Simon Magus ~ The First Year of Catastrophe (2015)
Because I can never pass up exceptional doom metal, I'm going to introduce you to the debut album from Simon Magnus. Starting off life as a group of musicians looking to do a little something outside their comfort zone, it's mostly a studio band. Listening to even just the first track, you'll never get the impression that this was ever out of anyone's comfort zone. Masterful grooves mixed with punchy, heavy guitar riffs creates one of the best Sabbath styled doom albums this year. I've seen favorite tracks from this album so varied, I venture to say that they've all been picked at least once. For me it was "The Dying King", sitting at number four it's really the first slowed down track on the album, drawing from Saint Vitus as opposed to Black Sabbath for this one. Starting off at a crawling pace, the only deviations aside from the melodic vocals are the screaming guitar parts that add some spice here and there in the otherwise plodding tempo. In the second half it seems like the vocals take a small step back and the guitar plays a bigger role than it was. It seems like a small deviation, but it has a large effect on the tone of the track itself. And if you like the band Sasquatch, you'll love the song after it called "In League With Suffering". With the vocals taking a slightly different dynamic, and the tempo getting jacked up a little bit, it comes out a left field a little bit on you. Even with that, it still flows perfectly and is the perfect track to get you out of the slowed down haze of "The Dying King". You can pick up your digital copies on bandcamp, with no word on any physical copies yet, but you should pick it up all the same.