Friday, June 21, 2024

Finnish doom trio Asphodelus release Stygian Dreams

Asphodelus in their own words create “death doom for the lost souls”. They harbour clear influences from heavyweights such as Katatonia and My Dying Bride, whilst drawing inspiration from the gloom and darkness of British death/doom, the macabre and mysterious history of an ancient Greek cult and the “masennus” or depression of 90’s Finnish death metal. Despite pulling from such a rich pool of inspiration and influence Asphodelus are intent on carving their own mythology and stamp their own unique sound of Death Doom and Gloom.

AsphodelusThe next step on their sombre quest is the new seven-track LP Stygian Dreams which releases 15th February 2019 on Terror From Hell Records. Stygian Dreams offers the sound that the bands cult following has come to love, death doom with a twist. Containing the brutality and darkness of death metal and the sorrow of doom Asphodelus expertly infiltrate their sound with harmonic keys and soft strings, bringing a lighter sound in places before pulling you back down into the pit of hopelessness with the deep growls of vocalist/guitarist J. Filppu and the raw, ever-present riffage, all of these factors working together to conjure a dark and very Scandinavian atmosphere, tracks such as ‘Dreaming’ and ‘Sleep of Eternity’ being prime examples of such a feat. It’s with this signature sound that Asphodelus are fast becoming masters of their craft.

What you see with Asphodelus is not necessarily what you get, the Finnish trio hides more than one trick up their collective sleeves as alluded too, it would be easy to assume that a three-piece doom metal band from Finland would be predictable and maybe even cliched but not these Northmen.

A bleak and sombre picture of the frozen North is slowly painted before you with the closing track ‘Where Freezing Spirits Fall’ which is, in my opinion, one of the strongest tracks present on Stygian Dreams. The slow heavy riff that drives the track is pure doom metal, mixed with the desperate vocals and crushing double pedal blasts from drummer V. ‘Kettunen’ ends the LP in fantastic fashion, clocking in at just shy of eight minutes.

If it’s frozen, doom and gloom you’re looking for you can do a lot worse than Asphodelus.

Jay Taylor-Brown
Jay Taylor-Brown
Assistant Editor of RAMzine - Raised on Motown and Rock, now with a deep love for all things metal and heavy rock. Veteran gig goer, favorite bands include Slayer, Mastodon, Dopelord & Power Trip among many others. Explorer of subgenres, collector of whiskey.

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