DOOM CHARTS for SEPTEMBER 2015

‘The doom lies in yourself, not in your name.’ ― J.R.R. Tolkien

September sees a big shake up from the previous month’s list with heavy hitters Goatsnake, Dopethrone and Demon Head falling just outside the top 25 making way for some strong releases.

Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, radio and podcasters and album reviewers from the doom-stoner underground around the globe. Each month, our critics submit their picks for the best new doom-sludge metal and stoner-psychedelic rock albums.  The results are compiled and tabulated into the chart below. This is a one-stop shop for the best new albums in the world.

25. Psychic Dose – Satyrnalia

Satyrnalia is an LP chock full of stories of fantasy creatures of a pagan land all sung by a swamp witch , actually a lovely young lady who uses her natural, beautiful voice and a swamp witch voice to great effect to enhance the fantasy or psychedelic trip as in the case of at least one song. Musically you have heavy seventies psychedelic metal with best use of the wah pedal since the seventies. ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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24. We Hunt Buffalo – Living Ghosts

While We Hunt Buffalos last few releases were pretty damn good, I really couldn’t get to much into them. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t “me.” Living Ghosts however, is a lot of what I look for in heavy music. Heavy overtones, fuzz drenched riffs, melodic vocals with a slight hint of sludge in just the right places. The range on this album is phenomenal. It’s got big sound that seems to take a little from Red Fang and even fellow label mates The Truckfighters. Mark my words, this is an album that will be at the top of everyone’s best of 2015 lists. It’s actually made me appreciate their older material more as I’ve gone back and given it another shot. I’m not sure what I was thinking before, maybe I just needed that swift kick in the behind that is known as Living Ghosts. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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23. Zirakzigil – Worldbuilder

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by none other than Billy fuckin’ Anderson (who you might recognize as the engineer behind the immortal ‘Dopesmoker’ by Sleep), I was virtually brought to tears by how beautiful this CD sounded. It helps that the songcraft is exceptional. The progressive doom-stoner trio rallies every resource at their disposal to bring you a theme and an ingenious set of variations. The fact that more people don’t know about this record is criminal. Don’t let Zirakzigil’s monumental ‘Worldbuilder’ pass you by! ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)

Oh Lord Yeah!


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Ghost-Meliora

22. Ghost – Meliora

For many doom metallers, there’s an automatic reaction to reject anything that even begins to seem popular. By the time you present Ghost’s Van Hagar synth and Boston-esque riffage to the metal world at large the word polarizing simply doesn’t do justice. For those who have stuck by and borne witness to the anonymous Swedish sextet’s development over the past five years, ‘Meliora’ is a lighter affair than ‘Infestissumam’ in terms of tone, content and running time. ‘Meliora’ makes me wonder if Ghost hasn’t been miscast as a metal band as their mock devotional sounds are framed in an increasingly proggy package. ~ LK Ultra (You May Be Dead & Dreaming)

Alright now!
Won’t You Listen

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Datura4-DemonBlues

21. Datura4 – Demon Blues

Dom Mariani has been writing hook laden tunes since The Stems came out of Perth in the 80’s brandishing their paisley shirts and winklepickers. Progressing through DM3 and now with Datura4 the tunes have a slick, bluesy feel with just enough grit and a heavy amouont of boogie to make it subversive and foot-stompingly enjoyable. Mariani’s partner in crime Greg Hitchcock (You Am I) along with bassist Stu Loasby (Ripple Souls) and drummer Warren Hall (Drones, Volcanics) makes for an all-star cast behind this ten track album. ~ Cam Crichton (Motherslug)

Alight Now!
Won’t you listen

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20. The Sword – High Country

High Country is the 5th and, no doubt, most critiqued album of the Austin quintets career. While Age of Winters and Gods of Earth clubbed the listener with galloping and primitive riffs of a tomahawk blade, warp riders and Apocryphon drifted off into space rock territory, High Country ventures into the sun baked hills with lofty, polished riffs, intricately crafted interludes and perhaps their strongest vocal output yet. Believe me, the beloved riffs of The Sword are still there, however, they are more in the shape of a Samurai than the crushing Herculean battle ax. Heavy nod to Thin Lizzy with an odd but somewhat fitting electronic backdrop. High Country is higher than a damn kite! ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

Alight Now!
Won’t you listen

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19. Waft – Chronolith

As it stands, I’ve been waiting a long time to bring all of you this review. Pretty much since I walked in on the middle of their live set for the first time and instantly noticed my rib cage rattling around in my chest. I first mentioned them in my Rising Sons article for a while back, but they are well worth revisiting with the release of their debut LP “Chronolith”. Six pummeling tracks of sludge tainted stoner doom metal later, and you’re a changed person, the kind of changes that coincide with being hit in the stomach by a three ton hammer. Opening things up with the raucous bout of “Eternal Sigh”, which is a five minute excercise in desparity. Starting off slow, and even dropping down to the pace of a geological process, it soon gives way to a torrential flood of pulverizing drums, with a chugging bass line and hectic guitar riffing. It’s not content to end there though, finding a happy medium in the mid-tempo area, they fall into a sludgey groove that’s suitable for stomping the skulls of your enemies. Digging into the album a little farther and you come across a personal favorite called “Southern Sky”, and as the band so aptly puts it, the song is about being southern as fuck. After a few droning guitar notes, plus some loud and round drumming, things kick off into a pounding groove, with a southern flair in the guitar riff, and snarling vocals that could almost of come from a rabid dog. Being the shortest track on the album, it is a bruiser with an unmistakable Bongzilla vibe. By the end of the three minutes it’s almost like you can feel that hot summer sun beating down on you. The entire album has a raw and gritty feel, like you’re standing in a grimey dive bar watching them play in person. But, if you like your doom metal heavily stoned and drunk as a skunk, you’ll love Waft. ~ Skip (The Burning Beard)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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18. Savanah – Deep Shades

Deep Shades of molten doom forge blazingly massive riffs and scorching solos polished off with hypnotic vocal moans. High degree of face meltability. These 5 tracks were really an instant love when I heard them, too bad it doesn’t last longer. So to comfort myself I played it on repeat during those last few weeks. They just did a killer work in producing a heavy piece of Stoner-Doom, and they really tried to avoid to sound too cliché, you know those crunchy riffs you heard a million times… No, they rather took a smarter approach by creating very catchy melodic riffs, and still managing to carry that heavy sound. To me, there are a lot of similarities with Elder’s tone & feeling, not a bad thing you’ll tell me. To further reinforce that Elder influence, be also prepared for a lot of guitar soloing craziness. Sumptuous use of delay and Wah-Wah effects are just delicious for your ears backed by a pounding rhythm section, be sure you’ll either be headbanging hard or lose your mind on those loud & repetitive bass lines & drums fills! ~ Mr Fuzz (More Fuzz)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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17. Lamprey – III

For over half-a-decade the Portland trio LAMPREY has been a staple of the underground heavy scene. Having given us two stellar albums and a split, Lamprey, has released their third and final album, titled ‘III’ (2015). ‘They say you should always go out on a high note,’ the band announced. ‘Well, even our low notes were pretty fucking high…’ The 6-tracker was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Toadhouse Recording Studio by Adam Pike. Though Lamprey has disbanded, the vibrancy of their songs is still very much alive, and all the more so through their finest achievement: ‘III’ ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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16. Demon Eye – Tempora Infernalia

From the very first track on Demon Eye’s sophomore record, you know you’re in for something out of the ordinary. Beautifully recorded, Pentagram and Deep Purple-influenced, up-tempo retro occult, doom, and heavy metal! Enough adjectives for ya? Well, the Raleigh, North Carolina trio live up to each and every one of them. We’ll be talking about this album well into the year. ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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15. Behold! The Monolith – Architects of the Void

Behold! The Monolith’s triumphant return, ‘Architects of the Void,’ understandably marks a slight change in sound and execution. Their third full-length, like its predecessors, is a sprawling metal masterpiece marked by memorable riffs, scorching leads, and intricate song structures. The band, in the face of tragedy, have churned out their darkest album to date that incrementally exchanges the atmospherics that were in abundance on their first two releases for anger and even more aggression. ‘Architects of the Void’ is not necessarily better or worse than previous efforts…just slightly different, yet still it kicks ass. ~  Steve Miller (Vertical Chamber Apparatus)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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14. Freedom Hawk – Into Your Mind

Saw these cats live recently in a grimy underground cellar, while they were touring through Europe with Seedy Jeezus. Delivering grade A catchy hardrock and steamy stoner. With tiny psychedelic meanderings and a vocalist that has never sounded better. You can safely state that their fourth album Into Your Mind is a gigantic leap forward. Which makes you wonder why on earth an amazing band as Freedom Hawk is not delivering their magic on the big stages of the best festivals around the globe but in dirty little basements like De Onderbroek in Nijmegen… Where they blew the attendees away though! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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13. Old Mans Will – Hard Times Troubled Man

Not sure what they put in the water over in Sweden but Old Man’s Will are another band that have drunk deep from the well of Retro/Stoner rock and produced an album of groove-laden riffs which combine some stunning psychedelic jams to get your head nodding. Soulful, heartfelt vocals sit over the top of bluesy tunes and fuzz filled solos which rock like a bastard. I have only played this a couple of times but am already looking forward to pressing the repeat button. ~ Tony Maim (Stoner HiVe)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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12. Pentagram – Curious Volume

Despite the fact that the headlights of the rock n roll world are falling on the new albums of Iron Maiden and Motorhead these days, at the same time another iconic rock figure of the same talent-caliber, Mr. Bobby Liebling, released also a brand new album with Pentagram. In a parallel, fair, universe this fact itself would have the same attention as the releases of the mentioned holy monsters. On our own unfair world, I think that we should be happy even with the fact that uncle Bobby is still among us. Having to deal with lots of personal demons that threaten even his life over the last decade, the front man of Pentagram manages to provide us with the second album of the band since the “reboot” year of 2011. The album is called “Curious Volume” and once more we find the downtuned riffmaster Victor Griffin, behind the guitar work. During its eleven songs and the 43 minutes of its duration, the album gives us the representation of a surprisingly fresh band: Bobby’s voice sounds in good shape, the compositions are well balanced, and Griffin provides us with some great, supermassive riffs. Of course no one will claim that “Curious Volume” will be a monumental album, but at the same time, with this record, Pentagram declare that they are not here by accident. Only a few bands can play different types of songs such as “Dead bury Dead”, “Misunderstood” and “Because I made it” in the same album, in the same convincing way. With “Curious Volume” in your collection, you will add some great heavy rock/doom tunes with a 70s vide, not from some contemporary retro-fetishist copycats, but from the original source of this sound. ~ Vasilis Durden (All the Heavy Lifting)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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11. Grusom – S/T

There’s always room for more retro based rock. Always. That’s a fact. Grusom is one of the many bands to come from the treasure trove in that area of Nordic countries of Europe. There must be something in the water because it’s contagious. The band’s self titled is another notch in a long line of great retro inspired rock. They’re not treading new ground, not genre setting and not trend setters. No. Instead they’re just playing great retro inspired rock featuring lots of organ, guitar solos, melodies and features all killer with no filler written from the heart. Why reinvent the wheel when you have the perfect invention right in front of your own eyes? ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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10. Plainride – Return Of The Jackalope

“Return of the Jackalope” a is Stoner/Desert Rock album of the down-to-earth kind. It is gritty and dusty with a thick crust of sweat and desert sand; it tastes like whiskey, beer and BBQ, hefty and well seasoned with Rock ‘n’ Roll, Bluegrass, Blues, a ballad and a psycho trip at the end – all inclusive – from sweaty to laid-back, with riffs galore and a voice to faint over. The 4 guys from Plainride bust out this record with such relentless energy and spirit, it’s mercilessly contagious. With a generous run time of over one hour it feels like these dudes don’t even want to stop playing… Well count me in, I won’t complain. ~ Ulla Roschat (Wicked Lady)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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9. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Night Creeper

Every time Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats came out with a new record it took some time getting familiar with the fresh take on their mystical tones and musically translated fear of the dark. But with the old, worn and lo-fi production you quickly felt at home again in that dusty cellar where the faint candlelight threw creepy shadows across the ceiling. This time around the sounds are much fuller and warmer. Not the warmth of spilled blood but of ghost stories by the campfire. A damn fine album indeed. But I reckon we’d rather would have suffered from nightmares once again… ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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8. Church – Unanswered Hymns

From Sacramento, California comes a devastating band simply known as CHURCH. And what a time we’re having in church today! While their name may be understated, there’s a lot going on inside those doors. I had the chance to see and film Church live during their summer tour in support of ‘Unanswered Hymns.’ I was transfixed by the hypnotic singing, the crashing chords, and the alluring solos. This is a band that makes a real statement with their songs and leaves you in a state of deep contemplation. ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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7. Sweat Lodge – Talismania

Another quality release from the depths of the copper universe. Sounding highly vintage and wickedly proto the Austin, Texas foursome Sweat Lodge hit us with a hard rocking boogie album called Talismana. Transporting us straight to that golden era when Sabbath and Zeppelin were soaring high; with a definite love for the ancient grooves. They have us swaying along on doom inspired riffs and catapult you with intense solo work. True inspired drumming that fills every corner of the room without ever coming oppressive. That’s where the howling comes in; with a resonating chant like quality the vocals becomes this dense fog that disorients and hypnotizes. It is what makes this album great, for the duration of the album you are incapable of doing anything else, it mesmerizes like a snake charmer and leaves you defenseless. ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

With their debut release, out on Ripple Music in August, Sweat Lodge waste no time in bringing the energy. Opener ‘Tramplifier’, not only has an eerie ring to it, but will have your head bobbing instantly with a circulating fuzz based riff leading into electrified vocals summoning forth all fans of Ozzy Osborne.  Groovy guitar lines drip with distortion like hot candles at a swinger’s party. The Zeppelin-esque vocals croon along to the beat of a water bong, while the guitars inhale and exhale euphoric riffs of felicity. Keep your eyes out for Sweat Lodge, as they have proven they can hang with the big dogs of the underground rock and roll. ~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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6. Ahab – The Boats of the Glen Carrig

The nautical doomsters from Germany return with an epic album that combines melody with brutality to further their sound explored on previous albums. The pace is slightly less glacial but the overall atmosphere is still heavy, oppressive and draining. The song compositions have a great diversity which propels the album through to the intense end. Both vocals and guitars go from clean to filthy which sit nicely on top of the solid riffs being played. This is probably Ahab reaching their peak and will please a lot of people. – Tony Maim (Stoner HiVe)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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5. Witchsorrow – No Light Only Fire

Three years after Witchsorrow released the terrific ‘God Curse Us’ the Hampshire trio has returned with a follow-up to blow its predecessor out of the water. Three years feels like a long time between albums in our spoiled age but it appears the band used their time wisely. ‘No Light, Only Fire’ is a much more dynamic album than ‘God Curse Us’. Overall, the riffs are bigger, thicker and more memorable, the tempos range across the spectrum as do the moods. But Witchsorrow are no crowd-pleasers, they don’t disguise their intent and they don’t dwell in the cellars of doom because it’s trendy. This is rude, unapologetic, brown-baggin’ doom. For those who like their doom neat and straight out of the bottle, you may have yourself a contender for album of the year. ~ LK Ultra (You May Be Dead & Dreaming)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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ecstatic vision

4.   Ecstactic Vision – Sonic Praise

With no doubt the Ecstatic Vision trio from Philadelphia gave birth to one of the best debut albums of this year. ‘Sonic Praise’ is an album that comes from an otherworldly dimension. It is a metaphysical place where your consciousness flies in a deep trance through space rock guitars, shaman and dreamlike vocals, cosmic and tribal rhythms. Its five tracks are captivating and rich in expressiveness, they pulsate with life. Take your time and listen to them, go beyond, in the infinite space. Simply fantastic! ~ Mari Knox Knox (Doommabbestia)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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3. Goya – Obelisk

Bend over and assume the position you dirty, riff slut…. Satan is about to destroy you with his magical riffmaking guitar bong. Goya have the tunes that can make you stoned, just by sitting in the same room as their sticky sweet, smoking riffs of doom. This is the sweet spot, the volcanic epicentre you have been searching for. Enter the inner earth of your unknown reality, vibrating to the hum of the Iommic void. Listen closely to Goyas’ invocations and like me you will find yourself worshiping the masters riff. ~ Gram, Son of Sam (Dirty Denim)

Oh Lord Yeah!

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2. Glowsun – Beyond The Wall Of Time

Although “Beyond the Wall of Time” is an almost instrumental album and there are hardly any lyrics, the album title, the cover artwork and track titles very much indicate that Glowsun play around with the concept of time here. The intro track “Arrow of Time” starts with sounds of a ticking clock and heartbeats and creates a tension right from the start. From here a thick and deep soundscape slowly evolves and expands and soon you’ll know what this album is up to – its up to entangle your mind and take you into spheres of timelessness. This album is a perfectly balanced hybrid of psychedelic stoner rock that gets you stoned as well as high. It drags you through the dry desert sand with fuzz-laden earthy heaviness, entrances you with hypnotic, driving rhythms and lets you fly high on playful melodies with spiraling loops and arcs, just to pull you back to the ground with gloomy, doomy sounds. The outro track “Endless Caravan” carefully carries you back into time picking up the clock-ticking sound from the beginning.

“Beyond the Wall of Time” is trippy and spacey, rooted deeply in stoner soil and it’s the perfect soundtrack to a mild summer night to crack a beer, rip a bong and forget the meaning of time. ~ Ulla Roschat (Wicked Lady)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen


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1. Kadavar – Berlin

The third album by the German trio Kadavar is finally able to capture their wild live sound to some degree. It also finally features the amazing Simon ‘Drago’ Bouteloop on bass. Which means the boogie and the groove are immediately set loose. Vocalist Lupus Lindemann sounds at ease and accomplished, but has dispelled some of his chased notes. The same goes for the psychedelic edge, it has turned into something unadorned and trucking. This time around Kadavar brings pure rock in the seventies tradition. And they do it well! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

Alright Now!
Won’t You Listen

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Contributors to The September Doom Chart:

A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous); Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned); Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect);  Cam Crichton (Motherslug); Clint (Hand of Doom Radio); ‘Doktor420’ (Stoner HiVe); Doombeard (DoomBeardZine); Gram Pola, Son of Sam (Dirty Denim); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Lucas Klaukein – ‘LK Ultra’ (Stoner HiVeThe SludgelordYou May Be Dead & Dreaming); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Mari Knox Knox (Doommabbestia); Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned); Rod Reinhardt (Captain Beyond Zen);  Skip (The Burning Beard); Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun); Steve Miller (Vertical Chamber Apparatus); Tony Maim (Stoner HiVe); Ulla Roschat (Wicked Lady); Timon Henge (Sludge Worm Magazine); Tanguy Dupré – “Mr Fuzz” (More Fuzz); and Vasilis Durden (All the Heavy Lifting).

This September 2015 edition of The Doom Chart edited by Cam

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