Tag Archives: Doom Metal

The Toronto Metal Scene: Eight Bands to Know

Though Toronto has always had a strong metal scene, its contributions are often overshadowed by those coming from nearby Quebec—where metal might as well be a way of life—or by its own output in other genres, especially indie rock, electronic, and hip-hop.

But Toronto has always been a beacon of heaviness for those who are paying attention. From ’80s thrash-metal acts like Sacrifice, Slaughter, and Infernäl Mäjesty, to more contemporary bands like the wickedly devilish occult rockers Blood Ceremony, and the black-metal mysteries of Thantifaxath to the playfully-poppy output of Godstopper, there’s plenty of dark, riffy goodness to be found in the 6, so long as you know where to look.

These days, the city’s metal scene feels more invigorated and vital than ever before. There have been setbacks, namely the shuttering of venues like D-Beatstro (2015-2018) and Coalition (2015-2019), which booked metal acts on the regular (and in the case of the latter, almost exclusively). Nevertheless, Toronto’s rich, enthusiastic DIY underground pushes ever onward, cranking out every sort of wretched sound under the sun: epic doom, vintage thrash, heavy psych, no-BS metalcore, gut-twisting death metal, and more. Here are eight bands leading the way.

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Get to Know Monolord, the Swedish Trio Making Downer Doom with Melodic Flair


If you haven’t yet heard Monolord, the towering doom trio that’s torn its way through the international heavy-music festival circuit over the last several years, here’s the brief run-down: Sleep on the low end and Sabbath on the high end. A thickly packed, glacially advancing rhythm section courtesy of bassist Mika Häkki and drummer Esben Willems powers the band through several 10-minute lurchers on their new album No Comfort, of which the trudging title track is a particular high point. Frontman Thomas Jäger’s high register, meanwhile, channels Ozzy right off the bat on epic opener “Bastard Son”: “In the electric eye / Through storms he ride / The earth we walk upon / Is his alone.”

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Ten Divine, Diabolical Feminine Artists Challenging Heavy Metal Machismo

Heavy metal has been challenging the status quo for its past five decades (and counting!) of existence on this doomed planet. But in some respects, rock ’n’ roll’s loudest, wildest bastard child has skewed more traditional and—in matters of gender, race, and identity—downright conservative. And yet from Jinx Dawson, Bolt Thrower’s Jo Bench, Nuclear Death’s Lori Bravo, Cretin’s Marissa Martinez, to Sunrot’s Lex, women and nonbinary people have been heavily involved in the evolution of the genre since it was barely a glimmer in Tony Iommi’s eye. Yet, even now, as they are creating some of the most challenging and exciting music in metal’s history, some reactionary elements that still regard metal as a boys’ club continue to persist. Many have been petulantly resistant to making space for anyone else, and at worst, they’ve latched onto misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, racist, and fascist rhetoric in a misguided last-ditch effort to “keep metal dangerous.” 

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How Mariusz Lewandowski’s Epic, Emotive Paintings Made Him Metal’s Most In-Demand Artist

Mariusz Lewandowski

“Capturing emotions in a painting is similar to showing depth and light. If it is not there, if it is missing, the art is simply flat and it does not look good,” explains Mariusz Lewandowski, a Polish painter whose artwork, by the venerable Encyclopaedia Metallum’s count, has emblazoned the covers of 10 metal albums since 2017. Emotion is as integral to his work as his depictions of skulls, scythes, and other standard metal imagery—if not more so. 

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Aseethe’s “Throes:” A Doom-Metal Condemnation of Capitalism


Photo by Andrew Notsch

“Doom is just that; crushing, moving, and is meant to take you on a journey,” says Brian Barr, guitarist and vocalist of Aseethe. “It just so happens that humanity is at a rather crucial time in our existence. While the world, in some aspects, is getting better, we have the looming existential threat of climate change. If there is anything that could bring about the end of humanity, it’s that — and it’s right at our doorstep.”

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Certified: Spirit Adrift Forge Modern Arena Metal That’s Built to Last

Certified-Spirit Adrift-1244

Photography by Joey Maddon

Certified is a series on Bandcamp where we spotlight artists whose work we think is worthy of additional attention.

Arena metal. It’s a vivid phrase in search of a practical meaning. Outside of a few hallowed names—Metallica, Maiden, Priest—nobody playing heavy music can actually fill an arena these days. That makes the relentless, Sisyphean drive of Spirit Adrift’s Nate Garrett all the more inspiring.

“You can use the word ‘arena,’” Garrett says in response to a sheepish suggestion that Spirit Adrift’s third album, Divided by Darkness, sounds like it should be performed in huge rooms. “Hell yeah.”

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Diving into Miami’s Doom and Sludge Sound

Miami-metal-by-noopor-choksi-1244When people think of Miami, they might think of paradise: a postcard-perfect city synonymous with year-round warmth, beautiful beaches, sun-baked Art Deco buildings, and towering palm trees. And yet, deep within this blissful, balmy setting lies an unlikely—and surprisingly strong—undercurrent, one that’s rushing in the opposite direction. We’ve explored the wider Miami underground before, but here, we focus on Miami’s sludge-doom scene: a small, devoted circle of bands who inject the genre’s rugged, low-and-slow approach with Caribbean grooves and unkempt energy.  Continue reading

Album of the Day: Ossuarium, “Living Tomb”

When one thinks of death metal, one doesn’t think free vibes and eternal sunshine psychedelia, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be trippy. “Corrosive Hallucinations,” the fourth track from Portland quartet Ossuarium’s debut record Living Tomb, affirms both the subgenre’s pummeling nature, and its potential for conjuring acid-drenched terror. “Hallucinations” violently seesaws throughout, unloading a flurry of guitar slashes in the time it takes to sputter out a single breath; if that wasn’t weird enough, there’s a dying synth squall midway, as if the embers of sci-fi prog-death outfit Nocturnus’ exploded spaceship were drifting back into the atmosphere. Continue reading