The Best Extreme Doom Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2019





Though the album is admittedly really fucking long, with all four songs striding close to the 20-minute mark, Ataraxie make sure to fill that time with some funeral doom that actually feels passionate. You've heard the word "crushing" in regard to funeral doom probably quite a lot of times, but Résignés really manages to transmit that despair more through actually crushing riffs that often go into death-doom territories than though just wallowing in monotony.

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Chalice Of Suffering play a death-influenced form of doom that makes the funereal variety sound upbeat. Lost Eternally wades through punishingly slow dirges of despair into which guttural growls and rumbling bass vanish as if into a black hole. The album's seven songs are dolorous and painful, revealing through their distorted riffs the concentrated agony of existence, and they do not let up for one moment. Made real by the sting of isolation, Lost Eternally is just so heavy in every respect that you might want to think twice before approaching.

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Carrier Of Weight is a pretty quintessential example of 'sludge doom'. It is slow, ponderous and long. It is relentlessly heavy. The guitars have a dirty sludge metal tone, delivering riffs that possess both the pace of doom riffs and the filthy swagger and groove of sludge metal. The central riff of "Dry Land" feels like you're being dragged through a putrid swamp. With sickening growls and chilling shrieks on top, this is a relentlessly miserable and suffocating experience, and essential listening for anyone with an appetite for this style.

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There're few more emphatic ways to announce your return after an eight-year gap than with a 27-minute opening song, but Esoteric aren't a band to do things by halves. A Pyrrhic Existence is a predictably glacial and draining experience, with softer moments providing only glimpses of levity before the huge, suffocating funeral doom resumes. The inspired lead guitar work serves to add touches of beauty to the punishingly bleak core of the band's sound, but this is by no means easy listening; enter at your own risk.

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Illimitable Dolor's second album is a formidable doom offering with heavy-landing melodies that feel like punches right to the sternum. The band showcases grief-ridden majesty by using mournful and depressing melodic colours in order to paint on their atmospheric death/doom canvas. The gravity of the riffs forms a dismal landscape where no clean vocals are heard, just deep and purely sad growls. The forlorn keyboards are appropriate for funeral processions and the morbid tone of the piano evokes memories of deep psychological pain. This is music that exudes real passion and emotion, and is palpable to any person who has ever suffered.

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With another amazing cover art by a Polish artist, and with the blend of black and doom metal that initially turned our heads, Mizmor's Cairn takes what got everyone's attention with Yodh and dials down the rawness to create an even more organic blend of the two genres. Monumental and bleak at the same time, Cairn takes a look at the demons we battle in our lives and how our lives are filled with everything from heart-pounding delight to crippling pain.

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Is there any more poetic image to describe the soul of funeral doom metal than "The Sadness Of Time Passing"? Sure enough, this album comes from Finland - a place wherein existential exhaustion and wearied anguish find voice like no other. Profetus's third full-length rests on chilling keys that evoke angelic mourners and drums that beat like your own pulse, pounding resolutely as death approaches. The pace is slow, the rhythms lumbering, the growls cavernous and terrifying; Profetus have proven themselves before as masters of that uniquely Finnish blend of sonic extremity and emotional vulnerability, but The Sadness Of Time Passing, being new, therefore finds us closer to death, and is that much more affecting.

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As if Finland doesn't already have a reputation as being a bleak and depressing commune of tortured artists and general insanity, Red Moon Architect have produced what can only be described as an abysmal concoction of torment and anguish -- a nightmarish funeral doom offering. Droning on with crushing, reverb-heavy riffs and bombastic drum work, Kuura actually owes most of its abyssal feeling to the vile and horrific shrieks that appear sporadically throughout, tempered only by some light keyboard usage.

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After more than two decades(!) and a gigantic amount of projects, all dealing with some of the most unique and extreme types of metal, you'd think Mories would not have anything more to add to his repertoire. The Sombre is proof of how difficult it is to anticipate his next step. Into The Beckoning Wilderness sees the multi-instrumentalist exploring the distinct death/doom sound of the '90s. This is far from being a mere homage, however, as the fuzzy, bizarre production and layering that have characterized the blueprint of Mories' sound are all over this record. Let the beautiful, nostalgic riffs and somber vocals pull you in.

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Weeping Sores is a band that earns its "extreme" doom appellation not by way of duration or tectonic pace; no, that would be because of the prodigious death metal side battering its way into the album. False Confessions is full of activity sometimes, even fast-paced, and even at slower moments the mood crackles with aggression that contrasts with the despair you'll find most places in this category. To sharpen the contrast even further, one of the three members of Weeping Sores is a violinist; the violin is naturally absent during the most intense blasts of death metal, but during the somber doom segments the sound of more delicate strings brings out an entirely different side of Weeping Sores. Even without this extra dimension, False Confessions is a powerful enough death-doom album to earn a spot in this category, but throwing it in pushes the album into the sublime.

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