Tag Archives: Stoner Metal
My love affair with Spiritual Beggars started back in 2010 when ex-Firewind singer Apollo Papathanasio joined the lineup, with myself being a fan of his works while he was in Firewind. While Return to Zero was a simple, rather straightforward hard rock album, Earth Blues saw Spiritual Beggars incorporate some elements of psychedelia into their sound, which left me rather excited when the band announced their ninth full length album earlier this year, Sunrise to Sundown. The beautiful artwork hinted towards an even more psychedelic direction, but is it a hint towards the band’s musical direction?
Bevar Sea [India]
Invoke the Bizarre
The Mighty Riff Records
My journey with stoner/doom metal this week brings me to India, where my only encounters thus far have been interesting, from the melodic extreme metal of Demonic Resurrection to the illustrious storytelling of heavy metallers Albatross. Having heard of Bevar Sea a couple of times now, coupled with my pretty long-running interest in the stoner/doom metal genre, it is impeccable timing that the band drops their sophomore full length album, Invoke the Bizarre.
88 Mile Trip [Canada]
Through the Darkest Haze
Here’s some stoner rock out of the country known more for their technical death metal outfits and the bludgeoning war metal scene, Canada. 88 Mile Trip this year releases their debut full length album, Through the Darkest Haze, and even before listening to a single note of the band, the trippy artwork had already fully captivated me.
Psychedelic Stoner/Doom Metal
My current run of infatuation with the stoner/doom metal genre has resulted in me discovering bands that I would have otherwise not have heard of, including those with such exotic names as Skraeckoedlan. Sagor is the Swedish fuzz-rock’s sophomore full length album, and in my quest to find more atmospheric/ambient, the artwork on the album certainly catches my eye.
Behold! The Monolith [USA]
Architects of the Void
Architects of the Void may be American stoner/doom metal outfit Behold! The Monolith‘s third full length release to date, yet it is only on this album that I finally encounter the band. Initially expecting a thrash record with the band’s futuristic, thrash-inspired logo (think Havok, Bonded by Blood et. al), Behold! The Monolith instead presents a crushing and heavy tone on Architects of the Void, and the band couldn’t be further from the first impression one may get from the visual aesthetics.
Tee Pee Records
Psychedelic Rock/Doom/Stoner Metal
From the label that brought you bands like Sacri Monti, comes yet another psychedelic act, FOGG and their debut full length album High Testament. The psychedelic album artwork already promises a trippy affair, and the music certainly lives up to the first impressions that the band gives off.
I remember the year that I first discovered the blooming stoner/doom metal scene in Italy, with Prehistoric Pigs being one of the first that I listened to before chancing upon their compatriots such as King Bong, Throne and more. Wormhole Generator left a deep impression on me with the band’s relentless, crushing style of instrumental stoner/doom metal, and when I finally received the band’s follow up, this year’s Everything is Good in my inbox, I was excited and ready for more suffocating stoner instrumental doom.
Medusa Crush Recordings
Boasting a fusion of 70s rock-based guitar and modern sludge metal, Twingiant comes crashing out of Arizona with their sophomore full length album, Devil Down. The thing about stoner bands these days is the tendency to lean towards matters of weed and other psychoactive drugs (Weedeater, Acid King), or what one would probably see or experience when high (or stoned, for that matter). Twingiant is no different, with a slight devilish touch, making Devil Down a promising release.
Riti Occulti [Italy]
Since encountering Riti Occulti on their 2012 eponymous debut album, I have been rather fascinated with the band and their concept, not only through the fact that they make use of no guitars and multiple vocalists, but also in the output that they produce through this rather unique lineup. This year marks the return of the band with their sophomore full length album, Secta, and despite it being only 2 years, as one would easily notice, Secta marks a tremendous growth of the band compared to their 2012 debut.
Kicking off with the operatic Nigredo, the band sets a stage that is dark and haunting for the listeners, before going into Plumbum, with a soundscape that is rather epic and atmospheric, not unlike that of ambient black metal bands such as Summoning with the simplistic yet majestic drumming of Ivano. The usage of the saxophones on the track even give it a slight Ihsahn feel, combined with the slow pace and the emotions that are roused in the listener.
Soon enough though, it is business as usual for the band as one is treated to a nice combination of black, stoner and doom metal. The foundation of Riti Occulti‘s style is clear, and draws inspiration from bands such as Electric Wizard, down to the original doom stylistics of bands like Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, but they have included over here some other elements to make their sound stand out from the plethora of stoner/doom releases that are not flooding the scene. There is the synths of Sara who shrouds the record in a constant fog of mystery, and the bass of Niccolo, which is probably the main driver of the record considering the lack of guitars on the album. A good choice though, with the low-end growl of the instrument ensuring that one is constantly left gasping for air.
The vocals are the personal highlights on the album, and rather than being just a means of lyric-delivery, the band makes clever use of the vocal duo to reinforce the entire listening experience of Secta. Elisabetta provides the clean, female vocals on the album, and she provides some of the haunting effects, seemingly drifting in and out of the album like a ghost wandering aimlessly in an abandoned chapel. This is complemented by the growls/screams of Serena, pushing the limits of one’s sanity with the disturbance that the duo manage to conjure.
Too bad this album was only discovered recently, but with the quality and the mastery of the music that Riti Occulti has written on their sophomore, Secta could have very well been my personal stoner/doom metal record of last year.