Archive for the ‘Domovoyd’ Category

Domovoyd — Domovoyd

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

If you’re after heavy music that comes with more of a twisted essence, Finland has been a pretty safe bet for decades. Long before it was returning to fashionable status, there always seemed to be a love of psychedelic influences bubbling up within the bands coming from the land of a thousand lakes. Whether that was a matter of the drugs at hand or the established influences by locals such as Kingston Wall and their predecessors from abroad, Finnish doom was, and is, often characterized by the mind being let wildly off the leash in acid and shroom infused outbursts. Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising are two more recent notable groups carrying the heavy psych batons. Another to recently emerge that is of note is the band Domovoyd, who have released a self-titled second album via Svart Records in the past month.

Domovoyd are often referred to as stoner doom, which is a little bit off the mark in terms of the sound. That tag, whilst being attached to some fantastic work, seems more appropriate to the Sabbath-and-Sleep-inspired stream of consciousness rather than explaining the broader possibilities of the psychedelic experience. Nevertheless, it seems to be the go-to label for those writing about heavy psych these days. Domovoyd certainly have their stoner moments; but, they seem perhaps a little raucous and wild to be strictly pigeon-holed as doom. Additionally, the blankets of fuzz and heavy psychedelic effects are a quite more reminiscent of space rock and kraut. Maybe the odd bamboo schooner is rounding out the experience; but, there is a lot more than weed at play here. This is more like Hawkwind playing at a launch for a psilocybin-infused product synthesised by Walter White for intergalactic fighter pilots.

Domovoyd’s debut was certainly very specific with its fuzzy space rock production and musical style. On this new self-titled opus, the heavier spirit of the band comes forth more readily. It emerges from the amorphous psychedelic colour spray to provide some jet black beastly riffs, as though that foot from the heavy psych field that sometimes sets down in the tombs of doom is stamping more loudly for attention. The mausoleum’s walls come crashing outwards, with the waves of heaviness being allowed to flood out of the downtempo pools and through the more frenetic space rock passages. Whilst Domovoyd’s debut was excellent, this is a most welcome evolution through demolition.

Domovoyd is flanked by two relatively lenghty tracks, “Domovoyage” and “Vivid Insanity”. At their climaxes and more boisterous peaks, these songs are as though Matt Pike has done a few lines with Lemmy and brought some more forceful pyrotechnics to the Hawkwind stage. Ergo, there are brief flourishes here that might vaguely appeal to fans of Pike’s wilder sonic side. “Amor Fati” perhaps swings closest most consistently to the stoner doom label, overlaid with deeply introspective chanting vocals and alternating between dreamlike lulls and brief, frenetic heavy psych passages. But much like Ufomammut, stoner doom is just too incomplete a description.

The variety and breadth to Domovoyd’s self-titled second album is a joy; and, to recap, it is the kind of willingness to branch out that has made so many Finnish heavy bands so enjoyable in the past. They have stepped beyond the strict confines of space rock that characterized their debut Oh Sensibility; but, they have held on to it enough to make it something much more nuanced and thought-provoking than the reflex of putting it all down to THC habitually evokes before you hear it. There is enough roughness to the sound to keep it far away from the flowery end of psychedelia, like a deeply disturbing trip that you can’t help coming back to. One gets the feeling that the acid up Finland way is definitely not for the faint of heart or the fearful mind.

Domovoyd is out now through Svart Records.