Void Rot – Descending Pillars (2020)

Entering the already crowded field of doom metal, Void Rot take a minimalist version of the glacial Skepticism or Thergothon approach and add a little more death metal and some of the post-rock open chord picking that gives atmosphere, creating a grating monolith of slowly moving sound which varies motifs as a form of texture.

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OPHTHALAMIA – A Journey in Darkness (Avantgarde Music, 1994)

While primarily known for his work with black metal/noise-pioneers Abruptum and assorted non-musical activities in the – at least locally – infamous “True Satanist Horde”, it is the strange entity of Ophthalamia that remains as Tony “IT” Särkkä’s (RIP 1972-2017) greatest artistic achievement. Ophthalamia’s debut album A Journey in Darkness stood out in the early 1990s black metal-environment with its anachronistic and all-around peculiar mode of expression. In rough terms, the music can be described as a blend of black-, doom-, and heavy metal with the conceptual and structural trappings of 1970s progressive rock.

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Rippikoulu – Musta Seremonia (1993)

Its name translating to “Black Ceremony,” Rippikoulu’s legendary demo was released only on tape at the time before being reissued by Svart Records seventeen years later, allowing for the democratisation of this powerful release for those would endure such a bludgeoning. Clear yet rumbling production allows for distinctly Finnish melodies in a simple death/doom form that is derived from the grindcore available at the time. Though this could be qualified as being a second or third tier Finnish record, very few are able to muscially evoke physical oppression as well as Rippikoulu.

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Forgotten Silence – Thots (1996)

Most musicians view metal as a question of technique, as exemplified by their answers to the question of what defines metal, when in fact the real difficulty lies in finding something that can tie all of that technique together and have enough energy and space to express enough of relevance to achieve what we call meaning. Forgotten Silence nails the technique… only.

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