The Best Doom Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2016




Combine the trippy psychedelic dabblings of Oranssi Pazuzu with the massive drone doom of Dark Buddha Rising and you get Atomikylä. Keräily sees this collaborative band with shared members in a heavier, doomier incarnation than that previously found on their debut, making their music overall more repetitious and crushing than before. But the spacey undercurrents nevertheless remain, and overall Atomikylä continues to be no less than a journey through Andromeda on clouds of cosmic doom.

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Doom veterans Candlemass returned following up 2012's Psalms Of The Dead with a trimmed-down four song EP that has a great trad doom swagger. Mats Levén meshes in well. Four solid tracks. Foreshadowing of an excellent full-length to come?
An embrace of melancholia, Departe is a tragic and yet beautiful immersion into doom. Clouds shift between clean and deathy vocals, calm and serene bars and glacial riffs to coalesce around the listener and slowly drag them down into the void.

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Landless is perhaps an apt title for this dreamy album, which floats like a cloud over the People's Republic of Metal. While most of this release centers around a doomy vibe, Eight Bells shift and flow back and forth, showcasing some proggy chops and galloping black metal riffs. The female trio has managed to craft an album that is big on intrigue (where will this song next take us?) and simply captivating.

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So soon after Khemmis's debut album graced the doom category of the MSAs, Hunted swoops in dutifully to keep the band's name in lights. The melodies and leads of epic doom, the chunky buzz of stoner doom, the lachrymose drudgery of funeral doom, and the vocals of so many other subgenres intertwine to make Khemmis a jack-of-all-trades in the doom genre. If you can't decide which of the albums in this category to listen to first, just try Hunted and listen to them all at the same time.

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Быстро, товарищ. Step in line. Feel the swirling, black blizzards immure you in wretched despair. The world-weary croaking of Erkki Seppänen will be your guide through Kypck's crushing strains of urban decay and oppression. Every plodding step and cruel, perverted melody brings you one step closer to the gulag. Hold tightly your husk of black bread, for it is your only means of survival; pull closer the scraps of your cloak, falling to the snow beneath your bloody feet. The wolves are in the woods and they have your scent. Kypck is with you now; not to help, but to grimly play you to your death and watch eternally as they always do. It is the end.

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Hallucinogenesis is surprisingly aggressive and up-tempo for a doom album, almost barreling into sludge by way of stoner doom. Blinded by the fog of spore, Lesbian borrows from all over the place, chucking in a doom-style breakdown or two, some occasional black metal riffing, spacey keyboards and a variety of vocal styles including, but not limited to, monastic chants, distorted bellowing, and harsh gurgling. These four concrete slabs of heavy doom will mutilate your eardrums agreeably and then take your liquefied brain on a journey through time and space.

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Messa incorporates drone and ambient elements into its template to create an even thicker, heavier, stonier, dronier, hazier, slower, fuzzier, and more bass-heavy brand of doom than you thought possible. Belfry makes expert use of dynamics to balance the minimalist ambiance and crunching doom riffs, allowing the album to develop and explore both halves of its identity. The songs are ominous, esoteric, and haunting, with beautiful vocals that fit comfortably in either side of Messa's sound and flaming hot guitar licks played with a watery tone to add an extra dash of passionate spirit to the ensemble.

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Zeta Reticuli comprises three tracks exactly 15 minutes in length each, just like Epsilon Aurigae before it; somehow, that isn't the most satisfying thing about the album. Mere months after the aforementioned Epsilon Aurigae, Monolithe returned to unveil yet another grandiose slab of icy, mysterious doom, a synth-backed odyssey of bleeding guitar leads and hoarse growls that will make you feel like you are journeying across the alien landscape depicted on the cover.

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Compared to the band's own back catalogue, For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages may come across as mellower. It's certainly light on the sludge spectrum, but no less haunting. The ethereal female vocals lull the listener to dreamy soundscapes, then the build-up by the heavier guitar riffs and the duo of off-kilter violins have everything spiraling out of control. Before you realise it, the vocals have already transformed into howls of a desperate beast, devouring you whole.

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Write-in votes

(Echo) - Head first into shadows
40 Watt Sun - Wider Than The Sky
Black Sabbath - The End
Black Spring Monolith - Lightforger
Blood Ceremony - Lord Of Misrule
Cardinals Folly - Holocaust Of Ecstasy & Freedom
Church Of Misery - And Then There Were None...
Conan - Revengeance
Death Grips - Botomless Pit
Funeral Moth - Transience
Indica - Stone Future Hymns
King Goat - Conduit
Mizmor - Yodh
Monasterium - Monasterium
Mourning Sun - Último Exhalario
Naevus - Heavy Burden
Oceans Of Slumber - Winter
October Tide - Winged Waltz
Plateau Sigma - Rituals
Shape Of Despair - Alone In the Mist
Sinistro - Semente
Spirit Adrift - Chained to Oblivion
Spiritus Mortis - The Year is One
Subterranean Disposition - Contagiuum And The Landscapes Of Failure
Swallow the Sun - Songs from the North I, II & III
The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads Ten Horns
The Foreshadowing - Seven Heads, Ten Horns
The Morningside - Yellow
Trees Of Eternity - Hour Of The Nightingale
Universe217 - Change
Wo Fat - Midnight Cometh
Yith - Dread