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Doom metal was a novel genre pioneered by a classic formula -- drums, guitars, and bass creating something heavy and unusual. As long as the result remains heavy, bespoke, and unmistakably doomed, I reckon the formula should allow for some substitution. Conventions are made to be broken, after all, and French duo Vaisseau (meaning "space shift" in French) traveled from a nightmarish plane beyond our own to show us what may come of bending the rules. They offer a delightful sci-fi horror construction of "synth doom," whatever that may be. We're streaming their debut album Horrors Waiting in Line in full below.

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Don't waste too long trying to figure out what might be going on in the outlandish cover art -- you're going to need those brain cells for deciphering the music, which pairs macabre synthesizers with organic drums that ground the otherwise bizarre sonic profile. The locked-down-tight grooves and slow, cyclical melodies, notably on "Lo Spettro Della Frustrazione," are soothingly ritualistic. Going back to the album art, that might start to explain why a host of many-toothed abominations are patiently queued up to enter a sentient teepee: there's probably some even weirder religious machinations behind the obscuring golden light.

That sense of horror-laced fantasia ties the album together, cementing the aesthetics and connecting the disparate sounds within: from the krautrock-infused interludes of "Sonic Dislocation" to the heavy synthwave-esque motifs in "Force Macabre: From Deep Space, Down to the Styx," (what a great title!) there's always a weighty air of suspense atop the science fiction trappings. Heavy, unusual, alien and engrossing -- never mind the categorization, let's just hope that Vaisseau continues to make more of it.

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Horrors Waiting in Line releases March 17th via Totem Cat Records.

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