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When it comes to doom, I expect gigantic music -- not just in sound or sheer weight, though, but in that more indescriptible room-filling, head-invigorating way. I think it comes down to balance: doom that isn't such an awful plodding dirge that you feel dragged along, but doom not so stoned out that it can't spell its own name. Also important is the element of beauty, because what's more beautiful than tragedy? Doom is ultimate tragedy, or at least the emotional manifestation of tragedy. When you're doomed, there's no way out; the beauty lies in the simplicity and the ease of receiving an answer on the life-defining question of whether you'll make it through. And if you're not, you better have the best goddamn soundtrack for the way out. Enter Garganjua's third full-length Toward the Sun and its monstrous closing song "To Ascend (Awakening)," streaming below.

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At once gentle and vigorous, "To Ascend (Awakening)" relies on powerful, straightforward choruses and dynamic, vocal-saturated verses to meld together one big doom epic. Clean vocals work especially well with the brand of doom fostered by Garganjua: this is emotive, almost uplifting music for total devastation. It's so dynamic and at times gentle an album that it's nearly unlistenable in a public setting -- this music is for headphones and for being alone, preferably in the dark. And for music like that, thank you.

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Toward the Sun releases January 17th via Holy Roar Records.

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