It’s a tough old gig making standout doom records in this day and age. With the modern ascendancy of Sleep, The Sword and the passing of Black Sabbath, doom has experienced something of a renaissance, so everyone’s rocking Budgie t-shirts and breaking the big riffs out. In this crowded marketplace, it’s no small thing to state that this latest Doomed release is quite the listen. Following on from their conceptual 2016 release Anna, the magnificently-titled 6 Anti-Odes To Life sees the Germans expanding ever more on their giant-sounding palette with even longer songs and more space, resulting in a record that’s a proper experience above all else.

Driving its pole into the soil with opener “The Doors”, the influence of Teutonic anti-speedsters Ahab is still in effect, but where the whale-chasing seafarers are happy to indulge in vast swathes of progressively cleaner-sung grandeur, there’s a greater darkness at work on Doomed’s seven lengthy pieces. The growls are knowing and controlled, and the clean vocals have a hint of a less-mad Watchtower about them.

From “Aura” onward, …Life takes a different tack. The remainder of the album carefully distributes blasting, well-judged melody and some extremely sincere sounding passages over what is an extremely long record. The first three tracks alone are 30 minutes, and the whole shooting match nonchalantly pushes the hour barrier, but this is a crafted journey, with lots of subtle tints from unexpected places. There’s some borderline deathcore beatdowns (albeit handled with Germanic grace), way more pinch harmonics than you would expect in the field, but despite these anomalies, there still lies a concrete feeling that no matter what happens, Doomed aren’t going to be rushed.

Why hear but one song when you can stream them all?

An album that you’ll be glad to devote time to, 6 Anti-Odes To Life is a must for fans of funeral doom à la Esoteric, Thergothon, and Loss, and is the sound of a band who are doing as they wish. Superb.

6 Anti-Odes To Life Track Listing:

01. The Doors
02. Aura
03. Touched
04. Our Gifts
05. Reason
06. Insignificant
07. Layers (Ode To Life)

Run Time: 65:07
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Record Label: Solitude Productions