Death/Doom, the bastard son of death metal and, well, doom metal first reared it’s head in the late 80’s/early 90’s when the likes of Dream Death, Winter and Autopsy first merged the traditional sound of doom metal’s lumbering riffs and mournful atmospherics with the bursts of speed, unparalleled aggression and growled vocals of the then burgeoning death metal scene.
A new sub-genre was born but, in time, even death/doom would morph into new shapes; birthing funeral doom in the shape of Thergothen and Skepticism (to name just two) and gothic metal as pioneered by Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride.
Regardless, this feature concentrates on 6 death/doom records that are ripe for rediscovery and worthy of higher praise.
6. Sempiternal Deathreign – The Spooky Gloom (1989)
An extremely obscure release, Sempiternal Deathreign‘s only album is a shockingly underrated yet vital death/doom release that demands to be rediscovered.
While leaning more towards the death than the doom, openers “Creep-O-Rama” and “Resurrection Cemetery” mimic much of the death/thrash that reared its ugly head in the late 80’s with breakneck speed and bowel-loosening growls misleadingly omitting practically all doom elements. Stick with it though and this ‘lost classic’ truly elevates itself to must-hear status with its subtle introduction of doom on the simply awe-inspiring “Devastating Empire Towards Humanity”. It’s acoustic intro instantly brings to mind the likes of Candlemass before a classic doom metal riff – the kind Tony Iommi would have been proud to have penned – tuns The Spooky Gloom on its head and its pioneering death/doom intentions become clear. Interspersed with death metal speed, this epic flits between the two genres with consummate ease.
Way, way ahead of their time, Sempiternal Deathreign may be a mere footnote in metal history but The Spooky Gloom is one album that epitomises death/doom more then most.