Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'm two years, nine weeks and fives days from turning 40. I seriously re-wrenched the back injury I sustained from an Olympics-worthy agony of defeat moment while trying to (ahem) snowboard over New Year's. Apparently we're about to witness Great Depression II: Wraith of Khan and my 1 year old wants to wear flip flops in 20 degree cold. Of course this all means I've now become a full-on devotee of Doom Metal.

Now, this is a genre I barely knew existed until a year ago when I saw the Japanese practitioners, BORIS, but it was a nearly instant conversion experience. Allow me to quote from a 2006 New York Times article about Doom Metal to get across the general idea:

The music was unbelievably loud — so loud, in fact, that the sound waves made your rib cage vibrate like a stereo cabinet and your teeth literally rattle in their sockets — but the effect was somehow more meditative than violent. The overall experience was not unlike listening to an Indian raga in the middle of an earthquake.

In other words, it's like a yogic spa treatment in black Satan t-shirts. I had originally planned on getting expansive on this subject, but no amount of fancy words is going to open this portal for you. Just check your local listings and try radiating yourself in the therapeutic effects of extreme volume (but DO wear earplugs). Plus, there's some of the most ambitious, creative, thoughtful, experimental, highly-orchestrated and dare I say "progressive" music being made under the guise of "metal." Almost all of it can be categorized as "psychedelic" and, in fact, cannabis is a preferred supplement to the affair. Incidentally, a lot of the practitioners happen to be people (including some gals!) approaching my age and even beyond. A friend recently described himself as "imploding gracefully," and this is pretty much the soundtrack for that. It's the natural maturation of the Black Sabbath sound and I compare it to the evolution of comic books into graphic novels. But again, I've said too much already.

The recorded version of this music is utterly inadequate and a mere vapor of the live experience. But check out Southern Lord Recordings to get the flavor and plenty of free samples. Here's some choice doom, including the first song I ever heard live from BORIS, which gives you the general idea of what happened to me:

[Ed. Note: For the last week I've had the wrong link on this first track, thereby misdirecting dear readers to the wrong doom. If anybody's reading this, retry "Farewell" and experience what I was actually talking about. It's impressive!]

Farewell - BORIS

The Driver - Earth

Orosborous - Earth


1 comment:

Lefty said...

fascinating, tell me more