Doom Charts – December 2018

The two most joyous times of the year are Christmas morning and the end of school.
-Alice Cooper

Christmas has passed, and most schools are out on winter break, but I think Alice could agree, the third most joyous time of year is Doom Chart release day. December chart is here. We say it every year, but 2018 will go down in the books as one of the busiest and best years of quality heavy underground releases. Hell, one could argue the current decade will go down as the best of all time due to the ease of discovery and accessibility afforded by the world wide web and social media. We are here to do our part by sharing what the collective mass of various music junkies involved here at the Doom Charts has been digging. Despite the urge to just go straight into a “best of the year” type list, we figured it would be fair to include December as a typical month since there is 12 of them in a full year. December tally yielded 344 different albums sent in by almost 30 of our fellow contributors. To make it this month an album needed at least 4 votes and the higher the ranking the more weight as usual. #1 pick had 11 votes out of nearly 30 different lists for a feel for the competition we see each month. All picks are sent in with non-biased passion by our contributors who have been faithful at sharing what they are digging during the month.

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…

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TAR PIT

25. TAR PIT – TOMB OF DOOM / NEW!

300 POINTS

(Portland, Oregon)

Tomb Of Doom is a solid debut from a band showing a lot of promise. Well-timed dynamics and effective feedback dissonance enhance the doom factor across the 5 tracks. But what elevates this release beyond being just another good doom offering are the subtle grooves fueling the overall feel of the tracks, in true Sabbathian fashion. Tar Pit look to be the “next man up” in the long and doomy legacy built by the Portland heavy music scene.

~Marcus Greybeard (FuzzHeavy Podcast)

GET IT HERE

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UNCLE ACID

24. UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS – WASTELAND

312 POINTS

(Cambridge, England)

In an overwhelmed sub-genre as doom metal, with all the “revivalist” and sweet-nostalgic heavy rock acts and compounding numbers of superfans, a fifth album from a band who’s been sticking to its recognizable style and sound from the beginning, might be an easy one to neglect.

Alas, the thrill is not gone! It takes a few spins for the sentiment to build up. Especially if you’ve been on the Deadbeats’ boat since I’ll Cut You Down. The latest album release was a bit of a surprise and it didn’t take much more from the first news about it and the actual release from Rise Above Records. Shorter in length than its predecessors, Wasteland is all about melodic guitars and classic vocal harmonies, maintaining the emblematic VHS-rendered audio snippets and synth chillers. Diverse, raw, and complete, these English men have abandoned the mysticism about their image, for whatever reason. Just play it louder, if it resists to fit in, it is worth it!

~Martin Petrov (Rawk’n’Roll)

GET IT HERE

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BIRNAM WOOD

23. BIRNAM WOOD – WICKED WORLDS

315 POINTS

(Boston, Massachusetts)

Shakespearean doom. Macbeth and the three witches all can agree, this should be played at devastating levels once a day… and twice on the Sabbath. Favorite track: Return to Samarkand.

~Adam Walsh (Earmunchies)

GET IT HERE

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DOMKRAFT

22. DOMKRAFT – FLOOD

318 POINTS

(Stockholm, Sweden)

Domkraft harness the power of the riff and points it like a sharp arrow straight into your heart and ears. With a unique sound these swedes have managed to develop a whole sonic universe for  unlike anything else I have heard this year. Flood is a big step forward for the band adding more psychedelia, atmosphere, bigger dynamics and with a vision for the music that is clearly visible in the music. Amazing!

~Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio)

GET IT HERE

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ARCADIAN CHILD

21. ARCADIAN CHILD – SUPERFONICA

330 POINTS

(Limassol, Cyprus)

Arcadian Child has quickly become one of my favorite artists. The tapestries of sound they weave, effortlessly, are among the best musical pieces that I have heard all year. New album, Superfonica, finds the band settling into a more mature, focused direction, and creating an album that, to me, is second to none this November. This is great stoner-psych from Roque Wave Records!

~Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews)

GET IT HERE

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GREENBEARD

20. GREENBEARD – ONWAR, PILLAGER / NEW!

365 POINTS

(Austin, Texas)

Part of what makes Greenbeard special is the creativity and diversity they bring to each release. They can deliver crushing fuzz, psychedelia, ripping blues-infused rock, and hooky radio-ready tracks with equal authenticity. ‘Onward, Pillager’ shows the band continuing to push the boundaries of their sound and creativity, leaving us to salivate over what their next release may hold in store.

~Marcus Greybeard (FuzzHeavy Podcast)

GET IT HERE

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GOBLINSMOKER

19. GOBLINSMOKER – TOAD KING / NEW!

380 POINTS

(Durham, UK)

‘Toad King’ is easily one of the most impressive debut’s of the year! Durham’s two-piece are like a couple of Shaman who’ve risen up from murky waters to summon a Toad King. Their DNA is harmoniously stacked with blackened stoner sludge so prepare for a thick inescapable riff fog leading you directly to the void. Goblinsmoker give us three tracks that ebb and flow on a massive scale drowning all in their path. Musically, it’s everything I love about heavy doom; drone, thick melody, excellent structure, and most importantly vocals that truly perfect the sound, spat like venom quickly vaporizing into our lungs. Gobinsmoker’s ‘Toad King’ released on Sludgelord Records brings doom, death, and Sabbath to all.

~Melissa Spence, (Stoner Witch Radio)

GET IT HERE

 

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DAWN OF WINTER

18. DAWN OF WINTER – PRAY FOR DOOM / NEW!

425 POINTS

(Stuttgart, Germany)

The band is Stuttgart’s Dawn of Winter. The cool thing about that is that it is a testament to their lasting power. I mean, it’s been 28 years since their inception, they’ve had no lineup changes, and they are still gaining new fans, while releasing outstanding music; as is the case with their recent offering, Pray for Doom.

~Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews)

GET IT HERE

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SPACELORD

17. SPACELORD – INDECIPHER

444 POINTS

(Buffalo, New York)

Blues rock with a southern twang, groovy, wild and dangerous like a stoner truck that’s about to hit a curve at full speed! But they pull out, and gun it straight up into the sky where they continue to surf the cosmic waves while dancing to seventies riffs and hard rock fills. This is some straight up classic stuff! Spacelord’s new album Indecipher has everything to become just as legendary as those albums from the riff Gods of yore.

~Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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MANSION

16. MANSION – FIRST DEATH OF THE LUTHERAN / NEW!

470 POINTS

(Turku, Finland)

Mansion turns up the creep factor on their new album First Death of the Lutheran – full of gloriously eerie, cult-inspired doom that will have your hair standing on end! Riffs crawl through the shadows accompanied by haunting vocal melodies and a host of ghostly touches that create an unsettling atmosphere for their songs of Christian condemnation and doomsday. While you’re listening you won’t be able to escape the feeling that something sinister is lurking behind you, but it’s so good that you probably won’t want to!

~Brandon Collins(Super Dank Metal Jams)

GET IT HERE

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WIZARD MUST DIE

15. WIZARD MUST DIE – IN THE LAND OF THE DEAD TURTLES / NEW!

475 POINTS

(Lyon, France)

Turtles and Wizards all battling for survival, in this brilliant recording. ‘In the Land of Dead Turtles’ creates the perfect balance between psychedelia, progressive fuzz and stoner rock. Boasting a slick production and memorable songwriting, I cant quit listening to it, One of the biggest surprises of the year and an album that sticks with you long after the final note.

~Adam Walsh (Earmunchies)

GET IT HERE

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MISTY GREY

14. MISTY GREY – CHAPTER II / NEW!

498 POINTS

(Madrid, Spain)

Chapter II is a perfect title for the new Misty Grey album because the controversial singer from the first album has been replaced. Incredible swamp witch vocals accompany some classic old school doom with an amazing tone that soothes the doomed soul.

~‘Papa’ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned)

GET IT HERE

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13. WINDHAND – ETERNAL RETURN

553 POINTS

(Richmond, Virginia)

As expected, Eternal Return is a superb comeback from Windhand. Each album reaches surprising levels, instrumentally perfect, and with a touch of 90’s heavy rock. The work done by Jack Endino adds all of his knowledge from the grunge era making it slightly less obscure and a bit more sweet but still maintaining the heaviness that characterizes this quartet from Richmond. This record is a good approach for people that maybe didn’t get much into the previous work, but still has the magic that the previous albums have.

~Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)

GET IT HERE

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THUNDER HORSE

12. THUNDER HORSE – THUNDER HORSE

616 POINTS

(San Antonio, Texas)

These bunch of Texans stomp through 6 songs like the bastard child of Motorhead and Orange Goblin. Clean’ish’ vocals sit on top of a powerful mix of riffs, fuzz, a pounding rhythm section and some meaty solo madness. Thunder Horse take all the elements of the music we love, inject it with some punk attitude and present us with something modern sounding while still worshiping at the altar of all things heavy. This is the good shit.

~Tony Maim (Black Insect LaughterStoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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KING BUFFALO

11. KING BUFFALO – LONGING TO BE THE MOUNTAIN

666 POINTS

(Rochester, New York)

For starters: Longing To Be The Mountain is one of the best album titles and already offers an insight to what is to come. In tune with nature the new King Buffalo record takes you through the wide expanse and above the big wide divide. This is sleeping the dream kind of stuff! This is introspective and stellar at the same exact moment. It reminds of that line from a long lost poem: ‘all my life, my heart has sought for a thing I cannot name’. And with this album we can state: it has been found…

~Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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PALE DIVINE2

10. PALE DIVINE – PALE DIVINE

696 POINTS

(Glen Mills, PA) 

Six years have passed since “Painted Windows Black”. Now Pale Divine returns with a high class album of traditional, heavy doom. Just a very few bands reach this level of perfection. It’s simple but effective musical structure and in an extremely neat vocal execution by Greg Diener, one of the best voices in the genre. A dream comeback that exceeds many expectations, along with “Excalibur” by Iron Void are, maybe, the best traditional doom album of the year.

~Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235)

GET IT HERE

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9. CAPTAIN CARAVAN – SHUN THE SUN

704 POINTS

(Egersund, Norway) 

“Crunch”, such a strange word on its own but when applied to the sound a guitar makes, when all its strings are attacked at once, then the word kind of comes into its own. There is a ton of “crunch” to be found on Captain Caravan’s “Shun the Sun” and it is that old fashioned “crunch” that used to grace the albums by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Montrose and UFO. This is what Captain Caravan are all about, the band blending an “old school” hard/classic rock vibe with that of a more “new school” stoner/desert flavouring and weaving the two dynamics into a sound that combines the best of both.

~Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist)

GET IT HERE

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CRANEIUM

8. CRANEIUM – THE NARROW LINE

744 POINTS

(Turku, Finland)

Craneium deliver an infectiously thrilling rock ‘n roll record laden with elements of psychedelia, desert rock, and much more. Immense grooves drive this music while a simmering commercial appeal flows from its contents… Finland’s Craneium once again prove themselves to be one of the underground’s best.

~Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (Riff Relevant)

GET IT HERE

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SAMAVAYO

7. SAMAVAYO – VATAN

770 POINTS

(Berlin, Germany) 

Imagine the progressive crunch of TOOL mixed with the fuzzy groove of say Truckfighters or Gozu and you have yourself a Samavayo sound. These guys have once again destroyed all expectations with an extremely melodic output of heavy rock and metal.

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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6. WASTED THEORY – WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC

824 POINTS

(Delaware….. I mean Delaware

Delaware weedians WASTED THEORY’s fourth release, Warlords of the New Electric [2018 ARGONAUTA RECORDS], is a very well-written, well-produced relentlessly pile-driving, fuzzed-out psychedelic offering. This four-piece has a “get in the left lane and hammer down” mentality that is undeniable, shifting gears at the just the right times and making it truly fun to listen to. Underneath the hard partying persona that the band projects is a unit that you can easily tell puts in the time and effort into their craft. I am thinking that band practice is probably something these guys genuinely look forward to because they are fucking tight!.  Bastard County, Heavy Bite, Weed Creature and  Rawhide Hellride are particular standouts on this album. And how can you ever go wrong with an album title like Warlords of the New Electric?! If you ask me, I think they should change the band’s moniker to that ha ha!! For my money, it is one of the best stoner rock albums of the year so far and there sure as hell been a lot of them.

~Marc C. Pietrek (VITRIOL, INC / A DARK UNITED FRONT)

GET IT HERE

 

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RIFFLORD

5. RIFFLORD – 7 CREMATION GROUND/MEDITATION

1026 POINTS

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) 

Ever listen to an album for the first time and the just sort of sit there, dazed with eyes wide and subconsciously shaking your head as you directly ask your speakers “what the fuck just happened?” No? Well, you’ve been a goddamned deprived music listener, man, It happens to me maybe four times a year. ‘7 Cremation Ground / Meditation made it my number five for 2018.

~Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant)

GET IT HERE

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LORD VAPOUR

4. LORD VAPOUR – SEMUTA / NEW!

1106 POINTS

(Guernsey, Norway) 

Lord Vapor blew me away back in 2016 with their debut outing ‘Mill Street Blues’ and became high on the radar as a band to watch out for. I have been jonesing for Lord Vapour vinyl ever since and now that dream is a reality on their latest and one of my most anticipated albums of the year. ‘Semuta’ builds upon the foundation laid by ‘Mill Street Blues’ a heavy fortress of far out blues reinforced with fuzz, textured with psychedelics bronzed with burly vocals. In these 6 songs, Lord Vapour perch the ultimate throne of heavy rock and roll; a throne upholstered by brawn, grit, and super heated by solos and funk leaving us kneeling at the altar of the almighty riff.

~Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect)

GET IT HERE

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HUATA

3. HUATA – LUX INITIATRIX TERRAE

1570 POINTS

(Rennes, France) 

Huata and their newest offering, Lux Initiatrix Terrae, have gifted us with 7 tracks of heavy doom riffs, wonderful clean vocals, and the heaviness of Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Only the instrumental interludes are short, as the other 5 tracks all clear the ten minute mark; but that time flies by as Huata takes the listener on a sonic journey that just needs to be heard by one and all. Great album!!!

~Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews)

GET IT HERE

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2. FOGHOUND – AWAKEN TO DESTROY

1672 POINTS

(Baltimore, Maryland) 

Foghound play heavy rock’n’roll which draws heavily on Stoner Rock. This four piece are a walking rhythm machine – everything sounds super tight and together but never loses the rawness that makes this album hurtle along so well. Song compositions are short and sharp with riffs that stick in the head and make you wanna join in with the chorus. The ten tracks flow really well and the groove (not a dirty word as far as I am concerned) make you want to put the album on again as soon as it ends.

~Tony Maim (Black Insect LaughterStoner HiVe)

GET IT HERE

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holy grove II

1. HOLY GROVE – HOLY GROVE II

1771 POINTS

(Portland, Oregon)

You rarely encounter bands that possesses the raw power and soul of rock’n’roll. And it’s even more rare to find a band that can harness that power and create great art. Holy Grove has from the beginning shown that they had the potential to become a great band. But little did we know that this band from Portland would evolve into this. This is the raw and naked power of rock held in total control and this album is a journey that will take you beyond any border of heavy music you can imagine. And Andrea Vidal is soaring high above us all with a voice that even the gods of rock will envy.

~Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio)

GET IT HERE

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Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Chart.  You folks help give voice to the heavy underground:

Adam Walsh (Earmunchies); A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous); Bryan Coffey (Indy Metal Vault); Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer); Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned); Rob Blasko (VolumeForever.com); Bobby Rayfield (Trendkill Radio); Brandon Collins(Super Dank Metal Jams); Bryan Coffey (Indy Metal Vault); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect);  Clint Willis (Hand of Doom Radio);Chris Latta (Indy Metal Vault); Doktor420(Stoner HiVe);  Doombeard (DoomBeardZine);  Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist);  Geoff Leapord (Atom Heart Mutha); Gram ‘Son of Sam’ Pola (Dirty Denim);  Héctor “Mr. Heavyhead” Hurtado (More Fuzz); Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl); Jamey Morris (Fistfull of DOOM); Jason Roach (Indy Metal Vault); Jay Morgan (High Desert Valley Radio); Jim Thompson (Heavy in the Hills); Joe Eldridge (Shadebeast Records); John Gist, (Vegas Rock Revolution); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet); Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant);Lucas Klaukien (Outlaws of the Sun); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio);  Marc C. Pietrek (VITRIOL, INC / A DARK UNITED FRONT); Marcus Greybeard (FuzzHeavy Podcast); Mari Knox Knox (Doomed & Stoned); Mark Partin (The Ripple Effect); Martin Petrov (Rawk’n’Roll); Matt Slighter (Cheeto) (Hwy 420, Core of Destruction Radio) 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 Lucas (Denpa Fuzz); 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); Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews);Tony Maim (Black Insect LaughterStoner HiVe).

Feel free to send in your albums to stonerdoomcharts@gmail.com where they’ll be delegated to the crew above to determine their thoughts and gather the votes at the end of the month. Leave us comments below and let us know what you think about the Charts.

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