Battle Hag – Celestial Tyrant (Transylvanian Tapes, 11 January 2021)
Kultika – Capricorn Wolves (Loud Rage Music, 11 January 2021)
Well, readers, another dreadful work week is mercifully drawing to a close. We finally made it to Friday. As a treat, today I’ll be sharing not one, not two, … ok wait, yes two … different albums for you to check out! Both were released back in January, both reside somewhere within the realm of doom metal, and I found both to be quite enjoyable to listen to. I hope you will too!
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First, California’s Battle Hag present their second full-length Celestial Tyrant. While the album may only contain three songs, each one is well in excess of twelve minutes, overflowing with treacherously slow doom riffs and earth-shakingly roared vocals.
But that’s not to say that boring, endlessly-repeated riffs are all this release has to offer. No, each track takes the listener on a long and winding journey — none more so than the last and, at more than nineteen minutes in length certainly the longest, “Red Giant”: it opens with psychedelic swirls accompanying the guitars, then quickly settles into a nice groove led by the bassline with judicious application of a wah pedal; later, just when everything seems primed to fade away into the sunset, a huge burst of feedback and the most monstrous-sounding vocals yet lead us the rest of the way through an ever-expanding atmosphere that just grows heavier and heavier…
Celestial Tyrant is available on cassette or to download from Bandcamp.
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Headed over to the other side of the world now, Romania’s Kultika released their second LP Capricorn Wolves on the same date. While the overall length is similar to the album we were discussing in earlier paragraphs, this one includes twice as many songs and generally leans much more into the directions of “post” and “progressive” doom.
For example, many of the tracks may start out quietly and serenely, building up ambiance, before being overtaken by a deluge of heavy, sludgy riffs — a juxtaposition that ought to appeal to the Neurosis fans out there. And much of the time the band juts off into peculiar and unexpected directions, while employing a blend of melodic clean signing with a harsher death metal styling — all attributes that should feel instantly familiar to anyone who happens to be into the earlier part of Amorphis‘ career.
And if your personal taste happens to overlap all of those influences and styles? Then here’s an album that should definitely be on your shopping list right away!
You can find Capricorn Wolves in digital/CD/vinyl formats right here.