Metal fans usually have one or more specific elements in the music that attracts them, whether it be speed, groove, technicality, aggression, or any other number of factors. One of the key components, especially for addicts of music that falls under the doom umbrella, is heaviness. Whether created by production, distortion, bass, drum low-end, or even simply atmosphere (or a combination thereof), it can make or break a band.

If there’s one thing that have in spades, it’s bloody heaviness. They describe their sound uniquely as ‘döömer’ – ‘a unique Northern mix of stoner, doom, sludge, and psychedelic elements with hints of death / black metal’, a combination that really hits home with delectable, chewy weight. It is also this superb mix of audio stew that sets them apart from the pack – indeed, there’s plenty going on in these six songs, which keeps the pace and vitality vibrant. Each track has its own identity and sound, where snarly black metal vocals, fuzzed-out stoner riffs, distant primitive drums, old-school metal, and atmospheric soundscapes collide and embrace. 

The record opens and closes with atonal white noise and this bookends the music within like an alien space cocoon, housing an angry, hungry spawn. The band play as one unit, all adding to the body of the beast without extending one way or another, and it is this tightness that keeps the music cohesive and severely primal. Whether dark and ominous as heard on ‘Beyond The Cosmic Horizon’ or ‘Atmosfear’ or epic and bristling as oozed forth on ‘Drifting (In A Methane Ocean)’, the extraterrestrial journey through this cosmic twilight is a solitary headphone voyage that gets increasingly more rewarding with every listen.

Few doom albums will be able to touch Astral Death Cult in 2019, simply because it sounds fresh and exciting in an era where most are afraid to create something original. Hail DÖ, for they are the future!

Astral Death Cult is released 20th September on Lay Bare Recordings and can be purchased here.

Check out our exclusive stream here.

Words: John Morrow


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