Doooooooooooooooooom!I didn't cover a lot of doom in 2013, because I didn't feel like much of it lived up to what had come out in the previous couple of years. Still, some of it is worth noticing.
Solstice: Death's Crown Is Victory (2013)
4 out of 5 stars
Solstice are old pros in epic doom, but this reunion mini-LP is the first time I've heard them. And I have to say, I'm impressed. It blows Atlantean Kodex away, for sure, and holds up against some of the best Candlemass has to offer. The music is classic: Heavy but simple riffs of the kind The Sword has been ripping off for a while now. The vocals are soaring, giving it a Wagnerian sense of gravity. This is epic doom as it’s meant to be .
Church of Void: Dead Rising (2013)
3 out of 5 stars
OK, I can handle entrails, zombies, murder, whatever the hell is going on in the cover of that Dragged into Sunlight album--but this stark, high contrast, black and white close-up of a dude's face kind of freaks me out, and not in a good way. Behind that is a record full of trad-doom in the proud Finnish tradition, which, if you're not familiar, is a little bit like Carnival Bizarre with burly clean vocals. While it is trad, it's not retro, as a few of these songs are clearly the product of modern times and some slight exposure to extreme metal. It's fine, and I can't really tell you why I didn't give it a higher rating except that it doesn't make me want to listen again.
Obelyskkh: Hymn To Pan (2013)
3 out of 5 stars
An obelisk is a big, tall, heavy rock. usually monolithic. Obelyskkh play some big, heavy doom. Makes sense. They've got some real heft in this big slab of mid-tempo riffs, but unfortunately it's just a bit too monolithic: Obelysskh jam on the same riff for far too long with little variation, stretching what could have been an excellent 30-minute album into a perfectly listenable but hardly mind-blowing 69-minute album.