The Best Extreme Doom Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2018




A duo with members from Desolate Shrine and Dark Buddha Rising delivering crushingly oppressive doom from a country known for delivering crushingly oppressive doom. Having just enough repetition to build atmosphere, one that reeks of misanthropic hatred and gloom; and enough variation through frequent pace shifts and complex layering to keep the ten-minute-plus songs moving. The eerie ambiance furthered by the growls, shrieks, and whispers, as well as the epic apocalyptic aura of the organ, makes this feel like the sound of a wormhole spewing misery and despair into the world.

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Et Moriemur's music can be described as existential doom metal and with Epigrammata they tried to portray their effort to cope with the loss of people they loved. The album follows the typical Requiem structure and features lyrics in ancient Greek and Latin. The dark and melancholic lyrical theme is brilliantly combined with Et Moriemur's gothic- and black metal-influenced, atmospheric death/doom mix in an album that takes you on a totally unpredictable and emotional roller coaster ride, ranging from total torment to long-awaited catharsis.

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Hypnagogia is Evoken's first concept record, based around World War I and telling the story of a dying soldier who writes a journal of his final hours, his thoughts, and his feelings. It is a very personal and metaphorical affair that induces new and more powerful feelings with each subsequent listen, in which every growl, every riff, every drum beat is so potent that it can rip the sky apart.

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Dutch doomsters Faal are back with their first full-length since The Clouds Are Burning took the Staff Pick in the 2012 MSAs. And, like its predecessor, Desolate Grief delivers another miserable experience guaranteed to darken your day. Slow, glacial doom with some blackened scorch marks. Punishing yet enthralling.

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Hooded Menace's latest offering sits exactly in the middle ground between death and doom, paying homage to the masters of the style. Heavy, driving riffs and somber melodies create a suffocating aural environment that leaves the listener gagging on the charnel stench. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed is a slimy, labyrinthine cemetery where zombies feed off prey that is caught in dusty cobwebs and one of the best funeral processions of 2018.

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A fair amount of time has passed since the last effort; now they deliver another work of art in the essence of funeral doom genre. They craft their sound not really in a way to get a monstrous, raw feeling for it, but rather providing more melancholic, drifting atmosphere in abundance. Crawling in all its glorious slowness from the depths, this colossal, ethereal sound captures a heavy, thundering, ominous ambiance. Classic stuff from them. Yes, the word is out about The Incubus Of Karma from the mighty Australians Mournful Congregation.

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The earth rumbles and lava spews forth relentlessly. Six years after the last full-length album, the return of Frédéric Sacri's P.H.O.B.O.S., an absolute monstrosity of industrial doom metal, has been well worth the wait. With an overall better sense of production and a better mix of its various doom, industrial, and black metal influences, Phlogiston Catharsis is a pummeling, stimulating journey through a harsh, unforgiving planet Earth ready to release its anger and primal energies upon the destructive humans that it hosts at any second. It's an excellent genre-blender that's enjoyable from many different perspectives and mandatory listening for those looking for the heavier end of 2018 doom metal.

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Towards Atlantis Lights is one of the few supergroups that actually justifies the title with some splendid musical output. The combined talent of members of acclaimed acts such as Pantheist, Aphonic Threnody, and Void Of Silence resulted in Dust Of Aeons, a funeral doom record filled with nostalgic grief and immersed in a dreamlike and mesmerizing ambiance. It is an enchanting debut and a crushing soundtrack of a story inspired by ancient civilizations.

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If funeral doom sounds un-interesting and un-eventful to you, Un is the band you need to check out. Musically as stunning as its cover artwork, Sentiment brings together crushing heaviness, sludgy nastiness, and melodic harmony, avoiding any repetition and showing willingness to blend different sounds; having guest vocals provided by both Kelly Schilling (Dreadnought) and Ethan McCarthy (Primitive Man, Vermin Womb, etc.) is proof of the latter. Give this album your un-divided attention and experience its uniqueness un-folding.

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Urfaust's inclusion here might seem odd, as they hardly play conventional doom metal - their sound is more of a cacophonous jungle of percussion and ritualistic vocalizations, backed by an impenetrable ambient haze. Indeed, this erstwhile black metal duo prizes atmosphere so heavily that their 2015 EP Apparitions made it into our nascent Ambient/Drone/Noise category in that edition of the Awards, but the increased presence of discernible momentum on The Constellatory Practice takes us away from pure soundscapes and into something that trudges along with the pace and crushing weight of extreme doom - and that's why we're here. It's not so much forceful as mesmerizing, but it's still quite heavy.

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Write-in votes

Altars Of Grief - Iris
Collapse of Light - Each failing step
Décembre Noir - Autumn Kings
Decembre Noir - Autumn Kings
Doomed - 6 Anti-Odes to Life
Ennui - End of the Circle
Eye Of Solitude - Slaves To Solitude
Great Cold Emptiness - Miles Before I Sleep
Hooded Menace - Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed
Lil Pump & Kanye West - I Love It
Majestic Downfall - Waters Of Fate
Ocean of Grief - Nightfall's Lament
Pantheist - Seeking Infinity
Sumac - Love in Shadow
Vale of Amonition - Those of Tartarean Ancestry