Heavy Rewind // Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror

Just two years after their debut, Cathedral pumped up the tempo and incorporated a slew of influences stretching beyond their solid, but somewhat limited, doom metal sound on Forest of Equilibrium. Shades of sludge à la Black Flag and The Melvins are most apparent, but the band reaches further beyond the low-and-slow realm to pull in influences from hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. Most importantly, the band’s vibrant personality sheds its skin entirely and reveals its true colors, thanks in large part by an unhinged, dynamic vocal performance from Lee Dorrian. It’s an exceptional combination that slightly edges out the band’s initial groundbreaking efforts. Whereas several bands contributed to the sound developed in part by Cathedral on Forest of Equilibrium, there’s never really been an album that sounds quite like The Ethereal Mirror, and it remains a multifaceted album with reverberations felt in music from the likes of Baroness, Pallbearer and a decent chunk of modern stoner metal.

Khemmis – Desolation

Success, the cliché insists, is a double-edged sword. History (and the Encyclopedia Metallum archives) is littered with now-defunct bands who toiled away for years in storage units and near-empty basements, yearning for record deals and the elusive larger acclaim that remained just beyond their grasp. But what of the bands…

YOB – Our Raw Heart

Dear reader, I am going to be straightforward and brutally honest with you: objectivity will fail you. There may be times when you feel as though you can truly step back and objectively appraise a work of art; there may be times where you are certain that your opinion on something is…

Witch Mountain – Witch Mountain

After listening to the new self-titled album from Oregonian doom institution Witch Mountain, it makes perfect sense to hear that (relatively) new vocalist Kayla Dixon’s biggest musical inspirations are Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, and musical theater. Returning fans of the group may have been apprehensive about any replacement for Ula Plotkin, whose voice was…

Dylan Carlson – Conquistador

Though solo albums can excel or plummet in multiple different directions, they virtually always follow one of two paths: a slight or negligible deviation from the artist’s main project, or a complete departure from the sound they’ve become associated with. Dylan Carlson—the drone-doom pioneer and founder of Earth—has ventured down both paths…