A while back, a preview copy of UK melodic black/death project Dark Doom‘s debut album ‘Dust’ materialised in my inbox. The sole product of one Alex Wills, it turns out he’s already had a few demos out on tape, is partial to throwing up the odd black metal classic cover on YouTube (check out his rendition of ‘Mother North’ here, which I’m not one hundred percent certain he’s going to be happy I’ve linked) plus upon further communication has turned out to be a good guy.
The most crucial thing, though: The album is surprisingly solid. Self-releasing on 29th June with two preview tracks available as we speak, the varying hues of black, melodic death and many other delightful strains of carnage mesh together into an enjoyable listen. I had to hit him up to ask: What’s it all about?
“The main theme for the album is the idea that everything and everyone is made up of the same materials that were created at the beginning of the universe. We’re all the same at birth and when we die we all decompose and become the same again. Because of this everlasting cycle, nothing that we do really has any meaning or purpose in the grand scale of the universe as even events that define the human race will be forgotten in time to come, making them meaningless. In the album I refer to the materials that make everything as ‘cosmic dust’ and reference it in a number of songs.”
That sort of nihilistic approach always works for me (and the stirring ‘Cosmic Dust’ is actually my favourite track on the album, too). Did he find anything in particular that inspired his creative process?
“The only real memory I have of a specific moment when inspiration struck, was when I arrived at work one morning (I work on the top floor of an office building) during October. It was extremely foggy. The view of fields and hills shrouded in fog from my office window was very atmospheric, and I could imagine a huge creature striding amongst the fog. This was the inspiration for the track ‘Roaming Creature’.”
Speaking of ‘Roaming Creature’: that’s a great opener. The first thing that really made me sit up and take notice of the album was that ace little guitar solo, artfully placed yet totally unexpected. He clearly has some compositional and playing skills, so I wondered where his musical background lay?
“I started playing guitar at 13 and studied music composition and performance up to university level. In 2015 I got my Batchelors degree in popular music and music technology.”
You can definitely tell, it stands above many other one-man project’s debut albums. There’s also a variety of styles and influences present, from the expected black rage to really solid melodeath to some nice melodic parts and soaring leads, so I’d safely wager a tenner he doesn’t only listen to black metal. I asked what some of his musical influences were:
“I listen to a lot of music (mostly metal) but some of the main influences for this album came from bands like Satyricon, Behemoth, Insomnium, Time Lurker, Alcest, Uada, and Ghost. As well as this I also took inspiration from local artists from around my area that I enjoy, such as Abduction, Suodeth and Ubiquitous.”
When stumbling upon this project, the first thing you’ll probably take into consideration before even giving it a listen is its moniker: ‘Dark Doom’. Those of you expecting some average gloomy black/funeral doom be prepared to be both disappointed and pleasantly surprised. I had to ask what the story behind it was:
“Why the name Dark Doom? The project was originally set up as a bit of a joke/experiment. I was trying to see if I could make black metal myself so I picked two words that sounded evil and threw them together. Hence, Dark Doom. After I got a bit more serious about it I just kept the name as I liked it at that point.”
And how does he feel about the album itself?
“It’s the first full-length album I’ve ever created myself. I’ve been working hard on it for around 9 months and I’m very proud of how it’s turned out. It’s the first of what I hope to be many.”
I’m sure there will be many more. Is writing already underway for the next one, or does he have other, more immediate plans?
“Writing hasn’t begun for album two as of yet, but it won’t be long until I start writing again. The next step is to take Dark Doom live. I already have my first show booked and I’m looking for more. As a solo metal project this presents challenges but I’m ready to overcome them and start taking my music out there.”
I hope it goes well. Have any labels shown interest?
“I have not yet seen any interest from labels but I would be interested in having a discussion with any that are interested. I do plan on putting out physical copies of the album if people express an interest.”
Personally, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of interest. One last thing I was curious about: he claims Dark Doom to be “Part of the FOS666 Horde”. What’s this all about?
“FOS666 stands for Fist Of Satan 666. It’s a blog/website service run by Fist who promotes artists and bands that he enjoys. As for the ‘horde’ part, Fist currently hosts the Dark Doom official website as well as the sites for a number of others. In return for this I put ‘Part of the FOS666 Horde’ on all Dark Doom social media to let people know about him. I’ll put links to my site and the main FOS666 site below:
Nice one. And his final message to anyone reading this:
“Thanks to everyone who has supported Dark Doom so far and to anyone who hasn’t heard it, please check it out. This is just the beginning.”
Pre-order Dark Doom‘s ‘Dust’ digitally from Bandcamp here.
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