#TheGathering I – Doom edition

Welcome to the first edition of our new segment “The Gathering”, where each week I will gather together a selection of new releases from a different metal sub-genre.

This week I’ve sifted through the dark, muddy underground soundscapes of the doom metal world to hand-pick a diverse selection of new release material from the past two months. The selected bands span traditional doom, funeral doom, blackened doom, cosmic sludge and stoner doom. I’ve provided a very brief review of each work and a sample track for you to check out, so for those of you who don’t have time for a long read this should suit you. Well, I hope you all enjoy the ride, it’s sure to be doomed!

Band: 10,000 years
Title: II
Label: Death Valley Records
Released: 25 June 2021
Country: Sweden

“II” is the debut full-length album for heavy rockin’ Swedish doom act 10,000 Years. This album is bursting with thick riffs, juicy guitar work, anguished vocals, and fuzz for days. The album is a sci-fi themed piece focusing on tales from the ship “The Albatross” and it’s crew. Who, after some previous adventures involving wormholes and strange planets, have returned to Earth to discover that it is 10,000 years into the future. The solar system and all within it are now under the control of the Green King and other ancient gods. This album, as well as the story woven within it, is thoroughly impressive. If you missed this one when it came out grab your moon boots, kick back and get ready for a hard hitting cosmic journey.

Band: Ancient Tome
Title: Final Tomb
Label: Transylvanian Recordings
Released: 27 June 2021
Country: United States

During the last few days of June Ancient Tome released “Final Tomb”, the second EP for the Californian blackened doom band. This four-track offering is dark, crushing and sinister, it rolls at a lumbering pace and has a fierce, oppressive atmosphere. The experience is as if each track slowly increases a stranglehold on you and by the time the 24 minutes are up are almost gasping for air. Incredible EP and one that I will return to.

Band: Eremit
Title: Bearer of Many Names
Label: Transcending Obscurity
Released: 11 June 2021
Country: Germany

“Bearer of Many Names” is the second album release for German doom act Eremit. The album runs for sixty-six minutes and delivers three tracks of epic length. Each track leads the listener through an array of rich atmospheres and extreme soundscapes from gentle, soothing ambient sections to fierce and colossal doom. The vocals can be few and far between but when they present themselves they’re hurled out in both low gurgling, and harsh, abrasive death styles. The tempo is mostly very slow, almost as slow as it comes, and there are even occasions were you expect it to grind to a halt. This incredible album is like a doom marathon and this time slow and heavy wins the race.

Band: Grief Collector
Title: En Delirium
Label: 11 June 2021
Released: Petrichor
Country: United States

Classic doom metallers Grief Collector recently released their first full-length album “En Delirium” via Petrichor (a relatively new label under Hammerheart Records). The album is a doom fan’s dream and features the legendary vocalist Robert Lowe, who you may know from his epic contributions to Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. If you enjoy the early doom sound of the greats, then this album is sure to whip up some feelings of epic doom nostalgia. Grief Collector’s high calibre delivery of traditional doom makes “En Delirium” feel like an instant classic, so I highly recommend that you give it a spin.

Band: Hellish Form
Title: Remains
Label: Translation Loss Records
Released: 25 June 2021
Country: United States

Hellish Form are a US funeral drone sludge outfit who formed fairly recently, back in 2019.

Like their earlier releases “Remains” is filled to the brim with gargantuan riffs, lethargic tempos, rolling despair and fuzzy drone-laden atmospheres. The aptly named song titles give you fair warning for what you are in for, e.g. “Your Grave Becomes a Garden” and “Shadows with Teeth”. If you are a fan of funeral doom this is a modern work that you don’t want to miss, plus it’s currently ‘name your price’ on Bandcamp so you can’t go wrong.

Band: Suffer Yourself
Title: Rip Tide
Label: Aesthetic Death
Released: 25 June 2021
Country: International (Poland, Ukraine and Sweden)

After five years of silence Suffer Yourself delivers the monumental album “Rip Tide”. It offers a style of funeral death doom that is so heavy that it’s almost cataclysmic, with ceaseless waves of ruinous sound. There is a complex mosaic of low crushing tones interspersed with almost pleasant guitar melodies and intricate runs. This album is entirely engrossing and provides enough variation that it should even appeal to those who aren’t regular listeners of the subgenre.

Band: Thūn
Title: Thūn
Label: Eat Lead and Die Music
Released: 16 June 2021
Country: International (UK/ US)

Get ready for the tentacled horrors contained within the debut self titled album for death doomers Thūn. The self-titled release delivers seven tracks of hammering, heavy, death-doomy goodness. The themes are sourced from Lovecraftian myth and adapted to comment on modern human greed, exploitation of the environment and destruction of the natural world. There is a gritty, aggressive edge to the work and that may be due to the fact that some of the members are also active in death/ thrash band Monsterworks. If you enjoy your doom with healthy slice of brutality than look no further than Thūn.

Band: Funeral Chasm
Title: Omniversal Existence
Label: Aesthetic Death
Released: 21 June 2021
Country: Denmark

After forming just last year Danish funeral doom project Funeral Chasm have delivered an EP, two singles and now a debut full-length album “Omniversal Existence”. The work is elegant, sorrowful, and moving. There are despairing synth melodies, crunchy guitars, lumbering drums and low mournful male vocals that switch between a thick guttural growl and cleaner low, almost goth-esque male serenades. I was swallowed up by this moving album and can imagine myself alone in a dark room with this one on repeat for days.

Band: Mourn The Light
Title: Suffer, Then You’re Gone
Label: Argonauta Records
Released: 02 July 2021
Country: United States

Suffer, Then You’re Gone” is the thunderous debut album release for the Connecticut quintet Mourn The Light. It serves simple traditional heavy metal/ doom delivered in a straightforward classic fashion. There are lofty guitars, triumphant melodies, and catchy choruses. The lyrics seem earnest and poignant to our contemporary modern day struggles, with a ‘heart on your sleeve’ feel. There is are hints of NWOBHM and even power metal scattered throughout the nine tracks, so fans of that flavour of epic sound will feel at home.

Band: Planet of the Dead
Title: Pilgrims
Label: Independent
Released: 23 July 2021
Country: New Zealand

New Zealand cosmic sludge outfit Planet of the Dead have just put forth their second album of sci-fi doom “Pilgrims”. The riffs here are big, fun, memorable and at times upbeat, even nearing uplifting. There’s also coarse roaring vocals that heave ahead of impenetrable surges of pounding, fuzzy, drone-laden sound. The small details such as the odd spacey sound effect or changes in vocal style really highlight the themes well and round off the work nicely. I can’t say it better than the band themselves do on their Bandcamp page “For fans of classic science fiction and supermassive riffs”.

Band: Rat King
Title: Omen
Label: Independent
Released: 09 July 2021
Country: United States

From low and slow crawling tempos, face-smacking fuzz, to chunky, groovy stoner/ sludge, Rat King’s debut album “Omen” has everything your doom-loving heart could desire. This was my first introduction to the Indiana ensemble so had no idea what to expect, and was not disappointed. I came for the psychedelic cover art and stayed to for the thick, muddy sludge.

Band: Wizzerd / Merlin
Title: Turned to Stone Chapter III: Wizzerd vs Merlin
Label: Ripple Music
Released: 16 July 2021
Country: United States

Turned to Stone” is a split release series created through Ripple Music, and last month saw Chapter III let loose on the world. “Turned to Stone Chapter III: Wizzerd vs Merlin” is a four-track split featuring stoner doom quintet Wizzerd from Montana and Missouri-based doomers Merlin. Although both bands were unknown to me they immediately felt like an appropriate pairing. Obviously the band names make for an epic mage battle but each band is also well-seasoned in their craft, having been around for between 7-9 years. Wizzerd provides sophisticated, proggy rock grooves in mammoth proportions. Merlin on the other hand mix things up with stoner styled chugging riffs, grooves, and lyrical content, but unpredictably switch into epic psychedelic breakdowns and sections. This is an epic doom clash and a split worthy of some exploration.

Proua Metallist

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