Κυριακή, 23 Ιουνίου 2019

Doom over the world... from bands that are not doom metal!


While I have in mind to work on a "best of" Doom Metal article, it seems that a proper work will take lot of time, and the additional contribution of musicians involved in the greatest albums of the genre, is more than needed. So, while this article is in the labyrinth of my mind (along with other ideas) and will reach the exit sometime in the future, let's pick 10 songs that have a strong doom metal vibe (some of them are actually doom metal) from bands... that have nothing to do with Doom Metal!


We will probably continue this type of articles with more genres, but for now, let's just spread doom over the world.

VENOM - Warhead


Originally released as a single in 1984, few months before the album "At War with Satan", "Warhead" is a heavy possessed anthem that stands among those Venom tracks released as singles only, and remain favourite fan songs. We are already at a period where the New Wave of British Heavy Metal started to fade, but its mark upon metal music never faded. Venom started as part of the NWoBHM movement but during the early '80s, they were something different. Sinister, vicious and everything society hated. One of the most important and influential bands of metal music. Thrash metal, black metal and all things extreme metal, owe a small debt to Cronos, Mantas and Abaddon.

During the NWoBHM we had bands like Witchfinder General,  that were highly influenced by Black Sabbath and offered doom metal in its early forms, but Venom was a unique beast and in 1984 tried different things. Among them, "Warhead", stands as one of their very best songs.  Hear the thunder roar, engraved on flesh and bone.

SCORPIONS - Animal Magnetism


Here we have a true doom metal song. Weird isn't it? This is Scorpions, the greatest German hard rock / heavy metal band, that has sold millions of albums, and yet, back in 1980 (!) they recorded a doom metal song. Following "The Zoo", "Animal Magnetism" is the last track of the same titled album that was released between "Lovedrive" (1979) and "Blackout" (1982), two of the most important and well-known albums of the band. Despite the fact that "Animal Magnetism" was the first Scorpions album that reached platinum status in the USA, somehow remain underrated. Scorpions' guitarist and composer, Rudolf Schenker, has said to Malcolm Dome and Classic Rock that "it's a really powerful album" and ranked it as Number 4 among his 10 favourite Scorpions albums. I don't know if we can take Rudolf seriously since among those 10 albums there is none before "Lovedrive" but we all know the "weird" look of artists upon their legacy and art.

I remember when US power metallers Sanctuary played live in Athens, Greece, in September of 2011, and among the classics of "Refuge Denied" and 'Into the Mirror Black", they also performed a cover of "Animal Magnetism", and most of the attendants didn't recognize that song. If you are not familiar with that doom metal gem, have a listen!

MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP - Lost Horizons


Micheal Schenker's debut album ("The Michael Schenker Group") was also released in 1980. Michael Schenker left UFO and briefly joined Scorpions during "Lovedrive", just to leave after a while and start his own band. "Lost Horizons" is taken from his debut album and his playing has all those elements that influenced a generation of metal guitarists, including many ones from Sweden... Funny how, Memento Mori have covered both "Lost Horizons"  and "Animal Magnetism".

DANZIG - Pain in the World


Off Danzig's second album, "Danzig II - Lucifuge", the closing track is about a heart full of hell and sin. The first 4 Danzig albums include songs that balance between dark rock, slow, groovy heavy metal, blues and lot of experimental sounds. Let's say that Danzig play heavy dark rock and we will be fine! But "Pain in the World" is doomed.  

KING DIAMOND - Digging Graves 


Once a King, always a King. Right? Or not? Well, King Diamond's return over the last years is filled with praise because of his great live shows. There are even people that believe he is in his best shape, ever. It's been a "while" since his last studio album ("Give Me Your Soul... Please", 2007) but just few hours ago, he performed at Hellfest in France a new song! Hopefully, the new album will hit the shelves of the record stores in the next months.

King Diamond's legacy is one of the most important and greatest in metal history, incuding of course, both King Diamond band and Mercyful Fate. Just have a look at all those great musicians that played in these bands, next to King Diamond. Few of them, have also a doom metal history. "Digging Graves" is taken from "The Graveyard" (1996), one of King Diamond's modern classics, and dwells in insanity and doomed feelings.

YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN - Dark Ages 


While Candlemass go neoclassical at "Into the Unfathomed Tower" (from "Tales of Creation", 1989), when they released their monumental debut album, Yngwie Malmsteen released his third solo album ("Trilogy") and "Dark Ages" is a great neoclassical doomed piece, that could be more epic (?) if it was longer. To be or not to be, Maestro is fast, but when he goes slower, he still rules, and there is always a great epic feeling in Malmsteen's slower songs.

ZOOL - Cross of Greed 


When Henrik Flyman (guitars) and Martin Häggström (vocals) disbanded Moahni Moahna in 1997, they formed another unique band under the name Zool, but besides the same-titled album in 2002, they were lost into oblivion. Flyman continued with Evil Masquerade and among others, he was also involved with Epic Irae / Quicksand Dream. While Moahni Moahna still remains a personal favourite and underrated act, Zool in "Cross of Greed" pay a tribute to Dio-era Black Sabbath. And that's just great.

SAVIOUR MACHINE - The Beast 


I just love Saviour Machine. Eric Clayton is one of the most charismatic and emotional performers out there. "The Beast" is taken from "Legend I" (1997) and the Apocalypse is a great concept for Saviour Machine. The story is not completed (and I don't know if it will ever be) but what Saviour Machine tried to do, still remains majestic and unique. And that concept can offer many doomed moments... Behold the nail, the sentence of death, and Jesus wept, it is manifest.

TWISTED SISTER - Destroyer


When Dee Snider and Co. put you under the blade, you will be destroyed. Funny thing is that someone could say that "Destroyer" is inspired by the "God of Thunder" track of Kiss, that's included in their album... "Destroyer"(1976)! Originally released in 1982, decades later, "Destroyer" still remains a killer, ultra heavy anthem and a fan favourite live track. When Twisted Sister were performing in various festivals around Europe, once "Destroyer" was hitting the stage and doomsters haven't heard of them, they were turning their heads to watch the stage, wondering "how the fuck did I miss this"?

MANOWAR - Dark Avenger


There is no need to include epic heavy metal bands here, since many of them have songs with a strong doom metal vibe. But we cannot leave aside Manowar since from their debut album, "Battle Hymns" (1982), they offered to the world an epic doom metal masterpiece entitled, "Dark Avenger". "These bones may be broken but the spirit can't die". No need to mention something else.