ROUND-UP

Time to catch up with some recent doom metal releases…

ethereal riffian

ETHEREAL RIFFIAN
‘Aeonian’
February 2014
8/10

Ethereal Riffian’s ‘Aeonian’ is a remarkable work of ambitious, exciting, pounding, high-energy stoner-prog. Its four long, winding songs take you to unexpected places, and the Ukrainian band go the extra mile visually as well as musically by creating amazing artwork and even a storybook (in English and Russian) that accompanies the album. An excellent effort on many levels.

restless oblivion

RESTLESS OBLIVION
‘Sands Of Time’
Solitude Productions, March 2014
7/10

More class from the Solitude stable. This young Russian outfit deliver death-doom that is sodden with tears of woe. Rumbling vocals vomit their misery over slow and delicately melodic guitars, creating a beautifully bleak marriage that’s made in Hell. Excellent pacing and arrangement, as well as epic keyboard backing, make these nine tracks enjoyable. And while the tunes may not always be memorable enough to warrant flags and fireworks, this is impressively atmospheric.

grey widow

GREY WIDOW
‘I’
January 2014
7/10

This UK sludge horde concoct a filthy racket that is likely to make you feel sick. Their slogan is: ‘Worship nothing. Follow no-one. Destroy everything.’ Which is impressive in itself. As is Grey Widow’s sheer relentlessness – their brand of slowed-down rage is unremitting and uncaring. Songs titles are numbered I-VIII, with the third track being the standout from a noisy crowd, offering a wicked groove amid the bleakness. When this more flamboyant and creative side comes out, Grey Widow are a real force.

cult of sorrow

CULT OF SORROW
Self-titled EP
March 2014
5/10

The debut from this doom rock outfit from Cincinnati, Ohio features fun stoner riffs but overall comes across as pretty lightweight. The guitars buzz along like a swarm of bee, while the singer is underwhelming and too loud in the mix. Inspired by early metal and classic rock, Cult Of Sorrow are perhaps still finding their own sound, and this is too derivative to wholly impress. On the plus side, it is difficult not to be won over by the band’s sheer enthusiasm and the closing track ‘Black Flame’ is a nine-minute Sabbathy doom-a-thon that shows some promise.

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