San Francisco-based doom/progressive/noise outfit Grayceon just released a new EP yesterday for free on Flenser Record’s bandcamp page. This is certainly one of the most exciting pieces of progressive metal I’ve heard this year. If you’re a fan of dreamy, ethereal vocals being layered on top of sludge riffs, unpredictable time-signature and instrumentation changes, and a general sense of adventurousness within the confines of heavy music, give these guys a listen.
Here is some truly dirty stoner rock with a lot of influence from doom metal. This sound is brought to you from solo artist Judd Madden who hails from Melbourne, Australia.
The tracks on Artesian feel thick and absolutely oozing with a pumping ominous style that makes every track feel like a behemoth in stature. Not only does it have flair, but it holds some intense and solid grooves that are impossible not to get lost in at times. The progressions are slow, although, it is deliberate since it allows Madden to add many layers to the tracks and show his adept skill at a large variety of instruments.
You can get the album right now for any price, so how can you really go wrong?
Nadja is a ambient doom metal duo who hail from Toronto, although, it began as solo project of Aidan Baker.
The duo has a startlingly full sound that can easily encompass an entire room with the heavy drones of the guitar and dramatic volume shifts. It creates an entrancing musical experience which is the clear marker of a job well done when it comes to a genre such as this. The heavier aspects combined with the ambient shoegaze elements creates a sound that I can only describe as horrible nightmarish fever dream, but in a good way. There are some extremely menacing sounds here that seem to just drone on forever in a lot of cases, again, that’s a good thing in this scenario.
The legendary Swedish doom metal band Candlemass have a new record out bearing the exceptionally metal title Psalms For the Dead. The single “Dancing In The Temple Of The Mad Queen Bee” is a highlight, despite (or perhaps because of) its silly title. The vocals and lyrics are pretty campy, but the instrumentation is heavy and relentless, with chugging guitars that just beg to be headbanged too. At slightly under four minutes, the track is pretty brief by doom metal standards, but it’s packed full of fleet-fingered solos and exciting, unpredictable changes in dynamic. Pick up Psalms For The Dead on the official Candlemass website, and stream the single above.
The North Carolina metal band Hour Of 13 have a new record on the way, 333. One particular highlight is the 8-minute epic “The Burning,” a chugging, highly melodic slice of traditional doom metal with some great riffs and vocals that evoke the classic British heavy metal bands of the 70s and 80s. This is definitely a throwback to an aged style of metal, but Hour of 13 manages to throw enough interesting melodic ideas together over the lengthy runtime that it feels fresh and sincere. Grab your air guitar and stream “The Burning” above. 333 is up for preorder from Earache Records.
Set for a 2012 release on Metal Blade Records, here’s a track from the forthcoming debut album of Pilgrim, Misery Wizard. Though “Astaroth” showcases the riffage and heaviness you’d expect from just about any doom metal tune, the band does a great job of layering some murky harmonies into their guitars. The dreary group vocals that pop up in the middle of the track are a nice touch as well.
Above is a track from the new Vallenfyre album, a Fragile King. These guys are a UK death metal band with some serious doom metal tendencies. Their music is slow and lurching, but stays engaging and active with lots of vocals, changes, and solos.
Not only that, but the vocals–despite being delivered in a usual growled style–are pretty understandable. And the reason for that is storytelling is really important to Vallenfyre–especially on the track above, “Seeds.”
It’s tough to really hold back my emotions now that I know what this song is about. I usually, don’t read into interviews before I listen to albums, but I decided to indulge right here since this band and its members are both new to me. Well, it turns out this song is a dark and depressing tribute to the father of band member Greg Mackintosh. He died battling cancer, and “Seeds” refers to how the disease was spreading through this man’s lungs.
Though the grim details of cancer are left out of the song above, it still makes lyrical symbols like “fragile kings” even more powerful.
Check the cover art for this album below and look for it now on Century Media:
Swamp Witch is a sludge metal outfit that’s just released a three-track EP titled Gnosis. The presentation is a little rough around the edges. I wouldn’t go as far as to call this album a demo–it’s a little too heavy to simply be that that–but there is a distinct filth film covering these three tracks.
But hell! This is Swamp Witch! Aren’t swamps supposed to be foggy, smelly, and infested with starving alligators looking for something to munch on? Cuz I do get that vibe from these three tracks.
Download the entire EP here or stream it above. Brace yourself for heavy guitar riffs, death metal growls, and some ambitious song structures.