Doom had never really been on my radar. Sure I’d heard some Black Sabbath, and a few Candlemass tracks but I never sought out more.
What a fool!
My favourite release of January was Garganjua ‘s Toward the Sun. I thought of it more as post-rock than I did doom.
Listening again, upon hitting the halfway point of the first song, The New Sun, I believe any doom fan will appreciate the absolutely massive riffage.
I bought it instantly after my first play-through and it’s up there with my most played vinyl. My collection is small but that doesn’t diminish my point.
Earlier this year Loviatar released their debut album, Lightless, after a string of EPs and singles.
I don’t know what convinced me to hit play on a doom record, but the purpose of this project is to listen to new music so why not also dip my toes in a new genre, right?
While only six tracks long, this clocks in at close to 40 minutes. I didn’t realise this pattern is common in doom at the time.
I also didn’t realise at the time that these six tracks would give me a really good feel for the breadth of the genre as a whole.
Loviatar uses classic doom as a base and build upon that with soaring, emotive clean leads, inventive drum composition and tempo changes to keep things fresh.
I find myself going back to this album consistently since first listening in April.
Come August and it seems like everyone is masturbating furiously over some band called Atramentus who are about to drop their debut album.
On further inspection, I learn it’s a funeral doom project with music initially written in 2012, based around a fantasy concept.
Again, I did not expect to be into funeral doom, and I’m still on the fence, to be honest.
Stygian by Atramentus is one of the heaviest and most brutal records I’ve heard and definitely the slowest.
Because the tracks take so long to build up, there is time and space to actually build and for the suspense to grow with each new layer or change introduced.
The concept, with all the little touches to sell it, really makes this record stand out for me.
I’ve dipped my toes in a bunch of different doom since, including spending time with Bell Witch and the discographies of both YOB and Pallbearer.
As well as those three, here are some other bands I’ve learned I enjoy:
That last one, by Ahab, is a masterpiece by the way. The drumming on that album blows me away.
Whether you have been a fan of doom for a long time, or if you are new to the genre like me, I’m keen to hear suggestions based on things I like above.
Caveat: I’ve not been keen on the stoner doom stuff I’ve heard.
I guess the moral of the story here is that I’m an idiot for not expanding my musical experiences sooner, but what better genre to get into as you age gracelessly than doom metal?