The Doom Charts for November 2016

“For a hundred years or more the world, our world, has been dying. And not one man, in these last hundred years or so, has been crazy enough to put a bomb up the asshole of creation and set it off. The world is rotting away, dying piecemeal. But it needs the coup de grace, it needs to be blown to smithereens. Not one of us is intact, and yet we have in us all the continents and the seas between the continents and the birds of the air. We are going to put it down ― the evolution of this world which has died but which has not been buried.”

― Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

You have come to the right place, acolytes of the Apocalypse.  This is Doom Charts, a global collective of bloggers, album reviewers, podcasters, and radio show hosts with their fingers on the pulse of the heavy underground.  November’s landscape is full of rumbling upsets, as newcomers to the scene edge out the tried and true, and old dogs make a surprising return.

As always, each member of the charts submits their rankings of new and recently released records in the doom-stoner genre (or as many of us call it, “the seventies vibe” and “the Sabbath sound”).  The consensus of picks has become the November Doom Chart.   This month, the list includes both signed and unsigned bands, big labels and small, independent ones.  A few of November’s new contenders to the throne include electric Seattle duo Year of the Cobra, Stockholm heavyweights Domkraft, and Brooklyn instrumental doomers Clouds Taste Satanic.  We hope you discover your next obsession in the list that follows.

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25. Winter Moon – ‘Hearts And Hands’ (new)

(Melbourne, Australia) – independent

“It’s hard to soften up an ol’ doomer like me, but Winter Moon have gone and done it. Their new release Hearts And Hands has me wanting to join with those of free spirits around the world and get lost in all the possibilities of bliss, if only for a day. This is the accessible ’70s sound for a new generation, who (like me) may not have have Woodstock as a touchpoint. The sound is immediate, the beat undeniable, and the vocals enchanting.”

– Billy Goate, Doomed & Stoned

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24. Hornss – ‘Telepath’ (new)

(San Francisco, California, USA) – STB Records

“In stark contrast to most trippy hippy psych bands, Hornss doesn’t linger on any one riff for 10+ minutes. These songs are short, compact, and pack a punch!”

  – Gruesome Greg, Hellbound.ca

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23. Whores. – ‘Gold’ (new)

(Atlanta, Georgia, USA) – independent 

“After a bunch of killer EPs, Whores. deliver their first full length album. Am I surprised to find this slab of noise rock in the doom charts? Well, yeah. On reflection though, it is a heavy as fuck, as pissed off and aggressive as sludge and with a groove that could put a lot of stoner bands to shame. Aggression, fuzz guitar and short sharp shocks to the system are order of the day here.”

– Tony Maim, Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe

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22. Clouds Taste Satanic – ‘Dawn of the Satanic Age’ (new)

(Brooklyn, New York, USA) – independent

Dawn of the Satanic Age is more stripped down, more down-to-earth and more primal than Clouds Taste Satanic‘s previous releases. Now, we’re invited to as decent deeper still into the band’s twisted labyrinth of occultic symbolism and apocalyptic ideation.  It’s a dense, heavy work, by there are righteous riffs aplenty. Songs like ‘We Die We Live’ will be replaying over and over in your mind days after your last listen. If you enjoy the way instrumental metal can stimulate the imagination and tell stories without ever uttering a word, place your bet on Dawn of the Satanic Age.  It’s a keeper.”

-Billy Goate, Doomed & Stoned

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21. 1000mods – ‘Repeated Pressure To’ 

(Thessaloniki, Greece) – Mighty Oug Recordings

“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

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20. The Hazytones – ‘The Hazytones’

(Montreal, Canada) – Anachronik Records

“Fuzzy, tape-hiss inflected riff-rock, simmering and buzzing with vintage character.  You can almost imagine The Hazytones playing some wood-paneled middle-American dive bar at the same time Bobby Liebling and his pre-Pentagram crew were first picking their way through 20 Buck Spin.

“To be clear, this isn’t just another band reveling in heavy-handed 70s worship.  The Hazytones craft dark, rebellious anthems that juxtapose a 21st century nowness with an irresistible sense of grimy rustbelt towns, carpeted van interiors and the general lack of life paths that makes high-school slackers start rock bands.

“Stylistically, Uncle Acid and Mephistofeles are great reference points.  Singable, straightforward tunes full of echo-laden vox and riffs that thrum with the organic realness of a 1970s that may only exist in our minds.  Instant classic status.”

– MeteorJadd, The Ripple Effect

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19. Zaum – ‘Eidolon’ (new)

(Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada) – I Hate

“The mantra-esque quality of the new Zaum record is unparalleled. Of course, we cannot claim anymore that the two tracks on Eidolon are songs. But rather, a collection of psychedelic and bewitching atmospheres interspersed with musical hypnotism and colorful sound tapestries. With some oriental influences throughout, the record provides a dark yet uplifting experience that can only be qualified as something a kin of a doomed state of Zen… Om manipadmé hum. Om manipadmé doom…

– Joop Konraad, Stoner HiVe

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18. Red Fang – ‘Only Ghosts’ (new)

(Portland, Oregon, USA) – Relapse Records

“Yes, the fun bunch is back! We’ve all had this major crush on Red Fang since coming in contact with their crazy antics back around 2011. Ever since then it has developed into this full fledge infatuation. And even though one might miss those kick in the nuts tracks that were present on their earlier releases, Only Ghosts will definitely wow you once again. But perhaps it will just take a few spins more. And hey, that’s always the right thing to do! So crack open a another brewskies and spin the hell out of Only Ghosts!”

– Joop Konraad, Stoner HiVe

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17. The Well – ‘Pagan Science’ (new)

(Austin, Texas) – RidingEasy Records

“Three-piece The Well prove with their occult sounding sophomore release Pagan Science that they are capable of not only writing grade A songs, but also incorporate those into something bigger. Cause even though one can thoroughly enjoy the hell out of tracks like Black Eyed Gods, Skybound & Drug From The Banks as stand out songs. They are clearly part of a bigger picture. One that paints a righteous psychedelic doom canvas full of grandiose visions of dark and twisted knowledge…”

– Joop Konraad, Stoner HiVe

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16. Baby Woodrose – ‘Freedom’

(Copenhagen, Denmark) – Bad Afro Records

Freedom is the operative word here! And we all dig it!  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

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15. Lord Mountain – ‘Lord Mountain’

(Santa Rosa, California) – independent 

“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

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14. Geezer – ‘Geezer’

(Kingston, New York, USA) – Ripple Music

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

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13. Crowbar – ‘The Serpent Only Lies’ (new)

(New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) – eOne, SPV

Crowbar isn’t smashing through any music molds or hurling themselves beyond the confines of modern sludge metal. Why? Because they created half the goddamned mold in the first place. They don’t have to impress anyone but themselves, but they will with The Serpent Only Lies. Crowbar’s eleventh release is an insanely heavy, beautiful album.

“Kirk Windstein (vocals/guitar), Matt Brunson (guitar), Tommy Buckley (drums), and recently regrouping with Todd Strange (bass), do themselves proud with titanic rhythm, crushing riffs, haunting harmonies, and Kirk’s blood-rusted razor vocals. The production is clear as a bell, yet bears such massive fullness it’s near ideal. With The Serpent Only Lies, the NOLA sludge maestros will captivate new listeners and gratify us longtime fans.”

– Leanne Ridgeway, Doomed & Stoned

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12. Truckfighters – ‘V’    

(Örebro, Sweden) – Fuzzorama Records, Century Media Records

Truckfighter’s desert rock sound includes plenty of other elements of hard rock, prog and even grunge. While their sound remains immediately identifiable, it does shift from album to album. On Universe (2014) they played around with some hooky, melodic songwriting. V is more a slowly simmering and expanding beast that might languish in longish meditative songs over six minutes each. It’s both expansive and heavy, relying more on Ozo’s (vocalist Oskar Cedermalm) thundering bass. Truckfighters are best at giving a feeling of taking a trip without getting boring. They never present themselves as baleful as a doom band, but man, check out the video below for “Calm Before The Storm.” That is some dark stuff, giving the slowly building track a more menacing edge. In both of the epic tracks, the band breaks from stealth mode into explosive action multiple times, and it’s glorious every time. If you’re lucky enough to witness them live, you’ll be a fan for life.”

Tony van Dorston, Fast N Bulbous

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11. Domkraft – ‘The End of Electricity’ (new)

(Stockholm, Sweden) – Magnetic Eye Records

“I’m pleased to see this one arrive at such a promising starting point on the Doom Charts.  Domkraft have a red-hot sound that cuts through mountains like some mutated version of the guitar-fueled war machines of Mad Max: Fury Road.  One imagines the chase takes place, in this case, through blinding snow-drifts and over towering ice monoliths.  From the first damning note of ‘The Rift’ onwards, we hear the band living up to its name – quite literally, as it turns out (dom represents ‘judgement’ and kraft ‘power’).  Vocal howl like Godflesh and Conan, accompanies by riffs that slay as hard as anything you’ll hear this year (and a fitting sequel to the band’s debut last year).

“The End of Electricity has plenty of brain to accompany its brawn, too.  The trio of Martin Wegeland (bass/vox), Martin Widholm (guitarist), and Anders Dahlgren (drummer) draw upon a rich net of inspiration that, surprisingly, includes very little in the way of conventional doom.  Domkraft arrive at this unlikely destination by way of Hawkwind, Swans, and Spaceman 3, giving the new record great heft, to accompany its underlying earnestness and conviction.”

– Billy Goate, Doomed & Stoned

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10. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard – ‘Y Proffwyd Dwyll’ 

(Wrexham, Wales, UK) – New Heavy Sounds

“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 foreseen… 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

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9. Brant Bjork – ‘Tao of the Devil’

(Palm Desert, California, USA) – Napalm Records

“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

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8. Asteroid – ‘III’

(Örebro, Sweden) – Fuzzorama Records

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

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7. Whitenails – ‘First Trip’ (new)

(Québec City, Québec, Canada) – independent

“One of the coolest things about a band from the heavy/stoner/doom rock underground ‘making it’ is getting to hear what they’ll do with a big label recording budget and producer to help elevate what they’re already doing right. WhiteNails gives us an advance listen to that exact result without having to wait for a major music company to take notice.

“With boundless swagger that’s a 98 on the Wyndorf scale, this is immaculately conceived balls-out rock that’s as mature, accomplished, and well-produced as anything from the 5 or 6 bands who’ve gotten to the big leagues through years of toil and substantial infusions of money, touring, and luck. Their tiny bio says they came together over a mutual love of Sabbath, but that doesn’t remotely do justice to what they actually deliver:  unhesitating, hard-driving rock piled high with addictive riffs, melt-in-your-mouth choruses, and undeniably solid instincts.  WhiteNails = stadium-ready.”

– MeteorJadd, The Ripple Effect

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6. Holy Serpent – ‘Temples’

(Melbourne, Australia) – RidingEasy Records

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.”

– Clint, Hand of Doom Radio

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5. Khemmis – ‘Hunted’ (new)

(Denver, Colorado, USA) – 20 Buck Spin

“If someone were to give the Norse Ragnarök saga a Ralph Bakshi (Wizards, Fire And Ice) treatment, Khemmis would definitely need to be on the soundtrack. On their second album Hunted they nailed that sweet spot between heaviness (with a bit less reliance on thick stoner grooves), and accessible, memorable tunes that reflect rock and roll influence like Thin Lizzy and early Iron Maiden. Highlights are the lofty twin peaks on the two longest songs, featuring gorgeous dueling guitar leads and harmonies, peaking on the title track with some of the band’s best melodies, instrumental interplay, solos, and dramatic storytelling. Give this a spin and ready yourself for Valhalla to join the growing numbers slain by Khemmis’ mighty doom.”

Tony van Dorston, Fast N Bulbous

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4. Goya – Doomed Planet (new)

(Phoenix, Arizona, USA) – Opoponax Records

“If you think you’ve heard everything this band has to offer, think again. The new EP by Phoenix doomers Goya has surprises in store. From the first moments on, it’s apparent Goya is meaner, nastier, and doomier than ever before. Doomed Planet shows just how tight the recently gelled team of Jeff Owens, Nick Lose, and Sonny DeCarlo has become.

“Jeff’s always been a great sound engineer, but I swear this is the best sounding Goya record yet. Each instrument comes across with crystal clarity, the bass, guitar, and drums rumbling together like a fearsome storm, the fuzzy feedback like a swarm of insects flying overhead to escape the torrential rainfall, the riffs (some of the best I’ve heard from Goya) like the pummeling of hail from the heavens. The grizzled old prophet rises from his sidewalk home and, pointing his bony, shaking finger toward the dark horizon, heralds the coming judgement.”

– Billy Goate, Doomed & Stoned

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3. Troll – ‘Troll’

(Portland, Oregon, USA) – independent 

“There are a few bands called Troll lurking around the globe. In the Doom Charts this month are Troll 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.”

– Clint Willis, Hand of Doom Radio

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2. Year of the Cobra – ‘In The Shadows Below’ (new)

(Seattle, Washington, USA) – STB Records

“Who could believe one man, one woman, a drum kit and a bass guitar could make such an ass-kicking beautiful noise together. Jon Barrysmith and Amy Tung, the only two members of Year Of The Cobra, have together made what could one of 2016’s ‘underground’ albums of the year with In The Shadows Below. Two people filling an album with hard driving rhythms and thundering low end riffage would be enough to make anyone stand up and applaud but Year Of The Cobra are not just a riff machine content to lay down a raucous heavy groove , these guys know how to write a song and “In The Shadows Below” is full of them.”

– Frazer Jones, Desert Psychlist

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1. Wasted Theory – ‘Defenders of the Riff’ (new)

(Delaware, USA) – No Slip Records, Doomsayer Records

“Fat riffs are fatter, the hefty rhythms are heftier, and the whiskey-drenched vokills are dead drunk with X’s on their eyes. Rife with one anthemic ode after another, the faithful are fantastically well rewarded for their loyalty with this musical masterpiece of sonic greatness…prepare to have your love and reverence for Wasted Theory blown off the register with this new effort.”

– Dragon, Metal Nexus

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Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Charts, including:

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); Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & Stoned); Lucas Klaukein – ‘LK Ultra’ (Stoner HiVeYou May Be Dead & Dreaming); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Mari Knox Knox (Doomed & Stoned); 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).

The November 2016 edition was compiled by Billy Goate. 

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