Epic doom metal is one of the old school doom metal styles, along with stoner doom metal and traditional doom metal. Epic doom metal usually has a power metal influence. Lyrical themes also tend to be of more epic, and cheesy, proportions. Don’t miss my overall guide to doom metal and its many subgenres.
Famous and essential epic doom metal bands
Candlemass started out dirgy with “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”. When Messiah Marcolin entered the band on “Nightfall”, a more powerful heavy metal thunder was added. “Ancient Dreams” and “Tales of Creation” followed in the same, epic style. The blueprint was laid down for epic doom metal
Italian band Doomsword and their cheesy take on epic doom metal has been around since 1997. Not my cup of tea, but certainly a band for listeners more into the heavy metal and power metal side of things.
Isole is somewhere between 80’s Candlemass and modern, contemporary doom metal. They’re certainly one of the saddest bands out there. The newer albums ventured into progressive metal territory as well. Debut “Forevermore” is my personal favorite.
Solitude Aeturnus is a mandatory listen, no matter what doom metal styles you like. Not only was Robert Lowe one of the most powerful vocalists out there, 1992’s “Beyond the Crimson Horizon” and 1994’s “Through the Darkest Hour” are absolute classics. Perhaps equal parts epic doom and traditional doom metal.
Highly regarded epic doom metal band from the United Kingdom. Not be confused with U.S. death/thrash metal band Solstice.
Candlemass worshippers from the more (in doom metal terms) recent pile of bands. A bit on the cheesy side for me, but certainly a band that writes quality doom metal songs.
While Heaven Wept
While Heaven Wept make their doom metal epic by using a progressive music style, resulting in things like 15 minute songs.
A second perspective on epic doom metal
Despite running a doom metal-themed website, I’m not all that knowledgeable in all doom metal sub-genres. Luckily, that can be solved by calling some reinforcements. What could be better for deathdoom.com than a Death Doom Metalhead? These are his tips. Don’t miss out on his YouTube channel or his band Consecration.
All Souls’ Day
Italians All Soul’s Day allegedly formed in 1990 but their only full length didn’t see the light of day until 2001 when ‘Into the Mourning’ was released through Doom symphony records. A grand slab of Epic Doom, this album shows how great this band could have been if they carried on. To add more mystery to the album the last track ‘Ancient’ starts off with a great melodic lead over a thick heavy doom riff to then change into a ‘Synthpop’ instrumental. Very strange…
A band formed in 1992 by the guitar powerhouse Mike Wead and legendary former Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin. A band that had all the traits of what made Candlemass great but adding a lot more technicality to the riff phrasings as well Messiah ditching the monk robe for the leather biker look. Sadly, they spilt in 1997 but you can still see Mike Wead performing live guitars with King Diamond.
Russia answer to Epic Doom came in 1996 when Scald put out their only full length ‘Will of Gods Is A Great Power’. This is what I consider Epic Doom in its finest form, soaring vocals, fantastic melodic leads and atmosphere that really tells the story of the songs. Sadly, vocalist Agyl would never see the release of this album as he tragically lost his life just before it was released. The band then disbanded to honor his legacy.
Dawn of Winter
Formed in 1991, Dawn of Winter released their first full length in 1998 titled ‘In the Valley of Tears’ and it showed traits of very traditional doom metal inspired by bands like Sabbath, Pentagram & St. Vitus. Fast forward to 2018 and they now have a thicker sound and the riffs are more in vain of Candlemass. Singer Gerrit P. Mutz has one of the most distinguished voices in Doom and can be heard on many other releases applying his signature pipes.
A band that I feel doesn’t get much attention in the metal world. Doomshine hailing from Ludwigsburg, are like their brothers Dawn of Winter showing the metal world that Germany can produce some excellent Doom bands. Formed in 2001 their album ‘The Piper at the Gates of Doom’ is something all fans of this sub-genre should own in their collection.
Hailing from Chile but can also be traced to Sweden, Procession are an Epic Doom band that have been plying their trade since 2006. Their approach is very much in the vain of early Candlemass but can also be linked with the traditional sounding bands of the genre. Check out the album ‘To Reap Heavens Apart’ to see what I mean.
Led by the mighty vocals of Leo Stivala, Malta’s Forsaken bring the big riffs and epic vocals we all love in our Epic Doom. Go check out the title track from 2005 full length ‘Dominaeon’. You won’t be disappointed.
Mirror of Deception
Another mention for Germany, Mirror of Deception bring a more up-front approach to the genre, mixing theme of loneliness, depression with hard driving riffs with memorable guitar leads. Formed in the early 90’s, these Germans are still bringing doom & gloom even after 30 years. Check out the 2006 release ‘Shards’ this is considered by many to be their classic album.
Ending my picks, it would have to be modern day doomsters Crypt Sermon. Formed in Philadelphia back in 2013, they have gone from strength to strength with each release. Currently signed to Dark Descent Records, they put out the highly acclaimed ‘The Ruins of Fading Light’ in 2019 and is an instant classic with Epic Doom fans across the globe.