“How many more nights and weird mornings can this terrible shit go on? How long can the body and the brain tolerate this doom-struck craziness? This grinding of teeth, this pouring of sweat, this pounding of blood in the temples… small blue veins gone amok in front of the ears, sixty and seventy hours with no sleep. Turn up the radio. Turn up the tape machine. Look into the sunset up ahead. Roll the windows down for a better taste of the cool desert wind. Ah yes. This is what it’s all about. Total control now. Tooling along the main drag on a Saturday night in Las Vegas, two good old boys in a fireapple-red convertible … stoned, ripped, twisted … Good People…”~ Hunter S. Thompson, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
The festivals are raging everywhere. High Summer Fest is exploding as we speak in Portland and Pyscho Las Vegas is coming up fast, for some reason, not being able to go, made me re-read that classic story by Thompson. He has been my spirit guide for ages. Which is dangerous and will ultimately lead you down a rabbithole that might get you killed or at least maimed. I have survived many brushes with death and I’m pretty sure my luck is running out. But can we tone it down? Can we suddenly change enough to turn ‘normal’? Fuck normal, The Good Doctor would say, let’s all Howard Roark the shit out of life. Do it on your own terms. And stay heavy on all fronts…
The many many bands that churn out those amazing albums that enter the Doom Charts monthly are surely doing it on their own terms. It is what sets them apart and what will make the fans take notice. No less than ELEVEN new albums entered the charts this month. And High Priestess for instance barely missed this edition. A heavy and high July edition of the Doom Charts. All those amazing albums will surely set your soul on fire and will burn your heart, and will make you act crazy in a righteous way! Good people, cause that what we heavy rock fans are! Good people!
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. ARTEAGA – VOL. II DIOS SOL / NEW!
Five cuts of sleepy rhythms and a mystic seventy that radiates in each chord and letter, forming a guild of sounds attached to the riffs of the old Sabbath school with a strong inclination to occultism. A surreal trip to inmerse into more acid and stylistically influenced by grindhouse. Mix of hard riff, psychedelia and doom, boiling music that surprises by its wildness. ~ Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)
24. HALF GRAMME OF SOMA – GROOVE IS BLACK / NEW!
If you like Desert Stonerrock in the vein of Kyuss, you might love Half Gramme Of Soma from Athens. After a lot of changes in their line-up, between their debut album in 2013, an EP in 2014 and again after that. And now, they’re back with a new singer (from Vibratore Bizarro). Their second full album, released back at the end of May, contains 8 groovy, at times even bluesy, but always hard rockin’ tracks, which lead you trough space and time on a gigantic eggplant. The brilliant cover art clearly shows, that the band doesn’t take themselves too serious. ~ Doktor420 (Stoner HiVe)
23. VOKONIS – THE 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)
22. THE EVIL – THE EVIL
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)
21. ELDER – REFLECTIONS 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 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)
20. FALL OF AN EMPIRE – CROWEATER 2: THE LAST WISHES OF KINGS / NEW!
Fall Of An Empire continue the Croweater saga with desert stoner vibes that has everything you could want in the genre plus more. The epic feel sets it apart. ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)
19. SAHARA – THE LIGHT
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)
18. THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN – CYPRESS AVE / NEW!
Ten songs that clock in at just under 45 mins and this time out, The Midnight Ghost Train has decided to run the complete gamut of musical styles, not limiting themselves to anything in particular. Usually thought of for their blues-heavy/stoner/doom groove they established more and more with each previous release, with this album we have it all and then some as you may not have expected. ~ Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation)
17. GREENBEARD – LÖDARÖDBÖL / NEW!
They say the third time is the charm and Greenbeard have proven that statement with their latest offering. The Texas trio have taken their blistering stoner riffage to new heights melting faces with bluesy psychedelia, precision vocal tones and a radiant progression of song craft. The artwork continues on the theme of badassery with another example of supremacy. You can’t afford not to grab the 1st press on vinyl… ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
16. BRUME – ROOSTER
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)
15. SHROUD EATER – STRIKE THE SUN / NEW!
Shroud Eater’s Strike The Sun is an album of immense magnitude and depth utilising an array of dynamics with which to shade and texture its diverse and dazzlingly collection of raucous grooves. Shroud Eater are a band consisting of three people all of whom sing and the band use this to great effect mixing ethereal and mournful tones with those of a more visceral nature, a brave move that could, in other hands, result in a confused and fragmented sound with no identity, not so with Shroud Eater, they use this to their advantage arranging their songs so as to incorporate those voices so that no matter who is at the mic the listener is in no doubt that the grooves they are listening to belong to Shroud Eater. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
14. EGYPT – CRACKS AND LINES
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)
13. VENOMOUS MAXIMUS – NO WARNING / NEW!
No warning reminds me of David Bowie or Billy Idol gone full stoner. I even hear The Cars. A stoner doom version of them anyway. This has potential to be big. ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)
12. DOPE SMOKER – LEGALIZE IT / NEW!
Welsh trio Dope Smoker are a bit of an anomaly, the band, who to date have released five albums, are seemingly obsessed with surf, sea and marijuana, using these themes over and over again as the foundations on which to build their sound, a sound which incorporates huge walls of gnarly fuzz drenched guitar riffage, deeply distorted bass and pounding heavy rock drumming that is then coated in hypnotic mantra -type vocals. Legalize It. The bands sixth release finds Dope Smoker subtly shifting away from the clubby trip-hop backbeats of previous albums to a more traditional rock based percussive groove, the band experimenting with elements of ambience and atmosphere, filling out there odes to “the leaf ” with gentle and serene dynamics, expertly entwining them into their, now familiar, raucous fuzz soaked riffs and mesmeric grooves. All in all Legalize It ticks all the boxes you would expect to have ticked from a Dope Smoker album but also shows a band who are slowly, at their own pace, evolving into one of the finest and most original bands on the UK underground scene today. ~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
11. DESTROYER OF LIGHT – CHAMBER OF HORRORS / NEW!
With its Sabbathian overtones and essence of Iommi emanations, every thing is bigger in Texas and that includes the darkly hued doom of The Lone Star State’s latest from Destroyer Of Light. Constructed with epic compositions, each one crafted with churning, opiate-like riffs and dirge-worthy rhythms, the bone shuddering drums pound and pound away, while the emotion-ridden vocals moan out their commiseration. A hugely grandiose album that establishes Destroyer Of Light as one of the more remarkable heavy bands active at this time. ~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant)
10. SAUTRUS – ANTHONY HILL
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)
9. DIRTY GRAVE – EVIL DESIRE / NEW!
I’ve been following these Sao Paulo doomers with some interest since they dropped that promising 2013 demo. They took their time refining the songs on Evil Desire, Dirty Grave‘s debut LP, and I’m glad, because this is the kind of fresh strongcraft we need in the scene. It joins Beastmaker as one of the best overall albums of the summer. And, as with Beastmakers’s Inside The Skull record, Dirty Grave‘s Evil Desire was recorded, mixed, and mastered as a brilliant DIY effort by Mark Rainbow(vocals) and Victor Berg (guitar). If you’re a fan of NWOBHM-style tempos, wicked vox dripping with evil ala Pentagram and guitars that have that dark, downtuned Saint Vitus edge and the ability to sing like Pink Floyd as the occasion calls, then I’m predicting this will be a go-to favorite in your playlist. “We’re not here to innovate,” Mark says, “we’re here to celebrate the Doom” With that understood, there are some great ideas at play here that made this feel like anything but a retread. Truly, a standout entry in the doom catalogue this year! ~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
8. NEKROMANT – SNAKES & LIARS
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 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)
7. CORTEZ – THE DEPTHS BELOW / NEW!
Let’s take a trip with the Boston quintet Cortez. Let’s have them drag us down with them to The Depths Below. I reckon we can safely state that most of you freaks out there already dug their earlier releases. Well, get ready to profess your undying love for these guys. Turning a much more metallic corner on some tracks, the fuzz, the grunge and the stoner that Cortez brings is simply amazing. And then there are those more pop sensible almost catchy moments. Yes, there is something about this records that screams ‘instant classic’. Vocalist Matt Harrington truly shines on every track and together with the killer choruses, massive riffs, dueling guitars and majestic drum work there is absolutely nothing wrong with Cortez… Shit, where is the closest grimy tattoo parlor, so I can get Cortez tattooed across my heart! ~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
6. KABBALAH – SPECTRAL ASCENT / NEW!
Retro progressive doom FFOBR! The emphasis on retro and progressive rock is showcased on Spectral Ascent. It’s hypnotic rhythms and harmonies will captivate and mesmerize you. ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)
5. ATRAGON – I, NECROMANCER
Atragon are the whole package. Crushing doom riffs, potent and engaging vocals/lyrics and a hard rocking edge keeping it from fading into plod territory. The songs morph from low and slow into a hard rocking riff fest of bluesy solos and metallic hooks all together in unison. Something for the whole family to enjoy. ~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
4. CLAN – CARNIVORES
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 funking rules! ~ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)
3. SASQUATCH – MANEUVERS
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)
2. POSEIDON – PROLOGUE / NEW!
The word epic gets bandied around a fair bit as a riff descriptor, however it is completely apt here in not only the tracks but overall concept. Poseidon have embarked on a multi album tale they’re calling “The Medius Chronicle” covering the downfall and rebirth of civilization. ‘The Beginning; The End; The Colony’ kicks off the narrative, an ominous intro paving the way for the superlow lows – the bedrock of which is exposed at around 7:52 when the subterranean bass rumbles alone over the drums. Very cool vocals too, legible which helps in following the unfolding chronicle, and slightly reminiscent of those in one of my favorite bands, Aleph Null. The opening crusher gives way to lighter, brooding moments in ‘Mother Mary; Son of Scorn’, however the gravitational reprieve does not last long as ‘Chainbreaker’ opens up with a rousing excerpt from Mario Savio’s ‘bodies upon the gears’ freedom speech and into a dense riff maelstrom. ‘Omega’ is the closer, putting a firm exclamation mark on the obvious songwriting talent within Poseidon. Couldn’t ask for more from a debut album, and this is a great early pickup from a label who I’m yet to hear anything less than quality from in Ripple Music. Bring on Part 2 of The Medius Chronicle! ~ Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
1. YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT – THE GREAT AMERICAN DEATH RATTLE
As expected when one delivers such an amazing album and then goes to the amazing length of handing out free download codes to the first hundred visitors of the Doom Chart page, you rise to the Number One spot. Ho ho ho! And now seriously…
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)
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 (Riff Relevant); Gram ‘Son of Sam’ Pola (Dirty Denim); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet); Leanne Ridgeway (Doomed & Stoned, Riff Relevant); Lucas ‘LK Ultra’ Klaukein (Stoner HiVe, You May Be Dead & Dreaming); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void radio); 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); Paul ‘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 Laughter, Stoner HiVe); Tanguy ‘Mr Fuzz’ Dupré (More Fuzz).
This July 2017 edition of The Doom Chart was tallied by Bucky Brown and edited by Joop Konraad.