The multifaceted frontman puts a spotlight on the genre he himself has mastered with class.
At some point in their existence, doom metal bands with a unique take on their craft may find themselves amidst the Psycho Las Vegas and/or Roadburn festival lineups. We can list a variety of reasons for why that is, but it's important to note that each festival hosts a plethora of trailblazing acts thanks to their magnificent organizers. However, this says more of the bands involved for doing something exciting enough to peak beyond the flooded ranks of metal's expansive underground. Amidst the talented bunch that made it onto Psycho's ranks in years prior is Sweden's DOMKRAFT, a meticulous trio that knows how to embrace and utilize atmosphere for one tantalizing composition of psychedelic doom. Their third-chapter, Seeds, takes their hypnotization even further.
Arriving on April 30th via Magnetic Eye Records, Seeds presents itself as a testament to the explorative qualities of sound, giving clear indication that linear confines are not something that DOMKRAFT look to abide by. This isn't just musically either. Visually, the trio stray from typical illustration and host a trance inducing 3-D depiction by Björn Atldax, who took outdoor pictures of a bone structure and reimagined them to create one immersive piece, the likes of which welcomes multiple visits as DOMKRAFT buries you in riffs. The intrigue of the cover is a seamless pairing to the band's cosmic take on psychedelic doom, a take that serves as a proper indication of the great standing that the genre currently finds itself in.
To highlight the strengths of the contemporary psychedelic doom metal scene, we asked DOMKRAFT bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland to list his five contemporary favorites:
Slift – Ummon (2020) | Listen
It may not be doom per se, but it has all the elements that I love with heavy music. It is rich, spacious, and makes you want to fuck up your neck as well as your eardrums – since you feel it is actually worth it in that moment. The guitar playing is amazing - super innovative and feels like it does not adhere to any kind of rules while still bringing grade A+ riffs when needed. The bass is flawless; a low-end, soothing guide through all the song structures, and the drums feel like they were spawned from equal parts Keith Moon and Klaus Dinger. Probably my most listened to album of last year. Can’t wait to catch these guys live.
Slomatics – Canyons (2019) | Listen
When you look up “Space Doom” in a dictionary, a picture of Slomatics pops up. Or at least it should. You cannot help making up amazing movies in your head when spinning their albums. There’s adventure, desperation, and actual tonal storytelling - always with a backbone of black hole heaviness. Often with original, weird time signatures - like the songs are actually working through shifting gravity - that just add to the mystique. Totally unique and one of my favorite heavy bands.
Ufomammut – 8 (2017) | Listen
This Italian trio takes you down deep below as well as far away in space. Massive, ritualistic music that feels devoid of limitations. Gritty and atmospheric, where every instrument plays an equally important part. There is this otherworldly quality to them that makes them stand out from the ocean of riff-mongers out there. An amazing live act as well.
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control (2013) | Listen
More rooted in 60’s psych than the Hawkwind kind, but nonetheless it gets you to that elevated place. Great songwriting, always to the point, and there’s something very familiar and classic about their riffs and melody lines. It kind of reminds me of early Iron Maiden, but through a hazy Haight-Ashbury filter.
Rezn – Calm Black Water (2018) | Listen
I had the pleasure of catching these guys live at a festival we also played. They sound like the perfect bridge between British 90’s psychedelia/shoegaze and doomy low-end goodness. Esoteric and hallucinatory with a weightless feel, but still really heavy. Plus, they use saxophone – and they do it the right way. Their latest album is equally good, but I chose this since this was the one that hit me first.
And there you have it, five exquisite selections of mind-melting goodness. As if the album covers themselves aren't enough of an indication of the stimulating experience that lies within, Wegeland's descriptions capture it clearly. Seeds is no different and come April 30th, DOMKRAFT will hold the Swedish flag high with a monolithic record that further cements the breadth and versatility possible within the parameters of the genre.
Seeds arrives on April 30th via Magnetic Eye Records. Order your copy of it HERE.