DOOM CHARTS FOR JUNE 2017

“Listen, are we helpless? Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall? Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Empires of Charlemagne and the Turk: Ground to dust and plowed with salt. Spain, France, Britain, America—burned into the oblivion of the centuries. And again and again and again. Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing? This time, it will swing us clean to oblivion.”

– Walter M. Miller, Jr. (A Canticle for Leibowitz, 1959)

 

Welcome to the soundtrack to the apocalypse.  This is Doom Charts, a collaboration of bloggers and broadcasters who have their ears to the ground listening for the latest and the best in heavy music from the cursed earth.   While it is indeed July as I pen these words, this is a good time to remind you that The Doom Chart always looks back to the previous month of listening activity, giving you a window into the vibrant world of doom metal and stoner rock, with every imaginable variation.

Overall, we had a robust array of submissions from our panel of critics for the June chart — over 200 unique albums chosen among the lot of us.  Following is the consensus list of the critics’ picks, over half of which are making their Doom Charts debut.  At the same time, we say goodbye to long-time chart dominators Goya and The Obsessed.  Will Elder, Geezer, and Telekinetic Yeti hold their positions as tenaciously in the months ahead?   We shall see.

It is worth noting that for this go-round, we have our first “tie” since the Doom Charts inception, with Pyreship and Medusa1975 vying for the 25th spot to begin the countdown.  Also, we welcome the return of Demon Head after taking a month off from the charts.  Now, grab a good spot to watch the world burn, as we bring you the June edition of Doom Charts!

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25. (tie) PYRESHIPThe Liars Bend Low  ~NEW!

Pyreship provide progressive, forward-moving post-metal and massive noise rock qualities.  Massive, bulky riffs drive the songs while moments of hazy, heady psychedelia merge everything into a flurry of controlled chaos — the quiet cool, if you will.  Interesting samples and futuristic prog-rock provide one of 2017’s best damned debuts, bar none.

~Pat Riot (Riff Relevant /Taste Nation

GET IT HERE

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Medusa 1975

25. (tie) MEDUSA1975 Rising From The Ashes 

With a massive proto-doom vibe running throughout, this album is a blast of riffs, hammond organ abuse, and wah-wah solos. Uriah Heep and Deep Purple song compositions are the template here, all played with the conviction of Atomic Rooster’s Death Walks Behind You. Doomy riffing and sinister organ use bring a modern touch to proceedings.  Yeah, the wheel is not being reinvented here, but as Medusa1975 were around in the seventies, they have every right to sound like this, unlike the slew of current bands lazily ripping off wholesale riffs from that time.

~Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter/Stoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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24. SAUTRUSAnthony Hill  ~NEW!

Sautrus describe themselves as a “heavily tuned psych-rock band skillfully combining elements of ’60s rock with contemporary metal, creating a completely mind blowing sound.”  Bringing everything to the table and then some is how I read that and believe me, they have done just that with this latest offering. From harmonica to throat-singing, they have not left a lot out of the frying pan here and each flavor adds to the seven tracks served up.  You can tell from the outset that this is not some new group of guys trying to find their way, but are indeed seasoned musicians that have spent time honing their identity.

~Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation)

GET IT HERE

 

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23. STEAKNo God To Save

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.  Guaranteed to satisfy your musical hunger.

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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Dustrider

22. DUSTRIDEREvent Horizon 

Dustrider’s debut album manages to avoid the usual clichéd route and pitfalls of instrumental psychedelic doom and stoner rock by offering a fresh perspective on things. ‘Event Horizon’ (2017) creates a more distorted sound as Dustrider take their time in bringing heavy riffs to the party.  The album showcases a thrilling style of stoner-psych rock that you’ll find very hard to beat. If you’re a serious fan of the genre then I advise you to buy this album now.

~Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)

GET IT HERE

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21. DEMON HEADThunder on the Fields

True doom! Acid doom! Retro doom! Killer doom!  For their second full-length, Copenhagen’s Demon Head greet calls of “more cowbell!” with more doom.  As I noted in reviewing their first LP, ‘Ride The Wilderness’ (2015), the impact of defying the harsh, Nordic winters translates marvelously into an effective collection retro doom-and-gloom songs, making this another gem of a proto-metal record

~Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)

GET IT HERE

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20. SIENA ROOTA Dream of Lasting Peace  ~NEW  

Siena Root’s sixth studio release picks up where 2014’s Pioneers left off: organ-driven hard rock. Not quite as heavy as the last record, but it doesn’t matter. This is as authentically early-seventies sounding as a die-hard stoner could hope for.

~Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)

GET IT HERE

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19. THE WIZARDS Full Moon In Scorpio  ~NEW  

After giving us an impressive debut, The Wizards from Bilbao, Spain are back and in top form with ‘Full Moon in Scorpio’ (2017). The guitars stroke like vintage husqvarna chainsaws in their prime axing gigantic redwood riffs fueled by proto-tinged Danzig worship.

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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18. ATRAGONI, Necromancer  ~NEW  

Atragon were born in the cold, harsh winter of 2012 and they worship the altar of slow, fuzzed-out doom metal, living and breathing in the vaulted tombs of Edinburgh, Scotland.   The first couple spins of ‘I, Necromancer’ (2017) has the evil, churning riffs I like.  Great hooks. Mammoth Riffs. Bad-ass songs. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

~Svempa Alveving (Doomed & Stoned/Outlaws of the Sun)

GET IT HERE

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17. DOUBLESTONE – Devil’s Own/Djævelens Egen

Double, double, double you, O, double you!  Doublestone have 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, hard rock, and doom metal, with a stoner twist here and there and the blues roots growing wild. Doublestone sold their soul!

Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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16. THE EVILThe Evil ~NEW  

From the darkest depths of Belo Horizonte emerges The Evil, an infectious creature that threatens the bases of Brazilian stoner doom. The Evil is a quartet that surprises by its proposal, attached to the more traditional lines of the doom metal, like Candlemass, Coven, and Trouble.  Their self-titled LP is a record of overwhelming weight, laconic guitars, cosmic heaviness, and a vocalist that bristles every hair with its majestic and chilling vocal level. An absolutely indispensable debut from The Evil, with a dark atmosphere and performances that border perfection.

~Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)

GET IT HERE

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15. TELEKINETIC YETIAbominable 

In their debut work ‘Abominable’ (2017), 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 and doom metal with latent lysergic nuances. But it is possible to emphasize an approach with elements that are different, referring to paths like sludge and progressive metal. All very well-founded by mastodonic riffs that whip the air and seem to want to devour everything around.

Matheaus Jacques (October Doom)

GET IT HERE

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14. SAHARAThe Light  ~NEW

The only kind of “light” you’ll need when listening to Sahara newest LP is the one you’ll be using to fire up your bong. Sahara are an excellent stoner-doom act from Argentina that has an evil, sinister groove that is hard to resist. The band is successfully able to bypass any comparisons to Sleep or Electric Wizard, while still retaining a classic wall of fuzz sound that is a staple for the sub-genre. This little tasty nugget will take you on a stoner odyssey straight to hell, that’s for sure.

~Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams)

GET IT HERE

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13. NORSKAToo Many Winters  ~NEW

From the Pacific Northwest hails Norska, whose volcanic doom-sludge will leave you covered in ash. Featuring members from the band Yob, Norska plays a slightly blackened form of doom that is more in line with bands like Red Fang or High on Fire. Don’t expect a big stoner vibe from this one, as it’s fierce, dark, and brooding.

~Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams)

GET IT HERE

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BeastmakerSkull

12. BEASTMAKERInside The Skull

Cali’s three-man throwback to the age of proto-doom returns from 1973 with this fine slab of Pentagram and Black Sabbath worship. The aptly titled ‘Inside The Skull’ (2017) is a magical testament to the glorious power of the riff, for once you hear these they are forever embedded in your brain. Retro-fueled fuzziness and vintage overtones permeate every moment of this latest altar call. Audio-based occult worship at its finest, rock ‘n roll most righteous — this LP is the living embodiment of everything that is stoner-doom.

~Pat Riot (Riff Relevant /Taste Nation

GET IT HERE

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11. CLANCarnivores  ~NEW

Clan’s second release is every bit as good their first, the much buzzed-about ‘Witchcraft’ (2014).  The power, rawk, and emotion are still there, but the riffs are funked-up for a very unique album.  ‘Carnivores’ (2017) funking rules!

~Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)

GET IT HERE

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10. YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULTThe Great American Death Rattle  ~NEW

As expected, the new album by Topeka’s Youngblood Supercult is a total ripper. The blues are as heavy as ever, the psych factor overflowing with dusty fuzz, vocals grizzling with dreamy rigor, and mountains of riffs that rattle the stage like a wild mustang bucking through the Americana spirit world.

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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GEEZER RIFF

9. GEEZERPsychoriffadelia

Self-described as “cosmic stoner blues” comprised of “heavy psychedelic riff rock,” this three-piece powerhouse is about to blow your mind and speakers in one fell swoop with this latest release of five separate compositions that stand alone and even better as a complete package. For the next 39 minutes of smoke-filled vocal lamentations with a guitar slide so smooth, you can hear the blue in the glass as the bottom-end rumble gives you that “body” to close your eyes and roll along with each moment, taken along with all of the leading pace of this heavy-hit drumline that has enough perfectly-timed fills to satiate the most veracious headbanger.

~Ric Dorr (Taste Nation)

GET IT HERE

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8. SPACE WITCHArcanum  ~NEW

Every so often a record comes along that really challenges a reviewer like me to find the right words – any words – to describe it.  Such is ‘Arcanum’ (2017) by Stoke On Trent’s own Space Witch. If you think you’re in for another enjoyable, but predictable, doom record, you should reconsider this judgement. Tracks like the opening “Cosmonoid” and “Astro Genocide” pull us into the weird world of seventies synth and space-prog that defined science fiction for a generation. Again, it’s hard to describe, but somehow the atmosphere sucks you right into the whole narrative – and plunges you down the endless recesses of your imagination.

~Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)

GET IT HERE

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7. BRUMERooster

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)

GET IT HERE

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6. EGYPT – Cracks And Lines  ~NEW  

North Dakota’s premier stoner-doom rockers Egypt return with a darkly sizzling five track scorcher of an album that once again showcases their penchant for wielding massively heavy, wickedly sharp metal music in their inimitable stoner-psych-doom style, led by the singular vocals of Aaron Esterby, whose natural rawness far surpasses all the guttural affectations of heavy metal mimickers and followers. This band is genuine in their motivations and abilities just as their music is the real thing, tasteful and memorable, primal and heavy.

~Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet)

GET IT HERE

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5. SASQUATCHManeuvers  ~NEW 

On June 20th, 2017 numerous reports of a loud, earth rumbling noise came across the scanners, platelets shifted and clouds parted. The crushing sonic boom revealed itself later that morning as it crested the far reaches of the planet, rumors of “Sasquatch” plagued the airwaves and Maneuvers was exposed as a fifth wave invasion. Sasquatch successfully maneuvers, indeed, through a perilous flat spin of grandiose fuzz. Powered by progressive stoner distortion and state of the art vocal delivery, the bearded beast of the desert engages its target and deploys a massive assault of absolute riffage. The pilot was the only survivor. He’s got the need. The need for speed!

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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4. SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENTOne With The Universe

‘One With The Universe’ (2017) 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, Samsara Blues Experiment have 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)

GET IT HERE

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3. NEKROMANTSnakes & Liars  ~NEW

Sweden’s Nekromant (formally Serpent) uphold the legacy handed down to them by the likes of fellow Swedes Graveyard and Witchcraft, releasing an album packed solid with doomy retro grooves laced with elements of blues, psychedelic, and classic rock, as well as proto-metal. As I was writing this missive, trying to explain why Nekromant’s ‘Snakes & Liars’ (2017) is a record that you the reader should check out, the album was playing in the background and my wife, who was sitting quietly reading, looked up from her book.  “Who’s this?” she asked. “Nekromant,” I replied. “Bloody good!” she said.   No more words were needed.

~Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)

GET IT HERE

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VOKONIS

2. VOKONISThe Sunken Djinn

Coming almost fifteen months after their celebrated debut album, Olde One Ascending, ‘The Sunken Djinn’ (2017) is a better-rounded and doomier affair with the previous album’s stoner sound giving way to a more psychedelic and sludgier groove. You can still hear that addictive Vokonis groove first witnessed on their debut album. The new record has a more intense heavy metal feel, with Vokonis at times taking influence from classic eighties-sounding heavy metal artists.  The band becomes permanent doom dwellers with the music nightmarish in scope. Fans of Black Sabbath, High On Fire, and Mastodon will find much to admire and riff-worship here.

~Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)

GET IT HERE

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1. ELDERReflections of a Floating World

It’s a bit surreal to be writing a blurb to gush about the best band signed by the label I founded *after* I sold and exited that label, but here we are.  Elder’s ‘Reflections of a Floating World’ (2017) is so unconscientiously epic that you never notice that you’re listening to 8-to-12-minute songs.  Sweeping movements, bold hooks, triumphant choruses, and massive, uplifting soundscape — all in the course of what are essentially rock songs.  If you like Baroness, but wish they would cut loose a bit more, Elder has provided the expansive, unrestrained counterpart to Purple.  You know that saying, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist?”  Well, the best trick Elder ever pulled was making a profound, lasting work of art so fluid and infectious that everybody would just think it was a rock album.  This is a legacy-making record.

~MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Charts.  You folks help give voice to the heavy 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); Ken Elliott  (Heavy Planet); Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & StonedRiff Relevant); Lucas Klaukein aka ‘LK Ultra’ (Stoner HiVeYou May Be Dead & Dreaming); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Mari Knox Knox (Doomed & Stoned); Martin Petrov (Rawk’n’Roll); Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation); Matheaus Jacques (October Doom); Mathieu Van Der Hert (Dutch European Stoner Rock); Melissa Marie (Doomed & Stoned); MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect); Papa Rote  (Doomed & Stoned); Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235); 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 LaughterStoner HiVe);  Tanguy Dupré aka “Mr Fuzz” (More Fuzz).

This June 2017 edition of The Doom Chart was tallied by Bucky Brown and edited by Billy Goate.

 

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