Moving and grooving to the riff as well as whatever compels them is Horehound and coming up with them through the many dimensions of doom and sludge is their self titled release. Within this self titled record you will find plenty of free forming riffs with plenty of groove that helps your mind wander through whatever doors and corridors it so chooses. Horehound bring something to the table that is altogether hypnotizing and as heavy as their record is, it is also serene and calming all at the same time. While you are headbanging to the heavier rhythms of this release you also feel a certain level of calm wash over you and you feel that your mind is free to do whatever it so pleases to do. It is an interesting balance that Horehound have seemed to conquer and they use that balance to its fullest extent to create a listen that is intriguing and unique. At certain times you can find yourself being pelted with the more down trodden heavier sounds that Horehound provides and in the blink of an eye you will be listening to something that is entirely more calming; well relatively more calming since this release is massively heavy. Regardless of what is going on and what heavy sound you hear from one song to the next, the statement remains that this self titled release is heavy. Each song is filled with buzzing skull numbing riffs, heavy rumbling bass lines, chest pounding drumming and the most serene thing on this entire record are the dissonant angelic vocals. Until the final song where harsher vocals are deployed to crash your ear drums, the angelic vocals waft through the air and have you follow them through the misty doom and stoner metal that is being played. Overall, this release is highly memorable and one that gets you hooked right from the beginning, and even though this is doom, Horehound keep the songs relatively short and heavy and hard hitting to drive their songs right into your brain. Horehound and their self titled release is unique and well worth numerous listens.
Just like there is the lighter side of doom that takes you on psychedelic trips and mystical journeys through the subconscious, there is the darker side of doom as well that wants to make you suffer and see you squirm and be as uncomfortable as possible. With that being said, Bethmoora is on the latter side of things. With their two track demo, they show you just how upsetting and startling the darker side of doom can be. As said, there are only two songs here but together they create a twenty-six minute dirge of insanity and utter darkness. Instead of taking you to acid trip wastelands, Bethmoora takes you to the darker side of your subconscious and have you come face to face with your very own demons. This release is harrowing and shrouds you in uncertainty and plagues you with doubt and disastrous and detrimental thoughts. Like a snake this demo slithers into your mind only to take a strangle hold on it pumping doom filled venom inside of your mind. Neither song is played quick at all as each song is played at glacial speeds and yet both songs are detrimental and utterly bone pulverizing. This listen makes you uncomfortable since it is so dark and dreary and filled with everything negative and hateful that you can imagine. Bethmoora is possibly what your nightmares are made of and if that is so then this may induce even more vivid nightmares. Both songs are laden with bludgeoning fuzzed out riffs, painfully slow buzzing bass lines, solid drum work and disturbing vocals. Bethmoora’s demo takes you from your happy place and submerges you into molten darkness from which you will never ascend from again. This is a damning listen, one that puts you in a detrimental place in your mind. Bethmoora and their demo is a great listen for anyone who is remotely into abysmal doom such as this.
No one should be hunting koalas, but instead of actually doing the act themselves, She Hunts Koalas plays an intriguing and unique brand of doom. Terra Dementia is the name of the release, and within it you will find all encompassing doom that really does end up sucking you into the vortex of doom and really does make you think. Terra Dementia is wholly hypnotic and enchanting and whether you want to or not you just can’t stop listening. She Hunts Koalas does a great job with this release creating something that is mysterious and intriguing so much so that you have to have multiple listens just to have everything soak in. There isn’t an option after one listen where you say to yourself, “Oh, well I guess I can listen again”. That doesn’t happen. You don’t have a choice. You end up pressing play over and over again until the triangle on the play button is worn out. Terra Dementia takes you into its odd vortex of doom, psychedelic noise, and ambient style of play that steals your mind and soul for six songs before bringing them both back riddled with intriguing ideas and vivid dreams of places and things that you had no idea were floating around in your brain. Terra Dementia is a captivating journey through interesting and vivid soundscapes in which you get lost and don’t mind. She Hunts Koalas is entirely and unapologetically heavy and even with that being said there is a certain melancholy that you feel at certain times throughout the listen. At certain times (especially during the closer Amoenus) you feel like you failed the earth and you feel like you are sitting in a dark recess of your mind and you feel subconsciously responsible someway for something one way or another. To help portray these stunning and stark images, She Hunts Koalas uses ritualistic and psychedelic riffs coupled with bouncing bass lines, sharp drumming and half spectral and forceful vocals that almost haunt you in your sleep. This release in a way is haunting and harrowing and difficult to explain and the only thing that should be said is that it is a unique and fresh listen, one that shouldn’t be missed.
Oarfish is a one man band from Sweden and the image that you see above is the front cover of his EP. So what is the EP about you ask? Well, the EP features five songs titled: Heracleion , Rungholt, Atlit Yam, Wanaku and Canopus respectively and each song is the name of a city that has been wiped out entirely by the sea. Oarfish is an instrumental project, and through each song without singing, the story of each city is told through instrumentation. Every song is raw and incredibly heavy, and all at the same time they are all psychedelic and ambient as well. Even without the vocal aspect, you can feel the story of each city coursing through your mind, and even without the vocal aspect each story is portrayed very well and crafted expertly. The instrumentation on each of the five songs is heavy, psychedelic and most importantly it tells the stories of five long lost sunken cities. Oarfish is an interesting and unique listen as not only do you get to headbang to seriously heavy doom but in the same process you get a bit of a history lesson. Each of the five songs have their fair share of doom of course, but Oarfish knows when to kick the pace up a little bit to provide you with a more romping and fast paced sludge filled sound that gum up your speakers. Every song has their melodic tendencies and on the other side of the token each song also has their heavy neck snapping tendencies that are turned on at the drop of a hat when needed. The musicians name behind this project is Mattias Häggström Gerdt, and he does a great job of deploying both smooth elements as well as the choppier harder and heavier hitting elements. It gives the listener plenty of variation and keeps the listener on their toes as you never really know what you are going to be hearing next. This EP is a great listen, one that provides you with heavy numbing riffs, destructive bass lines and heavy drumming, and from the first note Oarfish doesn’t stop bringing the heavy. This is an interesting listen as it captivates you without having vocals and does a great job of making you stay and hear each story out.