Saturday, 28 August 2010


My Dying Bride

Doom metal has its origins in the early 70’s, with heavy metal band Black Sabbath playing songs with slow riffing and dark, foreboding lyrics. In the 80’s, bands like Saint Vitus, Trouble, and Candlemass took those elements and warped them into what became known as doom metal. The genre spanned out in the early 90’s to include other musical genres, including death, thrash, and black metal to form a multitude of subgenres. Out of these subgenres came successful doom metal acts such as My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. Today, the genre is still going strong, especially in the underground scene.

Musical Style :
Doom metal has slower melodies and dark lyrical themes, usually dealing with death, destruction, and feelings of despair and emptiness. The sound is heavy and thick, due in part to the guitar tone, with distortion and downtuning usually prevalent characteristics in the guitar work.

Vocal Style :
Most vocalists sing cleanly, save for some that use either growled or whispered vocals. The singer usually sounds depressed or moody, with a lot of pausing and a heavy-handed approach that emphasizes the gloomy lyrical content.

Pioneers :

Pagan Altar
Pagan Altar One of the first true doom metal bands, Pagan Altar would quickly fade into obscurity in the early 80’s. Their debut album Volume 1 was not released until 1998, but was originally recorded in 1982, and showcased the early incarnation of doom metal. Along with fellow British band Witchcraft General, Pagan Altar left a lasting impression on the genre, even in their brief time together. The band reformed in 2004, and released two albums, 2004’s The Lords Of Hypocrisy and 2006’s Mythical and Magical.

Witchcraft General
While eventually following the same career path as Pagan Altar (breaking up early, re-forming about twenty years later), the band was able to release a few essential doom metal albums in their original lineup. 1982’s Death Penalty took many cues from Black Sabbath, but slowed down the tempo considerably, save for a few NWOBHM-influenced cuts, like “Free Country.” The band would release one more album, 1983’s Friends Of Hell before disbanding, only to bring the band back to life in late 2006.

Saint Vitus
Over in America, a metal band from California would make their mark in the genre with their self-titled debut in 1984. With epic numbers like “Zombie Hunger” and “Burial At Sea,” the five tracks on their first album would make the band a major underground hit. The band would go on for another decade, releasing quality material, before ending the band in the late '90s.

Recommended Albums :
Pagan Altar - Volume 1
Saint Vitus - Saint Vitus
Witchcraft General - Death Penalty
Trouble - Psalm 9
Candlemass - Ancient Dreams
My Dying Bride - The Angel And The Dark River
Pentagram - Day Of Reckoning
Solitude Aeturnus - Beyond The Crimson Horizon
Solstice - Lamentations
Novembers Doom - Amid Its Hallowed Mirth

-info from

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