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Kvlt, Meet Riff: Blackened Doom And Sludge

Had been wanting to do this for a while, title's pretty self explanatory. Black and doom are my two favorite metal subgenres, and when the two are combined into pure melancholic chaos, I scream like a little girl. I decided to take a broad approach with this one and include blackened sludge bands as well, as I think doom and sludge have similar origins and can fall under the same general banner. *Translation: I don't care if you think they can't. As usual, suggestions are both warmly welcomed and appreciated. Limit one album per band.

Created by: Apothecary | 05.11.2014

2. Arcana Coelestia - Le Mirage De L'Idéal
Blackened funeral doom, hazy and smothering, but also with a surprisingly beautiful edge with its use of keyboards and other effects.
3. Atriarch - Ritual Of Passing
Pretty unique in the style, Atriarch are essentially occult doom with some BM sprinkles here and there to enhance the mood. This album is hypnotizing and ensnaring, with great production, and the vocals of Lenny Smith, spanning shrieks, charismatic cleans, and haunting, operatic drones, are truly the icing on the cake.
4. Autumnblaze - DämmerElbenTragödie
At the same time that Dolorian were putting out their debut, these Germans were as well. However, Autumnblaze sit at the opposite end of the spectrum, and this album isn't so much haunting and melancholic as it is actually warm and uplifting at points, with very beautiful, almost Gothic-esque clean vocals. Call it "pretty" blackened doom if you want.
5. Bast - Spectres
Groovy and thundering, but also surprisingly melodic and atmospheric at points as well. Powerful debut from this UK trio.
6. Beatrik - Journey Through The End Of Life
Very commendable black/doom fusion, at times gritty and lo fi with its frostbitten edge, at other times crunchy, thick and heavy. Bleak album.
7. Black Crow King - To Pay The Debt Of Nature
Droney blackened doom with a murky, gritty production. Makes great use of organ, for a haunting, almost medieval mood.
8. Blood Of The Black Owl - A Feral Spirit
The one man project of Chet W. Scott, Blood Of The Black Owl is a highly original blend of black metal, doom, drone, and folk. Intense Native American theme, wind flute ist krieg.
9. Culted - Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep
Melancholic, harrowing, and merciless, this one drags you into the watery depths of Sheol and there's no turning back from there. Sort of feels like a blackened funeral doom at points, and is suitably crushing with the signature dark ambient cloak of the style.
10. Dolorian - When All The Laughter Has Gone
Along with the Katatonia debut, probably the album that started it all. Smothering the listener in a bleak, shadowy cloak, with a spine-tingling ambient edge, with this album Dolorian established many of the trademarks of this style: the heavy, crushing nature of doom infused with BM's icy air and grim aesthetic. "There's no need for you, children of Jesus."
11. Drowner - Moth Temple
This is one for those who enjoy only the most uncompromising end of the doom spectrum. Blackened drone, with traumatic vocals and a grim aesthetic enhanced through a disturbing ambiance that ultimately leaves you feeling spiritually drained.
12. Elysian Blaze - Levitating The Carnal
Blackened funeral doom from Australian mastermind Mutatiis. Icy, ensnaring, and with a delicious neoclassical influence in the piano usage, a mood only further enhanced on the monumental follow up, Blood Geometry.
13. Faal - The Clouds Are Burning
More black/funeral doom, delicate in its tempo and with beautifully melodic undertones. At times feels like little more than slow black metal, but still excellent in its pacing and has a great sense of atmosphere.
14. Gnaw Their Tongues - An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood
There's a lot of variety among Mories's GTT albums, from outright aggressive black metal to more dissonant, slow moving chaos. This one sits in latter territory, and is a curios and terrifying fusion of noise, drone doom, and black metal. The soundtrack to your nightmares.
15. Katatonia - Dance Of December Souls
Back in the glory days, Katatonia were something of pioneers of blackened doom, if only really for this one release. Nonetheless: the crunchy, catchiness of doom meets black metal's sense of melody and neoclassical atmosphere, with spectacular results.
16. Menace Ruine - Cult Of Ruins
Weird, weird album. At times menacing (see what I did there?) with its black metal personality, but also cloaked in a heavy veil of drone, noise, and psychedelia. A very special release, one that can't entirely be summed up in words, but is nonetheless very rewarding if you give it a try.
17. Mörkö - Itsensänimeävä
Good Finnish blackened doom, lo fi and murky, but with a really dreamlike, almost psychedelic edge at some points as well. Great bass tone too, rumbles along audibly throughout.
18. Nightly Gale - ...And Jesus Wept
Also following along the more "beautiful" lines of Autumnblaze, with excellent manipulation of guitar and keyboard effects to create an epic, almost transcendental mood.
19. Nortt - Gudsforladt
This one is the definition of bleak, smothering you in a haze of lo fi black metal guitar tone and a funereal pace with the doom side of the equation. The piano usage makes things especially sorrowful, if you're looking for blackened doom that sits far at the "sad" end of the style's spectrum, this is the album for you.
20. P.H.O.B.O.S. - Atonal Hypermnesia
Industrial black/doom. The black metal element is honestly limited, so including it here is a bit of stretch, but it is nonetheless felt in the overall grim and bleak aesthetic of the music. Ominous, oppressive, and all around HUGE release, the pounding, mechanical drums perhaps being the key aspect of this band's sound.
21. The Ruins Of Beverast - Foulest Semen Of A Sheltered Elite
Quite possibly my favorite black/doom release, for the simple fact that here both sides of the equation feel better balanced than with any other album. Monotonous at some points, with rich, operatic vocals, and raw and hard hitting at others, not forgetting the BM roots of the project. Truly Alex Von Meilenwald's masterpiece.
22. Sunn O))) - Black One
This may seem like a stretch, but it's really not too far fetched to be included here. While not REALLY blackened doom, this is nonetheless probably Sunn O)))'s most BM-influenced album in their discography, with a nightmarish mood unmatched anywhere else among their material. Wrest and Malefic guest as vocalists, helping to build upon the kvlt vibe.
23. Usnea - Usnea
Another one drenched in occult influences, this band's debut is an epic journey through gloomy doom and black metal influences to enhance the overall dark aesthetic. Like Atriarch, makes use of deep, clean vocals here and there that help greatly towards building upon the mesmerizing vibe.
24. Vattnet Viskar - Sky Swallower
Essentially a blend between doom and atmospheric BM, the debut of this band balances the two out very well, at times heavy and pummeling on the doom side of things, and at others relaxed and melodic from the black metal perspective.
25. Woods Of Belial - Baxabaxaxaxaxabaxaxaxaxa! 666 Yndstr Draconis
These Finns have always had a tendency for the strange and the spine tingling, and this release is no exception. A bizarre amalgamation of black, doom, and industrial metal, with a sense of dark ambiance very particular to the band. Creepy and soul crushing, with some of the most absolutely sinister and painful BM vocals you'll ever hear.
26. Wormphlegm - Tomb Of The Ancient King
A huge concrete slab of Finnish funeral doom, less pretty than Faal and not as classically influenced as Elysian Blaze, this band dives into the darkest chasms of the style and doesn't look back from there. Imposing, monolithic doom, augmented by sprinkles of tremolo picking and ear splitting shrieks from its BM counterpart. Recommended for Tyranny fans (with whom they shared a member).
27. Ill Omen - Æ.Thy.Rift
29. Alkerdeel - Morinde
The cover art of a wolf beating a goose with a stick is appropriate, because the music here is absolutely bludgeoning. Slow moving, with guitars like buzz saws during the sludgey moments, but pleasantly pulsating and upbeat when the black metal kicks in. A real beast of an album, and these Belgians take no prisoners.
30. The Body - All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood
Quite possibly the strangest of blackened sludge bands these days. Hard hitting riffs meet black metal dissonance topped off with depraved, Xasthur-esque shrieks. Also employs choir-like clean vocals and a bizarre use of audio samples to enhance the mood. Truly eerie shit, and perhaps one of the most unique releases from this style.
31. Coffinworm - IV.I.VIII
A crown jewel of blackened sludge. The debut is held in a bit higher regard, but I personally prefer this follow up because here the sludge and the BM seem to have a much more complementary relationship. Nasty, vicious, and with a surprisingly catchy edge.
32. Dragged Into Sunlight - Hatred For Mankind
As the title suggests, this album hates just about everything in its path. Quite possibly the most fiendish and unrelenting blackened sludge album to date, with a ton of misanthropic audio samples, this release is held in such high regard with good reason. Proceed with caution.
33. Fórn - The Departure Of Consciousness
These guys are new on the blackened sludge block, but are already separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Riff heavy and hard hitting, but also borrowing heavily from black metal's more melodic and atmospheric tendencies, such moments on this album are highly enjoyable. Relaxing may not be a word we may typically associate with this style, but here it works splendidly
34. Glorior Belli - Gators Rumble, Chaos Unfurls
There's a bit of a debate as to whether or not Glorior Belli in their present form are sludge, BM, or both. I'll go with that third option and say that these Frenchies are today a curious blend of black metal and bluesy, Southern rock-tinged sludge. Fun shit.
35. Grey Widow - I
This one is pretty stylistically ambiguous. The heavy, groovy aesthetic of sludge, but combined with drone doom's guitar tone and monotony. The BM vocals are very buried in the mix and rival Indian in terms of their sheer intensity
36. Indian - Guiltless
A pretty damn crushing album. Within the growing style of blackened sludge, Dylan O'Toole stands as perhaps the most aurally intense vocalist, and his razing shrieks are ear rape in its purest form.
37. Inter Arma - Sky Burial
Relentless, in your face BM riffs combined with a funeral doom sort of pace and a sludgey guitar tone. Has a great sense of melody to it, and the acoustic tracks are straight up beautiful.
38. Lord Mantis - Pervertor
Filthy bulldozing riffs interspersed with tremolo picking and an overall gritty, mechanical aesthetic. A definite gem of the style from which it comes. TRAPPED INSIDE THE NEED.
39. Primitive Man - Scorn
Another powerful blackened sludge debut, with some really excellent, grimy production to boot. Mostly pummels you with doomy riffs, but when the intensity really gets going, you're in for some hell breaking loose.
40. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber - Regarde Les Hommes Tomber
41. Sedna - Sedna
The debut of this Italian trio is particularly interesting because it's more so black metal enhanced by sludge than vice versa, as we've typically become used to. Slow and massive black metal accentuated by some pulsing sludge riffs that at times give way to a highly relaxing, melodic, post metal sort of aesthetic. Powerful shit.
42. Slugdge - Gastronomicon

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Apothecary ]

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Comments: 122   Visited by: 193 users
26.11.2019 - 11:24

I cant believe that ill omen is not here :/
Giving my ears a rest from music.
26.11.2019 - 19:47
Drone Strike
Written by mz on 26.11.2019 at 11:24

I cant believe that ill omen is not here :/

Fuuuuuuck you're right, that AE.Thy.Rift album is sick. I procrastinate a lot on working on my lists though

Edit: fixed just for you Mahdi
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.

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