There are many facets that the entirety of the music world faces at any given time, and by no means whatsoever are the worlds of rock or metal exempt from that reality with there being loads of controversies or unsavory facts that are floating around us constantly. Whether we like to admit it or not there’s always one thing that lurks in the shadows that I truly don’t believe is malevolent in nature but is odd in how it’s continued to go on: women representation. Now, I refuse to sit here and inadvertently become an SJW but I can’t sit here and argue that women in bands don’t get as much press as they should. For a long time, it felt like women in rock were just “the hot chick with the guitar” or “the babe on drums”. Obviously, that’s not always true and, thankfully, that stigma is going away at a solid rate in my eyes. Yet, there really hasn’t been a flagship release that really shows us women just being badass at creating heaviness in different forms. Sure, bands like Mother Feather and Nervosa have done a solid job, but a release that involves women on every single level from the cover art to the production to the actual music is something we haven’t been presented with yet.
It was during the initial fundraising campaign that my attention was brought to this project. At the time, I thought the whole idea of Women of Doom was going to be the different artists coming together under one banner and/or band name to create something that can be used at a flag point for other ideas to branch off of and whatnot. But, learning that Women of Doom were the artists doing their own thing with everyone having their own contribution whether from their own bands or the individual musicians creating their own pieces made this collaboration take on a new life. It was to give these people a chance at having creations that they can call their own. To have something that can show other people in not just rock or metal but all of the music industry that it can be done by those that have the will to do it. To create something like what likely hasn’t been done on this level before. And by the end of it, the very essence of Women of Doom shows us glorious heaviness in all forms from the vastly light material to riff-laden awesomeness with the touch of women all over this work. These musicians have created something they should absolutely be proud of, and its implications are sure to inspire many who are fortunate enough to hear it.
Just looking at this collaboration on paper, I figured this would be one fucking heavy piece with riffs left and right with smoky imagery out the ass to make for a doomy record like few others. Seeing musicians come from the likes of Year of the Cobra, SubRosa, Royal Thunder, Besvärjelsen, and more pour their efforts into one creation is a very tantalizing thought for anyone familiar with those acts and their works. Yet, what Women of Doom provide is something that I wasn’t quite expecting. Oh, absolutely, there are tons of riffs from the submissions of Besvärjelsen, Frayle, and The Otolith, but there are others that bring completely different flavors like Amy Tung Barrysmith’s (Year of the Cobra) gorgeous vocal work over a provocative piano or Miny Parsons’s (Royal Thunder) emotional delivery with a simplistic delivery. They allow Women of Doom to take on a completely different life of its own as it really shows the diverse talent amongst all of these musicians that show they’re much more than what we may have realized beforehand. Everyone gets their time to shine with their own unique submissions, and you can really feel that. You can really feel the individualism at play here while everyone still striving for the same goal with the same passion at the core of it all. Women of Doom undoubtedly succeed in their very simple but poignant mission, and I truly couldn’t have thought of a better outcome for a unique project such as this.
The landscape is changing. Slowly, and maybe not as much as it might sound, but it is changing. Very much for the better, as well, I believe. Music should not discriminate from whose singing or who is playing no matter the genre. It should be a sanctuary for all people no matter what they identify as. It’s a realm of endless possibilities where everyone’s voice may not be equal, but voices like these deserve to be heard. These are voices that may not try to speak for an entirety of a genre or pretend to be something that they’re not, but their effects can be felt across the scene whether we pay attention to it or not. Women of Doom has made something very interesting that I feel demands and deserves to be heard by any willing ear who wants to listen to something that has implications that can really transform music as we know it if it hits the right hears. No matter the outcome, every person involved in this process should be extremely proud of what they’ve created.
“Women of Doom” releases on April 10th via Blues Funeral Recordings and Desert Records!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Women of Doom” on Bandcamp here.