I've been writing for Echoes & Dust since December 2013, mostly on drone, doom and black metal. Since then I've completed a PhD looking at mysticism, ritual and religion in drone metal, and will be publishing a book related to this in 2017. I'm also trustee of Oaken Palace Records, a record label run as a charity, each drone release raising money for the conservation of a particular endangered species.

Articles by

Lotus Thief – Gramarye

The theoretical ideas are brilliant and intriguing, but the musical development isn’t quite as challenging or original as you might hope. – By Owen Coggins

Darkher – Realms

After an EP from 2014, Darkher summons a full length album of sombre but powerful evocations. – By Owen Coggins

Swamp Witch – The Slithering Bog

Before a note is heard, you know what to expect from the name of the band, the album title, and the great misty, murky grey cover image, a mysterious lurking figure trudging half-submerged through the grey marshes. Yep: swampy, witchy, stinking psychotropic sludge promised and delivered. – By Owen Coggins

Dark Funeral – Where Shadows Forever Reign

As soon as the album closer rushes abruptly to a halt, you’ll probably be heading straight back to track four ‘As I Ascend’ again to hear this record’s greatest example of a powerful rhythmic vocal-led black metal performance. – By Owen Coggins

Forteresse – Thèmes pour la Rébellion

Overall it’s an absolutely thunderous new release, and the band have clearly spent the last five years storing up fury to be released in a flood of expansive riffs, spitting galloping hoofbeat rhythms and vocal chants and growls equally poignant and epic. – By Owen Coggins

Dylan Carlson – Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion

The songs and the wider folk tradition that he’s drawing on provide a compelling melodic basis for Carlson to explore, while each is clearly meaningful to him musically and through their subject matter. – By Owen Coggins

Neige et Noirceur – Les Ténèbres Modernes

Constructed with creative mixtures of rhythms and transitions, there’s a consistent blastbeat bedrock, together with effectively ambiguous and sometimes unusual sound effects that melt into the sonic background, and great complex songwriting matched with distinctive vocals. This is a dense and powerful work of vintage black metal. – By Owen Coggins

Festival Preview: Temples Festival 2016

Owen Coggins will be covering this year’s Temples Festival for Echoes and Dust and he tells you what bands he’s most excited to see. “After last year’s twin drone doom/hardcore triumph, and the first year’s inaugural success, this third edition sees Temples collect together another brilliantly distinctive line-up to satisfy the allround appetites of the distortion connoisseur, as well as proving they know their stuff well enough to absolutely nail the combinations of specific subgenre representatives.”

Funeral Moth – Transience

Vast, desolate, mournful panoramas of doom. Over the course of just two tracks and a restrained palette of hanging-in-the-air tones matched with a powerful gruff roar, the record has the listener travelling over unforgiving expanses of grey wasteland. – By Owen Coggins

Horse Latitudes – Primal Gnosis

It’s a great, complex record which sees the band reinforcing their existing strengths with newer supplements. – By Owen Coggins

Deveikuth – 0​.​∅

It’s not at all surprising to see fellow French doomsters Monarch! first among the listed bands in the promotional stuff, but where Monarch! masterfully keep a sense of eerie weightless tension strung out across a fifteen minute track, for Deveikuth the routine is a bit more predictable. – By Owen Coggins

Nadja – Sv

‘Sv’ is on one hand a classic Nadja record, a slowly developing, smouldering burner, which gradually shifts through subtly unfolding variations, with a distinctive flavour of harsh but ambient distortion hiss. On the other, it’s a bit unusual for this band in its percussive, rhythmic complexity, which is present almost throughout. – By Owen Coggins

Cantique Lépreux – Cendres Célestes

Across the album overall, there’s not necessarily any revolutionary new tricks, nor any need for them, just really effective deployment of black metal components that make for a powerful listen. – By Owen Coggins

Dead Procession – Rituais e Mantras do Medo

A lonely wander through a doomy and depressive corner of the Portuguese underground. – By Owen Coggins

Aluk Todolo – Voix

Listening to the album is to be deeply immersed in an altered way of perceiving, as if giving you a glimpse of what it would be like to view yourself from an alien insect machine perspective, but without knowing its motives. A strange and intense experience. – By Owen Coggins

Sunn O))) – Kannon

The first Sunn O))) album since 2009 is reliable in its heavy drudge, a fair refraction of a signature sound, even if quixotically surprising in its lack of surprises. – By Owen Coggins

Tyranny – Aeons In Tectonic Interment

A record which shows evidence of experimentation, adding new touches to a steady foundation in what made Tyranny special to begin with. – By Owen Coggins

Carma – Carma

Undeniably compelling when used judiciously amidst great doom and black metal shades. A brilliant début. – By Owen Coggins

Shabda – Pharmakon/Pharmakos

While in some ways the ingredients are a fairly familiar Orientalist stew of exotic tinkling, grumbly chants and metallic zoinging, Shabda manage to levitate their way out of ordinariness through a real fine-tuned appreciation of how the different sounds go together and the compositional skill is noticeable. – By Owen Coggins

Interview: Christian Hector from AHAB

With a new album ‘The Boats of the Glen Carrig’ coming out soon, and recent shows in the UK and elsewhere, Christian Hector from AHAB took the time to discuss books, slowness and being an octopus with Owen Coggins.

AHAB – The Boats of The Glen Carrig

All in all, the record doesn’t quite reach the high-water mark of Call of the Wretched Sea’s intense unity of focus, but it’s a stronger set of tracks than 2012’s The Giant. An assured continuation of AHAB’s ongoing oceanic travels. – By Owen Coggins

Pin It on Pinterest