Album Review – Dö / Astral Death Cult (2019)

Saluting the great forces of nature and the void that surrounds us, Finland’s own riff-praising, cosmos-worshiping metal unity returns with another round of their raw northern “döömer”.

Hail Cosmos! We’re all döömed!

Helsinki’s own riff-praising, cosmos-worshiping trio of doom, the infamous and heavy-as-hell unity known as , is ready to stimulate and distort our senses once again with what they like to call “döömer” in their brand new opus entitled Astral Death Cult. And if you have absolutely no idea of what “döömer” means, let’s say it’s simply dark astral energy masterfully compressed by our beloved sonic triumvirate comprised of Deaf Hank on vocals and bass, Big Dog on the guitar and Joe E. Deliverance on drums into a unique northern mix of stoner, doom, sludge and psychedelic elements with hints of Death and Black Metal. Or is this still too complicated for your terrestrial mind?

Astral Death Cult is the second full-length album released by Dö and their fifth release since the band’s inception in 2013 in “Hellsinki”, following the path of reverberating sounds and distortions paved in their previous releases, those being their debut self-tiled EP from 2014, the EP Den from 2015, their first full-length installment Tuho from 2016, and the EP Astral: Death/Birth from 2017. However, while their core essence remained intact through the years, with all albums being recorded live to get the genuine dynamics of the trio on each track, the lyrical themes have evolved from mysticism, misanthropy and anti-religiousness towards saluting the great forces of nature and the void that surrounds us, matching their musical direction flawlessly and, consequently, providing the listener a truly unique experience while listening to the album’s 36 minutes of pure “dööm”.

Joe’s funereal beats kick off the three-minute invitation to emptiness and obscurity titled Intergalacticlude, where the bass by Deaf Hank sounds as dirty and raw as it can be, also bringing to our ears and minds somber vociferations and a menacing aura. After such killer start we have the superb Atmosfear, which kicks off in a truly Stygian, atmospheric way before Deaf Hank begins exhaling evil and fear through his bass and raspy vocals, exploding into ass-kicking Doom and Sludge Metal for our total delight. Just break your damned neck headbanging to this visceral hymn, while Big Dog’s Black Sabbath-inspired demonic riffs add an extra touch of evil to the music. And the pounding drums by Joe together with Deaf Hank’s malevolent bass take the lead in Drifting (In a Methane Ocean), showcasing over nine minutes of sluggish passages, a grey ambience, endless heaviness, and desperate vocalizations amidst embracing, minimalist guitar lines, smashing our heads ruthlessly. Put differently, this is exactly what happens when distortion, harmony and heaviness unite in the name of doom.

Their astral journey goes on in the also pulverizing Cosmic Communion, bringing elements from Experimental and Progressive Metal to their already multi-layered sound. I simply love the rumbling sounds Deaf Hank blasts from his bass while Big Dog keeps shredding his strings beautifully, turning it into the perfect soundtrack to a futuristic slasher flick as they keep jamming like there’s no tomorrow. Planet Eater couldn’t have started in a more menacing way, representing the epitome of old school Doom and Stoner Metal. Big Dog is on fire with his riffs and solos, while Deaf Hank barks and roars nonstop, and let me tell you their synchronicity with their stringed weapons is amazing, complemented by Joe’s slow and potent beats. And lastly, never letting the level of energy, rage and distortions go down they offer us the groovy and dark Beyond the Cosmic Horizon, where its bass and drums will make your brain tremble. Deaf Hank’s anguish gnarls get darker and darker as the music progresses, with the soulful solo by Big Dog being the icing on the cake in this excellent closing tune.

This precious gem of doom, or maybe I should just start writing “dööm” all the time from now on, can be relished in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your absolute support to Finland’s meanest and most demented trio you can purchase the album from their official BandCamp, from the Dust & Bones Records webstore, from the Lay Bare Recordings webstore, form Apple Music or from Amazon. Also, don’t forget to give them a shout on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their raw and classy music, because as you’re all already aware of, we’re all “döömed” in this rotten and decaying world, and there’s nothing we can do about that apart from banging our heads and raising our horns together with Deaf Hank, Big Dog and Joe E. Deliverance until our inevitable end.

Best moments of the album: Atmosfear and Cosmic Communion.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Lay Bare Recordings/Mercyful Tapes

Track listing
1. Intergalacticlude 3:11
2. Atmosfear 5:50
3. Drifting (In a Methane Ocean) 9:18
4. Cosmic Communion 6:11
5. Planet Eater 5:43
6. Beyond the Cosmic Horizon 5:55

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

Advertisements

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

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