He had been AWOL for a bit; a couple of years perhaps, but he has returned to the fold in November! And has done so in the most glorious and heaviest of ways! We’re talking about Steve Woodier, responsible for the Deathrattle Podcast and the absolute heaviest of choices that are submitted to the Doom Charts on a monthly basis. If it’s filth you need? Grime? Black? Death? Anything grubby or growly? Steve Woodier is your man! And you need to listen to the Deathrattle Podcast… And yes, we all shudder at the thought of what his house may look like listening to all that soiling metal! Best of wishes to ‘Deathrattle’ Woodier! Here is his Dirty Dozen for 2021 and may he keep it all as filthy as possible in 2022!
20 years on and Ophis, the Greek word for snake, like a dark cloud drifting across a full moon, has lost none of its ability to bring forth gloom where there was once light. Six lamentations of morose doom death contagion shroud the new album Spew Forth Odium in a sallow, sickly pallor. Six Pallbearers hunched under a leaden casket.
Ophis occupies the middle ground of funereal doom with leanings toward Evoken but without the chilling misty layer of keyboards, and My Dying Bride minus the black lace veiled riffs of the band from West Yorks. Instead, Ophis delivers a more straightforward (viral) strain of doom, the tracks are lengthy and varied and the guitars are in the main full and heavy, matching a punishing rhythm section and, of course, carried along by the obligatory growling vocal delivery.
‘The Necronaut’ by Costa Ricans Crypt Monarch, has hoisted its immense bulk head and shoulders above the rest. It’s the guitar tone that’s done it for me, moist and saturated in so much fuzz that if you could squeeze each track, gelatinous riffs would drip through your fingers. I like my doom in all its various forms and there is a surprising amount of diversity out there but if I could become Frankenstein for a day and mould together various bloated doom body parts, it would evolve into the corpulent stoner doom entity that Crypt Monarch has become.
As you would expect, ‘The Necronaut’ isn’t a rollercoaster ride, instead, saddle up this Jurassic monolith and let the droning momentum take you where it will.
Stoner doom riffs spitting sludge and acid before collapsing in on itself under the immense weight.
It takes a special album for a band to rise above the others and be noticed. Kal-El has done it by adding an ingredient I haven’t come across too often in the doom genre, a sense of elation. It’s the harmonies that do it for me, it’s really magical the way the soaring vocals hitch a ride on some of the smoothest yet heaviest stoner doom riffs ever laid before the Sabbathian altar. Elephant Tree touched on it with their track ‘Bird,’ but that’s one track in a fantastic album in its own right, Dark Majesty is chock full of ‘Bird’s.’
WITHERED WITCH – INFINITE VOID
I started playing this and my innards fell out of my a**e! Bottomless doom with limitless hate.
CANNIBAL CORPSE – VIOLENCE UNIMAGINED
One of the most consistent of death metal bands. Never has brutality sounded so groovy, with riffs as fresh as the air from a recently exhumed casket.
RESTLESS SPIRIT – BLOOD OF THE OLD GODS
The stoner doom foundation comes down hard, licks cut deep, encapsulated by a heavy/hard rock crunch.
Blood soaked riffs twisting and tightening like a tourniquet around your neck. Eye bulge, tongue swells before the noxious doom death atmosphere sucks the last, gasping breath from your throat.
SAPROBIONTIC – APOCALYPTIC RETRIBUTION
Never has something as corpulent as this album moved so fast. If these guys entered a ‘Drag the Bloated Corpse’ race, they’d grab first place every time, but then again, maybe not seeing as they wouldn’t be able to stop playing with it.
DARK REDEEMER – INTO THE DEEP BLACK
The rise of the zombie horde! Frenzied death metal with a caustic HM-2 sound backed up with keyboards for added horror.
HELLLIGHT – UNTIL THE SILENCE EMBRACES
Dark, endless, psalms of sorrow to play at your wake. Each track pays homage to your bereavement.
ANIMALESCO, o METODO – ANIMALESCO, o METODO
Picking away at the crusty scabrous top layer reveals a snarling, rabid and thoroughly relentless death grind mass punished by Godly Celtic Frost style breakdowns.