Happy New Year, freaks! As we have done the last couple of New Years, we are starting by taking one step forward and two steps back. Since January is a slow month for releases, we are taking a look at Shit We Missed in 2013, culling albums from Decibel’s Top 40, a couple of listener lists, and some of our own random picks. While reviewing these albums, we also try to answer the question, “What is Doom Metal?” much like how in the past we have discussed “What is Black Metal?” and “What is Death Metal?”. Feel free to weigh in on what you think defines Doom in the comments, and if you have some exemplary bands we should check out, please share!
Reviews: Craven Idol – Towards Eschaton (Dark Descent); Everything In Slow Motion – Phoenix (Facedown); Shade Empire – Omega Arcane (Candlelight); SubRosa – More Constant Than the Gods (Profound Lore)
I stream as a large percentage of my music listening. I don’t really listen to radio, but I also don’t read music blogs either, so I use streaming as a way of discovering new music and artists. I do a combo of custom stations and the pre-made stations on the sites. I really like Spotify for figuring out if I like an artist or album before I buy. I might be in the mood for a specific album or artist that I do own, so I will make a streaming station based on that because my personal collection is fairly limited.
You think you are 50/50 with Decibel??? To me it seems more like 90/10 (or 10/90), meaning 10% of the stuff Decibel likes you also like. Have you compared your list to that of Decibel’s? There is hardly any overlap between what you guys like and what Decibel likes. If you compare your top 25 to Decibel’s top 25, there are only two albums that are common to both. Two!!! Those would be Nails and Carcass. That means 23 of Decibel’s top 25 albums are not in your top 25. And vice versa: 23 of your top 25 are not in Decibel’s top 25. Now I realize that there might be a couple of albums in Decibel’s list that you liked that just didn’t make your top 25 such as Toxic Holocaust. But if you look at the other 22 albums from Decibel’s list, I’d wager that most of those are stuff you guys don’t come close to liking. In Solitude, Gorguts, Cult of Luna, Melt Banana, Deafheaven, Purson, Lycus, Kylesa, and Uncle Acid are all in their top 25. And conversely there is no whiff of your numbers 2 through 7 in Decibel’s list.
As for internet streaming services, I don’t use any of those. I buy on Amazon. How am I going to listen to music on the subway using a streaming service? The way that I “try” music is on YouTube. Pretty much everything you want to try can be found on YouTube these days. I checked out Subrosa on YouTube and it was added there by a user named “why is this not on youtube.” Well, it is now.
As for Black Sabbath being doom, as you alluded to, Black Sabbath are the prototype and original influence for many metal styles, including Doom. Listen to their first song (“Black Sabbath”) on their first album (“Black Sabbath”) and you can see the influence they had on doom. Does that make them a doom band? No, but their influence can’t be denied.
What is doom? Brian said it: doom = slow. If it is slow metal it is doom metal.
I’m a little surprised you guys liked Subrosa as much as you did. But I would still ask if you think it would crack your top 20. For me, I think that Subrosa is easily the doom metal album of the year, but it still doesn’t crack my top 30 of 2013.
You’re not Sabaton fans? Sabaton has gotten better and better to where Carolus Rex was an awesome album which will be tough for them to top. I sort of disagree about looking forward to 2014 albums. For me there seems to be way more too look forward to in 2014 than there has in the last 2 years. Machine Head. Mastodon. Iced Earth. Sabaton. Opeth. While some of these are not definite, I’m still more excited about 2014 than I’ve been in a few years.
You mentioned Sputnik. Is it me or does Sputnik come up with these obscure bands that don’t get coverage elsewhere? I still don’t know where you came up with Unhuman. A Google search only comes up with Sputnik as the only place on the Web that had a review of Unhuman.
We don’t have a ton of overlap, and there are definitely a few I don’t like. However, there a whole bunch I have never listened to before. I also realize i am sure people will look at our lists and also go “What the fuck are they thinking?” I think that about lists I have read. So, I am also trying to not be so “Kyle” about the whole thing.
Also, Skeletonwitch is os on their list, so there are 3. And I Dark Tranquillity too, so that’s 4. Just saying…
I try music on Bandcamp, Facebook, or YouTube myself. As for streaming, do the services have a offline feature? Like where they cache music for situations like that? I’m curious b/c I feel like a lot of people in major cities wouldn’t solely use streaming for that very reason. However, i am sure there are many that use streaming and still buy music.
While I appreciate your support, there has to be a little more than “doom = slow.” Shoegaze is also slow. However, a lot of Sludge can be on the slower side too, which was kinda the starting point of the question.
I liked Sabaton. I even bought the live album which I haven’t gotten to yet. As for bands you picked that you’re looking forward to…I don’t care about Mastodon anymore. Crack the Skye never hooked me and and The Hunter I just couldn’t get into either. I don’t think it’s them so much as it is my tastes. So while we’ll probably check out the new album, I’m not really “looking forward” to it. Same with Opeth. I’ll listen, but I didn’t care about Heritage, and even their older stuff…it’s like I said about Doom…I need to be in the mood.
I am gonna check out Decibel’s anticipated album for the next show and maybe some other places b/c even if I was excited about what you listed, that is only 5 bands for an entire year. I know we listed a few more, and while I want to hear them, I’m not super excited about them like I am Machine Head.
I think Sputnick does b/c most of the content is user created, so people can review what they want. I check out the new albums list there often to find new bands. As for Unhuman, this is where I found them: http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/2013/11/05/hey-listen-to-unhuman/