Necrolust: Crypt Sermon, Station Dysthymia, Fórn, Leucosis
Let there be doom.
These Philly dudes came out of fucking nowhere with their MMXIII demo, but people have definitely sat up and taken notice. Dark Decent has already signed on to release a cassette version of the three-song debut, and judging by the astonishing quality and maturity of the short but powerful material on offer, bigger things lie ahead for Crypt Sermon. They’re not reinventing any wheels here; far from it. The epic doom metal found on MMXIII is a loving tribute to the ways of old, invoking the spirits of Candlemass, and Solitude Aeturnus while often embracing the heavy metal thunder brought by The Gates of Slumber or Grand Magus. There’s a raw feel to the material (which makes sense; it is still a demo, after all) and the production is rough, but that adds to its charm. I’d love to see what these guys could do with an forty-five minutes of material and a recording budget.
In some circles, Russia is as synonymous with extreme doom as it is vodka or Putin’s pectorals. Thanks to Solitude Productions and the many smaller labels scattered across the country, funeral doom has found a firm footing there, and Station Dysthymia is one of its best new exports. New album Overhead, Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out is a hypnotic meditation on death, destruction, and the apocalypse inspired in part by Arthur C. Clark’s The Nine Billion Names of God. Eerie melodies, droning feedback, and rashes of haunting throat singing shake up the funeral doom template, but the Siberian quartet are content to toe the party line with plenty of crippled riffs and hollow roars as well. Get into it.
Speaking of funeral doom, Fórn manage to sound completely fucking miserable without nicking a single Skepticism riff. The Boston quartet channel Burning Witch and Thou (imagine a more energetic Moss) with blown-out riffs and vomited growls, dredging up a syrupy, menacing sound that I just can’t get enough of. It’s hard to believe that not only is this their first release, but that Fórn only got together a year ago. These dudes haven’t wasted any time.
Lastly, Santa Cruz’s Leucosis have recently released a killer new EP to follow a self-titled full-length that also dropped earlier this year. They fall squarely into a dusty crack between black metal and doom, and make an excellent case for both while they’re at it. Shades of bleak, despondent doom weave through slowed-down black metal riffs and rabid vocals, slashing through the odd brittle melody. It makes sense that these lot have played with Ash Borer and Lycus, and if they continue releasing output like this, will soon be able to give both of ‘em a run for their blood money.