” La mota vienen en primer cajona. La coca y la rapidez vienen en segundo. La heroina en el debajo. Siempre hay que separa las drogas.”
And here we are again. At the beginning of June with a quick glance over our shoulder towards that wonderful month of May. A month that saw the release of so many great albums, that after the voting had stopped, the total tally exceeded the 260 mark. Amazing. And we only feature the 25 that received the most amount of votes. Which also means that there are those albums that only barely missed it. CHRCH and their LIGHT WILL CONSUME US ALL release for instance, OAK with their III album and EL ROJO with their 16 INCHES RADIAL record. It’s heavy not featuring them, but the list is what it is. A swift scan of everything we loved and will continue to love! Cause, that is of course, what consoles us all. It isn’t over and we can continue to listen to all those 260 albums for the rest of our lives!
~ Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, journalists, radio, 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. APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE – FROM GOLD TO ASH
After four years, Apostle of Solitude is back with new music for the downtrodden and broken people of the world. From Gold to Ash is their heaviest and most somber outing to date, and you won’t find any up-tempo songs like on their previous efforts. What you will find are slow burning, complex songs with intricate vocal harmonies courtesy of Chuck Brown and Steve Janiak. The seven tracks perfectly encapsulate the feelings of being trapped beneath the cloud covered grey skies of Indianapolis during the dreary winter months. Highlights include the sleepy melodies of “Autumn Moon” and the solemn heartfelt vibes of “My Heart is Leaving Here.” Highly recommended!
~Bryan Coffey (Indy Metal Vault)
24. BLACK RAINBOWS – PANDAEMONIUM
The sounds of fiery stoned psychedelic rock blasting from my headphones means that Black Rainbows have got a new album out. It feels a bit darker and heavier this time around. Fuzz, powerful riffs, great song compositions and vocals buried under the sonic assault continue the fine run of Black Rainbows releases.
23. EAGLE TWIN – THE THUNDERING HEARD
(Salt Lake City, Utah)
The Thundering Heard is a stampede of creative riffs and sonic textures. Woven together into a tight tapestry of bottom-heavy tracks, the feel of the album is simultaneously sinister and meditative. Upon first listen, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer power of the music, but the true beauty is revealed through repeated plays. It’s here that the brilliantly balanced mix and frequency separation dazzles the ears, navigating deep oceans of bass and chaotic fretboard explorations, with equal skill. The Thundering Heard is an auditory tour-de-force, and one of 2018’s standout releases.
~Marcus Greybeard (FuzzHeavy Podcast)
22. MR BISON – HOLY OAK / NEW!
Mr. Bison trample us with a lysergic array of hairy riffs and pummeling groove. The Hendrixian fuzz echos a wicked tone as the rhythm intensifies each and every song. Holy Oak stands tall and will be considered a paramount heavy rock release of 2018.
~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
21. MONSTER MAGNET – MINDFUCKER
New Jersey’s rockin’-est trade in their space suits for leather jackets and get all Punk AF on their 11th studio full-length. These stoner rock pioneers return to their roots and show the old school and new why Monster Magnet is a household name the whole world over…with a no-nonsense record devoid of BS and polish. Mindfucker is Rock ‘N Roll psychotherapy for the music loving masses”
~Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant)
20. SUN VOYAGER – SEISMIC VIBES / NEW!
Heavy grooves and sunshine vibes are not always the best of bedfellows, but Brooklyn’s Sun Voyager have managed to somehow combine the two in what has to be 2018’s feel good hit of the summer. Whether this good times vibe was an intentional move is debateable, given that the band pepper their new album with titles like “ Caves of Steel” and “God Is Dead”, but warm sunshine and cloudless blue skies are the perfect companions and listening environment for the eight superbly written and executed songs served up here.
~Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
19. KAISER – 1st SOUND / NEW!
If ever there was a pure defining example of the ‘stoner-doom’ tag, it’s this debut album from Kaiser. The full spectrum is well and truly covered – motoring down the highway at breakneck speed stoner riffage for the first five tracks… then a brief interlude ushers in the slower paced heavy, reaching into Sleep riffing territory with the superb track Earthquake. Otu (guitar/vox) not only riffs like a demon, but sings just as badass. This is a total party starter of an album worthy of any doom chart readers collection. Rrrrrifffs!!
~Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
18. ABOLETH – BENTHOS / NEW!
These guys and gal bring the swagger. A hard edged, bluesy swagger that’ll keep your head bobbing to the groove and your fists pumping through the fuzz. True and blue Southern CA Rock n’ roll. For fans of Honeymoon Disease, Spiders, etc. Gotta love that raspy croon and can I say “More Cowbell?”
~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)
17. DRUG CULT – DRUG CULT / NEW!
From their commencing riffs that manifested like distant billowing smoke from a desolate sleeping volcano, the force that is Drug Cult is about to send our natural world into complete musical bewilderment. These are some of the thickest and heaviest riffs, fully laced with a female entity who’s vocal charm alleviates and pulls you back to consciousness throughout this 7 track journey. The atmosphere created by this four-piece from Australia is dark, satisfying and may cause intense hallucinations if not properly dosed. Expect Drug Cult’s immensely powerful new strain to reach full bloom by this Summer Solstice and will be made available for mass consumption through Ritual Productions. In the meantime you can build tolerance by previewing tracks on the official Drug Cult site.
~Melissa Spence, (Stoner Witch Radio)
16. BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT – BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT
The all-female outfit Blackwater Holylight, releases their first effort through RidingEasy Records. Resounding riffs, enchanting vocals and a rhythmic approach that melt over in each other and galvanizes your moment in time. A wild, heavy, fuzzy, psychedelic record that will make you dream of witches and will make your dreams bewitched. Impressive debut for sure!
~Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)
15. MESSA – FEAST FOR WATER
Messa is another band that has broken free of stylistic constraints, manifesting a brilliant metamorphosis with every album the produce. I knew how special Feast for Water (2018) was going to be when I heard single, “Leah.” It struck me with the same send of awe that “Babalon” did on their last album, ‘Belfry’ (2016). It alone is worth the price of admission for the brilliant way it wrangles together doom, blues, and jazz influences and makes them all play nice together. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what to call this album. It’s most definitely metal, but not unlike the latest Boss Keloid offering, Feast For Water manages to transcend the boundaries of genre. It’s as though music has entered a strange Event Horizon where the lines of convention bend and blur in beautiful contradiction. One thing that is consistent throughout the record, of course, is that this is dark, melancholy fare with flashes of sunlight breaking through the clouds. Feast for Water is an experience and I suspect if the band grows in recognition, the Italian collective will be putting on some incredible live shows with this material.
~Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
14. BOSS KELOID – MELTED ON THE INCH
I don’t know what happened between this album and their last one, but Boss Keloid have taken a serious evolutionary leap forward. I mean, we were crazy about previous records, but ‘Melted on the Inch’ (2018) is absolutely possessed by a mad fever of creative inspiration. From “Chronosiam” on, we’re treated to unexpectedly fresh songcraft, one surprise (the plucky “Tarku Shavel”) after another (the proggy, jazzy-infused “Peykruve“). You never quite know what’s in store for you next, but what you do know is that each Boss Keloid track will be filled with thoughtful touches, whether that means experimenting with complex rhythms, unusual instrumentation or alluring vocal harmonies in this moment or that. Now, if you loved the “old” Boss Keloid this might have you worried, but fear not – Alex Hurst and the boys have not lost even a fraction of the gritty soul that made them so special to begin with. Melted on the Inch is, quite frankly, just the shot in the arm the heavy underground needed to encourage everyone to start pushing beyond their stylistic moorings.
~Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned)
13. GOZU – EQUILIBRIUM
On Gozu’s last record Revival really showed their qualities. The ballsy downtuned guitars and rhythm section were a strong combo with the clean vocals. Equilibrium is all about perfecting Gozu’s kickass sound. The songs are better crafted, the transitions within the songs sound smoother and the (back up) vocal lines catchier than ever. Without losing nothing of that heaviness we love about this band.
~Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl)
12. CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL – SCIENCE FICTION / NEW!
With exception to the comparably higher budgeted Ghost, no group in the occult rock movement has the same scope and spectacle as Church of the Cosmic Skull. Plenty of other bands have the same adherence to bright 70s-style riffing and organ flourishes, but I’ve not seen a band with such elaborate Beatles-esque vocal work since the early days of King’s X or even ELO. Having seven members in the band makes it easy to achieve such a bombastic sound but even without the extra hands, the Church’s second full-length album Science Fiction would still be just as enjoyable.
~Chris Latta (Indy Metal Vault)
11. SEEDY JEEZUS – POLARIS OBLIQUE / NEW!
You ever read a band’s self pitch of their new album and then when you get it, leaves you flat? Not in the house of Seedy Jeezus. They bring 70’s hard riffing and killer jam’s and some superb Floydian-like lyrics and sound. From the title track ‘Polaris Oblique’ where the Bill Ward like drumming by Mark Sibson and Paul Crick’s seismic bass rule Lex Wattereus’s guitar is beyond belief at times. Burning through a killer duel with Tony Reed on Oh Lord(Part One), the radioactive heaviness of ‘All My Gods Are Stone’ with ‘Earthless’ Isaiah Mitchell. “Dripping From the Eye of the Sun” will have you hitting replay again and again it’s that good. ‘Treading Water’ is an absolute gem, this is the song you will want to desperately hear live.
~Mark Partin (Trendkill Radio)
10. SERGEANT THUNDERHOOF – TERRA SOLUS
Somerset’s Sergeant Thunderhoof are that weird exception to the rule, a band who have turned down record label interest so that they can control their own destiny, a band who like doing things for themselves, and more power to them for doing that because so far it seems to be working. Terra Solus is the bands third studio album and if you are familiar with their past work you will know to expect plenty of addictive grooviness, raucous riffage and hazy psychedelics all executed with a breath-taking level of musicianship and outstanding display of vocal dynamics and Terra Solus does not disappoint in any of those departments.
~Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)
9. EARTHLESS – BLACK HEAVEN
Earthless are back and this time with a twist – vocals! But never fear, faithful fanatics, the sonic madness and mind bending riffing are still here but with a sense of purpose …sometimes I felt previous songs could be interchanged with any album – after all, jam based freak-outs can kinda sound the same. But now with vocals circa early 70’s, each song gains its own identity. Nothing has really changed that much – just tighter, freakier and much head nodding moments. Embrace the changes …. You might like it!
8. THE DEATH WHEELERS – I TREAD ON YOUR GRAVE / NEW!
This is a blast from start to finish. Punk-Stoner energy rubs shoulders with Proto-Doom riffs and ride their rumbling Harleys through the world of Acid Rock guitar solos. Clever use of samples and the sheer joy of playing this album loud as hell make you forget that the whole thing is instrumental. The cover matches the content!
7. HIGH PRIESTESS – HIGH PRIESTESS / NEW!
From the City of Angels, High Priestess makes its exultant return to the Doom Charts with its full label debut on Ripple Music, bringing dreamy harmonies, crushing riffs, and pulsating rhythms that are pleasing to the ear. From middle eastern tones, to a twisted lullabye gone wrong, to lysergic sounds that could have been made in the 70s, High Priestess delivers the stoner/doom/psych goods. This release will have the masses worshipping at the altar of High Priestess in due course.
~Mike Williams (I Talk to Planets)
6. DOPETHRONE – TRANSCANADIAN ANGER / NEW!
The transcanadian locomotive is back and they are more furious than ever. This new album confirms that their fulminating doom / sludge comes more raw and repulsive, their rising and violent step seems not to stop. Power, fierceness, anger, saturated bass lines, rotten guitars with corrosive grooves, sickly percussion and unique vocal screams of these beasts. Beware! Protect yourself, they will be rammed by one of the most beastly albums of 2018.
~Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)
5. YOB – OUR RAW HEART / NEW!
Our Raw Heart. Yob. What can be said about their new album. Uplifting. Bleak. Reflective. Heartwarming. Challenging. Their most progressive record yet. Carrying on the similar vibes from their last album, Yob channel angry Doom metal sounds with their forward thinking lyrics that leave you questioning reality itself. The entire album channels the whole existence of the band with many familiar sounds but one that gives YOB a more legendary presence and perhaps a more human feel. The music is heavy and violent with the band building upon the historical sounds that they created on previous albums. The album runs for almost 73 minutes but Yob never outstay their welcome. Songs such as Ablaze, In Reverie, Beauty In Falling Leaves and Raw Heart leave you no doubt why they are regarded as one of the world’s best Doom Metal bands. This is Yob at their most aggressive and most passionate. Maybe I’m not the best person to review the new YOB album. However I do fully understand is that YOB IS LOVE and they’ve released the best Doom Metal Album of the year so far. Enough said.
~Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun)
4. MOS GENERATOR – SHADOWLANDS
(Port Orchard, Washington)
As indicated by the surprisingly menacing album art, Mos Generator has never been as heavy or dark as they are on Shadowlands. Past outings like 2014’s Electric Mountain Majesty have their hard-hitting moments, but it’s hard to think of a time when the Washington band’s approach has sounded this muscular. There’s not even been any shift to all-out metal either; Tony Reed and co.’s love of all things ’70s rock is firmly intact.
~Chris Latta (Indy Metal Vault)
3. WITCH MOUNTAIN – WITCH MOUNTAIN / NEW!
Witch Mountain’s fifth album may take a couple extra listens to get a feel for, but it does an excellent job of summing up everything that the band has to offer. You’ll find the same slow blues doom that they’ve been peddling since their 2011 comeback but there’s no denying that the singer switch resulted in what may be their most aggressive album so far. Longtime fans need not fear the changes, Witch Mountain has only gotten stronger.
~Chris Latta (Indy Metal Vault)
2. GRAVEYARD – PEACE / NEW!
Graveyard gave us a scare when they broke up in 2016, but just a few months later they were back in action with a new drummer. The band is better than ever on their fifth album, even if the songwriting isn’t quite as memorable as on Lights Out (2012). Possibly the most striking song is “Del Manic,” which has Joakim Nilsson reaching down into a lower register. Graveyard has always been more about locking in as an ensemble rather than showing off soloists, and the tensions between restraint and release pays off repeatedly.
~A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous)
1. SLEEP – THE SCIENCES
(San Jose, CA)
The Sciences man, ya dig?! It’s heavy as fuck. It’s weird as shit. The lyrics are insanely trippy and subversive. It’s all wrapped up in a Weedian ethos whose dank stench is stronger than ever. This is the album I’ve been waiting for. This is the album I needed. The Sciences is a genre defining album by the band that defined the genre over 20 years ago. They are the gods of the riff and they are stoned immaculate. The riff tree is risen and the Pterodactyl flies again. Fucking Righteous!
~Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom)
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); Bryan Coffey (Indy Metal Vault); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect); Clint (Hand of Doom Radio); Chris Latta (Indy Metal Vault); Doktor420 (Stoner HiVe); Doombeard (DoomBeardZine); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Gram ‘Son of Sam’ Pola (Dirty Denim); Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl); Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet); Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant); Lucas ‘LK Ultra’ Klaukein (Stoner HiVe, You May Be Dead & Dreaming); Jason Roach (Indy Metal Vault); Jay Morgan (High Desert Valley Radio); Joe Eldridge (Shadebeast Records); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio); Marcus Greybeard (FuzzHeavy Podcast); Mari Knox Knox (Doomed & Stoned); Mark Partin (Trendkill Radio);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); Mike Williams (I Talk to Planets); Pat Harrington (Electric Beard Of Doom); Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant); ‘Papa’ Paul 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).
Feel free to send in your albums to email@example.com where they’ll be delegated to the crew above to determine their thoughts and gather the votes at the end of the month.
This May 2018 edition of the Doom Chart was tallied by Bucky Brown and edited by Joop Konraad.