So the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Why not acquaint yourself with the apocalyptic sounds of DOOM?
Doom is one of those genres that scares most people away by its mere title. Often paired with “metal,” doom is a style that imagines what a monster band’s nightmare music would sound like, then makes something infinitely more disturbing. In most cases, doom can be describe as slow, deep distorted guitar waves under kick heavy pounding of drums, weird rhythms, and guttural vocals that sound like the worst kind of vomiting. With polarizing band names like Genocide Pact, the night’s opener, there is clearly no love lost for the skeptics. Doom is for doom fans, and everyone else can just listen to Justin Bieber or whatever.
That’s why I was quite surprised by Windhand. While Genocide Pact harkened to the traditional doom tropes of Slayer, Windhand was a lot more like Black Sabbath, especially since the vocalist that didn’t sing like the contents of her digestive system were surging full speed out of her mouth. Don’t get me wrong: vomitty vocals are in no way a deal breaker for me. As a fan of Tuvan throat singing, I know it takes a lot of talent and hard work to master proper growling technique without destroying your voice. Still, I can’t deny I was relieved when Windhand came out with a more classic style of singing. For a genre that aims to frighten, the whole vomit thing just seems too on the nose. Proper singing over doom metal is actually much scarier; Marilyn Manson always creeped me out more when he crooned in that deep baritone than when he screamed.
Windhand’s music is basically heavy metal at a slow tempo with scary chords, and it pretty much never deviates from that. Some might find that repetitive, but, in my experience, a band that sticks to one thing can really hypnotize you (assuming it does that thing well). Variety is often mistaken for quality, and it’s important to recognize that not every band needs to be a polyglot of musical genres to be good. Perhaps that is one of the great appeals of doom. You don’t have to worry about the band launching into their “reggae one” or their “country one.” It’s just an endless pounding of thick bassy distortion forever. You get what you pay for.
I was thrilled to get pounded by Windhand. And let’s face it. We all need a good pounding once in a while.