1 – KNOW THIS: THE KEY FACTS.
It Sounds Like: The meeting point between heavy metal, clinical depression and a lorry-load of horse tranquillisers.
Key Bands: Black Sabbath, Trouble, Candlemass, Cathedral, Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Reverend Bizarre.
The Look: Like a metal Jack Sprat and his wife, doom’s major players tend to be either fat or lanky, with no in-between. No one knows why this is. Limited edition patches are also a must.
The Lowdown: It started, possibly, with the industrial accident which robbed Tony Iommi of two of his fingertips. The moustachioed riff-meister, so the myth has it, was forced to loosen the tension in his strings, resulting in a low, sonorous doom-laden sound that served, along with Black Sabbath’s slower, more atmospheric tendencies, as a template for the whole doom metal scee that formed in their wake. Closely related to stoner rock, this saturnine scene was injected with a shot of death metal (and later goth) by the English trio of Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost but traditional doom continues to worship directly at Sabbath’s cloven feet.
2 – DOWNLOAD THESE: YOUR iPOD IS NAKED WITHOUT…
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Reverend Bizarre – Slave Of Satan
Count Raven – Let The Dead Bury Their Dead
Witchfinder General – Burning A Sinner
Pentagram – Broken Vows
Electric Wizard – Weird Tales
Solstice – Neither Tide Nor Time
Solitude Aeturnus – Opaque Divinity
The Gates Of Slumber – Suffer No Guilt
3 – BUY THESE: THE ESSENTIAL ALBUMS.
Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (Black Dragon, 1986)
Possibly the album that bequeathed the genre its name (although the w’ Hand Of Doom is also in the frame), the sombre Swedes’ debut was hugely influential, flying in the face of the faster-than-thou thrash scene emerging at the time.
Saint Vitus – Born Too Late (SST, 1987)
Their first album with legendary doom vocalist Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, this crawling, preponderous sonic assault was another record out of step with the times, as its title suggests. It sold bog all at the time, but stands today as a true genre classic.
Trouble – Trouble (Def American, 1990)
Their second eponymous album (although their debut was later renamed Psalm 9), this was a mid-career peak, chock-full of slablike riffage and songs that lumbered with all the slow yet unstoppable momentum of a clubfooted rhino in diving boots.
Cathedral – The Carnival Bizarre (Earache, 1995)
It might have featured a guest appearence from Tony Iommy but, unlike a lot of doom records, this was no mere homage, possessed as it was of a strong sense of adventure and individuality in addition to the obligatory avalanche of riffs.
Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics (Rise Above, 1996)
Boasting a guitar sound thicker than the Marlboro Man’s lung butter and a low-end rumble that should not be experienced in conjuntion with a turtle’s head, this mixes classic doom with elements of stoner psychedelia for a mind-numbingly heavy effect.
4 – READ THIS:
“How Black Was Our Sabbath” (by Dave Tangye and Graham Wright): Most music books, however well research, are just that – compiled, researched, rehashed. As the authors in this case, were long-time members of Sabbath’s roadcrew however, the true life Spinal Tap tales of madness herein are genuine eyewitness accounts, making this an often comic, sometimes tragic document of the rise of doom’s true progenitors.
5 – WATCH THIS:
Cathedral – “Our God Has Landed”: From po-faced black and white gloominess through Vincent Price snippets to silver suits and glitter-balls (Yes!), this DVD charts the rise and evolution of the Brit doom legends via a sterling collection of promo vids. Also included is a five-track live set culled from the ’92 Gods Of Grind tour, making this a must for anyone with even a passing interest in the genre.
THE INSIDER: Leif Edling (Candlemass)
“Doom metal’s essence is that it’s slow, heavy and epic! I think it’s the slow pace and the negative riffs that attracts the listeners. Doom’s powerful, just listen to classic doom bands like Trouble, Pentagram, Solitude Aeternus. They are all just so heavy! And Sabbath of course…
We were virtually unknown when the Epicus… album came out, and then with our next album, Nightfall, we became established as a hot new band. But in the ’90s, doom was a dead scene. Death and thrash metal overtook doom as the big metal sound, although today the underground is incredibly strong. Doom metal rules!”
SOURCE: Kerrang! Megazine