Alternate Doomensions is a new segment that focuses on the slower and murkier side of heavy metal and will hopefully be your guide into alternate dimensions. Read and enjoy!
Hailing from Seattle, Washington is Year of the Cobra and with them they bring their recently released EP titled The Black Sun. With Year of the Cobra you get a mash up of buzzing doom and stoner rock. There are three songs that make an appearance on this EP and each song mixes the stoner rock elements and doom elements very well giving you plenty of variation and never the same sound twice. Through each song you will get a slow buzzing onslaught of doom but quickly transition into a romping psychedelic good time with a faster tempo brought to you by the rock elements. The Black Sun is a buzzing machine woven out of fuzz and enough psychedelics to knock a grown man on his back. Each song is mystical, intriguing and entirely catchy without really meaning to be. You sooner rather than later find yourself singing along and nodding your head to these fuzz lined songs. A lot of doom has an innate ability to draw you in and make you stay a while, and that is what this EP does as well. Each song is accompanied by powerful jarring riffs, a bass that just never quits, tight drumming and vocals that are both sweet on the ears and yet powerful at the same time. Every song on The Black Sun wafts through the air passing through your ears and infecting you with a fair amount of buzzing catchy tunes that get you hooked from note one. The Black Sun is an infectious piece and whether you find yourself submerged in deep soundscapes of psychedelia or just plain rocking out to the heavy and hard rocking stoner rock components, this EP really is infectious and works itself right to the center of your brain. Year of the Cobra does a great job weaving the two different styles together to create a sound that makes you want to press play again and again.
Emerging from the Underworld comes Navajo Witch and with them they bring their newest offering Ghost Sickness. Ghost Sickness sports nine soul corrupting, demon summoning songs that make you have a change of heart and scorch the earth. Navajo Witch dabbles in the dark arts and thrive in the writhing darkness. The more bleak and grim the better for these doom slingers. Ghost Sickness drags you into place devoid of all light and makes your mind wander to the darker recesses of the world. For the most part Ghost Sickness brings you darkened dirges of doom, but when they need to they drag you across burning coals with a speedier romping tempo. Whichever sound and speed that you do get you can guarantee that it will be entirely lethal. Each song is poisonous and permeates the air until it infects your soul and causes permanent damage. Through the entirety of this release, black magic and occult wizardry pours out of your speakers in startling amounts. Once entering the realm of Navajo Witch, you can’t find your way out as it is a maze filled with harmful buzzing riffs, an obese bass, a drum performance that cracks the ground and harsh vocals that command the undead. Peppered throughout every song to compliment the fuzz lined riffs are sickening solos that break up the onslaught of purely murky sounds. As far as the vocals are concerned you do get some variation as the vocalist switches between a gravely scream to an unearthly growl that awakens spirits and raises the dead. Ghost Sickness takes you to places that only spirits generally roam and walk you through darkened yet mystical abysses that are all encompassing. If you dare to walk among the spirits or if you are just looking for some blistering doom you don’t have to look much further than Navajo Witch.
Pillars of Evolution was released at the very beginning of the year, and for Oregon dwellers Ape Cave, it is a great way to kick the new year off. Pillars of Evolution is a murky and sludge filled statement. The entirety of this release is packed to its bursting point with heavy and thick doom. Wading through Pillars of Evolution would be just like wading through a pool of molasses. Each of the eight songs are thick and riddled with psychedelic noise. Through and through, this release is a wall of sound, one that pummels you from all angles and never lets up. Pillars of Evolution works well as a hallucinogen as well, as it takes you through great soundscapes and makes you feel as though you are on a prophetic journey through a desert. There isn’t a minute that goes by where you aren’t bombarded by heavy murky sounds that submerge you straight into the music itself. Pillars of Evolution is a behemoth, and standing up to it would be futile as you end up succumbing to the shear weight that it bears. Upon listening you get tasked with the challenge of keeping your mind intact and your brain from rattling directly out of your skull. Ape Cave lays the fuzz on thick and when you feel you have had enough, they bombard you with more suffocating fuzz and buzz. The majority of the release leans toward the murky and sludge filled side of things, but ever now and then you get funky sounds that induce hallucinations. The writhing riffs, heavy thunderous bass lines, solid somersaulting drumming and the roaring vocals are the only drugs that you need here to completely submerge you in the music. This effort is a solid mass of hallucinogenic doom that sticks with you.
Looking at the cover above, one can gather that it will be somewhat majestic and all encompassing, and that is exactly what Live From the Abyss is. Live From the Abyss is a free floating instrumental effort that tumbles you under waves and drags you under into the dark unknown of the almighty ocean. Dark is the Water provides you with plenty of mystical blue soundscapes and submerges you deep below to swim among the ocean life. As unknown as the deep blue is, Live From the Abyss doesn’t make you feel as though you are in danger as you are floating and tumbling through the waves. Instead this release takes you on a journey through the many reaches of the depths and engulf you in wonder. This release is three songs long, but with the long run times that each song sports, you get vivid soundscapes and a chance to explore long lost ruins of a long deserted underwater city. This ride is one that is low and slow and tows you along allowing you to float and submerge yourself completely. Each riff is injected with the right amount of psychedelia, the bass lines are thick and forceful and the drums are solid and tight. A lot of doom supplies you with dark imagery and burning buzzing guitars that jar your brain right out of your skull, but with Dark is the Water you get the lighter side of the genre. Live From the Abyss is a great instrumental release that really immerses you in the music and makes you feel as though you are floating among the ocean creatures. Take a listen and allow your mind to wander into lost ruins and explore dark reaches of the depths.