Cover of Iron Void's eponymous debut by Goatess Doomwych.

Cover of Iron Void’s eponymous debut by Goatess Doomwych.

At the on-set of the twenty-first century there were a generous pinch of stoners in Doncaster who had heard Black Sabbath and all its doomy derivatives and decided they wanted to form Metal bands.

The first “doom” band I saw live were Jonathan “Sealey” Seale’s Iron Void, and they were great. I used to have all their gig posters on the walls of my flat in town.

The funny thing is Jonathan “Sealey” Seale intertwined his sound with (what became) my band So Mortal Be and Iron Void was reborn and is still a “true doom” concern.

In fact their first album is available on vinyl from a label set-up by Iron Void’s guitarist Steve Wilson and they are going from strength to strength.

Anyways we all sat around smoking’ Donny Dogbar and listenin’ to “sludge” like Iron Monkey, Electric Wizard, EyeHateGod and my personal favourites Burning Witch.

In fact the first time I heard Burning Witch I was lmfao because I couldn’t believe how “crushingly heavy” it was, but not for long, after about five/ten minutes I felt I was deep within the valley that cloaks the abyss. I’m not sure if it was the skunk weed or the cans of inter-stella but it was certainly life-affirming-like a Norse Ragnarok, with the lights out.

So Kev Richardson Jr, Oliver Maclaughlin and Jim Stanley, three stand-up dudes from the Dearne (Death) Valley wanted to respond to all this heaviness and boy did they do a most excellent job. With the help of two Wakefield lads Russ Thompson and Vinny Philpots they created Black Maria.

These guys were great! They didn’t give a flying fuck and smashed it every time. Every-time they played it was pure “pan-daemon-aeon,” absolutely unforgettable. It was “as if” someone had let off an incendiary device on the stage and blew all our minds to kingdom gone…

I think they only ever made one e.p. entitled “deserve nothing” but I still listen to it to this day. Eventually the band imploded and its various members dissipated to join other outfits.


Steve Wilson (Iron Void) and I had been working diligently at getting a doom band together. We did a small show complete with samples at High Melton College and a really lovely demo at Steve’s house called “dead but dreaming.” The drum machine track was executed skilfully by Steve on his old Commodore Amiga.

We were really looking to take it to the next level and for that purpose we needed a decent drummer. Jim Stanley (ex-Black Maria) had been jamming with a fellow smokin’ brother called Boo Bawden in a project called Vegas Tramp. Jim said he would really like to join and this enabled us to become a power trio called So Mortal Be.

We named the band after the last single by doom legend Wino’s, Spirit Caravan. It was they along with Bobby Liebling’s Pentagram and Lee Dorrian’s Cathedral that were a major influence on our sound.

We made a demo called “Initiation into Nothingness” which is also available on the download from the doomanoid records bandcamp site, rehearsed relentlessly, played about a dozen gigs and had some good “smokin’ coven,” including plans for a day of gluttony(I still have the menu), the highlight being “roast suckling pig wi’ an apple in it’s gob.”

Unfortunately for me (at that time),but most auspiciously in retrospect, when Jonathan “Sealey” Seale joined and I moved from bass to vocals I had no real function in the band and decided to go to Art College.

So Mortal Be became Iron Void and they went through a tremendous transmutation from flesh to spirit. They are a great band and are proud to know them; they have worked really hard and are now reaping the rewards-the album is shit-hot.

About the same time of Iron Void’s tremendous resurgence their occurred a sacred and profane vergence in the force and its catalyst was former Black Maria vocalist Kev Richardson Jr. who was now rockin’ some serious John Bonham drum-skills.

Aided by a lovely guy from Retford who I first saw in a band called Push-Hog called Gareth Hustwaite (known to his friends as Shelf) on vocals and a collective of versatile musicians from Nottingham they were about to unleash their first album(‘tis a real doozy) “short circular walks around the hope valley.”

The band was known as Pilgrim Fathers and to my senses they were a cornucopia of sonic delight. They were essentially post-rock, but stoner-doom to the core. The pinnacle of their success was arguably when they toured North America with Monster Magnet. I saw them live only a handful of times but I always found them to be lovely fellows and their sound to be righteously transformative.

I loved the album and ensuing e.p. they are now no more, it’s such a shame their record company/management didn’t get behind them and aid them with their persistence of vision. Shelf is a true poet. I still think he should learn how to play the flute though…


~ by EMPTY SUN on October 30, 2015.

2 Responses to “DOOM OVER DONCASTER!”

  1. great article… but what of Electric Frost/Cosmic Funeral? Nothing says Doom like having your mum give you a lift to the practice room

    • Hi G.-Fantastic idea/i’ll do a l’il adventure starring you and me, smack-lotto, inter-stella o’erdrive, nine-hands of the octopus(the ninth hand, being his third eye) and interplanetary ecstasy-“Electric Frost” is a great name-pity you had to trans-fly for “eine kleine genesis”-jus’ for jolly-wouldn’t you?

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