Anhedonist - "The Drear" - Monsterous doom/death from out west. Has a great Disembowelment air to it but without sounding like a ripoff. Throw in some of Coffins more doomy moments and you have a fairly decent idea of what to expect. Each and every track is solid, heavy and morose. Really can't wait to hear more from this band.
Planning For Burial - "Late Twenties Blues" - Thom is an all around great dude and not only does he run the excellent label Music Ruins Lives, he's a master musician. Under the moniker Planning For Burial, Thom has been concocting audial representations of nostalgia. His debut "Leaving" is still an album I throw on regularly, but this newest release of demo material of newer songs he's been playing live and working on for his next full length is such a great step forward. His music has always been emotionally poignant, whether it's dealing with the more painful side of said nostalgia or the contemplative, and "Late Twenties Blues" sees this aesthetic and enforces it with more emphasis in the "wall of noise" camp. I mean that last phrase in the best way possible. The layers on this just build and build and build until it almost becomes too intense to handle. See "Where You Rest Your Head At Night."
Pestilentia - 2011 Demo - Raw, hateful, razor edged black metal from Belarus. These guys need more recorded ASAP. All the more so since I went on a little youtube search and found an entire live set consisting of songs OTHER THAN THE TWO HERE. No pretty shit. This is filthy black metal that is pissed you aren't in the grave yet.
Type O Negative - "October Rust" and "World Coming Down" - With fall approaching (and practically here already), it's nearly impossible for me not to pop either one of these in. And you'd be damn hard pressed to find a couple albums of doom ballads that even touches these. I think the big appeal to Type O, for me at least, is the tongue-in-cheek-ness (?) of their goth-y atmosphere, but it works so well. Nearly every song over the course of these two albums are crafted so excellently as to make sure you've got them swirling in your brain long after you've finished listening. Atmosphere galore (cheesy or not). Songs like "White Slavery," "Haunted," "World Coming Down" and "Wolf Moon" will forever be personal favorites of mine. This band is incredibly powerful when they really embrace their true doom side.
Northless - "Clandestine Abuse" - Heavier than the whole state of Wisconsin. Northless came out of the gates fairly early this year and I've found myself returning to their album for mini-listens here and there. It's almost as if The Body's sheer weight and bruteness melded with a more primal sludge aesthetic i.e. Neurosis. It's a Gilead Media release so you're safe to assume it'll slaughter everything in your immediate vicinity. I was bummed I didn't get to see these guys when they came through Columbus last month.
Melvins - "Lysol" - The Melvins are my favorite band. Ever. And I could have realistically made this playlist entirely up of their entire discography but I got to thinking that wouldn't be entirely fair (or truthful, considering I haven't had my bi-monthly Melvins kick yet which involves me listening to the entire discography for a few days straight). The droning sludginess of this album is done in such a way that only the Melvins can do it. It's also an extra special listen when you keep the idea in the back of your mind that this was more than likely the "forefather album" of the more droning variety of doom/sludge that's seen recent popularity over the last decade or so.
Antaeus - "Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan" - Ugly, fast, christ-raping black metal like only the French can deliver. I love me some Antaeus and this is probably my favorite of their releases if I had to choose. The soundtrack to the apocalypse via the scum fucks affectionately referred to as Antaeus.
Morbus Chron - "Sleepers In The Rift" - I used to be all about death metal but I sort of just got....bored. I know some people roll their eyes at the whole "old school revival" thing a lot of bands have been doing as of late but for every group of uninspired, shit bands there's a handful (Frightmare, Ghoul, Miasmal, Disma, Cryptborn) that are doing it right and making some kick ass albums. Morbus Chron is one of them. "Sleepers In The Rift" has enough grooves to keep things interesting and enough breakneck blasting to get you headbanging with a big smile on your face. This is how I like my death metal: riffy and not afraid to thrash.
Hexvessel - "Dawnbringer" - Occult obsessed folk. I usually shy away from most things with "folk" in it unless it's something like this.
Giles Corey - A winding, emotionally draining journey via Dan Barrett. The amount of time he took to compose and piece together this release is incredible and extremely evident. Haunting, ghostly voices crooning and whispering above everything from bluesy influenced folk to faint hints of gospel. The book that accompanies this release is great too. It adds and extra layer of weight onto the already heavy heap the music shovels over the coffin of your mortal wherewithal. This is something bigger than yourself. Submit.
Blut Aus Nord - "MemoriaVetusta I: Fathers of The Icy Age" - Blut Aus Nord is one of my all time favorite black metal bands and this is my pick for favorite album. Listened to it a lot again recently with the finishing up of the Aphrenous material. Vlad is not only an excellent musician but he's at the head of the class when it comes to creating a, for lack of a better word, "epic" atmosphere. The guitars cut straight through you and resonate like an angry swarm in some long forgotten cave while the extra layer of keyboards fill the rest of the foreboding space. Yeah, yeah, that may all be pretty "traditionalist" when it comes to black metal but this is black metal done the way it's supposed to be done. There's very little out there in the genre that even entertains the hopes of topping this.
Corrupted - "Garten Der Unbewusstheit" - Newest offering from these Japanese overlords. This is more in the vein of the ambiance of "Vesana" and "Llenandose de Gusanos" but still mixes in the expected slab of super hefty sludge/doom the band is infamous for. I'm really glad Hevi is still handling vocal duties on this. Even though there's nothing new here as far as Corrupted is concerned, there's still something about this release that sounds...different. It may be the addition of a keyboardist that does it. Definitely not my favorite of their releases but it's a good release in a long line of good releases. If nothing else, Corrupted is consistent.
I'm always coming across artists whose work I like or aspects of someone's pieces that I can admire but the artists whose body of work never ceases to impress me and influence my own style of art making are:
Joseph Clement Coll