We knew something heavy was at work, constantly pulling the ever darkening cloud-cover southeast. Slowly covering everything from horizon to horizon. It was a low full look all of us recognized. More heaviness was to come… And there was the idea that this storm might be the worst they’d ever seen…
Every month again. Over and over. All of us are amazed by the huge quality and enormous quantity of all the new records released. We cannot stress enough that there is a large pool of us music fiends who send in their lists every month and from it the Doom Chart is deduced. Which means that there are even more albums out there that just did not make this simple list, due to the fact that only a few of us voted for it. It is also the reason for the quick turnaround for certain albums, there are just more and more great ones pounding at the door waiting to be heard. And we all gladly listen and give’m all a chance. Cause we love our heaviness and can’t wait for every one of those storms to be unleashed…
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. CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL – IS SATAN REAL? / NEW!
Released September 16, 2016 / Rock, Psych, Sixties, Prog, Classic / Nottingham, UK
When I first heard this, I had to check that I was not a victim of some sort of Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and was drinking spiked coffee. Female backing vocals, 60’s psych groove, Brian May guitar lines, organ driven riffs, lush harmonies, heavy rhythm sections – this was only the first fucking track! But, gentle readers, it somehow works. I feel the album should have been released three months ago, ‘cause it could have been the soundtrack to my summer. Think the Beatles meet Opeth (new Opeth, not old Opeth) but with a sense of humour. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
24. ATLAS – DEATH & FEAR / NEW!
Releases November 1, 2016 / Rock, Doom, Seventies, Blues, Hardrock / Karlstad, Sweden
Atlas‘ fresh take on metal takes everything that was great about the previous two releases and makes it ten times better. The riffs will have your head soaring and your head humming for days on end. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)
23. DOPETHRONE – 1312
Released August 29, 2016 / Doom Metal, Sludge, Psychedelic Heavy Blues / Montréal, Québec
Climbing one tiny spot on the Doom Chart!
“Lock your doors, lock yours windows… If you have the ability to provide additional security devices please do so”…. Dopethrone return with a short but extremely satisfying EP in “1312”, spewing forth around 12 minutes of menacing, evil, filthy riffology. sickening sludge heaviness, just more kick ass gear hot on the heels of their split with Fister, and easily up to the high standard they set for themselves on 2015’s “Hochelaga”. Join the hundreds on Bandcamp that have already picked this up, they’ve done so with very good reason. ~ Clint Willis (Hand of Doom Radio)
22. MEPHISTOFELES – WHORE / BACK IN!
Released May 20, 2016 / Experimental, Doom, Stoner, Psych, Metal / Parana, Argentina
Months passed but Mephistofeles continue to play relentless in our ears!
Relased in May and reviewed in july for Doom Charts by Bucky Brown from The Ripple Effect, the debut “Whore” had conquered us all and still do it, thanks to its addicted atmosphere, rich of intense psychedelic distortions between Sabbath’s reminiscences and seventies background, stay indifferent it is just impossible! And how could we not mention the fantastic lust/lisergic concept-art by Wizard of Meth? Could we affirm that “Whore” has all the credentials to become a part of the best new releases in 2017? Yes, we can! ~ Mari Knox Knox (Doommabmestia)
21. GEEZER – GEEZER / NEW!
Releases November 18, 2016 / Heavy Blues Stoner Psych Rock / Kingston, USA
Geezer’s new album starts with the very low-key opening track – Sunday Speed Demon. A bluesy and almost country classic rock song which is definitely not the most familiar sound Geezer is known for. Pat Harrington (Vox/Guitars) then turns into a rock and roll preacher with shouts of Hallelujah and Amen. Then the heavy riffs start to appear and the album finally comes into life. You better fasten your seatbelts folks, as from here on in, Geezer change the whole tone of the album for the better.
The song-writing is fantastic with the lyrics having a certain tongue-in-cheek quality about them, though it’s the music that holds your attention. Geezer seems to be thriving with their sudden change of sound. The one thing that impressed me the most about the album is how Geezer has added elements of Droned Out Space Rock. This allows Geezer to create a doomier and spaced out sound compared to previous releases.
The album runs for fifty-two minutes or so and Geezer impress from the very start. Geezer’s transformation from Doom/Blues Rockers to Spaced Out/Cosmic Stoner Rockers is one that you all need to hear and experience for yourselves. I can’t rate this album highly enough. Geezer may have delivered perhaps one of the best Stoner Rock albums of the year in my opinion. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)
20. WRETCH – WRETCH
Released August 26, 2016 / Heavy Metal, Progressive, Doom, Stoner, Hard Rock / Bad Omen Records
It still turns all of us on like crazy, but due to the many other great albums out there, Wretch has dropped from the Number 1 spot it had last month.
The biggest difference you’ll find between The Gates of Slumber and Wretch is that the days of swords and sorcery from those great Gates records are gone but has been replaced with the grim reality of life and death. Possibly still mourning the death of The Gates of Slumber Jason McCash, many listeners will notice influence and atmosphere comparable to Saint Vitus. Of course there is more than just doom and gloom, there are a few surprises to be found in these gems. Moments of 70’s blues, even an obscure Judas Priest cover. I don’t want to give it all away, so go listen for yourself! Doom and heavy metal fans alike agree that the debut from Wretch is one we’ll be listening to for years. ~ Melissa (Doomed & Stoned)
19. ZED – TROUBLE IN EDEN
Released August 26, 2016 / Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock / Bay Area, CA
There’s trouble everywhere, hence ZED climbs five spots!
Desperation Blues was a great album but pales in comparison to Trouble in Eden. Bluesy hard rock to the highest degrees, Zed delivers another 10/10 album. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)
18. FUZZ EVIL – FUZZ EVIL / NEW!
Released September 28, 2016 / Rock, Stoner, Doom, Psych, Fuzz / Sierra Vista, USA
Fuzz Evil’s self-titled album is one that merges vintage Stoner Rock with a more modern Fuzz Rock attitude to match. The band comprising members of Powered Wig Machine so you can’t question the pedigree of the band members as they know how to write a mean riff with great lyrics to match. Nor are they Powered Wig Machine II. As Fuzz Evil are a very different band to Powered Wig Machine.
The instrumental work is superb yet again with lead vocalist Wayne excelling and showing his passion for the legendary stoner rock vocalists down the years. The music may sound simplistic at times but you need to listen further as these guys include a lot of different ideas into their music. Especially when the trademark guitar solos appear.
If you miss the classic early days of QOTSA then Fuzz Evil’s debut album is the album for you. As Fuzz Evil manage to create a great identity of their own where the music is loud, powerful and brimming with cool ideas. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)
17. TROLL – TROLL / NEW!
Released October 1, 2016 / Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Metal, Vintage / Portland, USA
There are a few bands called TROLL lurking around the globe. In the Doom Charts this month are TROLL (US) from Portland, who have emerged in the last 12 months after releasing a demo back in December 2015. Their self-titled album was released on October 1st and its calling card is a classic vintage sound –the vocals are clean and laid back, and the riff forecast is for early St Vitus/Trouble rumblings. There’s an almost horror movie vibe in the opening track ‘The Summoning/Troll’ and throughout most of the album actually, with the exception being ‘Infinite Death’ which has a very cool rocking stoner groove to it. This is the kinda gear to kick back to a bunch of beers with \m/ ~ Clint Willis (Hand of Doom Radio)
16. ASTEROID – III / NEW!
Releases November 11, 2016 / Rock, Hard, Blues, Jam, Psych, Space / Örebro, Sweden
Asteroid has used their time wisely since their highly regarded second album II (2010), honing their musicianship and taking their time to create some rich textures. You can just about hear the fingers on the bass strings in the moody opener to “Pale Moon.” Like All Them Witches, they revel in the natural sounds of their instruments, letting the bass and drum interplay flow with a virtuosic groove that has more in common with the most accomplished classic rock than scruffy underground fuzz heads. They sparingly unleash the fuzz effects, most notably on “Wolf & Snake,” giving me a fond flashback to Sungrazer. The album ends with a bang with “Mr. Strange,” chock full of changes from guitar harmonies to space jams and “whoa whoa” vocals. III should seal Asteroid’s spot in the top tier of heavy rock bands not just in Sweden, but the world. ~ Tony van Dorston (Fast N Bulbous)
15. CROBOT – WELCOME TO FAT CITY / NEW!
Released September 23, 2016 / Rock, Hard, Seventies / Pottsville, USA
Seeing them live last year only secured my love for these freaks. Which is good, since it had been growing like wildfire ever since back around 2012 when Legend Of The Space Born Killer came out. Yes, we are referring to the Crobot freaks, which have released a new album called Welcome To Fat City. And it’s still powerful funky hardrock which pays homage to the blues roots of old and all that goodness from the seventies. And thanks for the groovy nineties take on this all they sound like a Crobot defined. This is their very own sound and its sounds insanely good! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
14. MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD – Y PROFFWYD DWYLL / NEW!
Released September 30, 2016 / Metal, Doom, Sludge, Psych / Wrexham, UK
Humming, rolling-a-boulder-up-the-hill low end riffage lays a decimating foundation. Imagine the Rock Biter from Neverending Story or Chong Li from Bloodsport jumping up and down on your head – that level of raw, unfiltered power. But then, with no warning, a vocal approach that couldn’t have been forseen… I have no choice but to gag my way through using several adjectives I never expected to associate with doom vocals: Airy. Delicate. Sweet. Shifting in a heartbeat from utterly destructive to enchantingly melodic, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (terrible name aside) are like the grotesquely beautiful demon-angel offspring of Weedeater and Sarah McLachlan. You never thought you’d hear anything like it, and never wanted to, but now that you have, you wonder why it took so long for the universe to vomit forth such majesty. ~ MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect)
13. MAJOR KONG – BRAVE NEW KONG
Released September 1, 2016 / Doom, Metal, Sludge, Instrumental / Lublin, Poland
Climbing two spots. These Polish instrumentalists are back with 3 tracks of massive doom hymns. Major Kong do not piss around with quiet atmospherics or calm passages – this is heavy, fuzzed up guitar playing that wants to get your head nodding while invoking the animal spirits and sonic sounds of Sleep and Earthless. In case I have not pleaded their case enough, we are talking about riffs, more riffs and huge riffs. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
12. THE HAZYTONES – THE HAZYTONES / NEW!
Released September 28, 2016 / Rock, Stoner, Alternative, Psych / Montreal, Canada
The Hazytones, Mick Martel, Frey Coaster and Ulrick La Mast together jam a groove of hard and stoner rock blended with touches of bluesy psych that has a distinct but not overpowering retro feel, a feel perfect for an underground scene dominated by bands looking backwards towards the hard rock of the 70’s a feeling of the past and the present coming together to create something totally new yet oddly recognizable. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
11. DEVIL TO PAY – A BEND THROUGH SPACE AND TIME / NEW!
Released Augustus 12, 2016 / Rock, Hard, Metal, Heavy, Stoner / San Ramon, USA
Devil to Pay: Well for beginners, if there was a genre called kick ass, this would be the prime example and an album that every band from here on out should strive to make. The album as a whole is nothing short of a masterpiece. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)
10. SHADOW WITCH – SUN KILLER
Released August 15, 2016 / Heavy Metal, Grunge, Doom, Stoner, Hard Rock / Kingston, New York, USA
Shadow Witch debut the charts at #2 last month and is still kickin’ ass at #10 this month!
Seventies inspired stoner rock ! Make no mistake about it , this is stoner rock! ~ Papa Paul (Doomed & Stoned)
Stoner drenched riffs flashing with slag fueled metallic fury. Retro groove hot enough to melt the shadow of the witch beneath the dying sun. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
9. SLOMATICS – FUTURE ECHO RETURNS
Released September 2, 2016 / Sludge, Doom, Stoner, Heavy Rock / Belfast, UK
Slomatics rise to the top 10 this month! Everybody’s getting hooked!
“Future Echo Returns” is certainly my favorite Slomatics record, and in a year that has already seen some phenomenal releases its confidently staking its claim to sit alongside the likes of Conan, Slabdragger and Mantar as one of the albums of the year. ~ Simon Ross Williams (Outlaws of the Sun)
8. BABY WOODROSE – FREEDOM
Released September 16, 2016 / Psychedelic, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Stoner / Copenhagen, Denmark
Freedom is the operative word here! And we all dig it! Hence we find Baby Woodrose climbing into the Top 10 as well!
Like the plant they’re named after, Baby Woodrose unleash their new album, brimming with psychedelics like an astronaut on mushrooms peddling a unicycle through outer space! The Copenhagen 4-piece explode the scene letting ‘Freedom’ ring with a permafried mix of Monster Magnet meets Earthless on a tie-dyed arena touring with Uncle Acid. ~ Bucky Brown (Ripple Music)
7. FIRE DOWN BELOW – VIPER VIXEN GODDESS SAINT / NEW!
Released September 16, 2016 / Rock, Stoner, Grunge, Desert / Ghent, Belgium
Coming off initially as a fuzzed out desert rock album, ala Kyuss, Viper Vixen Goddess Saint takes it a step further and goes even heavier adding a bit of a grunge sound while still sticking to a more stoner/desert rock sound. The whole grunge meets desert rock feel is done in a quite refreshing way. The only disappointing part of the entire album was when it ended. ~ Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer)
6. TRUCKFIGHTERS – V
Released September 30, 2016 / Fuzz, Heavy Fuzz, Stoner Fuzz, Desert Fuzz, Fuzz / Örebro, Sweden
Climbing one spot. In their fifth studio album, titled V (Fuzzorama Records and Century Media Records), Truckfighters continue this evolutionary path through (to my opinion) their more mature release. Nevertheless, this album deserves more than a listening and It should be listened carefully and with a mind free from judgments and prejudices….
…To be honest, it took me a very long long time to metabolize this new work of Truckfighters, as it is unlike anything you would expect from the band. To my opinion it represents the most mature and complete album released so far by the fuzzy Swedish trio, where does not shine only a single characterizing element as in some other past productions. In this work we perceive the care with which Truckfighters have rewritten some of their paradigms (e.g. the obsessive use of fuzz that has always distinguished their sound) in a more structured way. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)
5. THE RARE BREED – LOOKING FOR TODAY / NEW!
Released September 12, 2016 / Rock, Doom, Psych, Seventies / Los Angeles, USA
LA’s The Rare Breed make no bones over the influence Ozzy, Tony , Geezer & Bill have had over their direction and sound, something that is glaringly obvious when listening to their latest release and first full length album “Looking For Today“. Oscar Del la Torre’s chugging hard rock riffs, spliced with squealing guitar breaks, are underpinned by Hernan Rojas’ solid and unfussy drum patterns and bolstered by Joey Castle’s big sounding bass and Ozzy-lite vocals creating fuzz drenched grooves that hint at late Sabbath while at the same time recalling in places the early grooves of some of the 70’s, so called, “second division” bands like Budgie and May Blitz. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
4. LORD MOUNTAIN – LORD MOUNTAIN / NEW!
Released September 24, 2016 / Rock, Doom, Metal, Proto / Santa Rosa, USA
Imagine if members of Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy got together and released an EP, well the resulting grooves might just sound like Lord Mountain’s stunning self-titled debut EP. Guitars trading licks, solo’s and riffs over a backdrop of heavy proto-doom rhythmic groove coated in clean powerful and distinctive vocals is the recipe that makes “Lord Mountain” one of the highlights of 2016. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
3. 1000MODS – REPEATED EXPOSURE TO / NEW!
Released September 26, 2016 / Rock, Stoner, Doom, Psych / Tenea, Greece
The third full-sized album Repeated Exposure To by Greek quartet 1000Mods is chuck full of fuzzy riffs, wide guitar vistas and unquestionable good hooks. They’ve been around for exactly ten years now and have without a doubt delivered many great EP’s and albums, but this new record feels like the exact right chaser. Aggressive when it wants to be, wild and groovy or even bluesy. This album has it all, washes down all that came before and is a definite crowning achievement after ten years of playing. ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
2. BRANT BJORK – TAO OF THE DEVIL
Released September 30, 2016 / Hard Rock, Stoner, Blues, Psychedelic / Palm Desert, USA
Climbing four places this month…
There is no denying that Brant Bjork is the coolest guy in modern rock n’ roll. Born in the heat of Southern California, the Low Desert Punks are back with a bluesy affair of classic rock riffs and playa encrusted jams. Veering from the patented funk-laden groove of his early material ‘Tao of the Devil’ present a fresh side of Brant angling more towards the heavy blues, littered with extended jams and savory riffs. Tao re-invigorates the band a step further than the impressive Black Power Flower. Reeferized riffs, dust devil hooks, and retrofied solos dominate on the new one. Napalm Records needs bands like this to maintain their diverse roster. Brant Bjork has graced the rock n’ roll podium once again. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
1. HOLY SERPENT – TEMPLES
Released September 30, 2016 / Doom, Metal, Rock, Psychedelic Stoner / Melbourne, Australia
These cats made the list last month, but have without any doubt turned everybody on this time around. Climbing twenty spots to Number One.
Holy Serpent return with a scorching 2nd album, ‘Temples’. In scenes reminiscent of the progression between the first and second albums from Elder you will bear witness to a band raising the stakes in crafting their own sound – heavy and oozing with melody, unexpected twists and surging riffs, searing wah soaked solos and that mile thick guitar tone has so much bite, incredible… The album seems to slow down and get heavier with each track. Penberthy’s vocals are out of this world, the icing on what is set to be an instant classic. Complex, yet so easy to listen to. And you will, again and again. Holy Serpent and Ridingeasy Records have some gold on their hands here \m/ ~ Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
Thanks again to everybody who contributed to the September 2016 Doom Chart list, and those of you who continue to check it out. You folks help give voice to the underground:
A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous); Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned); Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect); Clint (Hand of Doom Radio); ‘Doktor420’ (Stoner HiVe); Doombeard (DoomBeardZine); Dragon (Metal Nexus); Gram Pola, Son of Sam (Dirty Denim); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Lucas Klaukein – ‘LK Ultra’ (Stoner HiVe, 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); Melissa (Doomed & Stoned); MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect); Papa Paul (Doomed & Stoned); Rod Reinhardt (Captain Beyond Zen); Skip (The Burning Beard); Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun); Steve Miller (Vertical Chamber Apparatus); Steve Woodier (Shrieks From Below); Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe); Tanguy Dupré – “Mr Fuzz” (More Fuzz).
This October 2016 edition of The Doom Chart was tallied by Bucky Brown and edited by Joop Konraad.