Now here is a band that should be much more well known than they are. Towards the end of last year they released their new record The Grain and when I found out, well – let’s just say that I was pretty excited. You see Slomo have released two of my favourite records – 2005’s The Creep and The Bog which came out on Important in 2008. Since then though, nothing, absolutely fuck all until now of course. But first I think The Bog is worth bringing to people’s attention. I reckon it may be one of the strangest things that Important ever released. Slomo are a duo from England who specialise in a slow moving, doom/ambient/creepy vibe – think what it would sound like if Mike Connelly asked Steven O’Malley to help out on a Failing Lights record. The band describe their sound as highly ritualised glumbient. I love the term glumbient but it may not quite encapsulate how sinister the music can be. The album itself is a one hour long meditation in blackened dreamscapes and the threat of the unseen. I don’t listen to that much doom or black metal anymore but The Bog has been something I have gone back to again and again. If you stumble over a copy on your travels it might just be worth picking up.
Archive for the Doom Category
Nadja are a duo of Aiden Baker and Leah Buckereff. This version of Touched is a re-recording of their debut CD with an untitled track as an added extra. I haven’t really dabbled with Nadja too much because, well have a look at their Discogs page, they’re more prolific than Merzbow. Nadja’s is a sound I return to from time to time – a compelling intersection of doom metal, post rock, drone and dark ambience. It’s like Sunn O))) and Mogwai jammed over some heroin and decided to record the output. This is a big sound, which is unsurprising given that it was mastered by Khanates James Plotkin. When I play it I really enjoy it and doom is really the only metal I can listen to without laughing. If you love that sound then this is a great example of it.
This is the first record that Sunn O))) put out and if you are looking for a record that captures the purity of the style of subsonic bass frequencies and riff after riff of doom metal then this is the perfect place to start. But to committed Sunn O))) fans this doesn’t hold the same interest as other Sunn O))) records and if I was to advise you to start anywhere I highly recommend White 2 and White 1. Black One is also great but by that stage their sound had starting incorporating more black metal elements. Flight of the Behemoth is still my favourite though. The stuff with Merzbow is still some of my favourite music out there. This isn’t the Sunn O))) record to rush out to buy if you are new to the band because it was always really meant to be a demo. It still rocks but there are other Sunn O))) records that are a bit more satisfying.
Just how many bands has Stephen O’Malley been in? Khanate first crossed my radar a couple of years ago when I picked up their self titled debut to supplement my knowledge of doom. At the time it was a little too much metal and a little less doom than what I was looking for. Over the years that record has grown on me and when I saw this get released I was pretty keen to hear it. The thing about this record is I had trouble figuring out whether it was some collection of out takes, demo tracks or what because depending on what you read the band broke up somewhere between 2004 and 2006. I’m not sure when these were recorded or why it took so long to release them. Again depending on what you read this is either the third or fourth proper Khanate record.
The thing about Khanate is that if you are looking for the full on monster riff doom expereince of Sunn O))) then you are going to be disappointed. The metal that Khanate produced is a highly dissonant version of black metal but trending toward the artier end. The screamed guttural howls of the lead singer are actually understandable which is nice and the music some across as an intelligent version of Tortoise had they burnt down a Swedish church and fucked a goat on occaison. It’s certainly not easy listening but for those looking for a less campy, more cerebral black metal experience, this may be it.