“Take a little walk to the edge of town And go across the tracks Where the viaduct looms Like a bird of doom As it shifts and cracks Where secrets lie in the border fires In the humming wires Hey man, you know You’re never coming back”
Red Right Hand by Nick Cave
I carry my music with me like a secret curse, headphones carrying sacred sounds straight to my brain, drowning out the white noise of the all-around, the everyday tedium of life, the knowledge that I have not left a mark on the world, that I am just drifting along. But…. the music in these charts makes me live, escape, dream and walk tall. It is my drug of choice, my addiction, my release.
Welcome to the 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…
December brings us 12 brand new entries, essentially splitting the chart in half as seems to be the trend. It’s been a busy month in more ways than one, between compiling favorites of the year lists on our respective blogs and social media accounts, holidays with friends and families, and also new releases seemed to be dropping left and right up until the very end. Stay tuned for the Doom Charts year end finale coming shortly where we’ll feature the best of the best for 2017, as voted by our trusty contributors here at Doom Charts.
25. RED STONE SOULS – MOTHER SKY / NEW!
Red Stone Souls dropped this monster late in December as many had already written the year off as finished. Either way, Mother Sky makes a statement and rivals many albums released this year in the heavy rock category.
Vivid fuzz electrifies with a bar room brawl full of energy and hard driving rhythm and groove. Don’t fill out your year end favorites list until you grab a hold of this ripper. This is NWODHM: New Wave of Detroit Heavy Metal. Nuff said.
~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
24. DEAD QUIET – GRAND RITES
If you thought that Dead Quit’s self-titled debut album from 2015 was a promising record than their second record Grand Rites will surely amaze you. The Vancouver based heavy rock group make huge progress on this new release. The songs are much longer (four tracks are over eight minutes), but don’t get boring or repetitive at all. The album is a perfect mix between raw and catchy. Although the entire band deserves credit for these stunning compositions, Kevin Keegan’s vocals are one of the selling points of Dead Quiet. His voice makes this album so intense and emotional. His vocals are harsh but still melodic and his lyrics from the gut make the songs even more impressive. The dueling guitar parts and atmospheric keys give the album a classic rock vibe.
Grand Rites is a perfectly balanced record. The harsher metal parts blend perfectly with the classic rock ones. The songwriting and the emotional ambience makes this is an intense but extremely satisfying listen. Well done, Dead Quiet, well done…
~ Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl)
23. LEGBA – NECROMANCE / NEW!
(Greenville, South Carolina)
South Carolina – the land of white-tailed deer, peaches, and Indian grass – is also home to a bewitching stripe of doom that draws from the blues, folklore, and a dark past hidden beneath murky bogs. Meet Legba, a threesome out of Greenville that has created one spellbinding record to end a year full of hushed secrets. ‘Necromance’ (2017) is the band’s second record, a full-length to follow a well-received debut EP in the summer of 2016. There’s plenty to love here, not the least of which is the band’s penchant for fascinating storytelling and gritty downtuned riffs. Legba bring the horrors of the haunted swamp right to you.
~Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
22. MONOLORD – RUST
Monolord comes back and do not fail, one of today’s most indestructible battleships. ‘Rust‘ takes the best of ‘Empress Rising‘ and ‘Vænir‘ and takes them to the highest levels of doom and psychedelia, embraced within a thick cloud of space rock, executions and progressions that show that Swedes have no rivals.
Few can boast three discs of such high level and in constant evolution. Monolord spits in our face, without doubts, the best records to date.
~ Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)
21. FUZZ EVIL/SWITCHBLADE JESUS – THE SECOND COMING OF HEAVY CHAPTER 7 / NEW!
(Tuscon, AZ / Corpus Christi, TX)
Ripple Music have released another epic slice Stoner Rock/Metal in their ever popular The Second Coming Of Heavy. Ripple are now onto Chapter 7 and they’ve brought out the big guns with this record.
In one corner you have – SWITCHBLADE JESUS. And the other – FUZZ EVIL
I have to say that this maybe one of the best and most exciting chapters to date. Both Switchblade Jesus and Fuzz Evil play top-notch Stoner Rock/Metal sounds.
If you’re new to the world of SWITCHBLADE JESUS and FUZZ EVIL then this is the best place to start. With Ripple Music proving why they are the Premier Record Label within the Doom/Stoner Metal community.
~Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)
20. MOTHERSLUG – THE ELECTRIC DUNES OF TITAN
Motherslug is your personal guide through barren, desert wastelands, on a horse called Doom and an interplanetary trip in a space capsule of gloom on ‘Electric Dunes of Titan’. It’s been a while in the making and the effort that has gone into the hooks, vocals and overall production is clearly evident.
Your car stereo will thank you for this one – just forward the inevitable speeding fines to the fine folk at Motherslug headquarters!
~ Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
19. GALACTIC GULAG – TO THE STARS BY HARD WAYS
From the northeast of Brazil, Galactic Gulag starts a tsunami that surley will reach the whole world soon and devastate everything on its way. Something unprecedented, unusual and extravagant. The result is an adventurous and sensational album, which will imprison you and lock you in this gulag of cosmic proportions.
~ Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)
18. CATAPULT THE SMOKE – BORN AGAIN / NEW!
Sweden’s Catapult the Smoke return six long years after the release of “Born In Fire” with a brand new album “Born Again”, a sprawling ten song opus packed to the gills with raucous riffage, powerful rhythms and top notch vocals. Like their Viking forefathers before them Catapult the Smoke are coming once again to invade, maybe not your countries as in days of yore, but most definitely your senses and ear canals.
~Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
17. HELA – DEATH MAY DIE
It’s a brave move by any band these days to attempt to release a conceptual album, but when it’s done right it can be a beautiful thing. Spanish groovsters Hela are one band unafraid to tackle the minefield of the concept album. With new album ‘Death May Die’, a tale of one girl’s struggle against all odds to find and be herself, they have found a perfect balance between songs that can work thematically, as well as independently of that theme.
Hela was always a good band, but with the addition of Porto on second guitar and vocals they have evolved into a great band. ‘Death May Die’, with it’s darker edges, progressive leanings and conceptual theme, stands as a fitting testament to that evolution.
~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
16. HEAVYDEATH – SARCOPHAGUS IN THE SKY
This album can be covered in three words – heavy as fuck! Growling vocals sit uneasily on top of bludgeoning riffs that summon up an atmosphere of doom and darkness. A claustrophobic production that surrounds the listener with the weight of these songs makes sure that when the music drops down to a single instrument, you mentally take a moment to get your breath back before the next onslaught begins.
15. KING BUFFALO – REPEATER / NEW!
This EP is the next step that King Buffalo started with their debut album “Orion”. These three songs were developed in their studio space, honed down by being performed live and have finally been recorded. Big grooves are order of the day here, giving the songs room to breathe while the band weave their spell of fuzzed up psychedelic hymns dedicated to the worship of mind altering music.
14. THE AGE OF TRUTH – THRESHOLD
This is an absolute beast of a hard rock album and The Age Of Truth are down to earth guys, to boot. Prepare to be riffed to pieces by The Age Of Truth‘s debut into the heavy underground family via ‘Threshold’. The vocals ooze with masculinity, as the guitar strokes us with breakneck precision guided by tight, brooding rhythm.
Stadium-level heavy rock for the underground masses. Pick this up today and save the lies for tomorrow.
~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
13. CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC – THE GLITTER OF INFINITE HELL
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Masterpiece is not too strong a word to describe the new record by Clouds Taste Satanic. Then again, every album the Brooklyn doomers have brought us so far has been grandiose. The new double album serves as a large canvas for the band to paint on, with four 18-minute monoliths – ‘Greed‘, ‘Treachery‘, ‘Violence‘, and ‘Wrath‘ – illustrating ‘The Glitter of Infinite Hell’ (2017).
As with their previous work, each track is sans voix – completely instrumental – which makes it feel almost like the metal version of a symphony (without becoming symphonic metal). Ready? Time to dive into the abyss and swim through the stark sonic landscape of horrors.
~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
12. DOOMSTRESS – SUPERNATURAL KVLT SOUNDS THE SECOND RITE / NEW!
Doomstress straddle the listener wearing molten doom studded lingerie showing us her prowess with tantalizing riffage and asphyxiating groove. With bedsheets forged of heavy metal stitched with solos birthed by Viking gods, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds blindfold and dominate with unrelenting precision and commanding thrill. Completely blown away!
~ Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
11. SPECTRAL HAZE – TURNING ELECTRIC
Turning Electric is much like the turning point in the tide of undiluted psychedelia, an out of body experience where one rides the lightning of aural LSD and thought-provoking sonic escapism. The infinite journey awaits and Spectral Haze provide the ticket and the means of transportation to get there. Ride On!
~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant)
10. PURPLE HILL WITCH – CELESTIAL CEMETERY
Purple Hill Witch have returned after treating us a very successful debut. The cheerily titled, ‘Celestial Cemetery’ (2017) captures our soul right away, with the Norwegian trio’s trademark sad singing. Song after song lures us ever closer into an odd little mountain village, where we partake in seven strange stories. The style is of early ’80s vintage, with more than a hint of NWOBHM, Saint Vitus, and Black Sabbath — all rather clever references, I might add. The haunting, plaintive vocals (think Ozzy on Prozac) are met by killer solos, proving that doom metal can shred with the best of them.
~ Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
9. ASTRAL MASS – ASTRAL MASS
With a burst of distorted guitar, Astral Mass start their album with intent and purpose. Stoner metal via Orange Goblin vibes, these guys are travelling into the far reaches of space rock in a pleasingly aggressive way. Touches of fuzzed psych gives variation within the song compositions but the main touchstone is riff heavy tunes that make you want to drive fast and recklessly.
8. MOTHER MARS – ON LUNAR HIGHLANDS / NEW!
Strap your belts and fasten your helmet tight, come December 6th, the sound barrier will break with a blustery explosion of rustic Sabbathian doom. On Lunar Highlands is an epic musical journey clod-hopping through dusty belts of asteroid rock by way of distorted delta blues.
~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
7. GYPSY SUN REVIVAL – JOURNEY OUTSIDE OF TIME / NEW!
(Fort Worth, Texas)
Cosmic space jams is a bit of an understatement describing this five piece out of Fort Worth, TX. Gypsy Sun Revival’s second musical offering is a seven track wonder of psychedelic rock n roll blues from its open to finish. It’s as if all five musical elements have seamlessly come together to conjure an album reaching timeless status, especially on the fourth track Growing Shadows. Whether you’re wanting uptempo grooves, sky high vocals, or to take your imagination to a distant planet to enjoy interstellar melodies, Journey Outside Of Time has you covered. Capture this gem on Nasoni Records and elevate your music collection.
~Melissa Spence, (Stoner Witch Radio)
6. THE RE-STONED – CHRONOCLASM / NEW!
(город Москва, Russian Federation)
On December 1, Oak Island Records launched the eighth study album of the Russians, The Re-Stoned, a delirious piece of progressive instrumental, a master piece of fine compositions of heavy blues. The firmament of the Re-Stoned shines back in the darkness like fireflies in the forest. Another fairy tale to take you to the gates of nirvana.
Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)
5. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY – NO CROSS NO CROWN / NEW!
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
COC are back! And with Pepper Keenan this time. The band has taken their time with creating No Cross No Crown. The result is an very focused album that could have been the successor of Deliverance and Wiseblood in the nineties. Everything you loved about those records is here on this new album. The songs are raw, catchy, chaotic and have that signature COC-sound. A must for fans of Keenan era COC.
Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl)
4. ELECTRIC WIZARD – WIZARD BLOODY WIZARD
They spoke of change and they did change a bit but maybe not as much as you might think. It is still Electric Wizard. Instead of a mindless drugged out sabbathian sound the wizards went into the lysergic acid world of early Alice Cooper and The Stooges for this one. The tunes are more to the point and very leathal. But it is still – without a doubt – it is the power of Iommi that rules the black magic underworld of Electric Wizard no matter what. The evil is hidden in the details.
~ Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio);
3. SHADOW WITCH – DISCIPLES OF THE CROW / NEW!
(Kingston, New York)
Psychedelic Doom Metallers Shadow Witch return with their new album Disciples Of The Crow. Newly signed to Salt Of The Earth Records it’s good to see the band expand more on their progressive sound with opening track Love Could Be Like This creating quite an uplifting Doom/Stoner Metal vibe. It’s very demonic parts but it’s so damn catchy with the band writing 80’s classic sounding Doom/Hard Rock lyrics. The vocals from Earl are more focused and soar to new heights. Shadow Witch could have easily released Sun Killer Part Two but nope, they have raised the ante and excitement with a more daring and genuinely exciting record.
2. SNOWY DUNES – ATLANTIS
Just the fact that Snowy Dunes hail from Sweden and play a form of bluesy stoner rock would be reason enough for many to check out the band’s latest opus “Atlantis” but those taking the plunge would soon find out that Snowy Dunes are a lot more than a blues rock combo with a fuzz box! Snowy Dunes deliver heady grooves of atmospheric stoner and psych that although having their core firmly rooted in the swampy delta of yesteryear have their branches reaching for a rainbow coloured sky, imagine famed bluesman Robert Johnson meeting the devil at the crossroads and instead of giving him unbelievable mastery over his instrument he gives him an acid tab!
~ Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
- THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX – FORCE FIELD / NEW!
(Neptune, New Jersey)
In an age where tracks seem to be getting longer and longer, this album is a blast through riff an’ roll territory – 12 songs in 35 minutes show that The Atomic Bitchwax are here to deliver some short, sharp shocks of 70’s groove, punky aggression and insanely catchy stoner anthems that will make your day light up.
Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Chart. You folks help give voice to the heavy underground:
A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous); Bryan Coffey (Indy Metal Vault); Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer); Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned); Brandon Collins (Super Dank Metal Jams); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect); Clint (Hand of Doom Radio); Doktor420 (Stoner HiVe); Doombeard (DoomBeardZine); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Gram ‘Son of Sam’ Pola (Dirty Denim); Gruesome Greg (Hellbound); Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl); Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet); Leanne Ridgeway (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); Matheus Jacques (October Doom); Mathieu Van Der Hert (Dutch European Stoner Rock); Melissa Marie (Doomed & Stoned); Melissa Spence, (Stoner Witch Radio); MeteorJadd (The Ripple Effect); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant); 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); Tanguy ‘Mr Fuzz’ Dupré (More Fuzz); Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe).
This December 2017 edition of the Doom Chart was tallied and edited by Bucky Brown. Intro blurb by Tony Maim.