Traditional heavy metal and doom metal are fairly close cousins as far as genre lineage goes: doom metal was arguably the first subgenre of metal to evolve. But, like with anything that evolves, the differences have grown over time, meaning that a doom-heavy metal crossover today looks entirely different from something bearing the same label 40 years ago. Taking advantage of these developments, Finland duo Desolate Realm pulls from the past of these two strains, hand-picking influences from each branch into a powerful concoction: their debut self-titled album is an aggressive fusion of traditional metal and doom that grants its stately and dour melodies a vicious bite as well. Listen to their new single "The Circle" now with our exclusive premiere.

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Although "The Circle" solidly starts off in doom territory, it quickly becomes obvious that no shortage of sharp riffing has been tucked into it, giving its evil charm a devilish fervor to boot. Swirling solos and melodic leads take over the second half of the track, and amidst the gruff roared vocals there's even some high-pitched King Diamond-style wails to be found. It feels, in a lot of ways, like an epic doom song that's had heavy metal interlaced into it like some sort of super-strong alloy: with all the added nastiness and extra layers stripped away, the bare-bones structure of "The Circle" would still be a solid, plodding offering.

As it is, Desolate Realm showcases the best of both worlds: it's unmistakably doomed, but at the same time as invigorating and as menacing as anything heavy metal has to offer.

From the band:

"The Circle" is the third track on our self-titled debut album and this song features some mid-tempo and heavy riffing with powerful vocals. And on top of that, the drums definitely pack a punch! We've been planning to make a full album consisting of hard hitting heavy and doom for quite some time. Last year the pieces finally came together with "Desolate Realm", so expect eight tracks of pure metal that will be unleashed in April!

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Desolate Realm will be released independently on April 23rd via the band's Bandcamp page.