7 Doom Bands You Shouldn't Ignore (Part 3)
Since you seemed to dig the first two installments of this article so much that I decided to make a third. In light of all that I had seen at Psycho Las Vegas this year, in conjunction with the great doom bands I've seen in and around Brooklyn since I penned the last installment of this piece I've come to realize that there are a few bands who need some light shined on them.
As with previous editions, most of these bands are unsigned or among the smallest groups on their labels, this is intentional, I do enough Yob worship in my day to day. (My wifi password is Yobislove, #facts) Point being – if you're looking for some of the latest exciting doom discoveries of some nerd trawling the internet you have come to the right place!
I know they've been quiet for a while but I have it on good authority that Pilgrim are planning on coming back in a big way in 2017. I've been in love with this band since their first European tour way back in 2013. They have a certain inherent majesty that comes across in songs like “Masters Chamber” and “Misery Wizard” They are one of those groups who revel in the sort of antediluvian might of the genre and are only just starting to realize their true potential. Watching a band with that kind of sense of momentum live is always a pleasure and I get the impression that with their new material things will be taken to the next level. Metal Blade darlings through and through they should be set to do great things in the near future.
This is another band who I only got back into recently. I reviewed their most recent offering on some blog or another, but it was seeing them live at Psycho Las Vegas that really got me. Psycho was their only ever US performance and it was nothing short of awe inspiring – reminding me why I regularly contemplate moving back to Europe. Their powerful melodies, stoner metal riffs and desperate shouted vocals make Tombstones the complete package. On top of that – they have one of the best drummers in all of the genre – a dude who adds a ton of flavor to the music. Now with the addition of another guitar player the bands sound has become even more expansive and suggests to me that they might be able to take over the doom world. Given how hard they've been going it seems like its about time.
5. Spirit Adrift
As crazy as it sounds, Pallbearer's driver is also the mastermind behind one of the greatest doom records of the year. Spirit Adrift is the brainchild of Nate Garret, a dude who is also known for his work in Gatecreeper. The riffs are absolutely top notch and Garret showcases a wonderful sense of melody throughout his work. He's another one of those guys who manages to conjure up so much more than I ever thought possible with a fairly straightforward brand of doom. Like many of his peers on this list though you can clearly see where Spirit Adrift is trying to evolve – towards ever more refined and more perfectly executed doom metal. 20 Buck Spin did good in signing this particular project because things are only going to move forward from here.
4. Year Of No Light
I had to double check that I hadn't written about these guys before on this column because I have been a fan for years. Year Of No Light are an instrumental doom group who have just started to break onto the American scene, with a West Coast tour last year and rumors of more to come. I think that people don't totally understand the sheer compositional talent of this band, they are taking an already very simple genre, stripping it down further and then ending up with one of the most exciting sounds to ever grace the genre. Their music is a full on wash of crushing chords, demented forward motion replete with supplications to an older, perhaps greater time. In other words – Year Of No Light are developing the entire doom polemic in their own very exciting way, clearly aware that they are on track to produce some truly great things in the near future.
3. Ides Of Gemini
I am aware that massive sounding female fronted doom is all the rage right now. I understand that it's especially prevalent on the west coast too, but that doesn't change the fact that Ides Of Gemini are wonderfully unique and extremely fucking heavy. With a recent lineup change after a bit of stagnation the band is on track to produce some of their most impressive material yet. A stunning Psycho Las Vegas set started to show us what exactly Ides Of Gemini is capable of and now that they have come out into the light it's impossible to not bend the knee. Ides Of Gemini are doom metal titans, but also dudes and dudettes who are able to refine some truly exciting and innovative sounds out of their overwhelming soundscapes. This is a band to watch over the next few years, things are about to get heavy.
2. Cultes Des Ghoules
Despite the French name, Cultes Des Ghoules are in fact Polish and, by Odin, do they rule. With the same sort of wide open guitar tone that made Bathory great, truly devilish vocals and some otherworldly songwriting, Cultes Des Ghoules can't help but to leave you in awe. While a lot of modern doom is based around ideas of majesty and beauty, Cultes Des Ghoules love all that is evil, looking back to older, forgotten gods, ones who maybe didn't have the best interests of humanity at heart. I've always loved bands who conjure up some true antediluvian evil in their sound and Cultes Des Ghoules is one such band, a group who are just outlandishly twisted – to the point that at times it almost feels like an HP Lovecraft story come to life. They cackle lurch and conjure their way through their latest offering, Henbane, and leave you terrified of what more is to come.
I'll be honest – I pitched this article because I wanted to write about Khemmis. Yeah some of the other bands on this list are new discoveries or bands that I've only recently come back to but this band takes the cake. Like seriously – holy shit. Khemmis's record Hunted is one of the best metal records to ever come out and from what I can tell they re only going to get better from here. This is a band who aren't just crazy good, but also have the same sort of air of greatness that Pallbearer had before them. They are the sort of project that seem to be pushing the eternal power of the heavy and are capable of producing so much more than the magic they have already invoked. Khemmis understand the fundamental power of doom – the glory the genre can have and seem doomed to create so much more.