Doomentor are one of those small surprises one finds from time to time and by almost accident in the deepest Metal underground. They formed in 2011 in Baden Württemberg (the area of Destruction and Poison!), released a demo tape in 2014, and later re-released on vinyl, both by Messe Noire Productions. One year later Iron Bonehead Productions released 'The Second Ceremony' 7"EP.
In my case, I was a bit late to the call, I missed both of those recordings and I only very recently acquired and listened to their first album, that was put out in the end of 2016 by Unholy Fire Records (LP), Goat Kult Symphonies (both CD and LP) and Messe Noire Productions (cassette), just in time to have some expectations for their upcoming record, 'Opus Diabolae', released by the end of this month by the same labels.
When I listened for the first time to 'Dominus Omnes' I ended up having some kind of a mess in my mind, as I found myself thinking about a lot of different references. I checked Doomentor after reading about their similarities to early second wave Black Metal like Samael and Treblinka/Tiamat, which I obviously worship, But after listening to these eleven tracks I think these Germans have a much wider spectrum of (Metal) influences, that could be summarized as an absolute devotion for the eighties/early nineties devil worshipping underground, analog sound and horror atmosphere. And that is obviously great.
It doesn't mind if we're speaking about Doom Rock in the vein of Paul Chain, Coven and Pagan Altar, that could even make me think about the first Hour of 13 stuff or Abysmal Grief, to a certain extent, second wave Black Metal very directly (sounding) inspired by the first wave, including the already mentioned above but also (obviously) Venom, Necromantia or Goatlord, and even some of the early mid-paced Satanic Death Metal of Acheron. Yes, it's a big mix of stuff, but it makes a lot of sense when you listen to it all-together, specially because it takes the most mid-paced aspects of every one of those influences. It oozes feeling, a great sense of groove and a profoundly dark spirit, in a simplicity that distills, above all, a lot of honesty and passion.
Another great thing about their music is that it includes some hints and slight doses of Folk/Psych Rock, Ambient or even eighties Electronic/synth parts, mostly in the form of short interludes and details amidst the rest, which give it both a special (good, not fake) retro ambience and increases the effect of their dark tunes by taking a creepier texture.
And, just to make it even more authentic, the production of this recording (managed in Old Spirit Recordings studio, where I read the German Speed Metal band Blizzard also recorded, maybe a connection?) is as raw and simplystic as one would expect for such references. It's extremely organic, it's heavy without the need of ultra-low productions, it's very atmospheric (even more when those Folkish/ambient passages appear) and it has a good dose of reverb to make it even more profound. Not to forget it was mastered by none other than Patrick W. Engel (and I'm starting to forget how many records I've hailed lately went through his hands).
This is definitely one of my favorite descoveries of the last times, I have been spinning this record like crazy several times per day, and I can't wait to listen to their new full-length. My expectations are very high, but I trust them to surpass them quite easily.
Despite not being one of the most fertile grounds for (exportable) Metal, with a few exceptions, if we compare it to a few other countries of the southern American lands, Perú always had a strong underground scene. And the few and very honorable exceptions are obviously, first and foremost, Mortem, and then Nahual, Anal Vomit, Reino Ermitaño, Goat Semen ... I could also add Black Angel and Morbid Slaughter, but not many more, that would be known by most of people listening to the extreme sounds within the genre.
Well, and now these guys we will speak about, raising from the city of Lima with a not so original name (if we take into consideration I can count seven other Antichrists on Metal Archives), who formed in 2004 but have only started releasing recordings from 2014. After not less than 4 demos and a single, Iron Bonehead Productions added them to their roster and they finally unleash their first full-length, on both CD and 12" vinyl.
I doubt the cover of 'Pax Moriendi' could confuse anyone's expectations. You could maybe doubt a bit on which branch of the sub-genre they chose. But anyone going to play this record would obviously think these guys are playing Doom Metal. And, effectively, this is Doom Death Metal with all the expected elements. From slow and crushing Death Metal riffs to reverb-loaded cavernous vocals, with a pretty dynamic flow despite of the preference for mid and slow tempos. They also include some slightly orchestral synth/keyboard parts to increase a bit the already gloomy atmosphere.
Song-writing is pretty simple and straight to the point, there's not much diversion from the usual traits of the genre in both the instrumental and vocal sides. Guitars go from the usual pounding and monotonous power-chords to more up-tempoed cavalcades. On the drums side, there's a big focus on the double bass in terms of rythm, which varies the speed depending on the guitar flow and kind of sets the actual mood. And the vocals are very low-tuned and gutural, and they more or less follow the flow of the song without too much alteration. They also include some more brutal stuff, including blastbeats and faster guitars, like the fourth track "Screams and Lamentations Drowned", that puts them closer to pure and more evil Death Metal.
So, on a general level, you can hear references especially from the first Skepticism era, definitely early My Dying Bride (demos and first EP) and Anathema (also demos and first EP) and maybe a bit of Thergothon and first Unholy (definitely not Winter, to whom I've seen them being compared). For those less common and more intense Death Metal parts, I could think of early Deicide and even Beherit (on a minor level, but for some reason they came to my mind).
Can't say it's bad at all. I'm sure it will catch some of the fans of the style quite easily. But I must also admit it doesn't offer many new, original or simply personal details after all the bands that made this sub-style explode. And it's not only that. It's also the fact of having the impression of being listening to mostly the same ideas and resources (riffs, vocal lines, flow ...) along these five tracks.
So, unfortunately, this is not sufficient to catch my attention more than a few times after having listened to all the classics of the genre. I would expect a small extra something at this stage. Maybe the recording was a bit rushed.
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.