Various Artists – Women of Doom
Reviewed: October 2020
Released: 2020, Blues Funeral
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
WOMEN OF DOOM is a compilation album created to showcase and celebrate the impact of female artists in heavy music. Just about every facet of the album has been driven by women – from the artwork, to the mastering and manufacturing, to the tunes themselves. If there were any remaining doubts that ladies know how to bring the heavy, WOMEN OF DOOM bulldozes through those preconceptions pretty quickly. And if you’re in the mood for a diverse collection of all things doom, it’s a great sampler of both new and familiar voices.
Featuring artists from bands like Heavy Temple, Year of the Cobra, Royal Thunder, SubRosa, and more, WOMEN OF DOOM covers a broad swath of musical territory across its 10 tracks. High Priestess Nighthawk and Heavy Temple opens the procession with the MASSIVELY heavy “Astral Hand”, a much more traditionally metal tune than the band is typically associated with. Totally sounds like it could’ve be a Candlemass B-Side from the late 80’s. As the album volleys between heavy and atmosphere, Amy Tung Barrysmith (Year of the Cobra) offers “Broken” as a fever dream palate cleanser, while Stockholm upstarts Besvärjelsen delivers trance inducing bottom end punishment with “A Curse to be Broken.”
Every contribution to the album is pretty spectacular, but for me, the standout cut on the album belongs to The Otolith and “Bone Dust.” Featuring 4/5 of the mighty SubRosa and a similar composition style, “Bone Dust” builds anticipation with a slow burning crescendo of violins, roaring guitars, and haunting voices. Not the most aggressive track on WOMEN OF DOOM, but it definitely whets the palate for an impending debut release from the band.
WOMEN OF DOOM delivers an epic cross section of artists and musical flavors that all fit comfortably under the “Doom” umbrella. Beyond being an engaging listen on its own merits, it’s given me a list of bands that I’m eager to get more familiar with (an added bonus). If you’re up for a journey into the many shades of musical melancholy, the WOMEN OF DOOM are ready to be your guide.