by Gerry Mak in New Music on Thursday 6 November 2008

The other night I got to check out legendary doom metal band Evoken. The five-piece, formed fourteen years ago, drew a tiny crowd in their home state of New Jersey (granted it was quite late and Longbranch isn’t exactly a bustling town), but they crushed the few heads that were there with down-tuned slabs of darkness. I’ve seen a lot of metal in my time, but I’ve rarely seen guys as serious, intimidating, and scary as these dudes — the bassist (David Wagner) looked like a satanic Joe the Plumber. It certainly helped that the venue still had its Halloween decorations up. For those not in the know, doom metal can refer to any variety of metal that is slow and particularly centered around lower-frequency sounds. Evoken’s particular brand is known as ‘funeral doom’, which translates as ‘say good-bye to bowel control’, a sub-genre of death metal that includes bands like Thergothon and Skepticism.