Review: Churchburn – None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery

Cover Artwork

Label: Armageddon Shop

None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery is an album every bit as heavy as you’d hope, what with a title like that. The latest record from Churchburn is 45 minutes of aural punishment, filled with tar-drenched sludge riffs, an aura of extreme doom malevolence, and shot through with crust-inspired dirt. It’s the sound of veteran musicians who are masters of their craft, using all their experience to summon up the sounds of hurt and viciousness, with the end results being as impressive as they are crushing.

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Review: Abstracter – Cinerous Incarnate


Label: Tartarus Records / Sentient Ruin Laboratories / Vendetta Records / I, Voidhanger Records / Daymare Recordings

One of the real joys of underground music is watching bands develop before our eyes, going from promising early releases to albums that more than live up to expectations. Such is the case with the latest album from AbstracterCinerous Incarnate. The band have evolved, building on their earlier sounds, bringing further elements of noise and dark ambient to their already soul-crushing fusion of doom, black, death, and crust. It makes Cinerous Incarnate an album of utter despair and world-ending heaviness, filled with the kind of riffs that can collapse buildings and an atmosphere of the most haunting, searing dread.

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Review: Frayle – The White Witch


Label: Seeing Red Records / Lay Bare Recordings

It approaches, slowly; shrouded in mist, moving with feline grace, the music of Frayle comes forward like a spirit, though whether it is avenging or angelic is unclear. The White Witch is  simultaneously of heaven and hell; of grace and destruction; of the most terrible devastation, and the most redemptive blessings. Though it may be defined in large part by crushing, glacial riffs, and a sense of weight that plants it firmly within doom metal, this EP also draws from some unexpected influences, making it a record that feels true to the genre whilst also taking it in new directions, and is quite a wonder to behold.

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Album of the Day: Spiral Skies – Blues For A Dying Planet


Label: AOP Records

Blues for a Dying Planet is an album for those who like their metal to remember where it came from. The debut album from Spiral Skies is rooted in the sounds of yesterday, but manages to take its classic influences – with early metal being a prime part of that, but also folk and blues featuring prominently – and create occult rock that sounds exciting, invigorating these old sounds with new lifesblood. It’s a hugely enjoyable record, packed full of catchy hooks, strong melodies, and incredibly charismatic vocals.

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Review: Petrichor – No Silver Lining: A Return to Rain


Label: Self-released

It’s been a few years since the release of Rain in 2016, and a few things have changed in that time with Petrichor. The Yorkshire-based doom band are now closing one chapter and starting another, and to mark this change are releasing No Silver Lining: A Return to Rain. As the title suggests, No Silver Lining is something of a revised version of the original Rain album, featuring one new track and re-worked versions of four songs from the original. It’s a brave, bold move – and one the band admit they will make no money from – and is not only a fine companion piece to Rain, but also a strong record in its own right that bodes well for the future of the band.

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Review: King Goat – Debt of Aeons


Label: Aural Music

Long ago, back in the mists of time, a little band called Candlemass released an album called Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. It went on to be pretty influential, and there’s a lot of doom bands out there who sound a bit like Candlemass. Now, King Goat don’t sound like Candlemass; their brand of doom is more expansive and progressive, with open vistas and sights that will sear themselves upon your soul. But what Debt of Aeons has in common with Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is that first word – epic. Debt of Aeons is an album that sounds and feels absolutely massive, as if it were the chronicle of some profound, deeply personal journey. It is heart-wrenching in a way few doom albums are, and is within touching distance of greatness.

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Album of the Day: Slomatics / Conan – Split


Label: Black Bow Records

Originally released seven years ago, the split between sonter/drone/doom legends Conan and psychedelic doom explorers Slomatics is seeing a reissue on vinyl in June. It’s a fine split, and one that has been reissued several times before, but it still has a lot to offer, given that it’s the kind of record that’s perfectly summed up by the cover art of a warrior riding a snail – it’s slow, it’s heavy, and it’s incredibly powerful.

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