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Hi Ben, any chance you could add the new Wolf Counsel album, Initivm please?


I will take the Floor album Ben as they are the only one of the four bands I have never heard before.

Quoted Sonny

I might have left the sludge / stoner release for you Sonny, given there were two gothic metal releases to choose from. :wink:


1. Sky Pig - "The Scag" from "Hell Is Inside You EP" (2020)

2. Lord Vigo - "Memento Mori" from "Danse de Noir" (2020) [submitted by Daniel]

3. Theatre of Tragedy - "Fair and 'Guiling Copesmate Death" from "Velvet Darkness They Fear " (1996)

4. Sore Throat - "Phase I" from "Inde$troy" (1989) [submitted by Daniel]

5. Paul Chain Violet Theatre - "In the Darkness" from "In the Darkness" (1986)

6. 16 - "Monday Bloody Monday" from "Bridges to Burn" (2009)

7. Slow - "Déluge" from "V - Oceans" (2017) [submitted by Ben]

8. Solitude Aeternus - "Scent of Death" from "Alone" (2006)

9. Draconian - "The Sacrificial Flame" from "Under A Godless Veil" (2020)

10. Acid Mammoth - "Caravan" from "Caravan" (2021) [submitted by Sonny]

11. Dystopia - "Control All Delete" from "Dystopia" (2008) [submitted by Daniel]

12. Possessor - "Twisted Nerve Endings" from "The Speed of Death EP" (2022)

13. Solstice - "Death's Crown Is Victory" from "Death's Crown Is Victory" (2013) [submitted by Ben]

14. Hell - "Mourn" from "Hell III" (2012) [submitted by Sonny]

15. Acid Witch - "October 31st" from "Witchtanic Hellucinations" (2008)


October 2022

1. Sky Pig - "The Scag" from "Hell Is Inside You EP" (2020)

2. Lord Vigo - "Memento Mori" from "Danse de Noir" (2020) 

3. Theatre of Tragedy - "Fair and 'Guiling Copesmate Death" from "Velvet Darkness They Fear " (1996)

4. Sore Throat - "Phase I" from "Inde$troy" (1989)

5. Paul Chain Violet Theatre - "In the Darkness" from "In the Darkness" (1986)

6. 16 - "Monday Bloody Monday" from "Bridges to Burn" (2009)

7. Slow - "Déluge" from "V - Oceans" (2017) 

8. Solitude Aeternus - "Scent of Death" from "Alone" (2006)

9. Draconian - "The Sacrificial Flame" from "Under A Godless Veil" (2020)

10. Acid Mammoth - "Caravan" from "Caravan" (2021)

11. Dystopia - "Control All Delete" from "Dystopia" (2008) 

12. Possessor - "Twisted Nerve Endings" from "The Speed of Death EP" (2022)

13. Solstice - "Death's Crown Is Victory" from "Death's Crown Is Victory" (2013)

14. Hell - "Mourn" from "Hell III" (2012) 

15. Acid Witch - "October 31st" from "Witchtanic Hellucinations" (2008)


Much like yourself Daniel, I had never sat down and listened to an Eyehategod album all the way through until earlier this year when I was looking for some well-regarded sludge to feature on the monthly playlist. I took the plunge with their previous album Take As Needed for Pain but also took in Dopesick pretty soon after and loved them both. It's easy to hear why the band are considered such giants of sludge metal. I must admit that the genre doesn't always do it for me, but those two albums are an object lesson in the unremitting bleakness, bitterness and self-loathing that best defines sludge and are fully deserving of their legendary status.


Here are my submissions for the November playlist Sonny:

Solitude Aeturnus - "Upon Within" (from "Alone", 2006)

Eyehategod - "Anxiety Hangover" (from "Dopesick", 1996)


So just like that we find that a new month is upon us which of course means that we’ll be nominating a brand new monthly feature release for each clan. This essentially means that we’re asking you to rate, review & discuss our chosen features for no other reason than because we enjoy the process & banter. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on our chosen releases so don’t be shy.

This month’s feature release for The Fallen has been nominated by myself. It's the highly regarded 2011 "Dead Roots Stirring" sophomore album from Massachusetts stoner metallers Elder. I've been meaning to check this one out for a while now after finding Elder's 2012 "Spires Burn / Release" E.P. & 2017 "Reflections of a Floating World" album to be very solid & entertaining pieces of work so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dig my teeth into it.


Boris - "Heavy Rocks" (2002)

Tokyo’s Boris are an interesting artist in a creative sense as they’ve never felt confined to any one sound or scene &, as a result, people really struggle to pigeon-hole them under an easily understood subgenre tag. I’m not sure whether that’s been an advantage or a hindrance for them over the years in all honesty as they seem to have developed a huge cult following & always seem to draw positive acclaim from critics but have probably never managed to truly break into the sort of fanatical support that they so clearly deserve. Us metalheads seem to want to make sure they stay tightly wrapped within the banner of the underground metal scene however they’ve never really sat all that comfortably there & Boris' seminal 2002 fourth full-length album “Heavy Rocks” is a prime example of that.

The first three Boris albums were heavily directed towards a drone inspired sound & saw the band really building a niche for themselves through highly regarded records like 1998’s “Amplifier Worship” & 2000’s “Flood” but with “Heavy Rocks” we see Boris moving into new territory with a fresh sound that’s much more focused on traditional rock music than their previous records were. In doing so though, Boris lost none of their street appeal as they very quickly proved themselves to have a deep understanding of what it is that makes heavy rock music so exciting. There’s a danger in these sounds that we find so rarely in modern rock music & it takes me back to a time when rock represented an exciting escape for me as a youngster with the experience of the live performance taking on an almost transcendent stature in an artist’s creative image. You see, as with most of Boris’ lengthy back catalogue, “Heavy Rocks” really does sound like a recording of a live band with very few of the rough edges having been buffed out. You can feel the amplifier’s buzzing & almost see the kids leaping from the stage & thrashing themselves about in glee & that’s what makes a band like Boris so appealing.

Musically speaking, I have to admit that “Heavy Rocks” doesn’t sit as close to my musical comfort zone as Boris’ drone metal works though. Most people seem to want to lump it in with Stoner Metal which isn’t entirely accurate. There’s far too much of a late 60's blues rock influence in this material for it to sit primarily in the metal space. In fact, I really struggle to see why "Heavy Rocks is not unanimously tagged as Stoner Rock because it fits the description of that genre to a tee in my opinion. The loose vocal delivery is miles away from anything a metal front man might attempt while the overall feel of the instrumentation generally possesses a much noisier & bluesier outlook too. The psychedelic guitar excursions are brilliantly executed & are a real highlight for me personally, particularly album high point “Soft Edge” which is nothing short of spectacular (&, as is so often the case with me, is also the least popular track on the album). Boris simply seem to “get it” if you know what I mean & the fact that front man Takeshi doesn’t even try to stay in tune is completely overlooked in the interest of the elusive quest for heavy rock supremacy. There’s a deep-seated authenticity to this material that makes it inherently relatable but gives it some added x-factor as well. To put it bluntly, it's simply a way cooler record than the vast majority of the competition could ever hope to muster up.

In saying that, I do think that “Heavy Rocks” is a fairly top-heavy release. Despite not possessing anything that comes close to being a weak track, I have to admit that all of the best material sits on the A side with the flip side seeming to be a little bit lacking in comparison. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of taste as I would suggest that I was always going to be more drawn to the crushingly heavy stoner metal of opener “Heavy Friends”, the stripped-back psychedelia of “Soft Edge” & the more aggressive & dangerous rock outings like “Korosu” & “Dyna-Soar”. Boris would perhaps execute this stoner rock sound with slightly more consistency on 2003’s “Akuma no uta” album too but one can’t be too critical of a rock record with this level of potency. It’s all too rare that you encounter music that encapsulates what it means to be “rock” in such a clear & concise fashion these days so “Heavy Rocks” should be celebrated for what it represents as much as what it’s achieved.

For fans of Melvins, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard & Church of Misery.



Age of Taurus - Desperate Souls of Tortured Times (2013)

Well Age of Taurus are early evidence that doom metal might just be for me after all. Desperate Souls of Tortured Times is a hefty slab of epic doom metal that stretches its legs in terms of varying pace over seven tracks of lengthy yet never arduous duration. At their best they are a psychedelic-edged doom behemoth and the standout track by far for me is the mournful and dank Walk With Me My Queen which is superbly situated in the middle of the album. At the same time they are guilty of the odd meander as well with penultimate track Embrace the Stone not really bringing any value during its eight minute runtime despite a really promising start.

The racy Desperate Souls is an example of where the band can comfortably ditch the traditional doom metal tag and go a little more up tempo without sacrificing that looming menace that those twin guitars bring to the table. The vocals are actually a great fit for me and I like how the bass is just as audible as everything else here. It is albums like this that cast my recent history with heavy metal in a new light. I have a feeling that if I had pursued this path sooner with the more epic doom metal sound then I could have tied together the two sub-genres better without now having to explore one at the expense of the other. There is a rumbling coolness to DSoTT that sacrifices none of the youthful vigour of true heavy metal yet in fact manages to add a great level of esotericism to proceedings and although it is early on in my exploration of The Fallen clan this realisation of where my path has perhaps come to a premature end with heavy metal is certainly causing much reflection of my listening habits over the years when doom has gone largely neglected as a listening option.

There are lots of Master of Reality style structures here and this can only be a good thing in my book. That slumbering groove to the guitars scratches a real itch for me and when in full flow this is a razor sharp unit. I can see they underwent something of a line-up change for album number two (which is on my radar) so will be interesting to see how consistent these guys are, but with Leo Smee of Cathedral fame in the band there is an element of real promise ahead of me checking out their sophomore release, built from this solid foundation stone also.



As I have commenced my exploration of The Fallen clan it seemed sensible to pass comment on this month’s feature release, especially given the high praise it has received to date. The caveat I must add here is that I have sampled Solitude Aeturnus before now and found them not entirely to my liking. I saw these guys come up as a recommendation when searching for bands like Candlemass (who remain my benchmark in doom whom I usually chart my forays from). Stylistically the comparisons are usually spot on I must admit but considering the first four Candlemass albums are my genre-defining releases, Solitude Aeturnus have a lot to live up to.

On Alone I must comment on how nu-metal I find Rob Lowe’s vocals. Not to say that this is alternative or nu-metal in anyway, but I get flashbacks to listening to the likes of Life of Agony back in the 90s. That low vocal tone looms through in the slower moments and I cannot help but think of the sound of that very different sub-genre of metal music. Whilst we are on about the vocals, I do also find them incredibly whiny on here. Now, I know that is sort of the point and they are done deliberately like this to emphasise the melancholy of the music. However, whilst I can acknowledge the fine set of pipes that Mr Lowe possesses, I do find the vocals to be a real bug bear of mine.

It is not even as if the riffs rescue proceedings entirely. Huge though they are (and with a decidedly eastern/oriental theme to them for the initial few tracks here) I find that they are too melodic for most of the record, and I do find myself longing for the more heavy and bruising style of riffs I normally associate with this type of music. Rarely during the hour-long runtime of Alone do I feel like I encounter anything monolithic in terms of a crushing wall of doom, in fact for most of the time it plays like a heavy metal record with a heavy doom metal influence. Moments such as the opening of Is There and the Black Sabbath riff that opens Tomorrows Dead do fill me with hope but are mostly just empty promises.

Although it is all done well enough, I just do not fell that the band ever get beyond a jog here and that they should be capable of more given their obvious stature in the field of doom. Maybe with my recent departure from The Guardian clan, Alone is too near to that sound for my comfort nowadays and it would have perhaps sat better had I discovered it some years ago. Epic though it is, this record is somehow not captivating enough overall and I almost want to like it more than I actually do.



Whilst Alone is also an awesome record for sure, I don't think it has anything as iconic as Well of Souls or At the Gallows End on it , so is downslope from Nightfall for me. But this is nitpicking as they are both records I would unhesitatingly recommend to any trad/epic doom fan.

Quoted Sonny

Contrary to popular opinion, I've never found "At the Gallows End" to be anything terribly special to tell you the truth. I do quite like it but definitely think of it as one of the least appealing couple of tracks on "Nightfall". "Well of Souls" is certainly an amazing track but my personal favourites are "Bewtiched" & "Black Candles" which I regard as being the equal of anything I've heard from the epic doom metal subgenre. In fairness though, I'd place Solitude Aeturnus' "Scent of Death" right alongside them in that respect.

Quoted Daniel

It's weird (or maybe it's me who is) but despite it possibly being Candlemass' most well-known track, Bewitched is my least favoured "proper" track on Nightfall. Go figure!


1. Temple of Void - "Deathtouch" from "Summoning the Slayer" (2022)
2. Candlemass - "Tears" from "Tales of Creation" (1989) [submitted by Daniel]
3. Celtic Frost - "Obscured" from "Monotheist" (2006) [submitted by Sonny]
4. Bog Body - "Ice Stained Kurgan" from "Cryonic Crevasse Cult" (2022)
5. Hangman's Chair - "Who Wants to Die Old" from "A Loner" (2022)
6. Mastodon - "Crusher Destroyer" from "Remission" (2002) [submitted by Daniel]
7. BlackLab - "Abyss Woods" from "In A Bizarre Dream" (2022)
8. The Gates of Slumber - "Bastards Born" from "The Wretch" (2011) [submitted by Sonny]
9. Esoteric - "Sinistrous" from "The Pernicious Enigma" (1997) [submitted by Daniel]
10. Come to Grief - "When the World Dies" from "When the World Dies" (2022)
11. Skeleton Gong - "Nephilim" from "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" (2015)
12. Slomatics - "Futurian" from "Estron" (2014) [submitted by Sonny]
13. Witchfinder General - "Death Penalty" from "Death Penalty" (1982) [submitted by Sonny]
14. Wolf Counsel - "Aeons" from "Initivm" (2022)
15. Churchburn - "Scarred" from "Genocidal Rite" (2021)
16. Type O Negative - "Creepy Green Light" from "World Coming Down" (1999) [submitted by Daniel]
17. Until Death Overtakes Me - "Missing" from "Prelude to Monolith" (2003) [submitted by Ben]


I'm not sure why you'd close your comeback album out with this travesty of musical justice to be honest.


A short blast of crusty Californian sludge metal goodness.


Even though we decided not to add Southern Metal to Metal Academy, I decided to create a Top Ten Southern Metal Releases of All Time list for anyone that's interested in checking out what the movement's all about.

Note: I've included some releases that I don't consider to be genuine Southern Metal but that are generally regarded as being included within the genre. I didn't include the Pride & Glory record I investigated because we decided not to add it to the site.

01. Glorior Belli - "Meet Us At The Southern Sign" (2009)

02. Down - "NOLA" (1995)

03. Down - "Down II: A Bustle in Your Hedgerow…" (2002)

04. Alabama Thunderpussy - "Open Fire" (2007)

05. Corrosion of Conformity - "Deliverance" (1994)

06. Floodgate - "Penalty" (1996)

07. He Is Legend - "Suck Out The Poison" (2006)

08. Hank Williams, III - "Hillbilly Joker" (2011)

09. Fireball Ministry - "Their Rock Is Not Our Rock" (2005)

10. Black Label Society - "Mafia" (2005)


Candlemass have a new album due out on 18th of November. Released on Napalm Records it is called Sweet Evil Sun.

Featuring original vocalist Johan Langquist, the only advance track released to date is called Scandinavian Gods:


Tzompantli - Tlazcaltiliztli  (2022)

Tlazcaltiliztli is an album of thick as molasses death doom riffs and awesome bellowing growls for vocals that sound like a wounded bison and remind me somewhat of Japanese death doomers Coffins. Whilst the bulk of the album consists of this crushingly brutal assault on the listener's sensibilities there are also some really cool indiginous Mexican folk interludes that make for something a bit different and are undeniably an interesting diversion. The death doom side of things isn't the most earth-shatteringly awesome or original metal you are ever likely to hear, but it is authentic and it's chugging riffs are heavy as fuck and if you are a fan of extreme doom metal then that, along with the more interesting indiginous music interjections, should at least merit you checking it out (just don't try spelling it!) Me, I'm always a sucker for anything that sounds like it was derived from the early Autopsy sound, which this assuredly is, so for me this is a big thumbs up.



Until Death Overtakes Me - Prelude To Monolith (2008)

For my money, funeral doom metal is possibly the most primal of all metal genres. The immense crushing weight it conveys speaks of the unimaginably massive forces that shaped our world and, indeed, the universe itself back in the furthest aeons of time. There is also a form of funeral doom that is less heavy but, in a way, is almost spiritual in what it calls to within those willing to receive it. When I say spiritual, I don't mean in a, for want of a better word, "god-centric" way. This type of spirituality predates any man-made anthroporphism of the forces at work and instead speaks to an interconnectedness with the flow and essence of these inconceivable forces and energies that is buried deep inside all of us.

Until Death Overtakes Me's Prelude to Monolith is exactly one such release. It's iteration of funeral doom is not going to leave you gasping for air like an Esoteric or Ahab album, for it's touch is not quite as pulverisingly massive. Rather, it draws on dark ambient for inspiration and weaves it throughout it's sixty-eight minutes with the effect of leavening some of the sheer weight with lighter, more ethereal threads. There is a "booming" nature to the drum sound that is suggestive of tympani drums and that always adds an esoteric (small "e") atmosphere and that is reinforced by the sometimes barely perceptible rumble of the vocals. Overlaying this is a thin keyboard drone that is reminiscent of Thergothon's Stream From the Heavens. The whole effect makes for a remarkably relaxing-sounding album that cradles and croons rather than overwhelms the listener, allowing them to touch the infinite, if only for a mere heavenly hour!



Hangman's Chair - A Loner (2022)

I must admit that this is my first exposure to French gothic metallers Hangman's Chair, so I was unsure what to expect. Well this isn't the gothic death doom of My Dying Bride or Swallow the Sun, but is a much cleaner style of doom metal altogether. It utilises contemporary melodic doom structures and overlays them with a clear, ringing lead guitar tone and clean vocals which in effect comes across as a metallised version of gothic rock bands like The Cult et al. With it's oft-catchy choruses, clean vocals and melodic riffs it is perhaps a little more commercial-sounding than I would usually be comfortable with, but I would be lying if I said I didn't find anything I enjoyed here.

Oh, and is it just me or does the lead singer often sound like Alison Moyet?

Morpheus Kitami

I have to admit that after giving this record a good few spins over the last couple of days I've found my opinion sitting at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum to some of those detailed above in that I feel "Danse de noir" fits the description for an epic doom metal release very accurately, so much so in fact that I'm gonna submit a Hall entry to have it removed from The Guardians because I don't feel the Heavy Metal tag is relevant given that it's more of an influence than it is a primary genre & is a necessary component of the Epic Doom Metal sound. Also, I really enjoyed this album & found it be a welcome addition to our list of feature releases. I thought the interludes were all really well done (particularly "Are You Human" which is outstanding) & the vocal delivery is something very different from what I'm used to hearing which gives it a strange appeal (think Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra meets the upper register delivery of Type O Negative's Pete Steele & you'd be pretty close). It's interesting that front man Patrick "Vinz Clortho" Palm is actually Lord Vigo's drummer too which isn't all that common. The incorporation of synthesizer accompaniment works well to enhance the epic atmosphere with Viking-period Bathory often springing to mind & the record finishes on a high with the chorus of album highlight "Memento Mori" possessing a dark anthemic quality that really hit the spot for me. There's a bit of a lull in the second half of the album when the band steer away from the doom for a couple of tracks with both the Maiden-inspired heavy metal number "And Then The Planets Will Align" & the noticeably flat Gothic Post-Punk song "Between Despair & Ecstasy" falling short of the mark but there's more than enough quality across the rest of the tracklisting to not only make up for those blemishes but to keep me very well entertained as well. Great stuff!

For fans of Candlemass, Solstice & Sorcerer.



I was legitimately about to shoot you a message when I saw the album on the front page, Ben. Checked it out last week as I was familiar with Oceans of Slumber and not only was I not exactly impressed either, it's easily has some of the least Metal attributes for something that has 3 Metal tags. I don't think it's a bad album by any means, but it's always confused me as to why Oceans of Slumber can't nail down any sort of interesting sound considering they have a talented singer and have had glimpses of good ideas in the past. I get more Blues/Soul out of the singer than anything, although I only listened to the album once so that may be off base as well. Still, Starlight and Ash should definitely be tagged as Non-Metal, I didn't realize that it had three metal tags, unsure what people are hearing.


1. Goatsnake - "Flower of Disease" from "Flower of Disease" (2000)
2. Dusk - "Mourning Shadow" from "Dusk EP" (1994) [submitted by Sonny]
3. Cemetary - "Bitter Seed" from "Black Vanity" (1994) [submitted by Sonny]
4. Year of the Cobra - "White Wizard" from " the Shadows Below" (2016) [submitted by Sonny]
5. Evoken - "Embrace the Emptiness" from "Quietus" (2001) [submitted by Daniel]
6. Strange Horizon - "Fake Templar" from "Beyond the Strange Horizon" (2022)
7. Solitude Aeturnus - "Tomorrows Dead" from "Alone" (2006) [submitted by Ben]
8. YOB - " Burning the Altar" from "The Great Cessation" (2009) [submitted by Sonny]
9. Acid King - "Four Minutes" from "Free EP" (2014) [submitted by Daniel]
10. Deathwhite - "Quietly, Suddenly" from "Grey Everlasting" (2022)
11. The Wounded Kings - "Bleeding Sky" from "Visions in Bone" (2016) [submitted by Sonny]
12. Unholy - "For the Unknown One" from "Rapture" (1998) [submitted by Ben]
13. Corrosion of Conformity - "Pearls Before Swine" from "Deliverance" (1994) [submitted by Daniel]
14. Megadrone - "I" from "Transmission II: Jovian Echoes" (2022)
15. Lord Vicar - "The Temple in the Bedrock" from "The Black Powder" (2019)
16. Come to Grief - " Death Can't Come Soon Enough" from "When the World Dies" (2022)
17. Tzompantli - "Yaotiacahuanetzli" from "Tlazcaltiliztli" (2022) [submitted by Ben]


Here's my adjusted Top Ten Traditional Doom Metal Releases Of All Time list:

01. Solitude Aeturnus - "Alone" (2006)

02. Candlemass – “Nightfall” (1987)

03. Saint Vitus – “Born Too Late” (1986)

04. Candlemass – “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (1986)

05. Paul Chain Violet Theatre – “Detaching From Satan” E.P. (1984)

06. Pentagram – “Pentagram” (1985)

07. Saint Vitus – “Saint Vitus” (1984)

08. Trouble – “Psalm 9” (1984)

09. Candlemass - "Tales Of Creation" (1989)

10. Pagan Altar – “The Time Lord” E.P. (2004)


I wish I had more time to return to October Rust as I think having more memory of that album would have done me a few favors in figuring out an opinion on this one. I've found that I generally enjoy my time with Type O Negative, but I never rush back to them or really feel the need to, considering I haven't listened to a single song off of October Rust or any of their other albums after it was featured months ago. I kind of felt the same way about World Coming Down, although I think I can agree that it's a step down from October Rust. It's definitely a darker, more brooding album, with the interludes painting some dark and interesting pictures. However I don't think they were utilized in a cohesive enough way for me to really get into the album's atmosphere or supposed concept if there is any; some of the transitions out of them are pretty rough sounding. I think that Type O Negative plays to their strengths extremely well and still are one of my favorite Gothic Metal bands behind maybe Tiamat, with the vocals having a ton of range and variety that contribute to the songwriting way more than any other element. The fuzzy, kind of weak sounding production sounds fine for what they were going for in my opinion, as it straddles the gap between their more gloomy but shiny sounding sections and the more dark and chuggy ones. Most songs have a ton of small transitions between the two moods and while I think it sounds great, I didn't necessarily find it compelling for the entire album's runtime. 

I'm with Daniel in that the first half of the album is stronger than the second, with the first three "real" tracks (White Slavery, Everyone I Love Is Dead, and Who Will Save The Sane?) sucking me in rather well but the final three "real" tracks (Everything Dies, Pyretta Blaze, and All Hallows Eve) felt like they were overstaying their welcome. "World Coming Down" feels like a bit of a letdown considering its length, but "Creepy Green Light" is easily one of my favorites. I think this'll be another case of me not returning to this band for quite some time, but it's nice to know I can still enjoy some Gothic Metal every now and again.



Yeah it’s probably worth doing but there’s really not a lot we can do about it to be honest. I don’t think it’s worth changing the playlists when there could be any number of licensing concerns depending on what part of the world you’re streaming from.


What can I say about Quietus other than it is a sublime combination of funeral and death doom that comfortably sits very high on my list of all-time great albums. Evoken cannot be accused of being a band who rush things. Forming in 1994, debut album Embrace the Emptiness wasn't released until four years later with sophomore Quietus emerging another three years after that. In fact their twenty-eight years have so far only seen six albums released, so I think we can safely say that the New Jersey five-piece are a band who like to take the time to properly work up their newest material before unleashing it upon their fans. This meticulousness reveals itself in the extremely consistent quality of Evoken's published material and never more so than here with this hour of extreme doom metal nirvana.



1. MWWB - "Logic Bomb" from "The Harvest" (2022) [suggested by Ben]

2. Crowbar - "Confess to Nothing" from "Zero and Below" (2022)

3. Night Hag - Phantasmal Scourge" from "Phantasmal Scourge" (2022) [suggested by Ben]

4. Godflesh - "Merciless" from "Merciless" (1994) [suggested by Daniel]

5. Rifflord - "Thunder Rider Cremation Ground Meditation" from "7 Cremation Ground / Meditation" (2018)

6. Yith - "Beholder" from "Immemorial" (2018) [suggested by Sonny]

7. Scald - "Sepulchral Bonfire" from "Will of Gods Is a Great Power" (1996) [suggested by Sonny]

8. Esoteric - "Beneath This Face" from "The Maniacal Vale" (2008)

9. Place of Skulls - "Song of Solomon" from "Nailed" (2002) 

10. Lacuna Coil - "Circle" from "In A Reverie" (1999)

11. Spectral Voice - Terminal Exhalation" from "Eroded Corridors of Unbeing" (2017) [suggested by Daniel]

12. The Hidden Hand - "Sunblood" from "Divine Propaganda" (2003)

13. Mizmor & Thou - "Indignance" from "Myopia" (2022) [suggested by Ben]

14. Monarch! - "Blood Seeress" from "Omens" (2012) [suggested by Daniel]

15. Hell - "Helmzmen" from "Hell" (2017) [suggested by Sonny]

16. Woods of Ypres - "Alternate Ending" from "Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light" (2012)


Bismuth - The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef (2018)

Bismuth are a Nottingham duo, comprising Tanya Byrne on bass, keyboards and vocals and drummer Joe Rawlings, who play sludgy drone metal and eschew guitars on their material. Their 2018 sophomore album, The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef, consists of only two tracks, the most significant of which is the 32 minute title track which is one of the finest drone metal tracks it has been my good fortune to hear. There is more than a little post-metal involved in the title track, the music being utilised to recreate the effect of the creeping destruction of one of the world's most under-threat natural habitats. Starting slowly and gently with droning synths and bass-strums intended to illustrate the beating heart of the tides and currents of the reef (I would suggest), Tanya's choral vocal effects giving voice to the sealife within and with cymbals providing the suggestion of crashing waves the idyllic scene is set.

Soon it becomes obvious that all is not well in paradise as discordant notes start to appear, suggesting problems are afoot in this most fragile of environments. The track then takes a heavier turn as chaos is wrought, the vocals become harsh, ragged screams of pain and the bass chords become huge, heaving upheavals of sonic malevolence. After a short breather whilst a degree of calm returns, the track plunges into even greater depths of despair and desperation as the inevitability of the end approaches before the return to gentle calm as death holds sway, the ending of the track somewhat mirroring the beginning, possibly illustrating that all eventually comes full-circle. This truly is a superb piece of drone metal, at once both atmospheric and delivering a particular narrative, an effect that is decidedly tricky to pull off, but which the duo deliver with aplomb and you will be hard-pushed to find a more effective narrative-driven drone metal piece.

The second track, Weltschmerz at just six mnutes long, is in danger of being overshadowed by such an epic track and the  feeling it has been tagged on just to pad the album out to the required length. This would be doing it a great disservice however as it is a pulsating, throbbing slab of drone/sludge inhabited by howling screams of anguished suffering (weltschmerz translates as "world-pain") that continues with the band's message of environmental armageddon. Obviously, especially with the considerably shorter runtime this is a much more immediate and accessible piece than the title track, but I think it deserves it's place on the LP and is a great track in it's own right, even though I think it may have benefitted from being a bit longer.

This is a brilliant album and is one of the very best drone metal releases that comfortably stands alongside genre titans like SunnO))) and Earth and if you love those bands and haven't listened to this, then really you should.


I just finished blasting this playlist while working out on the floor in front of the kids (yes the missus is away) & I've gotta say that I fucking loved it. The Firebreather, Mares of Thrace, MonumentuM, Bismuth, Electric Wizard, Type O Negative, Hangman's Chair & The Ruins of Beveerast tracks are all mind-blowing. The Down, Mar de Grises, Isole, Ard, Profetus & Ufomammut tracks are really solid too. The Obsidian Sea & Acid Bath songs were probably the ones that I enjoyed the least which is mainly due to the inclusion of some groovier riffs but I still quite like them. The balance of known tracks with underground ones is excellent, as is the mix of subgenres. This is about as good a playlist as I've heard to be honest.


I'd certainly heard the name Internal Void around the traps over the years but can't say that I've ever committed to checking them out before now. In fact, I wasn't aware that they'd released anything else after this debut album which proves Sonny's point about being a particularly underappreciated artist. After giving "Standing On The Sun" a few spins over the last couple of days I've achieved a firm opinion on the music that lies within & while I can't say that I find the same level of appeal as the elder statesman of our Metal Academy community there's definitely a fair few positives here. The warm 1970's production job is a great start as it really compliments the band's sound & gives the record that authentic old-school doom atmosphere. The inclusion of psychedelia in the lead guitar work is something that I've always found appealing while I can easily pickup the Alex Lifeson influence that Sonny mentioned above. Unfortunately though there's a fairly major stumbling block for me here in J.D. Williams' vocals. He's clearly trying his level best to be Ozzy Osbourne but sadly doesn't possess anywhere near the level of talent required so he often ends up sounding more like Lee Dorrian's weaker moments. There's no question that he's trying really hard but it should all come a lot more effortlessly for a genuine front man. For this reason I found that two of the three tracks I enjoyed the most were the instrumental pieces in short acoustic interlude "Eclipsed" & album highlight "The Peace Song". The other element that places a cap on my rating is the inclusion of a fair few groovy stoner metal riffs. While those riffs may sound very much like Black Sabbath, I have to admit that even the mighty Sabbath can't completely win me over when they go in that direction for any sort of period (as they did on a record like "Vol.4" which I've always considered to be a bit overrated). Epic closer "Desolate Cemetery" is my pick of the vocal tracks as it manages to overcome a significant doom-to-groove ratio through an impeccably dark atmosphere, some stellar riffage & lead work & a pretty cool lyrical approach. 

Overall I find "Standing On The Sun" to be a mildly enjoyable listen that has the edge taken off an excellent instrumental representation of the traditional doom metal philosophy by a couple of aesthetic & compositional flaws. I'd be surprised if the vast majority of Saint Vitus, Pentagram & 70's Black Sabbath fans don't find enough to keep them interested here but I'm not sure too many of them will consider Internal Void to compete with the premier traditional doom metal bands that influenced them.



So, to repay you Daniel for this month's excellent Fallen feature submission, I see you haven't rated the 2018 album The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef  from Nottingham drone metal duo Bismuth. It's a superb drone / funeral doom / atmo-sludge tour-de-force that I believe you would really enjoy.


I think it's a pretty safe bet that very few drone metal releases will get much traction with the "average punter". Drone metal is one of those extreme genres that provides greater reward the more the listener is willing to invest and many just can't get past the surface. But for those who are able, when done well, it can be an hallucinatory and revelatory listening experience that is well worth the effort. That said, though, Monarch! do seem to be lacking in exposure, even in a niche genre like drone metal and that is a great shame because Omens is as good as anything the genre has to offer.


Brief thoughts on this month's playlist:

1. Spirit Caravan - "Dead Love / Jug Fulla Sun" from "Jug Fulla Sun" (1999) [submitted by Sonny]
Spirit Caravan is a Wino-led trio that laces their stoner doom with acid. This is my favourite track from their debut and is one of my all-time top stoner metal tracks.

2. Anathema - "Radiance" from "Eternity" (1996) [submitted by Daniel]
Builds really effectively to a Comfortably Numb-style guitar solo climax.

3. Worm - "Empire of the Necromancers" from "Foreverglade" (2021) [submitted by Ben]
Heavy as fuck blackened doom from one of last year's great albums.

4. Cult of Luna - "Cold Burn" from "The Long road North" (2022)
It's CoL doing what they do and doing it supremely well. Quality atmo-sludge no more no less.

5. Crowbar - "Like Broken Glass" from "Broken Glass" (1996) [submitted by Daniel]
It's Crowbar doing what they do and doing it... What? I've used that one already? OK, but you know what I mean yeah?

6. Lethian Dreams - "Shades" from "Red Silence Lodge" (2014) [submitted by Ben]
I really like this album - I have a CD digipak with a nice message and signed by Carline Van Roos that I bought from Bandcamp when it was released This is a gorgeously melancholy track with terrific vocals from Carline that eventually explodes towards the end.

7. Internal Void - "Utopia of Daze" from "Standing on the Sun" (1992) [submitted by Sonny]
This is one of the great unheralded early 90's Sabbath-influenced trad doom albums and Utopia of Daze is my favourite track from it. I finally tracked down an original CD copy recently on Discogs from a guy in South Africa and it was worth every penny!

8. Melvins - "Vile" from "Ozma" (1989) [submitted by Sonny]
Melvins are one of those bands who baffle me with how they can go from ridiculous to sublime seemingly at will. This is a sublime moment and one of my favourites from the US sludgelords - what a brilliant crawling, creeping riff this is.

9. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - "Blood Moon" from "Bloodmoon: I" (2021) [submitted by Daniel]
The Fallen Album of the Year for 2021 is well represented by this track which beautifully illustrates the strength of this collaboration and the contrast between the two protagonists.

10. Khazad-dûm - "Transmuted" from "Hymns from the Deep" (2020) [submitted by Ben]
If you are a fan of the LoTR books or movies then you will recognise exactly what Khazad-dûm are aiming for - to use funeral doom to recreate the atmosphere of the dwarven mines from whence the band get their name, a task at which they have been supremely successful and no more so than on this brilliant track. Another criminally underappreciated album from the last couple of years.

11. Candlemass - "The Well of Souls" from "Nightfall" (1987)
A genuine classic of epic doom from the Swedish masters with Messiah in full flow. Epic doom doesn't get much beter than this!

12. Swallow the Sun - "Keep Your Heart Safe From Me" from "Moonflowers" (2021)
A real heartbreaker from one of the more emotionally-charged albums in metal.

13. Abandon - "Pitch Black Hole" from "The Dead End" (2009) [submitted by Sonny]
It kind of came out of nowhere and blew me away this one. A mix of sludge and funeral doom that really hits the spot for me.

14. Windhand - "Woodbine" from "Soma" (2013)
I fucking love that uber-fuzzed guitar tone on this album and Dorthia's washed-out vocals suit it just brilliantly. One of the best female-fronted doom metal albums out there.

15. My Dying Bride - "A Doomed Lover" from "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" (2004) [submitted by Ben]
My old pals are back on the playlist! Still, this is MDB at their best - fortunately Aaron Stainthorpe puts in a quite restrained vocal performance that doesn't overdo the ham. Builds really nicely too.

16. Ufomammut / Lento - "Infect Two" from "Supernaturals - Record One " (2007) [submitted by Daniel]
The January Fallen feature was pretty much universally praised by the membership and with damn good reason too. Black hole-density metal fused with space rock aesthetics for some truly mind-blowing astral projection.


1. Dawn of Solace - "Erase" from "Flames of Perdition" (2022)
2. Penance - "A Wayfarer's Tale" from "The Road Less Travelled" (1992) [Submitted by Sonny]
3. Neurosis - "Through Silver in Blood" from "Through Silver in Blood" (1996) [Submitted by Daniel]
4. High On Fire - "Return to NOD" from "Death is This Communion" (2007) [Submitted by Sonny]
5. Mournful Congregation - "As I Drown in Loveless Rain" from "The Monad of Creation" (2005) [Submitted by Ben]
6. Mansion - "Traitor's Dirge" from "Altar Sermon EP" (2015)
7. Counting Hours - "To Exit All False" from "The Will" (2020) [Submitted by Ben]
8. Thou - "Inward" from "Magus" (2018) [Submitted by Sonny]
9. Space Coke - "Bride of Satan" from "Lunacy" (2022)
10. Deathbell - "The Stronghold and the Archer" from "A Nocturnal Crossing" (2022) [Submitted by Sonny]
11. Paradise Lost - "Gothic" from "Gothic" (1991) [Submitted by Daniel]
12. Konvent - "Pipe Dreams" from "Call Down the Sun" (2022) [Submitted by Ben]
13. Messa - "Serving Him" from"Close" (2022) [Submitted by Ben]
14. Inter Arma - "The Survival Fires" from "Sky Burial" (2013)
15. Ahab - "The Hunt" from "The Call of the Wretched Sea" (2006) [Submitted by Daniel]


Firebreather - Dwell in the Fog (2022)

Firebreather are a Gothenburg stoner three-piece and Dwell in the Fog is their third full-length since forming in 2016. They play a heavy stoner metal with plenty of doom influence and an extra layer of heaviness added by incorporating a bit of Mastodon-like sludge, the most obvious comparison being High on Fire. It's not especially original but it is well done and undoubtedly it is heavy as fuck. It's six tracks all hover around the six minute mark with the album clocking in at just under forty minutes - a perfect length for an album of this type I would suggest. If you are a fan of well made, ultra-heavy stoner music looking for a new jam then Firebreather may well tick all your boxes.



One other thing - am I the only one who thinks that cover is creepy as fuck?

Quoted Sonny

Nope. It's genuinely squeemish.


When people talk of atmospheric metal releases they usually point to atmospheric sludge or atmo-black albums and it is true, these can both conjure up marvellous atmospheres. I particularly enjoy the natural world atmospherics of atmospheric black metal, be it the icy coldness of bands like Paysage d'Hiver and ColdWorld, the sweeping highland majesty of Saor or the awe-inspiring cosmic metal of Darkspace or Mare Cognitum. However, nothing expresses the atmosphere of the most fundamental forces of the natural world, such as heaving tidal forces, than funeral doom. At it's best it is overwhelming and implacable, either smothering or sweeping away all that stands before it in the same way that lava flows or tidal waves are capable of doing. German four-piece Ahab and their debut album The Call of the Wretched Sea, based on the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville from whence they get their name, is one of the great albums for summoning up the sensation of being out on the deep ocean and it's immense tidal forces, along with the interaction of Ahab with it's most huge and implacable denizen, the white whale Moby Dick himself. As we all know, Mastodon released their classic Leviathan album two years prior, but the fact that they both draw on the same source material is the only real connection and I don't think Leviathan had any influence on Call of the Wretched Sea at all. The Mastodon album is a straight-up narrative of storytelling whereas Ahab's aims for a more immersive and overwhelmingly tactile experience.

Funeral doom metal is not really for the impatient and will most likely always be a niche genre, particularly with the modern world's obsession with instant gratification and ADHD-like impatience in it's junkie-like hunt for that next dopamine hit. However, for those willing to invest the time and to surrender themselves to it's all-pervasive heaviness, funeral doom is ultimately one of the most rewarding of metal genres. Call of the Wretched Sea is one of the greatest examples of why and is one of the absolute peaks of funeral doom metal in my opinion. There is a genuine sensation while listening to this that forces way beyond our ken or ability to control are at large and that ultimately men are at the whim of these vast, unknowable forces. Whilst listening to this and indeed any truly great funeral doom, I feel like it registers on a physical level and can almost feel it's ebbing and flowing within my own bloodflow, such is the power of this music for me.

Despite being over an hour in length Call of the Wretched Sea never gets dull or overly repetitive as there is more than enough going on to keep things interesting, but it is never hurried and the tracks are allowed the time to develop in a natural and organic way. Funeral doom gets a reputation for being monolithic and eschewing riffs for huge chords, which can certainly be true, but here there are definitely some great riffs, albeit they are exceedingly slow, smothering, and crushingly heavy - check out the riff to The Sermon, it is basically an ultra-slow, mega-heavy sea shanty. Keyboards are used fairly subtly, but they add an extra layer to the already thick atmosphere that increases the cloying nature of the music and adds to the sensation of being dragged down to a watery grave in the lonely isolation of the vast and unforgiving ocean. Daniel Droste's subsonic growl further adds weight and sounds like some Cthulhian elder crooning into a drowning man's ear to just let go and surrender to the ocean's lure.

This is not just one of my favourite funeral doom albums, but one of my favourites of any genre, metal or otherwise and stands as testament to sheer unadulterated heaviness and almost palpable atmospherics.

5/5 classic status.


Yeah, "Bloodmoon: I" was my The Fallen Release Of The Year too. It grew on me so much with each successive listen which is a sign of its depth & character. It just oozes class, particularly the way it starts & finishes.

Well, this one is up there as one of my favorite Stoner Metal releases and I can't really add anything new from what everyone else has said. I will say that I think the length of this one really plays to its advantage, as most of the pinnacle Stoner/Doom Metal albums can be a bit of a slog when you're not in the mood for a full hour plus of music. At 40-minutes I found myself coming back to this one again and again throughout the month and it's incredibly, incredibly good.

Updated my list a bit. Decided to grant the Anathema & Pig Destroyer releases qualification after all.

Quoted Daniel

Just noticed you've got Electric Wizard's We Live in your top ten. Definitely EW's most underrated album and every bit as good as Dopethrone in my opinion. I think fans got too precious about Bagshaw and Greening leaving and Jus Osborne bringing his girlfriend, Liz Buckingham,  into the band so they turned their collective noses up at it.


There's a week remaining until we know which release earns itself the best cover of the year award for each clan. As I did last year, I'll be rating every cover for my clans, and I'll probably do The Guardians as well (they have the most consistently great covers in my opinion).

I've just finished rating all The Fallen releases, and it doesn't actually take very long to run a filter in Releases (you can even exclude covers you've already rated) and then rate the ones you like. I encourage you all to do the same so we get enough votes for the result to be somewhat "accurate".

It seems we might get a runaway winner for The Fallen?


Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I

I am partial to a bit of darkwave and Chelsea Wolfe has been my favourite exponent of the genre for the best part of the past decade or so, since hearing her 2013 Pain is Beauty album. During that time her music has darkened and become relatively heavier and my appreciation of her style has deepened with each subsequent release. Consequently, unlike most Academy members I suspect, I have approached this as a fan of Ms. Wolfe and not of Converge of whom I know very little, having always been put off by the various -core genre tags associated with them. As a result, I was a bit apprehensive that Chelsea had got herself associated to a bit of a dud, at least as far as I was concerned. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth and this collaboration works exceedingly well. I have no idea if this is typical of Converge's sound or not, but if it is then I have done them (and myself) a grave disservice for all this time by ignoring them as they come across as very Cult of Luna-ish, which is always welcome in my book.

While the album is definitely a genuine collaboration, it does seem to be more of a metal album than Chelsea Wolfe would normally produce, so feels like Converge were the dominant side of the partnership with their music being tempered by Chelsea's presence rather than being an equally divided recording. This is no bad thing and I'm guessing this was the natural way for the album to come about, without worrying about ego and  preciousness, the music coming first.

From the opening track, the almost eight minutes of Blood Moon, it is apparent that Chelsea Wolfe's gothic darkwave influence acts as the perfect temper for Converge's withering intensity, providing the moments within the music that allow it to breathe and offer some introspection rather than merely deploying relentless aggression which, for me personally, is a big plus as I find the sustained intensive aggression of metalcore and mathcore to be insufferable most of the time, but these gentler, more reflective parts provide contrast and context to the whirling maelstrom and make it much more effective as a result. Don't be misled though, there are still plenty of great riffs and metal moments - I'm particularly fond of the riff towards the end of Coil as the track peaks from the extended build-up. Chelsea's influence can also be felt on the crawling, Soundgarden-ish Flower Moon which also has a great riff and crunchy guitar sound as it ramps up the intensity for a real stand-out track. Flower Moon is followed by Tongues Playing Dead which sounds more like I imagine Converge to usually sound and, I must confess, if the whole album sounded like this track then I would struggle with it. Lord of Liars is similarly intense, but the presence of Chelsea Wolfe's clean vocal and the whirlwind guitar work make this a far superior number.

Anyway I have no intention of producing a track by track breakdown, suffice it to say that Bloodmoon:I provides far more variety and interest than I originally expected and although I certainly wouldn't say it's a perfect album, the protagonists, despite coming from very different directions, work well off one another and have combined to produce an album that should appeal to a large cross-section of fans of metal and more mainstream taste alike.

Solid 4/5, has potential to push itself up to a 4.5 with subsequent listens.



1. Trouble - "The Skull" (from "The Skull", 1985) [submitted by Daniel]
2. Novembers Doom - "The Pale Haunt Departure" (from "The Pale Haunt Departure", 2005) [submitted by Ben]
3. Lake of Tears - "Ominous One" (from "Ominous", 2021)
4. Slomatics - "Futurian" (from "Estron", 2014) [submitted by Sonny]
5. OM - "Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead" (from "Pilgrimage", 2007)
6. Erdve - "Smala" (from "Savigaila", 2021) [submitted by Sonny]
7. Divide and Dissolve - "Oblique" (from "Gas Lit", 2021) [submitted by Sonny]
8. Katatonia - "Without God" (from "Dance of December Souls", 1993) [submitted by Daniel]
9. Memento Mori - "The Monolith" (from "Rhymes of Lunacy", 1993)
10. Bongzilla - "Sundae Driver" (from "Weedsconsin", 2021)
11. Portrayal of Guilt - "Possession" (from "CHRISTFUCKER", 2021)
12. Gorge - "Nokomis" (from "Land Bridge" 2019)
13. Spaceslug - "Osiris" (from "Time Travel Dilemma", 2017)
14. Messa - "Da Tariki Tariqat" (from "Feast for Water", 2018) [submitted by Daniel]
15. Swallow the Sun - "This House Has No Home" (from "Moonflowers", 2021) [submitted by Ben]
16. Ilsa - "Nasty, Brutish" (from "Corpse Fortress", 2018) [submitted by Sonny]
17. Shape of Despair - "Reflection in Slow Time" (single, 2021) [submitted by Ben]
18. ISIS - "Celestial (The Tower)" (from Celestial , 2000) [submitted by Daniel]
19. Tyiptykon - "Aurorae" (from "Melana Chasmata", 2014) [submitted by Ben]
20. Spiritus Mortis - "The God Behind the God" (from "The God Behind the God", 2009) [submitted by Sonny]


Welcome, Deadxxy! It would be interesting to see which clan(s) you plan to choose instead of just The Fallen. Anyway, please feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forums and maybe even share a bit of your life in this thread: (unless you wanna keep it private of course). If you're feeling up to writing album reviews (which you can in the site), there are clan challenges for you to work on if you're up to earning a 4th clan. You can even create your own public lists compiling some of your favorite releases or albums suitable for a list. There are also monthly Spotify clan playlists to help you find good tracks from your clans whether you've heard them before or just discovered them. And finally, we have monthly feature releases for you to listen to and discuss with the other MA members, and if you're in the mood to contribute to the playlist track suggestions and feature release submissions, ask Daniel and he can add you to the rosters. Have a good metal time here!

This turned out to be a pretty strange list because, looking back, I really didn't listen to too many Fallen releases this year. And the ones that I enjoyed are definitely hybrids. Still a bunch of solid albums, though. 

  1. Hooded Menace - The Tritonus Bell
  2. Converge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I
  3. Papangu - Holoceno
  4. Cult of Luna - The Raging River
  5. The Ruins of Beverast - The Thule Grimoires
  6. The Flight of Sleipnir - Eventide
  7. Worm - Foreverglade
  8. Ophis - Spew Forth Odium
  9. Unto Others - Strength
  10. Dvne - Etemen Aenka

The slower tempos that are tradition in doom metal are surprisingly absent on Rapture's debut album. They feel more like rock grooves then metal ones. It makes guitar leads like the one on "This Is Where I Am" sound not too far off from classic Iron Maiden riffs! That being said, the instrumentation and the composition's do have more in common with the MDM subgenre as they incorporate plenty of polyphony between the death metal howls of the vocalist, and the pretty guitar leads. I would say texturally this record goes down super smooth; it has its formula and Futile are going to show everything that they have! 

I think that the fundamentals are solid, but do have a bit of an independence issue. The percussion is fairly solid in the mixing, but occasionally loses some of its momentum when it goes into autopilot on "While The World Sleeps". As for the bass, it is there, but again, independence from the rhythm guitars would have been more tasteful. A lot of doom metal records have a habit of falling into routine and never deviating away from that routine for long periods of time (see my Monolithe II review). Rapture do have some variety in their music, making it memorable during the last two tracks "Someone I (Don't) Know)" and "(About) Leaving). And more than likely helped popularize this style of gothic doom before Swallow the Sun.



Thoughts on the December's playlist's tracks:

01. Krux - "Black Room" (from "Krux", 2002)
Krux were one of Leif Edling's bands from outside of Candlemass Black Room is the opener on the first of their three albums and what a calling card it is. Love this track.

02. Crowbar - "The Lasting Dose" (from "Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form", 2001) [submitted by Daniel]
I have never had anything to do with Crowbar so I don't know how typical this is, but this really kicks vast quantities of ass.

03. Light Field Reverie - "Dreamwalker" (from "Another World", 2020) [submitted by Ben]
Contrary to popular belief I am not hard-wired to hating anything and everything even remotely gothic related so it may come as a shock when I say I found this track quite delightful, even though I am no fan of the album from which it comes.

04. Moanaa - "Inflexion" (from "Embers, 2021)
Pretty nice expression of the tension between the serenity of post-metal and the aggression of atmospheric sludge metal. There are bands who do this better, but it's not bad at all.

05. Haddock - "Captain Wolfe's Journey" (from "Captain Wolfe's Journey to the Center of the Sea", 2016) [submitted by Sonny]
Great, high-energy stoner metal from an underrated band.

06. Monolord - "The Siren of Yersinia" (from "Your Time to Shine", 2021) [submitted by Sonny]
Monolord have returned to some kind of form with Your Time to Shine, despite still not recovering to Vaenir's level of awesomeness, and this is my favourite track from the album.

07. Grief - "Come to Grief" (from Come to Grief, 1994) [submitted by Sonny]
Filthy, greasy and depraved sludgy doom metal that is exactly as it should be. When it kicks in it has a killer riff too.

08. Boris - "Huge" (from "Amplifier Worship", 1998)
Boris yet again supply the soundtrack to the end of the world.

09. Void of Silence - "Farthest Shores" (from "The Sky Over", 2018) [submitted by Ben]
I am a big fan of Italian doom and am already familiar with this album which is very solid indeed. This is a great track of mournful doom that may not be as crushing as some, but has a gorgeous atmosphere.

10. Adrift For Days - "The Leech" (from "The Lunar Maria", 2010) [submitted by Daniel]
Kind of cocky-sounding, bluesy stoner metal that smells of whiskey and cigarettes.

11. Saint Vitus - "Mystic Lady" (from "Hallow's Victim", 1985) [submitted by Daniel]
What can you say about Saint Vitus? One of the coolest guitar tones in metal and one of the most revered and iconic bands in the doom scene for good reason.

12. The Flight of Sleipnir - "Thaw" (from "Eventide", 2021) [submitted by Sonny]
The best track from one of my favourite's new album. Flight of Sleipnir deserve to be huge with their blackened vocals and memorable doom riffs. Is there such a thing as viking doom metal?

13. Ba'al - "Sepia" (from Reverence EP, 2019)
Chugging and throbbing sludge metal with a great riff. Not the greatest mix, but I love this track all the same.

14. Ophis - "Default Empty" (from "Spew Forth Odium", 2021) [submitted by Ben]
Superb example of melodic death doom. Sounds like MDB would if they omitted the gothicky bits and just stuck to doom.

15. My Dying Bride - "The Crown Of Sympathy" (from "Turn Loose The Swans", 1993) [submitted by Daniel]
Look, I really like the riffs but the sub-Hammer Horror theatrics that begin halfway through just makes me want to shout out "He's behind you!!" they are so pantomime-like. Please see previous track for how this style of death doom should be done.


I really enjoyed this one as it was much more complex and ethereal than the common sludgy/stoner album, propped up by a fantastic performance by Sara Bianchin and more jazzy influences like the always welcome sax solo in "Tulsi". While they don't necessarily riff as hard as other bands in their field, that's not necessarily Messa's focus, with most of my enjoyment coming out of the slower, more layered sections with a beautiful chord structure that gives Feast for Water an exquisite but still eerie sound. The overall theme of this album is properly supported the whole way through and while it does get a bit boring during tracks like "White Stains" and "The Seer", I appreciate the sound Messa are trying for. The guitar licks and melodies hearken back to old jazz and blues rhythms and are sufficiently dirty in their own right before transitioning into more sludgy distortion. A really cool pick for a feature and one that I'll have to go back to. 



I think you've turned all of us into Warning fans over the past couple of years. :yum:

Quoted Ben

Yeah I didn't mind Warning prior to that but my last revisit blew my mind. The vocals were always a problem for me but they finally clicked & WOH!!!!! "Footsteps" isn't one of my top few songs from the album (I prefer the title track, "Bridges" & "Echoes" which are pretty much perfect examples of the doom metal genre in my opinion) but it's still a damn fine piece in its own right which is a clear indication of the consistent strength of the album overall.


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Sonny in October 2022 - "The Fallen" Playlist - Metal Academy Radio at 30.09.2022 11:21 PM:
Sonny in Past The Fallen playlist tracklistings at 30.09.2022 11:18 PM: October 20221. Sky Pig - "The Scag" ...
Sonny in The Sludge Metal Thread at 30.09.2022 11:05 PM: Much like yourself Daniel, I had nev...
Sonny in REVIEW DRAFT - The Fallen at 30.09.2022 10:49 PM: I will take the Floor album Ben as t...
Daniel in The Sludge Metal Thread at 30.09.2022 09:30 PM: Eyehategod - "Dopesick" (1996)Every ...
Daniel in REVIEW DRAFT - The Fallen at 30.09.2022 09:01 PM: Nice choice Ben. "Nighttime Birds" i...
Ben in REVIEW DRAFT - The Fallen at 30.09.2022 08:49 PM: Since I get first pick this month, I...
Ben in REVIEW DRAFT - The Fallen at 30.09.2022 08:45 PM: Time for another Review Draft for Th...
Daniel in Metal Academy Radio Playlist Suggestions - The Fallen Edition at 30.09.2022 08:43 PM: Here are my submissions for the Nove...