands who played doom in their early years like Anathema, Cemetery Of Scream, The Equinox Ov The Gods, Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy and so on. From some point onward I was satiated with this aesthetic and here Reverend Bizarre and Abysmal Grief appeared! I already knew Cathedral, but Reverend Bizarre is a turning point. II: Crush The Insects appeals me both with its instrumental and lyrical components. I guess that I always give my attention to songs with good lyrics. In a case of Abysmal Grief its grim sepulchral atmosphere, it’s impossible to resist.

You’ve mentioned that your motivation for starting this project, was mainly that there was simply no book about the genre. Is there really nothing?

As far as I know there was only A-Z of Doom, Goth & Stoner Metal by Garry Sharpe-Young in 2003. The scene has changed a lot over these last 14 years, and its name speaks for itself, right? Two years ago when I started working on the Lexicanum, it seemed to be right time for another one. I really don’t know why no one has written it before me, I don’t pretend to be the mister Know-It-All. I just knew how to do it, I wanted to pay some respect to the bands I like, and I wanted to finish with my time-consuming and free hobby of doing reviews and interviews with one final work.

When you started out, how did you imagine the end result would look. What was your initial approach to this daunting task?

In 2015 my friend had shown me Bible Of The Devil, a self-released encyclopedia written by Italian enthusiast Alberto Bia. I even wanted to write it together with Alberto, but we have different methods of work, so that wasn’t good idea. I’ve written down the list of bands I suppose to fit in the book, and I’ve checked how many interviews I already had with these artists. There were about 550-600 names in this list, and I interviewed less than 200 bands from this list.

I decided to limit myself to the traditional doom scene and sub-genres related to it because it would be impossible to include also death doom and funeral bands in one book. Big bands deserve more space, and when you have Candlemass, My Dying Bride and Pentagram in one book, you barely find space for new outfits with shorter discographies. For the same reason, I tried to avoid pure stoner bands, though if you’ll take a look at bills of Doom festivals, then this genre is a big part of the scene. Nevertheless, purists probably will be disappointed. Well, they’re free to write a better thing. I did talk with Sami Hynninen, the General Doom Puritan, and he points that if he ever managed to write a book about doom scene, then he would include there 5 or so bands. Also, don’t forget that none of the doom legends even knew that they played “doom” until some journalists told them they did.

My vision was to have a book built up out of articles which combines reviews and interviews; I prefer interviews because they allow artists themselves to express what they really mean, the reviews are subjective thing… And speaking about discographies: I tried to mention in the articles every release bands have, but I only mentioned LPs in the discographies section. If I started to list all smaller records of Reverend Bizarre or Pentagram, that would be a nightmare.

Most of the project you did by yourself, how did you manage to keep yourself motivated and did you experience any noteworthy things with the bands you were writing about?

At some point, I just know that there’s no turning back. Also, I worked together with Mike Liassides (editor of doom-metal.com) and Tana Haugo Kawahara (Eternal Elysium’s bass player), I couldn’t tell them: “Thank you for your job! I prefer to stop!” My English is far from perfect, and they both edited all my bad grammar, scanning the texts I send them. It would be impossible if Mike and Tana didn’t lend me helping hand back then.

Also, I had the plan, I knew how to fulfill it. The only thing that I usually didn’t have was enough of time. But strict planning and love of the doom genre motivated me enough.As for noteworthy things… Communications with some bands are an interesting thing in itself most of the time.

Did you experience any setback during the writing?

One of my goals was to have an interview’s quote in each article, a direct speech from each band I write about. I have interviews done for one big part of my list, and I intended to interview others bands as well. That means I did send requests for interviews to each band you find in the book. And if you don’t see the direct speech in the article about some band, that just means that interview never happened. Few bands didn’t reply, few promised but didn’t answer in the end, with few big bands I almost organized interviews through their managers but it didn’t happen too. People are people… Anyway, I had a chance to interview a lot of excellent bands, which really counts.

Another problem I had is reviewing the albums. We cut some albums’ descriptions during the final proof of the whole text, yet anyway, you know – doom metal has its own rules, doom rock or stoner doom have their own as well. So when you write about 360 bands, you’re doomed (pun unintended, ed.) to repeat yourself when you describe their music. It’s not prog rock.

The problem to get proper photos with credits from the bands is another story… It seems that a damn lot of bands don’t care about it. Or in some cases, it was difficult to learn the name of the photographer from some band, from their label or even from their PR-crew. We couldn’t use photos without credits, we try to do it legally.

The big deal was to find a publisher. Really I was thinking naively that this part is easy (the doom community is a large family and so on). I wasted a lot of time since January 2017 until February to reach an agreement or even just understanding with few persons. So I was happy when I got in contact with Dayal Patterson of Cult Never Dies in March. And the last painful thing was the necessity to stop. Until very last moment I did want to add one more band, to write more about this or that album and so on. It’s good that Dayal stopped me.

Which parts are your favorites, or which bands did you enjoy writing about most?

Hard to tell… I would tell that I like how articles about Cathedral and Pentagram look. I re-listened their whole discographies in writing these parts. For example with Cathedral it was good to get comments from Adam Lehan and Mark Griffiths; it was the case when I wrote for every band’s members whom I could find including Dave Patchett and exclude Scott Carlson and few members who were there for one year or about that. But I’m disappointed that Dave Patchett didn’t reply, for me his artwork is one of most important Cathedral features. In the case of Pentagram I did interview Joe Hasselvander, originally I did it for Russian magazine InRock, and he’s right person to ask some tough questions.

But my favorite thing in this book, in general, is the fact that there’re such bands like Barabbas, Bevar Sea, Dreaming, The Hazytones or L’Impero delle Ombre amongst big names like Candlemass, Reverend Bizarre or Trouble. It was one of three main points for me – to spread the word about such bands that deserve more exposure and more attention from doom fans.

The original artwork as done by Mila Kiselava

Then at some point, you must have realized that this is really was happening? How did you get the right people to team up with?

When I started writing Lexicanum (autumn 2015), I regularly contributed interviews for doom-metal.com. So, I’ve just asked Mike Liassides if he can proofread my English, and he said “ok”. I guess that Tana Haugo Kawahara joined in June 2016. It was obvious that I had too many texts to put it all on one person (who did this entire job for free), and it was a miracle as Tana suddenly did agree to take part into this mournful labor. I’m endlessly grateful to them.  Also, I should mention Mila Kiseleva, she did the original artwork for the book in a period when I had no publisher yet. You can see it on the back page of the book, she caught my idea well.

You work together with Dayal Patterson and his Cult Never Dies company. How did you get in touch with him and were you familiar with his work on beforehand?

One gentleman from the band which story you can find in the book advised me to ask Dayal. It was March 2017, about 85% of the book was written. So, it was the right man. I see that I couldn’t find better publisher indeed. He got my idea, he did accept it wholly, he knew how to run the project (I already had the Facebook profile for Lexicanum, but he knows few more things how to promote such things more effectively). He was the bridge which leads to this brilliant artwork done by David Thierree, who not only caught my idea well but also perfectly fulfilled it in his painting. But no, I didn’t read Dayal’s books before.

Now, the pre-sale has started. Why should everyone get their hands on this book? What can they expect?

It’s a good Christmas present for doom fans. For people who’re totally into this, for those who collect vinyl. Those who still know how to deal with audio tapes… Like in Cathedral’s song “Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine”, you know? It’s a detailed and honest guide through the doom scene, it’s the right choice for those who want to learn more about doom genre. Also, I heard that it help to build relationships with fair ladies and to gain respect in high society.

What is the next project you’re ready to sink your teeth into?

As people ask, and the monkey on my back demands… It would be right to turn on more extreme doom territories. But it depends on few factors, and I suppose that in a month or two I’ll put my foot down.

Get your book here!

Underground Sounds: Mephistofeles – (((I’M HEROIN)))

Label: Creep Purple Promotion
Band: Mephistofeles
Origin: Argentinia

Allegedly, the doom scene in Argentina is booming and as far as I can judge from this release by Mephistofeles, this is absolutely true. The band from Parana in the southern country, have released one full length before and look like they’re into reviving the oldschool sound and look with their band. As far as I can tell, they’re doing a pretty good job at it in fact.

The trio has only been playing music since 2013, but have racked up a solid array of releases. Now, with the light shining on the regional music scene, things might pick up for them, particularly since this album ‘((( I’M HEROIN )))’ is pretty damn cool if you ask me. From its somber look to its classical vibe, it’s a joy to listen to.

The vibe of this record is totally that of an Electric Wizard record. Thick slabs or doom, catchy riffs and the vocals drowned in effects. Now and then an organ provides a bit of a horror vibe, but most of the time you can just surf the waves of the lingering riffs. The vocals display exactly that bite, that you know well from the Ozzy-style doom followers. In that sense, Mephistofeles sticks to what works in their sound.

Though there’s little originality in the sound you hear, the foreboding horror melodies, the slow, steady progression and heavily distorted sound-swamp are classics that captivate time and time again. A track like ‘Transylvanian Funeral’ is a joy to listen to. You can just hang back and bask in tracks like ‘Thrash Lord’ or in the drug haze of ‘Heroin’.

On ‘Addicted To Satan’, we even have mister Anton Lavey playing some calliope, which is a fitting addition ot the ound of Mphistofeles. A great record, lots of fun, but nothing new under the sun.

Underground Sounds: Jupiterian – Terraforming

Label: Transcending Obscurity
Band: Jupiterian
Origin: Brazil

Brazilian masked marauders Jupiterian are back with a bang…and another bang… and another bang… Their heavy death doom (or doom of death maybe?) has shaken up a stir in the music world and I wouldn’t be surprised to see these gents appearing at the cooler, underground festivals very soon. ‘Terraforming’ is the second full length from the prolific music-making gang. São Paulo must have shuddered and shivered…

If you want to know more about this band, check out the interview I did with them not too long ago. Noteworthy is their continuous collaboration with Mories. The man is known for his project Gnaw Their Tongues (and a dozen other projects)  and he helps to create that eerie, atmospheric sound that makes their doom more than just pummeling violence. Add to that the label Transcending Obscurity from India and we sort of have a global project going on.

Jupiterian is a megalithic sounding monster, that delivers massive slabs of doom. Their atmosphere is much more complex though, mixing something very earthy with the plumes of smoke,like a ritual  or seance might offer. I’d describe the sound they blast out on ‘Unearthly Glow’ as cavernous, but it’s simply too big and massive to fit that description. Their music is densely atmospheric to the point where it is really much like a mysterious gathering. It matches with the hooded live show of the band.
The dark chanting on ‘Forefathers’ is one of those special, heavy moments. At other times, the band sounds like an eruption, as if the earth underneath your feet is cracking at the sheer impact of their heavy riffing and bellowing vocals on a track like ‘Us and Them’. Most of the times, the band sounds massive, but the crushing impact of every riff somehow hits where it hurts. Never does it seem like any hit of the bass drum or drop is reckless bashing, it always is just right. The calculated playing makes this album so exquisitely heavy.
Jupiterian has taken some spices from other genres and made a punchy dish of doom for your listening pleasure. This is a new highlight for the band.