Nephilim Grove marks the American death doom giants, Novembers Doom’s 30th anniversary. Indeed, an infrequent feat (at least these days) to celebrate. Thirty years of firm, ferocious and fanciful activity, breaking necks as well as breaking hearts. Having been released on November 1st, the album insinuates, all so subtly, the symbolic capacity that it possesses: the quintessence of the band’s career or their next step on their path… or maybe simultaneously both?
Carcinoid are a fun band to me, there’s something inherently goofy about it without it actually being a joke. This is raw af sludgeoned black death doom metal that will do things you haven’t really heard before, like absurdly clean bass tones and unexpected lofi melody. It’s not very accessible though, perhaps only existing for the sake of the most nihilistic and misanthropic metalheads around. There’s just so much sludge and generally ominous shit, this isn’t supposed to be accessible or palatable. It will be a sure hit for those like myself who enjoy super abrasive death doom, which is a lot of the metal cassette community.
Is this Treebeards band? The vocals deadset sound like they’re coming for a colossal fucking tree. I shit you not. OAK are a death doom duo from Portugal and this is Lone, their debut LP featuring the artwork of Paolo Gerardi. There’s a strong presence with OAK that I think has carried over from their experience writing black metal songs in the band Gaerea. While it is certainly death doom, it is sometimes coated in black influence – particularly the song structure and vocal execution. Lone will be a memorable late year release many doom heads will take with them into 2020.
I had an epiphany during the opening track, “Archaic Vision Of Despair”, that death doom is supposed to be a combination of death metal into doom metal but in reality it’s mostly death growls over doom instrumentals. Well in this case the instrumentation brings a strong sense of death riffery but with a sludgy twist. It feels old school, it reminds me of some solid shit out of the late 90s and early 00s of death doomdom. Like all good music, this sounds like descending into the mouth of madness. Well, madness is a mixed bag.
This is how I like my death metal, with a healthy dose of Aussie doom. It’s becoming that kind of place, the kind of country that needs doom to seep through the cracks in the bleach white wall of the Starbucks joined to an Apple store. There’s plenty of pent up rage on this island just waiting for the chance to crush the ‘surface’. This is raw, heavy and real. This is probably one of the filthiest death releases this year. For fans of death like The Chasm and Autopsy and death doom like Swallow The Sun. The balance is really good here, leaning into death heavily.