Some traditions have been with us so long that it seems blasphemous to even consider not to follow them – if such a consideration should even occur. The Christmas period is rife with them, a minefield of time honoured rituals that simply must be followed. And so, much like turkey for xmas dinner or arguing whether Die Hard qualifies as an xmas film, we must distill our years music listening into list form and parade it in front of other list makers who can barely hide their boredom at reading Yet Another List.
Ore is a ‘tuba doom’ album. Which sounds ludicrous, and thankfully the label doesn’t nearly do it justice – half an intimate, solo meditation on loss from sole member Sam Underwood, playing tuba and accompanying himself with such lo-fi things as drumming on Ikea shelves, half a series of frequently surprising collaborations with a variety of different instrumentalists, Belatedly is a tricky record to categorise. But whatever you want to call it it’s a gem of a record.
For Ghold’s first release on London record store Crypt of the Wizard’s label the doom/sludge-meisters retired to a church with a stripped back set up for a more experimental recording session. The results aren’t entirely consistent but have some fine moments.
Post-metal and ambient/drone aren’t genres which you would think could easily co-exist. Charnia have a good go at splicing them together on Het Laatste Licht (The Last Light) and whilst they don’t quite manage to square that circle they still find some interesting and fertile ground for experimentation.
8 comes a couple of years after Ufomammut’s 15th anniversary year – which in band years puts them into pipe and slippers territory. So it has no right to be the ferocious, thrilling mindfuck of a record that it is.
Monarch! have been a slow, lumbering, brutal presence on the doom landscape for a long while now. With Never Forever they’ve become a much more distinct part of it, one that once you’ve cast your eyes over it is hard to look away from.
Big|Brave are one of the most unique and intriguing bands making music with loud guitars in the world today. That’s just an inarguable fact as far as I’m concerned. And with Ardor they’ve taken another step towards greatness.