After hearing many metal fans labelling many inappropriate bands doom, and hearing many bullshit titles such as "death/doom" (from what i've heard this so called genre is just slow paced death metal), i felt the need to write this article to tell some history of the genre and to clear up what i feel doom is all about.
The Framework of Doom
Doom metal is a genre with endless misconceptions. It is constantly being confused with any other genre that has related themes and a low tempo, and is regularly overlooked by metal fans and media. But what is doom exactly?
To put it very simply, doom is music that explores themes of misery or psychedelia. It is usually slow and heavy; however it is hard to pinpoint exactly what doom “sounds like” since like any genre it is diverse and doesn’t always follow specific criteria. Obviously it isn’t always only about this one sound, and ranges from extremely slow and extreme subgenres to faster, punk infused genres. The subjects explored in doom aren’t that far off from those of different genres of metal, exploring injustice in society, mythology, addiction, religion and war.
Like all genres of metal, the roots of doom can be traced back to Black Sabbath and Pentagram. This is widely considered to be the first wave of doom, and the psychedelic themes and slow riffs are emulated and made extreme by many doom bands from then to today. Doom was refined with a second wave of doom in the 80’s led by bands like Candlemass , Trouble and Saint Vitus, who took Black Sabbath’s sound one step further and pioneered the traditional doom sound we know today. The third wave is considered to be started in the 90s by Cathedral, who made the doom sound heavier than it ever was with their album “Forest of Equilibrium”.
The emulation of Black Sabbath in many doom bands attracts fans of all types of music. In saying this, however, not everyone can appreciate the crushing heaviness, the 15+ minute songs, and the sometimes painfully slow riffs that doom has to offer. These things sometimes draw people away from doom, but are also exactly what fans love about the genre. It has a small and diverse following, but also an extremely dedicated one. True doom fans aren’t afraid to defend the music they love, which makes it suitable for some of the most knowledgeable, devoted fans in music.
- By Cara M.