Using an asylum as their rehearsal and recording space, and citing influences such as horror movies and Black Sabbath, you can almost imagine what Salem’s Pot are going to sound like before you even hit play. However, there is a rough charm to these Swedes that urges listeners not to dismiss them as just another trend-hopping ’70s garage rock rip-off just yet.
“It all started with just two of us watching old horror movies and listening to ’60 and ’70s music all day and night. We figured that we had to do something creative together since there wasn’t much more to do in a small, doomed town where no one wants to know you”, they explain when elaborating on how it all began. “There was only one of us who could play an instrument [that would be Knate on guitar!] and the other took care of the visuals and artwork. Along the way we stumbled over two freaks that could play bass and drums [that would be Direktörn and Peter] and then we recorded a demo [‘Sweeden’] at the asylum where we rehearse. Eventually the other one picked up an organ and some synthesizers and learned how to use them.”
A lack of … Read More
It’s no surprise that we love CAUCHEMAR here at Iron Fist. The Montreal metal machine are fronted by the one and only Annick Giroux, author of our World Downfall column. But nepotism be damned, even if Annick wasn’t part of the family we’d still be a sucker of their Sabbath meets Mercyful Fate meets Sortilege meets Blue Oyster Cult vibes. With a new album ‘Chappelle Ardente’ out now we look back to Iron Fist #6 (Summer 2013) when Dave Sherwood had a dangerous meeting with the band around the release of their Nuclear War Now! Productions debut ‘Tenebrario’
We know you as our world correspondent, but not for your own music – tell us about Cauchemar Annick: “Cauchemar started as a doom metal project between myself and the guitarist, François [Patry]. At first, I wanted to play bass, but we couldn’t find a vocalist so I decided to sing instead. We were aiming to play ‘trad’ doom but our heavy metal influences took over and it ended up being some sort of bastard mix of heavy/doom. We recorded and released our mini-album ‘La Vierge Noire’ in 2010, and did our first three gigs in Canada afterwards. In January, 2011, myself and the guitarist … Read More
Doom rock legends The Obsessed (Maryland, USA), led by the infamous Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, Place of Skulls, The Hidden Hand and W.I.N.O.), formed in 1976. The band have split up and reformed numerous times, first splitting in 1986 when Wino joined Saint Vitus, but reformed four years later and released two very influential albums via the Hellhound Records label and Colombia that are regarded as classics – namely ‘Lunar Womb’ and ‘The Church Within’. After releasing three albums (including the self-titled that was originally recorded in 1985), The Obsessed broke up for a second time in 1995.
Wino reappeared on the scene a few years later with Shine who later became Spirit Caravan and released a demo as well as a couple of albums and EPs, touring Europe and the UK twice in 1999 and 2000. The band called it quits soon after and Wino pursued other projects for quite a while before reforming Spirit Caravan and rejoining Saint Vitus for another stint, which included a new album, 2012’s ‘Lillie F-65. their first since the 1995 album ‘Die Healing’. Some heavy touring culminated in Wino being arrested for drugs possession at the Norwegian border on the way … Read More
Doom Metal has its roots way back in early ’70s and Black Sabbath (the masters of all), followed by bands like Pentagram, Trouble and Saint Vitus. But the origins of epic doom metal are traced back to ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ of Candlemass, who along with Solitude Aeturnus, are the most iconic bands of the sub-genre. Monasterium, a new band hailing from Poland, are following the path of epic doom and Iron Fist is honoured to introduce them to the metal battlefield.
Introduce yourselves, ye humble knights of doom… Hails Iron Fist! We are Monasterium – a brand new Polish band formed in 2014 and dedicated entirely to epic/heavy doom metal. Doom metal in its traditional form has always been our passion and we believe it’s actually one of the noblest genres of music in general – that’s why we follow this path. How did you come up with the band’s name? We longed for a name that’s meaningful, powerful and at the same time carries all the mystical and spiritual vibes present in our music and lyrics. Unfortunately Candlemass has already been taken, so out of all the ideas we came up with, Monasterium seemed like the best choice.
Your first same-titled album is coming on … Read More
To many, doom is the molasses-thick primordial sludge found at the lower reaches of the guitar’s tonal range. For others, it’s the molasses-thick primordial sludge found around rim of their favourite bong. For Alastair Riddell of heavy metal doom band, Brule, “doom is the ‘Tempter’ by Trouble; anything else is just an added bonus”; an austere definition perhaps, but one that chimes with the existential obscurity that underpins the genre.
Reminiscent of Pentagram with Kyuss and, indeed, Trouble, London’s Brule will more than satisfy orthodox doom tastes but it is their broad creative palate, taking in psychedelic rock and meat-n-potatoes ’70s rock, that sets them apart from the Wizard-Bong-Witch cliches of much that passes for contemporary doom.
“The main influences are the Maiden, Rainbow, Grand Funk, Trouble, Scorpions, WASP, Vitus, Pentagram, Bang, Rush, Saxon, Witchfinder General, Purple and Gillan’s solo albums, Accept and Manowar,” Riddell lists. “However there is also stuff like the obvious ’60s bands – The Who, Kinks, Stones, MC5 and even the Beatles, but also a lot of the proto-metal and early heavy prog bands as well. The genre name is not really all that important; the quality is what matters, whether it’s Budgie or Bathory, Acid or Aphrodites … Read More
Italian masters of occult horror doom metal Abysmal Grief, who formed in 1996, have reissued their latest album ‘Strange Rites Of Evil’ on cassette via Horror Records and after seeing them at Roadburn Festival where they stole the crown “band of the weekend” (according to our editor, Louise) we needed to interrogate them about the album and their future plans. Known for their dark, occult imagery and lyrics, Kat Gillham caught up with guitarist Regen Graves to get his take on the band’s themes and the state of modern doom.
Your excellent new album ‘Strange Rites Of Evil’ was unleashed upon mankind recently, please tell the readers what they can expect from it in your words. The new album was released on digipack CD by Terror From Hell Records on November 2, while the LP was unleashed by Horror Records on Christmas eve and just now on cassette. Yes, we’re satisfied with the whole work, and I can say this is exactly what Abysmal Grief look like today: a punch in the face of positiveness and life.
Please tell us a bit about the lyrical concepts on this album, what initially made you so interested in such dark and esoteric subjects? This album is quite different … Read More
One of our favourite new bands (well, they formed in 2006), Black Oath perfectly meet at the cursed crossroads of misanthropic Peaceville death/doom, ancient NWOBHM and, of course, their Italian homeland’s rich history of occult rock. Obsessed with their latest album, ‘To Below And Beyond’ (just released on cassette by Equinox Discos), we sent Kat Gillham to get the skinny on why and how it’s so fucking perfect from frontman A.th. Hails! Your excellent third album ‘To Below And Beyond’ was unleashed upon mankind recently, how would you describe it for those who perhaps haven’t heard of you… yet… Thank you for appreciation! I would recommend the album for those into old heavy/rock with a strong passion for occultism and a touch of black metal atmosphere. Most describe us as a typical doom band (due to lack of knowledge about music) but we call it Cursed Rock Musick! We are extremely glad how the album turned out as it represents 100 percent of the band and our feelings.
What formats is it currently available on? As of now it is out on CD but soon we will have both LP and tape. We like all kinds of formats and take care of every … Read More
The musical spider’s web cast by Black Sabbath 46 years ago has mutated in many directions, and here at Iron Fist we often forget the crawling, deadly, filthy tentacles that became droning, sludgy doom metal. Germany’s Black Shape Of Nexus are here to remind us of the dread and unease that this genre permeates with a cover of Fist favourites, Hellhammer.
From their 1983 demo ‘Triumph Of Death’, this eponymous song reeks of decay and BSON have dragged it even further into the grave.
Featured on their new album, out on March 18 through Exile On Mainstream Records, ‘Carrier’ stinks like hell, as this song dictates. Drenching their songs in atmosphere, aggression and/or even speed, it is described as “a tour de force that will exhaust all but the completely deaf”.
The band said of this cover version: “Chris from Fucking Kill Records asked us if we would be willing to cover ‘Triumph Of Death’ for his ‘A Fucking Tribute To Hellhammer’ sampler 12”. The result was in our opinion so good, that it also deserved to be released on ‘Carrier’. ‘ToD’ (what a perfect abbreviation!) is a typical BSON track, beginning well-structured and ending up in full deconstruction. Our approach to the … Read More
Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Free, The Faces, “but, at the same time Donny Hathaway, Howlin’ Wolf, Dina Washington, Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters. Those are the one who taught me a lot of things about music.” That is the leap-off point into discussing ‘The Vision’, the debut album by Italian doominatrix Virginia Monti and her band Psychedelic Witchcraft. Fronted by the bewitching Monti, the only one in the band that “isn’t classically trained”, this Florence-based blues rock group were only formed a year ago but have already played with the likes of The Vintage Caravan and Dead Lord and have been snapped up by Soulseller Records (Spectral Haze/Demon Eye) for their debut album.
“I started alone, just for fun, posting a song on YouTube,” says Monti of how the band begun. “I wouldn’t have ever imagined the reaction the metal community had. I had so many people asking for more! It took me almost six months to find my bandmates because I was looking for guys that shared the vision of style and music I had in mind. I found was my guitar player [Jacopo Fallai]in my hometown, then I met Riccardo [Giuffrè, bass] in Milan and he moved … Read More
American doom/death dealers Temple Of Void recently had their debut album ‘Of Terror And The Supernatural’ re-released by the mighty and far-reaching Shadow Kingdom (originally released in 2014 on the small underground label Saw Her Ghost Records). And it deserves it, as this album should appeal to fans of Hooded Menace and the like and when vocalist Michael Erdody is asked to describe their debut he replies; “The album is very dense, yet atmospheric; bludgeoning, yet gripping. It’s an attempt to create doom-influenced death metal in the strictest denotation that we could. Hopefully the listener is left with a collection memorable songs that tastefully encompasses all the elements of doom/death that we all mutually love. Sometimes the songs end up more on the death side of the spectrum, and other times they lean more towards the doom side.”
How did the reissue with Shadow Kingdom come about? He must be happy about the album getting released to a wider audience so soon. “The SKR signing was very happenstance,” he says. “We were approached directly by [label boss] Tim as a fan of the band. We were already picking up steam rather autonomously, but self-promotion can only go so far. SKR just … Read More
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