Album Review – Dö / Astral: Death/Birth EP (2017)

A cathartic 20-minute experience in the form of a concept EP inspired by things happening around us at this very moment, and the future that does not look that bright for mankind, brought forth by the Finnish propagators of “Dööm Metal”.

There’s a wicked phenomenon that has been happening once a year in the city of “Hellsinki”, Finland for the past few years, when a trio of ill-tempered creatures that goes by the uncanny name of  leaves their secret, somber den to unleash upon us mere mortals all their wrath and negativity in the form of raw Doom and Stoner Metal, or simply “Dööm Metal”, as christened by Dö themselves. It first happened in 2014 with the release of their self-titled EP, then again in 2015 with an EP titled Den, and once again in 2016 with the full-length Tuho. Now in 2017 it’s time for this eerie tradition (or perhaps I should call it an annual ritual) to strike us again with the release of their brand new scathing EP Astral: Death/Birth.

Featuring a minimalist but meaningful cover art by the band’s own guitarist Big Dog, Astral: Death/Birth brings all the traditional elements found in their previous albums without forgetting to move forward in their already solid career. “Over a year has passed since we released Tuho, and now we’re back with a brand new two song EP called Astral: Death/Birth. It’s a concept EP inspired by things happening around us at this very moment, and the future that does not look that bright for mankind. The songs were recorded live during one session at our rehearsal den, as we wanted to capture the intensive live feeling and maintain their roughness. The tracks are basically individual, but we highly recommend you to enjoy Astral: Death/Birth as one cathartic 20 minute experience”, said the band about the album. I guess I don’t need to say more, right? Just relax and join Dö in their doomed astral voyage of life and death, feeling every second of their coarse sounds penetrating deep into your mind.

One interesting fact about the EP is that the band itself has already provided their own “review” of each one of the two songs. According to Dö, the first track of the EP, titled Astral Death, is “a song that’s heavy as the burden we carry with us when scuffing towards the inevitable end”, and let’s say they’re spot-on with their description of this tune perfect for breaking your already damaged neck into pieces. The distorted guitar lines by Big Dog, together with the damned drums by Joe E. Deliverance, kick off this beyond obscure Doom Metal hymn, before reaching a sluggish, heavy feast of demonic riffs that flawlessly support the hellish raspy vocals by Deaf Hank. Moreover, Big Dog blasts one of his traditional guitar solos while Deaf Hank shakes the earth with his ominous bass, resulting in a thrilling thunderstorm of sounds.

“A cosmic rebirth in form of a song. Starts as calm, mantra-like levitation, until it transforms into vicious, unstoppable force of nature.” Those are their words to describe the metallic extravaganza titled Astral Birth, where their demented sounds intoxicate the air throughout the song’s 12 minutes of melodious Doom and Stoner Metal. Deaf Hank and Big Dog align their strings powerfully, while Joe fires his steady and rhythmic old school beats. The vocals never get too harsh in the beginning, sounding arcane and hypnotizing, but that lasts for only around four minutes. After a gripping display of dark music, the band’s demonic vein arises again with Deaf Hank gnarling in a bestial way, being effectively complemented by the song’s tribal beats, wicked distortions and pure psychedelia, with all those sounds and noises invading our ears until the song’s harrowing ending.

The full EP is already available for a detailed listen on YouTube and on Spotify, and you can always keep updated with all things Dö through their Facebook page as usual. And, of course, you can support the most villainous power trio of the entire Scandinavia by purchasing Astral: Death/Birth through their BandCamp page or on iTunes. Now that their yearly rite of “Dööm Metal” has been successfully consummated, it’s time for Dö to spread their damned sounds across the earth with their live performances before they get back to their lair and start working again on new material, for the delight of admirers of obscure, sluggish and low-tuned music.

Best moments of the album: Astral Death is my favorite of the two songs, but Astral Birth is also pretty amazing.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Independent

Track listing
1. Astral Death 7:46
2. Astral Birth 12:16

Band members
Deaf Hank – vocals, bass
Big Dog – guitar, backing vocals
Joe E. Deliverance – drums, backing vocals

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Album Review – Dö / Tuho (2016)

If you were born under black wings and love the taste of destruction in music, the Dööm Metal blasted by this fantastic power trio from “Hellsinki” is all you need to keep enjoying your miserable and excruciating time on earth.

Rating3

Dö_Tuho(CoverArt)If you’ve been following The Headbanging Moose for a while, you’ve already been in contact with the up-and-coming Finnish Doom/Stoner Metal power trio . In fact, these talented guys from Helsinki, Finland do not play your regular Doom Metal, but instead they play what we can call “Dööm Metal”, and if the music found in their 2015 EP Den wasn’t dark enough for you, those three unholy bastards are back from the depths of their distinct city with another blast of hellish riffs, mesmerizing beats and low-tuned keys and growls in the form of Tuho, their first (and awesome) full-length opus.

Tuho is the Finnish word for “destruction”, and there couldn’t be a better definition for the sludgy and obscure turmoil beautifully crafted by Dö. Despite the change in their lineup due to the departure of drummer Peat Rex, the band keeps firing their characteristic demonic sounding flawlessly, now with Joe E. Deliverance (where “E” stands for “Epic”) taking care of the ritualistic beats and pulse that make their music so captivating. While listening to Tuho, although you will be facing 42 minutes of damnation, grief and sorrow, I’m absolutely certain you will enjoy every single second and go back to the starting point as soon as the last song is over, just like what you normally do with any album by Black Sabbath, Dö’s biggest influence and guiding (dark) star in the world of Doom Metal.

Relax, take a deep breath and fill your mind with your darkest thoughts, because this is what Dö want you to do during the wicked opening track Born Under Black Wings. The Sabbath-like riff by guitarist Big Dog guides its tribal intro, making this the perfect drug for Doom and Stoner Metal addicts, while lead singer and bassist Deaf Hank barks the most obscure and anguished vocals and growls you can imagine. Needless to say how unhappy the lyrics are during the song’s eight evil minutes, with Deaf Hank reminding us at the end of the song that “There’s no Messiah!” (and he’s damn right about that). And following that powerful start we have Everblast II (The Aftermath), a doomed massacre tailored for fans of the dark side of music where newcomer Joe E. Deliverance seems excited to destroy his drums the way he smashes them. Furthermore, the spot-on guitar solos by Big Dog add more feeling and intricacy to the overall sonority, fueling the whole trio to generate even more destructive and ill-tempered music, and consequently getting to a point the uproar will break your neck so heavy it becomes.

Dö_Promo2In Ex Oblivione, or “the amnesty” from Latin, a slow and eerie intro grows into a pure Doom Metal instrumental tune where you can sense that all three band members are in some sort of trance. It’s hard to say which musician has the best performance in this solid song due to the high quality of the music coming out of all instruments, and as I don’t want to pick a fight with any of them I’ll leave it for you to decide, sounds good? But before you choose your favorite member of the band, enjoy the distorted noises flowing from the bass guitar by Deaf Hank until a violent guitar riff comes crushing our spines in Kylmä, or “cold” from Finnish (and we all know how cold Finland can be). I must say that this guy sounds truly demonic when growling in his mother tongue in this impressive display of Sludge and Doom Metal, with some effective hints of Black and Death Metal thoroughly added to its last part, which ends up making the song transpire violence, malignancy and sorrow.

Hail the Fire, a gentle acoustic tune that sounds introspective and heavy even without being electric, works as an intro to their boldest composition to date, entitled Forsaken Be Thy Name. Be prepared for 12 minutes of awesome distortions, low-tuned bass lines and hypnotizing beats, where Dö professionally (and pleasantly) blend the music by icons such as Black Sabbath, Triptykon and Celtic Frost, among others, with their unique Scandinavian punch. The second half of this vile hymn becomes a completely different song, still sounding Doom Metal but slightly more melodic, ending with a soulful solo by the talented Big Dog and properly concluding another thrilling chapter in the career of those Finnish metallers.

You can listen to Tuho in its entirety HERE, and while you do that go check the band’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, and don’t forget to grab a copy of this masterpiece of damnation at their BandCamp page or at the Ozium Records’ webstore. If you were also born under black wings and love the taste of destruction in music like what these fantastic power trio from “Hellsinki” can generate, their Dööm Metal is all you need to keep enjoying your miserable and excruciating time on earth. Yes, that thing you usually call “life”.

Best moments of the album: Born Under Black Wings, Everblast II (The Aftermath) and Kylmä.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing
1. Born Under Black Wings 8:06
2. Everblast II (The Aftermath) 6:00
3. Ex Oblivione 6:28
4. Kylmä 7:09
5. Hail the Fire 2:26
6. Forsaken Be Thy Name 12:14

Band members
Deaf Hank – vocals, bass
Big Dog – guitar, backing vocals
Joe E. Deliverance – drums, backing vocals

Album Review – Dö / Den EP (2015)

Enjoy the darkest side of heavy music forged in the deep and ghoulish den of “Hellsinki”.

Rating4

“Through the gates left open.
From the paths unknown.
Came three unholy bastards…”

Den_CoverHow about that? Those are the beautiful words used by Finnish Doom/Stoner Metal band  to present themselves to the rest of the world, and let me tell you they couldn’t be more accurate than that. Furthermore, you might be asking yourself what “Dö” means and how to pronounce it, right? If I’m not mistaken, “Dö” means to die or kick the bucket, with its correct pronunciation being available HERE. This is all very interesting, but what about their music? Well, that’s where the band truly excels, firing deeply disturbing and exciting tunes for our deviant delectation.

Forged in the frozen flames of “Hellsinki”, Finland (or just Helsinki for the mere mortals) and fueled by epic amounts of bitterness, alcohol and dark humor, those talented Finns embrace darkness once again after the release of their unnamed debut EP in the beginning of 2014 to offer us metalheads a brand new EP entitled Den, which goes on for over 28 minutes despite having only four tracks and, believe me, there’s absolutely no sign of hope or tranquility throughout its entirety. After all, we’re talking about the darkest form of Doom Metal, which means happiness is just a distant memory and nothing we would expect to hear from a band like this.

That characteristic Doom Metal rhythm is already there in the excellent For the Worms, with its low-tuned riffs by Big Dog and slow and steady drumming by Peat Rex, enhanced by hints of the most obscure songs by Black Sabbath. The song, which begins with an acoustic intro followed by the harsh growls by Deaf Hank (by the way, one of the highlights of the entire EP), showcases lyrics that couldn’t be more morbid and desperate, especially its funereal chorus. Not only that, its guitar solo by Big Dog, totally inspired by heavy classics from the 70’s, adds an extra layer of mysticism to the final result.

Dö_promoFollowing that marvel we have the even more gruesome Frostbites, which if you live in a warm country or have never heard of it means the medical condition in which localized damage is caused to skin and other tissues due to freezing. Just as “lovely” as that sounds, the band provides us some amazing instrumental passages, with highlights to the excellent job done by Peat Rex in maintaining the rhythm as nefarious as possible without becoming stale, while Deaf Hank vociferates the lyrics with an extra dose of negativity during the chorus (“Red skies / Dark eyes / Last rites / Frostbites”). Another awesome part of the lyrics is “You live in fear / Winter is here”, probably as a tribute to the country where they come from (although it’s not dangerous there at all, it’s just damn cold), and once again Big Dog masters the art of old school guitar solos.

Just when you think it couldn’t get more freakish the band comes with the mesmerizing tune Hex, thanks mainly to the cryptic and polished riffs by Big Dog, with the second half of the song being a perfect Stoner Metal exhibit. And last but not least, The Moon Follows Us, a track highly recommended for metalheads that love dark and extremely well-crafted music, brings forth a comprehensive mix of Doom and Stoner Metal, with its cleaner guitar riffs providing it a slightly lighter atmosphere while the raspy screams by Deaf Hank and drums by Peat Rex are the “doomed” side of it.

Please, I’m kindly asking you to visit their Facebook page, BandCamp and YouTube channel to know more about this outstanding Finnish band, listen to the entire EP, purchase their music and support them in their path to stardom. Moreover, if you do not do what I’m saying, those three unholy bastards will drag you anyway to their grisly den, so why resist and suffer their wrath when you can easily join the dark side of music and, of course, enjoy it?

Best moments of the album: For the Worms.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1.For the Worms 7:08
2.Frostbites 8:19
3.Hex 6:05
4.The Moon Follows Us 7:01

Band members
Deaf Hank – Executive Vice President of Low-end and Oral Messaging
Big Dog – General Development Officer of Riffs and 6 Strings
Peat Rex – Chief Executive Officer of Rhythm and Tempo