Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Doom, According To John Del Russi

I thought this was an incredible description of doom and one I heartily agree with. Very inspiring.

What Is Doom? (from a statement by John Del Russi of Hierophant)
Doom-metal... probably the most extreme and most misunderstood forms of music. What is doom-metal? Creating a fitting and accurate description can be a long and arduous task, but I shall attempt to give my views on the subject of doom.

Doom, as I've always felt, is something to be experienced; not just a form of music. It is a transcendental experience into the darker, mysterious realms of being; of sorrow and hopelessness, hatred and despair; even a 'gateway' into otherworldly realms. Doom is intrinsically perhaps the most extreme form of music, being both agonizingly slow and monolithically heavy, and therefore has never become a mainstream form of listening among the masses. Its emotionality is such that, for the average person no matter their self-professed darkness, is very often misunderstood for what it truly is, or shunned out of the sheer unnerving atmospheres it evokes. In truth, doom (when done the way it should be) is the darkest, most emotional music on the planet.

Doom is extremely 'spiritual' in experience; being mysterious, dark and esoteric in its purest form. Doom is, in its own way, a very 'majestic' form of music. With the use of a wide array of accompanying instruments, from violins to keyboards, doom creates atmospheres that no other form of music can offer. Doom is extremely intense, due to its emotionality, atmospheres and heaviness, and should not, despite its sloth-like pace, be deemed as 'boring' or 'simple'. Quite the contrary, doom requires one to be a much 'deeper' soul to fulfill its compositional requirements. It cannot just be simply 'written', but must be composed; the entire artist's personal essence and emotions being expressed through every note. In truth, it is perhaps one of the hardest forms of music to compose and perform, First, to play at such slow tempos can be difficult in the aspect of timing. Second, to keep the atmospheres and emotionality of the music at a level that maintains the 'concept' of the songs is no easy feat. It takes great talent to achieve and maintain the level of power, emotionality and quality that not only express the 'concept' of the composer, but also keep the attention of the listener. Perhaps this will dispel the long insulting and ignorant prospects that doom is 'easy' to play and/or write.

I believe that doom should evoke the deepest of essences through the creation of almost otherworldly, emotion-laden notes utilized in combination with an earth-shattering heaviness that should rarely (if ever) be strayed from. To evoke the deepest emotions and atmospheres possible, I believe is the genuine purpose of doom; to create for the listener and experience like none other.

Though there are, like everything else in life, many people who view things differently, I stand firmly in my resolution that doom should always maintain the earth-shattering heaviness the likes of diSEMBOWELMENT, Evoken, Thergothon etc. While there are those who strive to achieve a more 'serene' form of doom, attempting to express purely the sorrowful side, I find it most lacking in power in the absence of the pulverizing heaviness of the afore-mentioned pioneers of doom. The majesty and mystery, sorrow and despair, I feel are delivered with much more power when backed by the heaviness of the afore-mentioned bands. While I have no qualms with 'calmer' moments throughout the journey of doom, which genuinely add to the atmospheres of doom, I believe there should be a quality of 'brutality' to its composition, which drives deeper the experience (especially as doom is, by definition, a brutal experience in itself). Along the same lines, it should never (or rarely) stray from
the slow-as-death pace that also creates the power and driving force that doom delivers which such punishing relentlessness.

Over all, doom is something to be experienced, as I stated earlier. It IS an experience, in the truest sense of the word. An expression of the 'darker', shadowy sides of the human self, sorrow, despair, mourning, hatred, emptiness, misery and mystery, doom-metal is something one needs to submerge one's self into, as opposed to
simply listening to it. It is perhaps one of the most majestic forms of music in existence, despite of (if not due to) its extreme form of expression of these essences and emotions. A journey through realms, which would otherwise remain unbeknownst to man, doom takes one into the deepest of depths both within themselves and external realms.

Doom shall forever remain a mystery, as that is its nature. It is intrinsically mysterious, and not for everyone. But for those who crave the most extreme experience of the deepest emotionality, atmospheres and essences possible to be expressed through music, doom-metal is the one and only path for the sullen few, who are
truly "evolved" enough to understand it and who are fearless of journeying into unknown realms of darkness.

Mourners in darkness gather, and lament your sorrows through the monolithic force that is doom.
My own inner journey has been influenced much by the experience of doom, since, as a lad of fifteen, I heard the earth-shattering power of Black Sabbath.


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