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Unearthing The Metal Underground: Nashville Doom Metal

Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. Although I can't say I've ever had the pleasure of visiting the country music capital of the world, I can say I've been delving into their more depressing side. More depressing than a bottle of whiskey and singing about heartbreaks to your dog? You bet, because we're delving into three new doom metal bands from the American mid-east.

Loss

To start off, the band Loss is one of my favorite underground bands. Coming onto the scene in 2004 with the lauded "Life Without Hope...Death Without Reason" demo, Loss plays an epic neoclassicical death/doom of a particularly morbid variety. Loss's last release was a four way split including Aussie funeral doom legend Mournful Congregation, which should hold the band's pedigree to be suffice. Whispers in the trees were that the band may have a full length coming out on Profound Lore Records called "Despond," so keep tuned to Metal Underground for future news. Until then, the "Life Without Hope..." demo is available to hear on the band's MySpace player.

Hecatomb

Another Nashville doomster, Hecatomb is an underground band worthy of recognition far above it's current status. One of the few black/doom crossovers I've found enjoyable, I may hold a special place for Hecatomb as it veers away from the easy ambient funeral path. With warbly clean guitars and occasionally blasting drums to drive the music forward in a manner quite reminiscent of Disembowelment (or maybe even Xasthur), thick soft guitars fill up the surrounding space. The black metal influence comes mainly from the vocals, which are a notably vicious attack for a doom release. Even though Hecatomb emerged in 2008, the band has a slew of material on Myspace. I suggest their more funereal tracks like "Forgotten Repentance," but feel free to browse around.

Seawitch

Coming in with the guitar heat of something akin to an incredibly slow Bathory with the vocals of the Melvins, Seawitch take crawling music to a new level. Rooted in sludge, the band feels like an amalgamation of all things in the doom scene at the moment - Sabbath worship, sludgy pychedelica and doom mania rolled into one. Although Seawitch has a tough time challenging Electric Wizard for the dope throne, it's an underground band worth checking out. It seems the band is in a "hibernation" mode, the members are still keen to see the name of the Seawitch spread around the seven seas. Check out a live performance below, or a ton of oceanic material on their MySpace page.

Certainly there are more quality metal bands in Nashville. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground doom bands or bands from around the area, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

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