Musically speaking, doom metal and black metal are miles apart. One is a genre that relies on a bass heavy tone and slow droning pace. While the other is often treble high, rapid and rabid. Despite their differences musically, ideologically they are not that far apart. Both the genres deal with dark subject matters. Both are known to envelope the listener in a sombre and gloomy atmosphere. So now, we’ll take a look at a couple of songs from both the genres, from bands that thin the line of difference between the genres under consideration.
Aberration Nexus – The Solvent that Cleanses the Earth
Aberration Nexus is a band that I’ve covered in another webzine and to the uninitiated; this is a one man project from Australia that puts many black metal bands of today to shame. The band is known for its raw nature and the ravaging atmosphere shrouding the music.
The band’s new single, ‘The Solvent that Cleanses the Earth’, builds up slowly as if the tune is emanating from the deep bowels of earth itself. The song has a slow, droning pace in the beginning. Not a lot of black metal bands can keep it slow and also interesting at the same time. That is not a problem here as the thick atmosphere, treble high guitar and a song writing that has a steady groove – all fall together perfectly. The song is not slow throughout, as halfway through mayhem ensues for a short period with the guitar going tremolo happy.
The flow of the song from atmospheric black with a sludgey pace to manic tremolo mayhem and then back again to the sludgey pace is executed in a way that it doesn’t sound contrived. Chris Meyer, once again keeps it original while also keeping the music within familiar territories.
Stark Denial – Hyllest til Kulten (Tribute to the Cult)
If you prefer your black metal Norwegian, then Stark Denial’s new single should be right up your alley. This band from India, dedicates this track to the late Øystein Aarseth AKA Euronymous, of Mayhem.
The track starts with a haunting atmosphere and the drums slowly fill in with a beat fit for a battlefield. The band doesn’t shy away from showcasing a steady melody in the guitar riffs. The vocals are snarled and they sound quite sickening. This is a track which is quite straight forward in its structuring and execution.
Though short and simple, the track manages to leave a lasting impression with its melodic approach to black metal.
The Gardnerz – Exiting Reality (Part I and II)
Alright, I lied about covering two doom metal tracks on this article. Rather it’s two parts of one song, called ‘Exiting Reality’ by Swedish doomsters, The Gardnerz. You might recognize the name, this is yet again a band we’ve covered earlier.
The track kicks off with a sweet drum roll, followed by a slow riff that carries a flavour of dread. This is a flavour that remains constant throughout the length of the track. Vocals here are a good mix of mid range growls and low, baritone-ish cleans in the chorus. The track carries enough variation to keep a listener engaged throughout its long length (almost 12 minutes including part 2), and not too much that it takes a toll on the memorable-ness. If you know this band, then you’d know that their riffs have a certain unconventionality to them. The riffs here are no different. Though the song is surely doom, the guitar work carries slight overtones from traditional metal.
The second part of the song continues where the first left off (Duh!). In comparison, the second part is a tad bit more faster parts and it carries a more occult theme. In addition to the growls and the cleans, this part exhibits a section of snarled vocals reminiscent of what one might typically hear in a black metal track. What is common to both the parts is the heavy bass presence, as is expected from a doom metal band. While the guitar embarks on a path meant to intrigue the listener, the bass lines do a solid job in holding a steady mesmerizing groove.
Overall, ‘Exiting Reality’ is a track that has all the elements that make up a good and intriguing doom metal number.