Aleksey Evdokimov, Author of Doom Metal Lexicanum

Cult Never Dies and Crypt Productions are soon releasing a book that has been rightly called a behemoth: The Doom Metal Lexicanum. This is the work of endless lost hours in late evenings and forgotten nooks and crannies in the life of Aleksey Evdokimov.

The impossible undertaking slowly took shape and Aleksey found the right people to collaborate with to get this passion project out there. Dayal Patterson, known for the fantastic series of books on black metal, is releasing this under the banner of Cult Never Dies Productions. There have been books on death metal and black metal, but doom metal seems to have been overlooked… until now.

I got in touch with Saint Petersburg inhabitant Aleksey to ask some questions about this massive undertaking, which he was kind enough to answer. If you are already keen to get your hands on the book, make sure you order it now!

The Scribe of Doom: Aleksey Evdokimov

Hey Aleksey, how have you been?

Hi Guido! Much better now, because we’ve finished with this. Now only this interview and two more for Esquire and Men’s Health stand between me and long-awaited relax time.

Can you tell a little bit about yourself?

I live and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I listened to metal since my school days, and back in the late 90s, I was a real fanatic, reading every magazine I could find here, translating songs’ lyrics and etc. I work in the field of electrical engineering, but I write for different e-zines, blogs and sometimes magazines since 2006. I have few interviews dated 2004 and 2005, but it wasn’t serious. In around 2010 I’ve joined the crew, then was TempleOfPerdition, few interviews for Doom Metal Front magazine, SludgeLord and PsychedelicBaby e-zines. Nowadays I write for,, OutlawsOfTheSun and bi-monthly magazines InRock (Russia) and Fire (Italy).

Aleksey originally suggested a picture of him dancing amongst the tombstones, but time restrictions made this the result.

So, what got you attracted to doom metal in the first place, what was its appeal to you?

Originally it was death doom metal: Tiamat with Clouds, Paradise Lost album Icon, a few videos from the “Beauty In Darkness” compilation like Celestial Season and Substance For God… Some bands who played doom in their early years like Anathema, Cemetery Of Scream, The Equinox Ov The Gods, Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy and so on. From some point onward I was satiated with this aesthetic and here Reverend Bizarre and Abysmal Grief appeared! I already knew Cathedral, but Reverend Bizarre is a turning point. II: Crush The Insects appeals me both with its instrumental and lyrical components. I guess that I always give my attention to songs with good lyrics. In a case of Abysmal Grief its grim sepulchral atmosphere, it’s impossible to resist.

You’ve mentioned that your motivation for starting this project, was mainly that there was simply no book about the genre. Is there really nothing?

As far as I know there was only A-Z of Doom, Goth & Stoner Metal by Garry Sharpe-Young in 2003. The scene has changed a lot over these last 14 years, and its name speaks for itself, right? Two years ago when I started working on the Lexicanum, it seemed to be right time for another one. I really don’t know why no one has written it before me, I don’t pretend to be the mister Know-It-All. I just knew how to do it, I wanted to pay some respect to the bands I like, and I wanted to finish with my time-consuming and free hobby of doing reviews and interviews with one final work.

When you started out, how did you imagine the end result would look. What was your initial approach to this daunting task?

In 2015 my friend had shown me Bible Of The Devil, a self-released encyclopedia written by Italian enthusiast Alberto Bia. I even wanted to write it together with Alberto, but we have different methods of work, so that wasn’t good idea. I’ve written down the list of bands I suppose to fit in the book, and I’ve checked how many interviews I already had with these artists. There were about 550-600 names in this list, and I interviewed less than 200 bands from this list.

I decided to limit myself to the traditional doom scene and sub-genres related to it because it would be impossible to include also death doom and funeral bands in one book. Big bands deserve more space, and when you have Candlemass, My Dying Bride and Pentagram in one book, you barely find space for new outfits with shorter discographies. For the same reason, I tried to avoid pure stoner bands, though if you’ll take a look at bills of Doom festivals, then this genre is a big part of the scene. Nevertheless, purists probably will be disappointed. Well, they’re free to write a better thing. I did talk with Sami Hynninen, the General Doom Puritan, and he points that if he ever managed to write a book about doom scene, then he would include there 5 or so bands. Also, don’t forget that none of the doom legends even knew that they played “doom” until some journalists told them they did.

My vision was to have a book built up out of articles which combines reviews and interviews; I prefer interviews because they allow artists themselves to express what they really mean, the reviews are subjective thing… And speaking about discographies: I tried to mention in the articles every release bands have, but I only mentioned LPs in the discographies section. If I started to list all smaller records of Reverend Bizarre or Pentagram, that would be a nightmare.

Most of the project you did by yourself, how did you manage to keep yourself motivated and did you experience any noteworthy things with the bands you were writing about?

At some point, I just know that there’s no turning back. Also, I worked together with Mike Liassides (editor of and Tana Haugo Kawahara (Eternal Elysium’s bass player), I couldn’t tell them: “Thank you for your job! I prefer to stop!” My English is far from perfect, and they both edited all my bad grammar, scanning the texts I send them. It would be impossible if Mike and Tana didn’t lend me helping hand back then.

Also, I had the plan, I knew how to fulfill it. The only thing that I usually didn’t have was enough of time. But strict planning and love of the doom genre motivated me enough.As for noteworthy things… Communications with some bands are an interesting thing in itself most of the time.

Did you experience any setback during the writing?

One of my goals was to have an interview’s quote in each article, a direct speech from each band I write about. I have interviews done for one big part of my list, and I intended to interview others bands as well. That means I did send requests for interviews to each band you find in the book. And if you don’t see the direct speech in the article about some band, that just means that interview never happened. Few bands didn’t reply, few promised but didn’t answer in the end, with few big bands I almost organized interviews through their managers but it didn’t happen too. People are people… Anyway, I had a chance to interview a lot of excellent bands, which really counts.

Another problem I had is reviewing the albums. We cut some albums’ descriptions during the final proof of the whole text, yet anyway, you know – doom metal has its own rules, doom rock or stoner doom have their own as well. So when you write about 360 bands, you’re doomed (pun unintended, ed.) to repeat yourself when you describe their music. It’s not prog rock.

The problem to get proper photos with credits from the bands is another story… It seems that a damn lot of bands don’t care about it. Or in some cases, it was difficult to learn the name of the photographer from some band, from their label or even from their PR-crew. We couldn’t use photos without credits, we try to do it legally.

The big deal was to find a publisher. Really I was thinking naively that this part is easy (the doom community is a large family and so on). I wasted a lot of time since January 2017 until February to reach an agreement or even just understanding with few persons. So I was happy when I got in contact with Dayal Patterson of Cult Never Dies in March. And the last painful thing was the necessity to stop. Until very last moment I did want to add one more band, to write more about this or that album and so on. It’s good that Dayal stopped me.

Which parts are your favorites, or which bands did you enjoy writing about most?

Hard to tell… I would tell that I like how articles about Cathedral and Pentagram look. I re-listened their whole discographies in writing these parts. For example with Cathedral it was good to get comments from Adam Lehan and Mark Griffiths; it was the case when I wrote for every band’s members whom I could find including Dave Patchett and exclude Scott Carlson and few members who were there for one year or about that. But I’m disappointed that Dave Patchett didn’t reply, for me his artwork is one of most important Cathedral features. In the case of Pentagram I did interview Joe Hasselvander, originally I did it for Russian magazine InRock, and he’s right person to ask some tough questions.

But my favorite thing in this book, in general, is the fact that there’re such bands like Barabbas, Bevar Sea, Dreaming, The Hazytones or L’Impero delle Ombre amongst big names like Candlemass, Reverend Bizarre or Trouble. It was one of three main points for me – to spread the word about such bands that deserve more exposure and more attention from doom fans.

The original artwork as done by Mila Kiselava

Then at some point, you must have realized that this is really was happening? How did you get the right people to team up with?

When I started writing Lexicanum (autumn 2015), I regularly contributed interviews for So, I’ve just asked Mike Liassides if he can proofread my English, and he said “ok”. I guess that Tana Haugo Kawahara joined in June 2016. It was obvious that I had too many texts to put it all on one person (who did this entire job for free), and it was a miracle as Tana suddenly did agree to take part into this mournful labor. I’m endlessly grateful to them.  Also, I should mention Mila Kiseleva, she did the original artwork for the book in a period when I had no publisher yet. You can see it on the back page of the book, she caught my idea well.

You work together with Dayal Patterson and his Cult Never Dies company. How did you get in touch with him and were you familiar with his work on beforehand?

One gentleman from the band which story you can find in the book advised me to ask Dayal. It was March 2017, about 85% of the book was written. So, it was the right man. I see that I couldn’t find better publisher indeed. He got my idea, he did accept it wholly, he knew how to run the project (I already had the Facebook profile for Lexicanum, but he knows few more things how to promote such things more effectively). He was the bridge which leads to this brilliant artwork done by David Thierree, who not only caught my idea well but also perfectly fulfilled it in his painting. But no, I didn’t read Dayal’s books before.

Now, the pre-sale has started. Why should everyone get their hands on this book? What can they expect?

It’s a good Christmas present for doom fans. For people who’re totally into this, for those who collect vinyl. Those who still know how to deal with audio tapes… Like in Cathedral’s song “Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine”, you know? It’s a detailed and honest guide through the doom scene, it’s the right choice for those who want to learn more about doom genre. Also, I heard that it help to build relationships with fair ladies and to gain respect in high society.

What is the next project you’re ready to sink your teeth into?

As people ask, and the monkey on my back demands… It would be right to turn on more extreme doom territories. But it depends on few factors, and I suppose that in a month or two I’ll put my foot down.

Get your book here!

Underground Sounds: Mephistofeles – (((I’M HEROIN)))

Label: Creep Purple Promotion
Band: Mephistofeles
Origin: Argentinia

Allegedly, the doom scene in Argentina is booming and as far as I can judge from this release by Mephistofeles, this is absolutely true. The band from Parana in the southern country, have released one full length before and look like they’re into reviving the oldschool sound and look with their band. As far as I can tell, they’re doing a pretty good job at it in fact.

The trio has only been playing music since 2013, but have racked up a solid array of releases. Now, with the light shining on the regional music scene, things might pick up for them, particularly since this album ‘((( I’M HEROIN )))’ is pretty damn cool if you ask me. From its somber look to its classical vibe, it’s a joy to listen to.

The vibe of this record is totally that of an Electric Wizard record. Thick slabs or doom, catchy riffs and the vocals drowned in effects. Now and then an organ provides a bit of a horror vibe, but most of the time you can just surf the waves of the lingering riffs. The vocals display exactly that bite, that you know well from the Ozzy-style doom followers. In that sense, Mephistofeles sticks to what works in their sound.

Though there’s little originality in the sound you hear, the foreboding horror melodies, the slow, steady progression and heavily distorted sound-swamp are classics that captivate time and time again. A track like ‘Transylvanian Funeral’ is a joy to listen to. You can just hang back and bask in tracks like ‘Thrash Lord’ or in the drug haze of ‘Heroin’.

On ‘Addicted To Satan’, we even have mister Anton Lavey playing some calliope, which is a fitting addition ot the ound of Mphistofeles. A great record, lots of fun, but nothing new under the sun.

Underground Sounds: Vindland – Hanter Savet

Label: Black Lion Records
Band: Vindland
Origin: France

Though it came out in 2016, ‘Hanter Savet’ is seeing a re-release which brought it to my attention and I felt it would be fine to cover it then. It’s the first full length for the band Vindland, who hails from Brittany, the coastal region in France with a dense history and distinct culture. Vindland embodies that.

The sound of the band must make some people think of another group from Sogndal, Norway and smile with a certain melancholy. A noteworthy fact is that all lyrics are in the native Celtic dialect of the region, which is carefully preserved and expresses the Breton identity. Members of the band are or have been active in the grand-sounding Belenos too, so they know how to spin a tale.

It’s a bit odd to hear a band sound so much like Windir did back in the day, but that’s exactly what the epic sound of Vindland promises with the big, majestic riffing. It’s soaring, heroism is catchy and warms the heart of a passionate fantasy-reader like myself. The keys and crisp production really help to emphasize that side of the band. Particularly on songs like ‘Serr-Nozz’ and ‘Treuzwelus’. The tight, battle-ready rhythms of songs like ‘Skleur Dallus’ do their part in turn.

It’s the melodies that really work their magic in the sound of Vindland. Those are the story tellers, that illuminate castle ruins and forgotten wisdom of the ancient Breton lands. Sometimes the downside of the keys and production is the lack of certain organic aspects to the music. Never is Vindland dull or insincere, but the fade in sometimes lacks the natural feel (like on ‘Skorneg Du’). On the other hand, the Breton language offers a whole different dimension and the rock’n’rolling sound definitely catches on easily.

As we move towards the end with ‘Kreud Ar Gwez’, we hear meandering, acoustic tones and the Atlantic winds. The beautiful shores, from where brave ships have sailed and where so much vital history took place. It tells its own story, while we still remember.

Stranger Aeons End of Year List

Another year comes to a close and that means lists. I never really get excited when the prospect comes around because a list is never as complete as you’d want it to be. In a way, it’s a moments recollection of all the good music that came by in the past year. Still, it’s important to look back and share with the world what it might have missed otherwise.

I can mention a load of bands I would gladly have included here. For example, I didn’t really get around to listen properly to Enslaved and Converge’s new records and I had to chose to omit the likes of Power Trip, Akercocke, and Pillorian.  Oh, and Dool came to me in a big way. Well, you can’t have it all, but here is the list as it is:

  1. Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Ceasar
  2. Amenra – Mass VI
  3. JupiterianTerraforming
  4. Au-DessusEnd of Chapter
  5. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World
  6. Vulture Industries – Stranger Times
  7. FiefIII
  8. King of Asgard:taudr:
  9. Al NamroodEnkar
  10. Eschatos – MÆRE
  11. Der Weg Einer FreiheitFinisterre
  12. RaganaYou Take Nothing
  13. Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
  14. SpaceslugMountains & Reminisce
  15. GrimaTales of the Enchanted Wood
  16. Myrkur – Mareridt
  17. Hair of the DogThis World Turns
  18. BotanistCollective: The Shape of He to Come
  19. CyaxaresHouse of the Cosmic Waters
  20. Falls of RaurosVigilance Perennial

I would also like to express thanks to the labels that have kindly supplied me with promo materials and support for realizing my goals. In particular thanks to Transcending Obscurity and Qabar Extreme Music PR. Also, thanks to Echoes & Dust for lending weight to my 195 bands project, by publishing these interviews.

May 2018 be a great year in music again. Live long and prosper.

Underground Sounds: qqqØqqq – Burning Stones Of Consciousness

Label: Casetta
Band: qqqØqqq 
Origin: Italy

qqqØqqq is a project dedicated to silence. It’s a creation by Tomasso Busatto (Plasst) on synths, who also runs the Casetta label and Carlo Mantione (Contemplatio) on guitar and pedals. Their sound is a dedication to silence, to meditative calm and the serenity that can be found in there.

The duo hails from Italy and has a certain affiliation with murmur mori. Their music could be described as minimalist and meditative. Their record is out on Casetta, but also on E’ Un Brutto Posto Dove Vivere , Contemplatio, Dreamingorilla Records and Insonnia Lunare Records. This is the sound to immerse yourself in and simply drift away.

The music feels like triphop meets postrock, with plenty of audio samples. The sound has a certain flat flow to it, which just carries you along without ever deviating from its continuation. At times the sound swells to a more violent timbre, but never leaves the current where it is in. Particularly ‘All this Heaviness is just my monolithic self’ stands out by its intensity.

It’s peculiar how spacious the sound can be of qqqØqqq, because the sound at times feels so immense as if you are completely getting lost in it. Ethereal and earthy at the same time, the lazy beat and eerie soundscapes offer a profound expression. The titles appear to refer to states of mind, which are invoked by the sound. For example ‘Crumbling plains and burning stones of consciousness (Feat. H!U)’ has a certain forlorn sound to it. The slow beats crush anything that is still out there, untill only void remains.

This is how qqqØqqq completely blows you away with abstract sounds and immersive beauty. Classify this as ambient or drone, it doesn’t matter, it’s music for the mind.

Underground Sounds: Blencathra – These Bones Became The Roots of the Forest…

Label: Unsigned
Band: Blencathra
Origin: United Kingdom

Blencathra is a hill in the north of England. A beautiful part of the country that immediately makes you think of the rich past the nation has. It’s also a band, that plays black metal with sole member Nicholas Fry in the lead. This is the first album, titled ‘These Bones Became The Roots of the Forest…’.

As an artist Fry, and therefore the sound of Blencathra is inspired by British bands like Fen, Winterfylleth, and Saor, which makes sense. The pictures he shares on Facebook show the landscapes that inspire a particular sound. Densely atmospheric black metal, with a slight sense of melancholy from the British Isles. You have to love that (and this awesome cover).

With a pleasant acoustic tune opening the album, we’re soon moving into a dense blanket of blackish metal. There’s a particular element of distortion in the sound that may not be to everyone’s appeal. It’s almost annoying how woolly the album sounds at times. That doesn’t take away the absolute beauty of a tune like ‘As the Shadows Rise’. Big blistering walls of guitar, but also the melancholic twangy intermissions that reverberate.

The meandering folk tunes now and then offer respite, like the haunting ‘Drifting Through Autumn Trees’. With only a distant cry of guitars, the song seems to give a little intermezzo, until a tide of distortion floods everything once more. For me, the biggest downside of this record is exactly that. The brisk nature sounds, samples, and acoustic parts are hauntingly beautiful but often drown in the reverb and distortion. It’s possibly a choice, but I’d like to hear a more crisp production Blencathra personally, so the riffs shine even brighter.

Dungeon Sounds: Fief – III

Label: Independent
Band: Fief
Origin: United States

Fief seems to generally have been hailed as the new king (or kings) of dungeon synth. Maybe that’s a stretch to state, but the releases of this unknown outfit are much adored in the genre. Now Fief returns with their third offering of folky music and it seems to have even gotten better on ‘III’.

The artist from Salt Lake City in Utah makes what I consider the best bit of dungeon synth, due to its particular foresty sound. There’s a lightness to Fief, a peaceful joy, and gentle vibe. It’s the thing we often lose when we stop reading books and playing video games that beckon.

On this record, a new layer appears in the music of Fief. The sound becomes richer, fuller and all without ever losing the tranquility of early digital worlds. Remember those video games, where you could walk around rather peacefully? Or build your own settlement without the pressure of time and resources? I always enjoyed the calm and peace of those and I find them in this music.

Listening to the music brings you to that state of reverie. Of simply allowing the tones to wash over you, calm you down. There are two layers of music, dancing around each other in a swift-paced dance that fits best in a tavern or an inn for your RPG game. It’s never overly present, but also interesting enough to capture your ear. It’s just so darn pleasant.

Underground Sounds: Beithíoch – Storms of War

Label: Independent
Band: Beithíoch
Origin: Ireland

Ah, some proper Irish black/death fromt he crew of Beithíoch. The band hails from the north-west of the green Island and has been consistently pushing out records over the last few years. The band name translates as ‘beast’  or ‘animal’, which sort of matches their intense sound.

It appears as if the group has been trying to find a particular sound for their Irish roots, moving through different styles over the albums. This EP appears to be the next experiment in this long line of explorations, titled ‘ Storms of War’. It’s a short but powerful endeavor worth listening to.
What remains is a cavernous, lumbering monstrosity, that shows little to know subtle movement in this dense, atmospheric record. Opening track ‘Morrígan’ has slow waves of distorted guitar crashing into the listener as a crow caws. It’s more a dungeon synthy intro, before ‘The Jaws of Death’ launches in big, wavy fashion. The sound feels very dark, with a shadowy melody line emphasizing the way the sound seems to work within confined space. The song just barrels onward, showing little subtlety or nuance.
Once more, the track ‘Funeral Pyre’ introduces the final song.

‘Dornán Talaimh’ comes on like atmospheric black metal, with lingering and languid riffs. The vocals are almost a whisper from the abyss. The deep guttural barks that roared through the first half of the record have made room for calm and measured murmuring.  It shows another side of the band in this way too short release.

Beithíoch spawns forth some creeping chaos on this EP, that will take you to some dark places.

Underground Sounds: Black Kirin – Nanking Massacre

Label: Cold Woods Productions
Band: Black Kirin
Origin: China
Black Kirin makes a bold statement with their latest album. Earlier I listened to their acoustic album, which I found rather pleasing, but I can’t use those words when we speak about ‘Nanking Massacre’. The Chinese band appears to be particularly productive, but this takes their expressions a notch upwards.
The ‘Nanking Massacre’ is also dubbed the ‘Rape of Nanking’ and can only be described as one of the great atrocities of history. This is the name for a series of events, following the taking of the Chinese capital of Nanking by Japanese troops in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Earlier I also checked out their ‘Xiao Shiao’ album.
Thunderous metal greets the listener, spiced up with mournful strings from Chinese folk music and the wailing singing associated with the same musical heritage. Combined with the quite heavy, rhythmic music, it offers a quite different listening experience. Another aspect is the operatic sections, but all parts seem to find harmony on this album. Black Kirin uses contrasts for maximum effect.
It’s weird for western listeners probably, to hear radical shifts between classical passages and intense, full on heavy metal. Apparently that’s not such a big deal for bands from the far east. After the melancholy of ‘Da Qu’, you’re thrown into chaos on ‘Evocation’. Blistering, crushing riff work assaults you on ‘II. The Song’, with wild sound effects, singining, and screams. Brutal death metal pounds away, in that typical chaotic manner. Personally not my favorite style, but well fitting in this conceptual display of human horror.
And then there’s calm again with ‘Nai He’. Weary guitar picking and chiming sounds in a more free flowing way, never actually trying to build a song structure. The simple expression is enough to convey thoughts and feelings. I am filled with ideas and thoughts at the end of ‘Thousand Years’, the outro of the album. Again, Black Kirin has enchanted me with an amazing record.

Underground Sounds: Jupiterian – Terraforming

Label: Transcending Obscurity
Band: Jupiterian
Origin: Brazil

Brazilian masked marauders Jupiterian are back with a bang…and another bang… and another bang… Their heavy death doom (or doom of death maybe?) has shaken up a stir in the music world and I wouldn’t be surprised to see these gents appearing at the cooler, underground festivals very soon. ‘Terraforming’ is the second full length from the prolific music-making gang. São Paulo must have shuddered and shivered…

If you want to know more about this band, check out the interview I did with them not too long ago. Noteworthy is their continuous collaboration with Mories. The man is known for his project Gnaw Their Tongues (and a dozen other projects)  and he helps to create that eerie, atmospheric sound that makes their doom more than just pummeling violence. Add to that the label Transcending Obscurity from India and we sort of have a global project going on.

Jupiterian is a megalithic sounding monster, that delivers massive slabs of doom. Their atmosphere is much more complex though, mixing something very earthy with the plumes of smoke,like a ritual  or seance might offer. I’d describe the sound they blast out on ‘Unearthly Glow’ as cavernous, but it’s simply too big and massive to fit that description. Their music is densely atmospheric to the point where it is really much like a mysterious gathering. It matches with the hooded live show of the band.
The dark chanting on ‘Forefathers’ is one of those special, heavy moments. At other times, the band sounds like an eruption, as if the earth underneath your feet is cracking at the sheer impact of their heavy riffing and bellowing vocals on a track like ‘Us and Them’. Most of the times, the band sounds massive, but the crushing impact of every riff somehow hits where it hurts. Never does it seem like any hit of the bass drum or drop is reckless bashing, it always is just right. The calculated playing makes this album so exquisitely heavy.
Jupiterian has taken some spices from other genres and made a punchy dish of doom for your listening pleasure. This is a new highlight for the band.