Dö – Astral: Death/Birth

Dö is a stoner death/doom band from Helsinki, Finland that goes back to 2007. Doom is not usually my go to so I was naturally skeptical that I would like this. However, I realized immediately that this was not just any doom band. They play a self describe genre called Döömer, which they describe as a mixture of stoner,doom, and sludge with some death/black metal thrown in. I can honestly say that this is a quite accurate description. With two previous EPs and a full length album under their belts, they just recently released a third EP entitled, Astral: Death/Birth and it’s actually quite good.

The EP is only twenty minutes in length and consists of two songs which they cleverly titled the first song “Death” and the second track “Birth.” “Death” kicks things off and is an almost eight minute slice of killer death/doom. The riffs are slow and heavy as fuck with the vocals being somewhere between a death metal growl and a black metal rasp. The vocals actually remind me of Nocturno Culto in places. The song has an overall dark feeling about it, which seems to be the point here since this song seems to match it’s title. the song flows well and does not feel as long as the song truly is.

“Birth” is the second and final song on this short but to the point EP. Here is where they mix things up a bit. This song is just over twelve minutes long and the first half is really slow and psychedelic with some riffing going but a lot of atmosphere. There is a solo in that first half that really sounds like a throwback to the 70s; invoking some of Sabbath’s more slower, moody stuff while also reminding one of Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.” The vocals on this part of the song are clean and kind of distorted reminding me of “Planet Caravan” by Sabbath. Then, halfway through, we pick the pace up a bit and get some serious doom metal riffs while the death vocals take over again making this one of the most interesting songs I’ve heard in a while.

Every once in a while I run across something that challenges my tastes in metal. This EP is one of those discoveries. This mix of dark doom and heavy psychedelic 70s proto-metal works really well and I highly recommend it.

8.0/10

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