Album of the Month

SubRosa return with their most Doom-oriented album to date, which proves to be yet another masterpiece.
(Read more)

Classic revisited

Random band

The Wounded started out as a Death/Doom-metal band in the vein of early to mid period Anathema (think 'Pentecost III'), but with a more dra...
(read more)

Various Artists : Britannia Infernus

I never thought I would be reviewing an album with Cradle of Filth on it for Doom-Metal.com. I can also imagine the confused look on your face because a black-metal compilation is reviewed here. Well, aside from not wanting to disappoint anybody with prejudices about all metal fans being Satanists, there is some logic behind this review. But I will warn all reli-hoppers that these two CD's contain some blasphemous work you might not be comfortable with.

'Britannia Infernus' is a wonderful overview of British Occult and Black-metal over the past 30 years. The CD's are split up between old school and new school. The songs are ordered according to the timeline of their release date. This in essence means we get two rather different CDs; the first one mainly features old occult material and the second one features modern-day Black-metal. As such the second CD is not interesting for pure doom fans.

Some of the first Doom-metal bands or bands playing a form of "Proto-doom" are featured on this first album. Aside from Black Sabbath bands like Black Widow, Witchfynde and Pagan Altar are featured. Some tracks have never before been released on CD or are, like the Black Widow track, rare versions. That oddly enough also makes of this compilation a nice, but not complete, overview of some early doom! Atomic Rooster's 'Death Walks Behind You' might even sound familiar to a lot of newer fans due to Paradise Lost covering this track. I am particularly charmed by Black Widow's opening track, while perhaps not even metal this is just a charming melodic rock track with that overwhelming 70ties feel all over it.

Overall I think the first half of the first CD will appeal most to the average doom fan. Thereafter the CD moves into NWOBHM and Thrash bands. This does leads to the amusing fact that both Satan and Sabbat are featured on the same disk (Satan featured Greame English and Steve Ramsey who later moved on to Skyclad and Sabbat featured Matrin Walkyier who founded Skyclad - and who is now again involved with a Sabbat reunion).

All in all this compilation has been put together most professionally, has a very informative booklet and gives a good overview of occult music over the last 30 years. However if you, like me, are not into Black-metal the second CD will be of little interest to you and if you are a doom-metal purist you probably will only enjoy about 3 or 4 songs in total. I myself also question the presence of some bands like Bal Sagoth, and wonder if you can really combine pagan bands like Sabbat with Black-metal bands under the same flag? Nevertheless this is a great way to find out Doom-metal's history as well, even if it is only an accidental side effect (and as such not representative for all early doom, just a few bands with a more occult message).

Note: Also check: www.historyofblackmetal.com for more information. [edit by admin.: That website has since died. I do not know wether any equal sites are currently in existence.]

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
Black Widow:
1. 'Come to the Sabbat'
Atomic Rooster:
2. 'Death Walks Behind You'
Black Sabbath:
3. 'Black Sabbath'
Angel Witch:
4. 'Angel of Death'
5. 'Bloodlust'
Pagan Altar:
6. 'The Black Mass'
7. 'Come to the Ritual'
8. 'Cloak and Dagger'
9. 'Save us from Those Who Would Save Us'
10. 'Blades of Steel'
Cloven Hoof:
11. 'Cloven Hoof'
12. 'Halloween'
13. 'Fight with the Beast'
14. 'A Cautionary Tale'
15. 'Staking the Ovens of Death'

1. 'Thunderhammer'
Cradle of Filth:
2. 'The Forest Whispers My Name'
3. 'Eldest of Lightings'
4. 'Dreaming of Atlantean Spites'
December Moon:
5. 'Twinned with Destiny'
6. 'Wonder of the Cosmos'
7. 'The Essence of My Dreams'
Hecate Enthroned:
8. 'Upon the Kingdom Throne'
9. 'Screams of the Atdeous'
10. 'Immortal Wisdom'
Meads of Asphodel:
11. 'Christs Descent into Hell'
Reign of Erebus:
12. 'Stromwinds of Weifer'
Thus Defiled:
13. 'Of Shadow and Storra'
Old Forest:
14. 'Curse of Thundermoon'
Anaal Darhrakh:
15. 'Pandemonic Superblast'

Duration : Approx. 146 minutes

Visit the Various Artists bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
Forever Autumn
Advertise your band, label or distro on doom-metal.com