“Do you see the story? Do you see anything? It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream–making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is the very essence of dreams…” (Joseph Conrad)
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. Golden Void – Berkana
On Golden Void’s 2012 debut, they had come up with a pretty unique blend of proto-metal and psychedelic folk, with nods toward Black Sabbath and a bit of Cream’s Jack Bruce and Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker in Isaiah Mitchell’s vocals.
Three years later, the band replaces up front rockers on their second album, Berkana, with some twang, somewhat along the lines of Sweden’s Troubled Horse. “Astral Plane” starts with a rolling guitar riff that also brings to mind a bit of mid-70s Crazy Horse, with an autumnal vocal melody. It gets even more haunting and transcendent at two minutes with a ghostly, high-register guitar line that floats on top.
With the psych prog leanings of “The Beacon” and “Storm And Feather,” I hear the kind of trippy, heavy forest psych I’d been craving. Sometimes I dream up fusions of genres and styles I feel are under-represented in the world. Bands like Dead Meadow and Fellwoods seemed to have the potential to achieve that kind of mix, but Golden Void had really nailed it. ~ A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous)
24. Grime – Circle Of Molesters
In 2013 Grime released one of the most punishing albums to hit the scene in years in ‘Deteriorate’, a desolate filth ridden roller coaster of chaos that left rubble in its wake. Fast forward to now, and the sickness is back in the form of ‘Circle of Molesters’. Fading in with foreboding slow motion riffs in Intro (Obscuration), it quickly gives way to the pummelling stomach churn that Grime have made into a signature sound, frequently hitting the brakes to let the gravity of it all crush in and then breaking out the sledgehammer once more to crush skulls with pace. No let up, from start to finish, super heavy production, very satisfying low end and evil infested riffs and vocals. Grime have done it again, album of the year contender, beyond any doubt. ~ Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
23. Roundtable – Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia
From Melbourne, Australia, this is Roundtable – a contrast of the dastardly and the daring, with a fascinating new concept album that reminded me at portions of High On Fire, Mastodon, Red Fang, Witchcraft, Cathedral and Candlemass. And going even further back, the great legends of psychedelic and proto-metal from the seventies. Yet the record carries a distinct voice and style that is very much its own. Here we have heavy, psychedelic doom, with lusty vocals and irresistible touches of folk-medieval and post-metal. I think this one is going to become a cult favorite among lovers of underground heavy music. ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
22. Cult Of Occult – Five Degrees of Insanity
Humming amplifier sounds start off the album as if to start a hate machine that produces a gluey slow crawling substance made of disgust, contempt, pain and pure evil. And it crawls all over you and you are caught in it like a spider in resin, exposed to overwhelmingly heavy riffs, agonizing repetitiveness and vocals that feel like a blazing firestorm of malodorous caustic filth. Everything is drenched in reverb and distortion, building lysergic atmospheres and blackened ambience. And the album truly lives up to its title. This is five songs, each one of a higher degree of insanity and intensity than its predecessor, five songs of relentless, violent, blackened sludge doom, Cult Of Occult – highly addictive. ~ Ulla Roschat (Wicked Lady)
21. Fuzz – II
On that first album we travelled back in time to 1969 or perhaps 1968 when the fuzz and heavy psychedelic waves sounded exactly this amazing. The perfect age and the perfect time of the year when Summertime heralded that massive sound from the boys from Blue Cheer. On their second album ‘II’ the San Francisco garagedelic threesome founded by Ty Segall continue their track through that heavy fatherland. Combining their bluesy, Sabbath-like guitar riffs with which they can level any crowd and those small touches of harmony that will have all you smile in disgust. Yes, indeed, you like it! You love it! Wild guitars and Ty drumming right alongside like a controlled maniac. This is high-energy hard edged garage rock and heavy psych that has a stoner edge thanks to wild antics of all players involved. Fuzz, a righteous name to live up to! You’d better keep doing your damn best Mr. Segall! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
20. Space Bong – Deadwood To Worms
OH LOOK! Why, yes! Adelaide’s Space Bong has returned from their spring orbit, which brought us the EP ‘In Doom We Crust’ back in April. Now the Aussie six-member shamanic cosmonauts are bringing us a full-length: ‘Deadwood To Worms’. The vocals, scorched from deep space radiation, are more sinister than ever when contrasted with the unrelenting clockwork of their rhythm ‘n’ riff machine. Meu deus is it good! Talk about giving long and fruitful life to a riff, Sleep-style, Space Bong wield their craft well. ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
19. Ponamero Sundown – Veddesta
Ponamero Sundown out of Stockholm, Sweden is back and fighting mad with their newest LP ‘Veddesta’. In the bands bio they claim this newest release is a bit of a retooling. I haven’t heard their earlier work so I cannot vouch for that. I can vouch that Veddesta is killer! This is a down and dirty rock album period. The vocalist Niclas Engwall has a polished yet hard edge voice that is quite pleasing for the style. A slight bit Alice in chains at times, which to me isn’t a bad thing. The dude has some killer back up as well. Peter Eklund on drums, Robert Trisches on bass and Anders Martinsgard on the Guitar. These guys know how to serve a song, heavy and rockin’. The shits got more hooks than the Gorton’s fisherman, with no dull moments in my opinion. The band definitely have a certain feel to them; I wouldn’t call it funky, but it’s that behind the beat type of playing if you know what I mean. It’s the kind of playing that makes you want to move. I promise all you fans of kick ass hard rock are gonna like this one. ~ Charlie Tooth (Stoner HiVe)
18. Horisont – Odyssey
Originally considered a little brother band to fellow Swedes Witchcraft and Graveyard, Horisont already proved themselves to be a top tier band by their third album, ‘Time Warriors’ (2013). ‘Odyssey’ builds upon some of the proggy space-rock leanings of the last album, and finds inspiration in pulp sci-fi space sagas, but not as a cohesive concept. Yet even on the 10:46 opening title track featuring synths and long instrumental passages, there’s always some furious riffage around the corner like Yes beefed up with muscular solos worthy of prime Michael Schenker. Every swaggering guitar-loaded track triggers positive flashbacks to the likes of Rush, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, while the album wraps up with one of their most inspired, haunting creations, “Timmarna,” sung in Swedish, which hearkens back to their debut ‘Två Sidor Av Horisonten’ (2009), based on their more Swedish oriented proto-metal and psych prog roots. From their earthy blues psych to space camp, they’ve mastered it all, emerging as a magnificent band who would be appreciated by Kadavar’s fans if they’d tour. ~ A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous)
17. Wizard Eye – Wizard Eye
How to write about Wizard Eye without once again falling into the trap of using too many big words and grand gestures? We reckon it is impossible! For on their new self-titled album the Philadelphian trio go big the way of the riff Wizard without going overboard. They know exactly how to conjure up the perfect mixture of proto metal magic, psychedelic sorcery and ear pleasing doom bewitchment. This is without a doubt the best spell cast in honor of the riff this month and perhaps even this year. Keep an eye on these cats, cause they know their tricks and they do them all so freakin well!! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
16. Flight – Flight
High and Dry era Def Leppard guitar tones pierce the airwaves combining with the muscular blues chops of prime time Deep Purple and brute strength of Judas Priest. The hooks ring loud, the vocals soar melodically, and the solos burst violent with groove. The way the choppy riffs glide the stage reminds me of why I’ve always been attracted to metal. The primal chords hone a metallic edge, slicing like an air guitar hero hopped up on smoke and whiskey. Each and every song breaks away from the day to day verse chorus verse for a trip across the Thin Lizzy highway riding on the back of Iron Maiden. Take Flight! ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
15. Ecstatic 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 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, into the infinite space. Simply fantastic! ~ Mari Knox Knox (Doommabbestia)
14. Sergeant Thunderhoof – Ride of The Hoof
Glad to see I’m not the only one still in love with the 2014 ‘Zigurat’ album by the Bath, Uk quartet Sergeant Thunderhoof. Cause judging from the votes cast for their new record titled: ‘Ride Of The Hoof’ we all can’t get enough of the Sergeant. And rightfully so. The beast is magnificent and even bigger than on that first adventure. The heavy grooves meander and pause and stampede and make this album the ride of a lifetime. There truly is not a note missing or a tone too much. Sheer brilliance and absolutely stunning! There is only one small problem… We now have to choose between the awe-inspiring Zigurat and the mesmerizing Ride Of The Hoof! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
13. 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)
12. 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)
11. All Them Witches – Dying Surfer Meets His Maker
With the feeling of effortless jamming, All Them Witches have delivered an album that truly does carry you along from start to finish. Acoustic strumming sets the scene as slowly the mood starts to change into some really great psychedelic frazzled workouts that dazzle with atmospherics and feeling rather than using volume to subdue the listener. Spoken passages over instrumentals jostle with stoner riffs that groove like a bastard and all the time, the tracks continue to flow into each other with effortless ease. Both reflective and heavy, this album caught me by surprise and only after a couple of plays has woven its hypnotic magic into my life. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
10. Monster Magnet – Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)
Monster Magnet return with another re-imagination of one of their albums. This time 2010’s ‘Mastermind’ is given a more twisted, psychedelic makeover with ‘Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)‘.
This is an album that sounds very different from the original but also it sounds vaguely familiar at the same time. The songs have been de-constructed and put together in a way that only Monster Magnet knows how to do. Songs such as She Digs That Hole, Gods And Punks and When Planes Fall From The Sky are space rock epics with Monster Magnet right the Bull God into the far reaches of space.
“I Live Behind the Paradise Machine: Evil Joe Barresi’s Magnet Mash Vol.1” is a hybrid of “I Live Behind the Clouds”, “Paradise” and “No Paradise For Me” from “Last Patrol” & “Milking the Stars” and it stands as the albums standout track. This takes me back to the days when and why I fell in love with Monster Magnet in the first place. Gigantic spaced out riffs and the amazing groovy vocals of the self proclaimed – SPACE LORD – himself – Dave Wyndorf – who is perhaps one of the finest Stoner Rock vocalists currently singing today. It’s hard to believe this dude is 60 years old next year as he sings with the passion of someone much younger.
People are complaining that Monster Magnet should release a new album already. Well I say to them, if these redux/re-imagination albums are as good as this then long may it continue. Cobras And Fire is a blast from start to finish. THE SPACE LORD REIGNS SUPREME YET AGAIN. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws Of The Sun)
9. Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence
Graveyard has always been a band to deliver the goods. Everything on the self-titled, ‘Hisingen Blues’ and ‘Lights Out’ was sheer brilliance. ‘Innocence & Decadence’ is no different. Graveyard is one of those bands that have a signature sound, you just know it’s them by the tune. That’s pretty evident as soon as “Magnetic Shunk” starts the album off. The album rips and roars from beginning to end. The songs are pretty diverse too. That’s one of the traits that make this band so great and keeps them from becoming stale.
They mix it up by having guitarist Jonathan Ramm sing leads on the track “Far Too Close” which closes off yet another impressive album. “Too Much Is Not Enough” features some female backing vocals during the chorus which gives it a nice touch and is something that the band hasn’t done before. They also welcome back bassist and founding member Truls Mörck, who sings lead vocals on the new song “From A Hole In the Wall.”
And… “From A Hole In the Wall” is probably the most badass song on the entire album. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)
8. Clutch – Psychic Warfare
Two years ago their tenth album ‘Earth Rocker’ blew each and every one out of the water. Which was yet another reason with which Clutch, who have been around since 1991, proved to be an always evolving band eager to progress. This time around however the guys seem content or even keen on deepening the sound they provided us with on that much celebrated album Earth Rocker. Their eleventh album is called ‘Psychic Warfare’ and on it we hear even swampier stoner, intense blues influences and straight trucking hardrock filled with grimy guitar solos and an angry vocalist howling his truth at us. Sometimes a bit funkier and sometimes air dry and sun baked. Most impressive is probably the way they managed to make all that more enigmatic, stirring and cinematic. Songs like “Our Lady Of Electric Light” are meant to be used in movies, you can just see the landscape pass by and the Hateful Eight wandering off into the sunset. But don’t worry, there’s no atmospheric nonsense here; just a savage wasteland full of grit teeth and bloodshot eyes! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
7. Kadavar – Berlin
What do you do when your first 2 albums set the bar for retro 70’s fuzz rock and your 3rd album is eagerly awaited? A lot of bands would recycle their old riffs and leave it at that. Thank fuck, Kavadar have come up with new killer riffs, cool song compositions and a slightly more polished production sound which has expanded their sonic horizons meaning the tracks sound massive and rock like a bastard. No song wastes space and you are head nodding from start to finish. Huge guitar tones, heavy riffs, driving rhythms and melodic vocals combined with magnificent solos awash with fuzz give me all I require to have my day brightened up into some thing worthwhile and when it all ends I want to play again instantly. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
6. Disenchanter – Strange Creations
Disenchanter proved early on in their career that they had something going on and left me no choice but to show my support upon finding out of the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record and unleash their newest full length CD, ‘Strange Creations’, unto the world. From the first listen through the sixth or eighth. I’ve lost count, I was hooked and knew the world was given something special. The album opens with an enticing drum pattern oozing with a fuzzed out bassline that partners up to a downtuned, distortion-laced riff and topped with the heroic pulse of Sabine Strangenberg’s wail. Title track, “Strange Creations”, 1st of 2 songs over the 10-minute mark, brings a bluesy stoner swagger to the slow baked doomy groove, and like the entire album, speaks of mystical beings, enchanting lore, all wrapped up with seductively angelic riffs and rumbles. “Sorceries” scours the airwaves with an absolutely throttling introduction, scalping the brain like Conan the Barbarian’s sword smashing granite boulders.
The psychedelic soloing scratches the itch you just can’t quite reach, deep beyond your conscience state of being. The final cut “Snakes of the Earth” showcases the raw diversity of the band and brings the album to a proper close. Swirling with thrashy shards of metal, heavy shades of doom, and blazing clouds of stoned out groove, “Strange Creations” erupts unto the land with lethal riffage, celestial vocal chords, and an enthralling atmosphere. Don’t be scared, we are all strangely created, yet roam the land with a similar purpose. Purpose in this case, to pick up the new album by Disenchanter. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
5. Spelljammer – Ancient of Days
Spelljammer finally release their new album ‘Ancient Of Days’, and it doesn’t disappoint. Heavy, long drawn out cosmic based riffs. Ancient Of Days takes their sound to new levels as they leave the Desert/Stoner Rock sounds found on their earlier albums in the past. Spelljammer embrace a new world of FUZZED OUT SPACE ROCK DOOM and it’s glorious. From the opening spaced out riffs of opening track – Meadow – Spelljammer are a band reborn as they take you on a trippy journey without the need for hallucinogenic drugs. The music is powerful enough to take you to the far reaches of space.
The heavy fuzz sounds of the albums last two tracks – The Pathfinder and Borlung – are some of the finest 20 minutes you’re likely to experience this year. Addictive Fuzz/Space-Rock/Doom Metal of the highest order. If you’re new to the world of Spelljammer then get with the program as Ancient Of Days is a spaced out trip worth taking time and time again. One of the finest Stoner/Doom Metal albums of the year. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws Of The Sun)
4. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Night Creeper
Uncle Acid return with ten tracks of sonic psyche-frazzling heaviness and blood-drenched hooks that are simply awesome. A heavier sound which still retains the ‘69/’70 Blue Cheer vibes but at the same time turning up the psychedelic and druggy feel which holds so much allure to warped minds like myself. I have had this album on repeat and find myself drifting into the coldness of a foggy London night as twilight descends upon you and the dark, dank shadow shrouded streets beckon with hints of strange pleasures or the kiss of a razor blade only to be jolted out my fevered dream state with a fuzz filled solo and find my head is slowly nodding to the majestic songs that are starting to feel like the best thing I have played for ages. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
3. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
Its a saga. Its an epic. Like Lord of The Rings on heroin you need each moment to last forever. These songs are the whisper of the trees, silhouetted in the moonlight. The endless stillness of the night pulsing in time to the beat of your broken heart.
Demonic songbird Dorthia Cottrell, blazes emotion charged arrows of truth, deep into your cerebral, emotional and spiritual reality. A modern Janis Joplin on a broomstick. The mirror to your darkest, unspoken desires and your best friend when you are lonely. Wilt in front of her honesty.
Asechiah Bogdan and Garret Morris’ bleeding riffs of warm honey that flood mercilessly across your listening palette have been somewhat subdued by the bands decision to open themselves up to a Producer for the first time but what a choice. Grunge legend Jack Endino has chosen to separate the instruments for a more accessible mix. The dense wall of sound, the all or nothing listening experience is slightly diminished. However they seem to have found the perfect balance to allow the vocals and drums to breath a little more without taming the killer riffs. Ryan Wolfe sounds crisp and Parker chandler is the final element to the best Tone in music.
So in short, nothing has changed. Windhand is still the coolest new band on the planet delivering the expected album of the year contender. Yes, it really is that good. ~ Gram, Son of Sam (Dirty Denim)
2. Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark
It was predicted. That With The Dead would probably reach the Number One spot of the Doom Chart this month. For me personally, the biggest surprise came when these three cats from Canberra landed the second position. We are referring to Witchskull and their ‘The Vast Electric Dark’ album. Released at the beginning of this month the eight tracks sport a highly groove driven sound that meanders towards atavistic rock and then bursts out the gate with intense stripped down metal and almost nwobhm vocalization. But don’t think we’ve got a simple metal band on our hands here. Hell no, these cats explore all facets of the atavistic rock genre, booking excellent time in classic doom, proto metal and bluesy stoner. And this eclecticism only adds to amazing quality of the entire album. Raw, full of grit and mystic power that quickly turns you on to their shamanistic ritual… ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
1. With The Dead – With The Dead
Back in 2013, when Lee Dorrian blew out the candles over Cathedral, it was only a question of time before he would re-surface in a new project. A musician like Dorrian can never sit still for too long, even though he professed his wish to focus most of his attention on his Rise Above Label. So when the rumors started circulating about a possible collaboration between dear old Dorrian and Tim Bagshaw and Mark Greening from Electric Wizard the excitement became a tangible buzz throughout the dark music caverns. On the self-titled debut-album of With The Dead we receive, completely in line with all expectations, ponderous metal mixed with thunderous rock and a multitude of dark and dusty tones and extremely malevolent sounding riffs. It is without a doubt a definite successor to all Cathedral ever was and Electric Wizard had slowly lost, at least for a lot of many Wizard fans. It is the sound of yore and of intense, powerful compulsion. Exorcism and resurrection and the birth of something wild and wonderful… ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible… is music.” (Aldous Huxley)
Contributors to The November Doom Chart:
Andy Seibt (Sludge Worm Magazine); 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 HiVe, The Sludgelord, You May Be Dead & Dreaming); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Mari Knox Knox (Doommabbestia); Martin Petrov (Rawk’n’Roll – the ‘pass-me-that-bottle’ webzine);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 (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe); Ulla Roschat (Wicked Lady); Timon Menge (Sludge Worm Magazine); Tanguy Dupré – “Mr Fuzz” (More Fuzz); and Vasilis Durden (All the Heavy Lifting).
This November 2015 edition of The Doom Chart edited by Joop Konraad