There is a persistent notion in the music world (and my head) that doom and sludge are ugly, jagged, muddy things wretched painfully out of the earth through torn-up throats and quasi-functional amps. While some bands in the world of doom have been working with beauty for some time, France’s Appollonia show, on their fourth album, Dull Parade, that sludgy swamp-things can be just as gorgeous. These three tragedians move seamlessly through soaring, uplifting passages, somber humanity reminiscent of a prettier, French-er Acid Bath, and even straight up rock ‘n’ roll. I simply can’t imagine the anthemic vocals at the end of Lights Out/Knives Out and peppered throughout To Study Lips not slaying live. Their Baroness-esque interplay of heaviness and melody is refreshing, particularly for someone who repeatedly shoves black metal and noise albums into his ear holes on purpose. Working well as both a speakers-listen and a headphone-listen, this is an album that can hold its own and reveal hidden depths throughout repeated ear-hole-cramming.