“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore — ” ~ Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
And that I did… Ponder those amazing albums released last year, last decade, in recent and a history long passed. Are we able to grasp all that beauty while being constantly overwhelmed by all that new magic being released? Cause we are here once again. At the first of the new month with a new edition of the Doom Charts. Featuring once again, seventeen new added records. And it could have been even more. For instance Blackbird by The Riven who barely missed the list and Green Yeti‘s Desert Show.
But who knows, they might end up on the May edition of the Doom Chart. For now, we have these final twenty five to fall in love with on this April edition. Some all over again and some head over heels from that instant of creation, that first virgin listen. That first dip into that magic pool of musical bliss…
Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, journalists, radio and podcasters and album reviewers from the doom-stoner-heavy underground around the globe. Each month, our critics submit their picks for the best new doom, sludge metal, stoner-psychedelic and heavy 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. Cloud Catcher – Trails of Kozmic Dust
Driven by the the influences of heavy blues laced 70’s hard rock bands like (early) Grand Funk Railroad, Cream and Mountain and salted with touches of Hendrix-esque guitar pyrotechnics Trails of Kozmic Dust is very much an album born of the past but existing in the present. Cloud Catcher are no retro band trying to recapture an age however, these guys bring into their heavy rocking 70’s grooves elements of todays doom, psych and stoner, blending them with those of yesterday and creating a sound that although having its roots firmly planted in the past still manages to sound fresh, exiting and in the now. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
24. Bionic Caveman – Reactor – NEW!
Riffs of mammoth proportions served up raw with primitive blues that grind scars of distorted fuzz against callused vocal chords to reveal one fine piece of vintage rock ass! ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
23. Mage – Green
Their bandcamp tag reads “Goddamn Heavy” and this 26 min offering does not disappoint. Stoner rock blasts out, mixing Doom and proto-metal into the mix. A healthy punk attitude make sure the riffs are meaty and heavy with an urgency that comes across as a head banging fix. The rock is strong in this one. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
22. All Them Witches – Sleeping Through The War – Re-Entry!
Stoner psychedelic Americana tinged with warm fuzz blues give this album a blissed out vibe that swells into full blown rock. With hypnotic guitar work that soothes as well as bites this sees All Them Witches up their game and produce something stunning. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
21. Ecstatic Vision – Raw Rock Fury – NEW!
The space rockers return with the smell of bad drugs and brown acid gone wrong. Punky attitude and a production that keeps the rawness alive, this is a no holds descent into the cosmos with rockets engines cranked up into overdrive ….. no-one gets out of here alive! ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
20. Spaceslug – Time Travel Dilemma
Spaceslug‘s new album – Time Travel Dilemma – is a worthy follow-up to last year’s debut album. This time Spaceslug have become heavier and spaced out as result. Parts Monster Magnet and Sleep style sonic vibrations allow the band to create their own style of spaced out sounds. Expect to hear impressive guitar solos towards the end of the song with ambient noises giving the album a more epic feel compared to their debut album. The vocals from Bartosz – drift in and out at different times as Spaceslug let their music be in full command. Time Travel Dilemma is superbly produced throughout. Spaceslug deserve credit for creating such a vast universe on this great album. Time Travel Dilemma is a magnificent album. What more can be said, apart from you need this album. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws of The Sun)
19. Demon Head – Thunder on The Fields – NEW!
True doom! Acid doom! Retro doom! Killer doom! Unique style of writing a great doom song, then when you’re in the groove… They even turn the doom up! ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)
18. Summoner – Beyond The Realm of Light – NEW!
This is Summoner’s third album, so what do you get for your money this time around? Well nothing much as changed, Summoner are still slaying all before them with their addictive grooves of molten metallic stoner, still blending heavily fuzzed and distorted riffage with intense vocal melodies and still managing to sound fresh and vital. If there is something new to be found in Summoner’s sonic attack it is that there is a little more focus, a touch more musicality and a stronger emphasis on arrangement to be found in their highly addictive sound. If you enjoyed previous albums “Phoenix” and “Atlantian” then you are going to love Beyond The Realm Of Light, it’s like someone buying you your favourite pizza opening the box and finding it’s got extra topping. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
17. Doublestone – Devil’s Own/Djævlens Egn – NEW!
We had been eagerly awaiting new stuff since their amazing Wingmakers album from 2013. And it is finally here! Double, double, double you, O, double you! They doubled up on everything on Devil’s Own and won big. The Danish deliver once again on everything we love from seventies inspired psychedelic rock, doom and hardrock with a stoner twist here and there and the blues roots growing wild. Doublestone sold their soul!~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
16. The Sonic Dawn – Into The Long Night – NEW!
Danish psychedelic rockers The Sonic Dawn released Into The Long Night on April 21, and finds the band further exploring complex psyche-pop music. With Emil Bureau (guitar, vocals, sitar), Niels Bird (bass), and Jonas Waaben (drums/percussion), the new record also has guests Erik “Errka” Petersson (Siena Root) on Hammond organ and Morten Grønvad (solo vibraphone) contribute. Rife with ethereal expanses of airy music, tranquil vocals and intricate arrangements, this is stellar music indeed. A bit jazzy at times, there are myriad realms of musicality to be explored with ‘Into The Long Night’. ~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Taste Nation,Riff Relevant)
15. Come To Grief – The Worst of Times – NEW!
Come to Grief (which gets it’s name from Grief’s 1994 Album) was formed by Grief’s founding member Terry Savastano. What follows on The Worst of Times is just straight forward Doom/Sludge mastery. It’s an old school approach fusing hardcore and metal influences and grinding them down to extreme sludge played at a crawl. It’s a slow hateful anthem meant as an ode to the beaten and downtrodden. What you won’t find here are Sabbathian stoner riffage. So if that isn’t your cup of thc tea, you might wanna take your bong and pack it elsewhere. This album is pissed from front to back, so enjoy some nasty old school sludge riffs to harsh your mellow. ~ Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams)
14. Mothership – High Strangeness
Mothership‘s High Strangeness official release on March 17th may launch this Dallas, Texas trio from their Earth-hovering orbit right to the outer limits. Judge Smith and the Juett brothers’ third full-length album presents a seasoned sound, solid songwriting and a noticeable confidence in Kyle’s vocals that may just change the course of the Ship’s trip. ~ Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & Stoned,Riff Relevant)
13. Wounded Giant – Vae Victis – NEW!
Wounded Giant make a welcome return after a lengthy four year absence from their debut album – Lightning Medicine. Sure they’ve released an EP’s and split record but this time they’ve come back stronger than ever with their new album – Vae Victis. Newly signed to STB Records, the guys have not only teamed up with that awesome label but they have also called upon the talents of legendary producer Billy Anderson to produce their new album. Vae Victis sees Wounded Giant create a more diverse and progressive sound heard on their debut album. Though fans of their debut album will be treated to some familiar sounds spliced throughout the album. Vae Victis has a more Melvins/Soundgarden influenced style of sound. It works as their familiar Doom/Stoner riffs hold everything together. Truth be told, it took me a long time to fully appreciate this album as my first listen it left me rather cold by the whole experience. I’ve only enjoyed it with multiple listens and listening closely to the lyrics that I started to fully appreciate what an epic and stunning album this really is. My final thoughts on Vae Victis are that Wounded Giant has exceeded themselves with this album. As it’s a spellbinding take on all things Rock, Metal and everything in between. ~ Steve Howe (Outlaws of The Sun)
12. Samsara Blues Experiment – One With The Universe – NEW!
The new record, One With The Universe, is the result of endless hours of jamming, jamming and jamming after bassist Richard Behrens left the group. The three of them had to find out where it would lead them and what the new three-piece chemistry would be. Well, they’ve gone psycho on the use of analog synths, keyboards and wild effects, while still retaining focus on the fact that even though everything is jam-based, a song has to be written, an adventure has to be taken and a journey has to reach its goal. And you will feel this during the course of every track. Which seem less worldly, a bit heavier and heftier in every aspect, yet every bit as spiritual as their earlier releases. One With The Universe is yet another Samsara exploration one has to join in on. It has the markings of a true quest, the search of something pure and honest. ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
11. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand – NEW!
Mastodon to me truly exemplify what a progressive band sounds like. It’s not just about huge song lengths and mad time signature’s and wearing a Wizards cape whilst you perform your new songs 13 minute long keyboard solo (although obviously all that stuff is fucking ace), it’s about having a body of work that twists and turns but never loses that quintessential “something” that made you fall in love with them in the first place. Sure, we all love Remission and to me (and probably lots of other people) Leviathan is a stone cold classic, but in their new record Emperor Of Sand, Mastodon have released what I was originally going to say is their best record since Crack The Skye, but after a few listens I honestly believe is their best record. Full. Stop. Mastodon have got to a point now where they have become very divisive. I’ve seen a fair few people now moaning about the new direction and the lack of full on grunt we got in some of their earlier works, but equally just as many people who share my view that the band have evolved and progressed throughout their career and in Emperor Of Sand have released a very, very special record. A record that is instinctively Mastodon and a record that in my opinion will be looked back on as a benchmark in years to come. ~ Simon Ross Williams (Outlaws of The Sun)
10. Goya – Harvester of Bongloads
Goya has smashed open the doors and bashed in the windows to shine a bright green beautiful light of miserable disgusted angst on all your fears. This is the sound of modern nightmares come alive, and it’s the most exquisite release I’ve heard from Goya to date. ~ Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & Stoned,Riff Relevant)
09. Royal Thunder – Wick – NEW!
On Wick, they make their ambitions known and look to a future, which is undoubtedly filled with fast paced stoner concrete as well as slow heartfelt little miracles. And it’s during those moments when the true beauty of Royal Thunder shows itself best. A Mlny Parsonz that not just howls like the best, powerful, raw and voluminous. But also clean as whistle and deeply evocative. And whether they opt to go mysterious and psychedelic or fill your head with vertiginous riffs and wild colors, guitar player Josh Weaver shows itself master of every facet and shows himself to be one of the great ones. Versatile and Wicked! This is Royal Thunder, exactly the way we love them! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
08. Brume – Rooster – NEW!
Brume have emerged from the depths of some Lovecraftian landscape to deliver an album dripping in doom, portent and heaviness. Produced by Billy Anderson, his touch is very evident in bringing to the fore riffs, atmosphere and haunting vocals. ~ Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe)
07. Woodhawk – Beyond The Sun – NEW!
These are the kinds of riffs that induce fully flexed fist pumps, deep sultry hell ya’s, and neck breaking head bangs. The catchy grooves alone are fit for an eternal desert island soundtrack circulating beyond the sun on its matching slab of 12″ wax. Woodhawk are remastering the stoner rawk handbook with anthemic riffs, no frills fuzz, and balls to the wall chops. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
06. Steak – No God To Save – NEW!
The new slab of glistening flesh by heavy rockers Steak from the UK, is seasoned with massive riffs and seared to perfection over a bed of atmospheric bliss. The rhythm is dripping with robust groove and the vocals slice against the tender grain of distortion serving up a full course platter of metallic frenzy. My ears are bigger than my mouth with this glorious hunk of marbled beef. Album due out worldwide May 19th via heavy rock titans Ripple Music guaranteed to satisfy your musical hunger. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
05. Skunk – Doubleblind – NEW!
Skunk, John McKelvy (Vocals), Dmitri Mavra (Guitar), Erik Pearson (Guitar), Matt Knoth (Bass) and Jordan Ruyle (Drums), hail from Oakland, California and jam grooves heavily influenced by the likes of Buffalo, Truth & Janey, Cactus and Sir Lord Baltimore as well as all the usual 70’s suspects such as Sabbath and Zeppelin. Skunk take these influences, born from a time when the blues was gradually making a transition into something harder and heavier, and mix them in with elements of 00’s stoner/psych, creating a sound that, although not exactly ground-breaking, is nonetheless highly infectious and totally enjoyable. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
04. Pallbearer – Heartless
There’s just more going on, from meticulously layered guitar passages that twist, turn and wind down all sorts of mesmerizing staircases, to subtle acoustic flourishes and backdrops of effected soundscapes, to melancholy harmonized vocals. There are even more tempo changes, key signature switches, the versatility in the vocals, and clever changes in tone and texture than on the previous album, and the production is even more stunning and meticulous. What’s most impressive is how subtle and slow burning it all is, how fluid and free, like the no-form of Bruce Lee’s metaphysical martial arts. This is a modern masterpiece deserving of every iota of praise that’s thrown its way, paying tribute to the masters like Candlemass, Trouble, and the New Wave Of Heavy Metal, yet it’s delivered with such urgency that it’s just as immediate as it is an instant classic. ~ Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation)
03. Moonbow – War Bear – NEW!
Moonbow’s War Bear is prime listening. Gritty low-end that burns your gut like a swig of good shine. Dank guitars and wicked picking that play out like a love affair between heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll. Best of all: songs you can (and most definitely will) sing along with. By and large the third record by frontman Matt “the Beard” Bischoff, guitarist Davey McElfresh (Hank 3), drummer Steve Earle (Hermano), and bassist Ryan McAllister (Valley Of The Sun) celebrates the good life, while not glossing over its seedier dark side. These tales benefit from a seamless mix of Kentucky styles, from backwater blues to southern sludge, outlaw country to Clutch-style stoner rock. It’s a defining mix that absolutely works for the album and will have you looking for a sweet spot in the sun with your favorite habit to soak it all in. ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
02. Telekinetic Yeti – Abominable
In their debut work Abominable, Telekinetic Yeti deliver a high caliber sound and great sonic power that transits between elements not always easy to classify, which provides an attractive and high-level sound experience. It can be said that the basis of its sound, the sustenance of the house, is the pairing of a thick and bulky Stoner Rock with a Doom Metal with latent lysergic nuances. But it is possible to emphasize a approach with elements that are different, referring to paths like Sludge and Progressive Metal. All very well founded by mastodontic riffs that whip the air and seem to want to devour everything around. ~ Matheaus Jacques (October Doom)
01. The Obsessed – Sacred
The mythos of The Obsessed returns with the fantastic milestone Sacred. The album is an extensive musical journey that spans time through all eras of this iconic band as the past, present, and future meld into one massive, cohesive musical statement. The first truly valid contender for Best Album Of 2017 has arrived! ~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Taste Nation)
Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Charts. 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); Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Taste Nation, Riff Relevant); Gram Pola, Son of Sam (Dirty Denim); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & Stoned, Riff Relevant); Lucas Klaukein – ‘LK Ultra’ (Stoner HiVe, You 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); Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation); Matheaus Jacques (October Doom); Melissa (Doomed & Stoned); MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect); Papa Paul (Doomed & Stoned); Rod Reinhardt (Captain Beyond Zen); Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams); 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 April 2017 edition of The Doom Chart was tallied by Bucky Brown and edited by Joop Konraad.