“We know the sound of the freeway better than we do the rivers, the howl of distant trains better than wolf howls, we know the smell of gas and freshly wet concrete and burned rubber better than we do the smell of cedar or sage or even fry bread – which isn’t traditional… But nothing is original, everything comes from something that came before, which was once nothing. Everything is new and doomed…” -Tommy Orange, There There…
And that is, perhaps, why all us contributors love all of that heavy music that flows out there. Simply because it pays homage to what came before. More than most of the other stuff out there… The last time such a movement felt as righteous and big as this one right now; was back in the sixties, when there was that one faint moment in time when Peace & Love almost took the upper hand to everything else… We are not a political movement. We are not here to preach about anything else but music. Even if most of us are in fear for the current state of the world. The depletion of all the resources Mother Earth give us or the pollution we are causing. We are all living dangerously close to a precipice. The worldwide surge for Nationalistic values. The cancelling of treaties, conventions and agreements. It is eerily similar to the situation before WWI. Sorry; we mentioned the above when we are here to spread the good music; the stuff that makes us smile and the stuff that makes us go crazy… But it happened because the quote above actually refers to the history of the Native American, the Indians that used to populate the Americas. The ones that were brutally massacred by the white man ever since setting their boots upon its soil. Indeed… It seems there is no higher purpose for us… Mankind’s one and only destination is to destroy itself… After which, in a few thousand or million years, a new species will have its day in the sun… Everything is new and doomed…
Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, journalists, radio, podcasters and album reviewers from the 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…
29. GEVAUDAN – ITER
25. DÖ – ASTRAL DEATH CULT
On their second full-length release DÖ have conjured up six cavernous compositions that pack more than enough sonic density to deform spacetime and create their own black hole. Just press play, if you dare, and allow yourself to “sail straight into nature’s most ominous destination” where space and time cease to be meaningful ideas.
24. GOATESS – BLOOD AND WINE
Goatess are conveying us to a feast. Their altar is full and the old gods can rejoice themselves! Yes, you can drink Blood and Wine at will. The addition of new members on bass and vocals insufflate a fresh wind into the band. The whole album is tasty concoction of Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, Desert Rock and Heavy Blues that will intoxicate you. I hope you’re ready to take part to this orgy of groovy riffs that will make your head bop heavily!!!
23. STEW – PEOPLE / NEW!
Heavily influenced by blues-rock and 70s hard rock (as Swedish people usually are), the young band crafts 11 straight songs, without tricks, that brings back the best moments of the 70s. They, irreverently and without shame, play the songs as they were seasoned veterans. They are classic rock lovers on fire building a crackless work, a whole album in which the essence of the best 70s blues-rock vibrates. Although they are influence by bands like Led Zeppelin, Bad Company o the early Whitesnake, they dress like Free when they dive into pure heavy-blues. A vocal fierceness driven by an everlasting rhythmic section over which some acid guitars slap you in the face.
22. CYCLES OF THE DAMNED – A TIME TO SURVIVE / NEW!
My face melted after hearing this corrosive sludge/post-metal.
21. CRYPT SERMON – THE RUINS OF FADING LIGHT
In the past few years there’s been a number of ‘epic doom’ bands that seem to abandon ‘doom’ on new releases – thankfully the guys in Crypt Sermon are trend killers who are keeping things deep, dark, and diabolical! The Ruins of Fading Light is filled with grand, sinister riffs that evoke images of sorcerers poring through tomes by candlelight and warriors on ill-fated trips down into the catacombs. It’s an arcane mix of might and magic, where the blunt, brooding force of the rhythm meets loud, searing mysticism in guitar leads and vocals!
20. SCARECROW – SCARECROW
Scarecrow successfully and very ably bridge that gap between Prog-tinged 70’s Hard Rock and Modern Doom, spectacular vocals evoking magnificence from these superb Russians. The title track alone is worth it..a brilliant display of intense and sublimely-crafted musicianship with a truly vintage feel.
~REEK OF STOOM
19. PARASOL CARAVAN – NEMESIS / NEW!
Riding under the umbrella of Stoner Rock, the band explores a sonic palette that goes beyond the typical stoner fare. Creating dynamic ditties full of angst at times and a penchant for melody at others. Boasting a killer sounding production with plenty of fuzz and gristle. An almost Tool meets Queen of the Stone Age vibe, without sounding like either. In a perfect world these guys would be on every radio station across the globe.
18. BLACK MASTIFF – LOSER DELUSIONS / NEW!
This is heavy rock played with a soulful bounce and swagger. Stoner grooviness is the bedrock to which the meat of the songs are hung upon but there is a dreamlike quality that stands them apart. Vocals seem unhurried and full of wistful longing for promises unrealized. Don’t get me wrong – this still rocks like a bastard but there is an elegance and restraint shown in the song passages which are not often realized by a lot of bands. Good solid riffs drive the tracks along, making this album a blast from start to finish.
17. HOLY SERPENT – ENDLESS / NEW!
Searing riffs awash with psychedelic, languid vocals and melancholy chord changes… Holy Serpent have put The Beatles and Electric Wizard into the bullet bender (along with their own 11 secret herbs and spices), emerging with a remarkably infectious and gravity-laden album in Endless. From the descending crush of the opening track ‘Lord Deceptor’ all the way through to the cavernous psychedelia of the album closer Mariana Marinara ‘Marijuana Trench’ (feel that riff burn at the 2-minute mark!) it’s an incredibly satisfying listen. They’ve just recently wound up their European tour and this album should see Holy Serpent snaking their way around the globe to the likes of Roadburn,
DesertFest and Freak Valley if there’s any justice out there!
16. ZOAHR – OFF AXIS / NEW!
From those first electrified moments of opening track Interstate ’68, you know what kind of trouble you are in when you get into the new Off Axis album by German power trio ZOAHR. Addictive trouble! Call your sponsor now! Cause this is heavy blues of yore, the psychedelic touches of the seventies and a hard rocking drive that will immediately have you lusting for more. And there is so much more; and it comes with spacey elements, atavistic stoner an intense amount of energy, grit and spirit. ZOAHR will have you soaring along the great magnetic currents through space and time!
15. BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT – VEILS OF WINTER / NEW!
Psych/Doom played with a difference. That the vocalist is a female is something I would normally never mention. You would never review a band and start off with by telling people that the vocals are male! Anyway, I feel that in this case it is justified because of the extraordinary quality that resonates throughout this album. Super smooth layered vocals over relentless riffs makes this the bastard child of Opeth and The Carpenters! The sound just washes over you and makes you hit play again when the end comes.
14. GROTTO – LANTERN OF GIUS / NEW!
Another excellent release from Grotto who are pretty much an instant buy no need to listen first as far as I’m concerned. I’d love to see their brand of saturated heavy psych get more love as they’re very underrated … Tremendous !!
13. SWAN VALLEY HEIGHTS – THE HEAVY SEED
(Munich / Berlin, Germany)
A whole waterfall of fuzz and heavy-psych of high flights on a trip to states in which the mind is carried away. We found a band that has been seduced by the attractive influence of heavy psychedelia, without forgetting its more desert origins. Much more refined, but without losing an iota of energy, Swan Valley Heights channel their creativity along the path drawn by Color Haze or Rotor. A trip to new sensory sensations in which the powerful riffs rise to guard warm and seductive lysergic melodies.
Swan Valley Heights sounds like a scenic place with gorgeous homes, nestled in near a lake inhabited by dozens of regal swans. If you pictured that in your head then you have an idea of how beautiful I find Swan Valley Heights music to be. This album is one of the best I’ve heard in quite a while, and I’m sure you’ll all feel the same way after listening!
12. SANDVEISS – SABOTEUR
(Quebec City, Québec)
Thunderous, fuzzed, and vibrant heavy rock. Quebec’s Sandveiss are taking cues from old school metal, ’90s grunge, and modern stoner rock to create a sound that’s quintessentially their own. Of special note are the powerful vocals, courtesy of Luc Bourgeois, with backing vox by Shawn Rice, both of which also play the crushing guitar riffs. The band is rounded off by Maxime Moisan on bass and Dominic Gaumond on the drums. A real powerhouse of an album, it shifts between moods seamlessly, each song representing itself with a deadly serious delivery. As a successor to their KILLER previous album, Scream Queen, Saboteur holds its own and shows growth from the band, both in writing and musicianship. Saboteur is not meant to be played at lower decibels. Each one of these tunes will crush you, even the stripped-down closing track. Heavy melodic stoner rock, easily making a few of our end of the year lists.
11. NIGHTSTALKER – GREAT HALLUCINATIONS / NEW!
Nightstalker return with their sixth LP Great Hallucinations and prove once again their well-earned reputation. Invoking hazy vocal hooks, mastery of groove, and a combination of warm tone and thick crunch, the quartet provide an unquestionably professional album of classic, psych-tinged stoner rock from start to finish…. Showing off the songwriting skills developed over their decades-long tenure, Nightstalker deliver a hip-shaking masterclass in psychedelic stoner rock with Great Hallucinations, laying down groove upon fuzzy groove with style to spare.
10. VVLVA – SILHOUETTES / NEW!
They follow the heavy prog path along Uriah Heep or Atomic Rooster with a sound that evokes undoubtedly to Wishbone Ash. Being melodious and symphonic, they craft dreamy passages full of beauty using the helping hand of the intense and breathtaking organ and a seductive guitar that grasp the listener through subtleness. The lively retro vibes are constant and the melancholy is full of light with thick and pompous structures. They wave each song to achieve a familiar but, at once, distinct sound. This is the soundtrack for fairy tales in which darkness and nostalgia bring us to different ages
9. HOWLING GIANT – THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS
Nashville’s genre distorting, cosmic craftsmen to the power of 3 blast off on their first full-length journey. The Space Between Worlds is a conceptually-themed construct capturing one of underground music’s most promising acts in all their psyche-punk / stoner metal glory… with Sci-Fi ever their muse, Howling Giant have set the bar high outside the box and way above the stratosphere. One may stamp Album Of The Year Contender on this opus… One small step for Blues Funeral Recordings, one Howling Giant leap for greatness!
~PAT “RIOT” WHITAKER
8. THE GRAND MAL – THE GRAND MAL / NEW!
When members of two of Oxford, UK’s finest come together you’ve got to expect fireworks and fireworks is exactly what you get from The Grand Mal. Elliot Cole and Ryan Cole from Desert Storm and Rob Glen and Dave-O from Mother Corona have joined forces to bring to our ears a glorious sound that is hard, heavy and raucous yet at the same time is melodious and catchy, a wonderful amalgamation of desert rock grooviness, hard rock bluster and stoner rock growl that is mellow and aggressive in equal measure.
7. KADAVAR – FOR THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST / NEW!
German hard psych rockers Kadavar’s fifth album, For The Dead Travel Fast, in which they try on the skin suits of Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats’ psych noir. Not their fiery best, but quite fun. Great way to start PSYCHing up for Halloween: “IT RUBS THE LOTION ON IT’S SKIN…”
~TONY VAN DORSTON
Friends. Weedians. Metalheads. Lend me your ears. I would like to present to you Kadavar’s, For The Dead Travel Fast, so that it might take its rightful place among the pantheon of great albums that have made heavy ripples in 2019. With fierce guitar leads and thumping bass and drum this trio possesses everything that was and is great about the 60’s/70’s era of “classic rock.” This album has the soul of The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack and some of the seediness of Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats to boot. Need I say more? Perhaps. JUST PRESS PLAY! You’ll be a better person for having done so.
GET IT HERE6. PSEUDO MIND HIVE – OF SEERS AND SIRENS / NEW!
(Brunswick East, Australia)
Instant Doom smacks you upside the head: the dirty, Stone-fuelled riffs of Sails At Dawn switch fast and slow. mimicking the tidal drag towards the sea and the furious heave-ho of oarsmen. The Dreamer’s Burning Door is a rapid machine-gun burst of heavy organ and chugging riffs, Gaze of Ptolemy a grinding, slow bubbling culture that bursts into peaking solos and anthemic oomph! A superb example of Australian Psychedelic Doom.
~REEK OF STOOM
5. BLACK ROAD – WITCH OF THE FUTURE / NEW!
Halloween is a great day for the release of Black Road’s debut album, Witch Of The Future. I’ve watched Black Road develop for the past several years, playing all kinds of gigs around Chicago, and just showing up as fans. They’re true doom metal scholars and supporters of the scene. Tim has brewed some sweet ‘n’ evil tones from his bubbling cauldron of riffs, while Suzi’s vocals have achieved new levels of control and range, from ethereal whispers to powerful wails.
~TONY VAN DORSTON
4. PARALYZED – HIDDEN SUN / NEW!
Sporting a fuzzed out, raucous mix of 70s rock fury and Sabbathian nod, newcomers Paralyzed wield their groove with the skill of old pros. Flowing between lively blues and plodding doom crunch, the ripping guitar, full bass, and commanding vocals propel these Germans’ first EP into instant classic territory.
3. MONOLORD – NO COMFORT
Those that know me, know that I have never been aboard the Monolord bandwagon. Ya, ya, ya call me crazy. That said, I have always respected the band for successfully curating their own brand of low, slow, yet crushingly loud and fuzz-laden doom. On No Comfort I guess you can say I finally “get it”. Or at least the band have matured in their sound and delivery such that I remain fully engaged throughout the entire album. The vocals have a very accessible reverb-laden howl to them both haunting and psychedelic to the touch. The riffs remain colossal with an added emphasis on melody. They have pushed the boundaries of previous monolithic distortion, with a more intricate wall of tripped out groove, innate solos and expanded their horizon to incorporate a rather euphoric flavor with twists and turns that I didn’t quite get on their earlier recordings. If you were hanging with me off board the bandwagon, consider No Comfort a rather comfortable entrance into Monolord fandom. They are undoubtedly masters of their craft and prove to be progressive without sacrificing on sheer amplification. Well done gents, well fucking done.
Man, these guys are dull. On the strength of the reviews given to their 2017 album Rust I saw then live. Meh. Volume and the ability to play one chord very slowly did not impress. So on to No Comfort.
There seems to be a new urgency to the songs this time around. Compositions have light and shade to them. Tunes have some epic and hummable riffs. Lots of lovely, sparkling solos are strewn throughout to give variety and tone. In short, I think this is the best thing they have ever done and fucking love this album. Whether die-hard fans will like it, I’m not sure but this time around Monolord have produced something that stands out. Please send hate mail via: Doom Charts!
2. CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC – SECOND SIGHT / NEW!
CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC’s new brainstormer, Second Sight sees potent waves of acidic and acerbic heavy psych cannon from the speakers: a free-wheeling, foaming and feisty two-tracker which shows a continuing of the path they took with Evil Eye..it’s a lot trippier, Doomier and crazier and reminds me of the latest COSMIC DEAD album in many ways….guaranteed to take you to The Outer Limits.
~REEK OF STOOM
1. SAINT KARLOFF – INTERSTELLAR VOODOO / NEW!
One song, 40 minutes long could end up like a musical suicide but Saint Karloff manage to attract my ear canal the whole trip. After the song is done, I press play again.
Don’t sleep on this song. It’s a real dopesmoker. Actually it’s pure seventies bliss for 40 minutes.
~’PAPA’ PAUL ROTE
Interstellar Voodoo dragged me off on an epic quest of crumbling empires, ancient battles, and dope-filled alien worlds with their trademark fuzz wizardry. By the end of it, I’m spent, my jaw’s hanging, and my Jaffa cake broke off into the coffee. An outstanding romp through the gamut of Underground sound!
~REEK OF STOOM
Special thanks to the ongoing contributors to the monthly Doom Chart. You folks help give voice to the heavy underground:
Aaron Pickford (The Sludgelord); Adam Walsh (Earmunchies); Andy Benson (Nerve Salad); 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); Bob “Mr. Weird Beard” Baker (More Fuzz Podcast); 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 Beck (Doom Tomb Podcast); 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 (Fistful 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); Kyle Twadelle (Stoner HiVe); Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant); Lucas Klaukien (Outlaws of the Sun); Lyk (Phantasmagoria); Magnus Tannergren (Into The Void Radio); Marc-Eric Gagnon (Stonefly Effects); 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); Reek of STOOM (Stoner HiVe); Remi (Remi VL); Roberto Lucas (Denpa Fuzz); Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235); Rod Reinhardt (Captain Beyond Zen); Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams); Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun); Steve Miller (Vertical Chamber Apparatus); Steve Rodger (God’s Holy Trousers); Steve Woodier (Shrieks From Below); Svempa Alveving (Into The Void Radio); Tanguy ‘Mr Fuzz’ Dupré (More Fuzz); Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews); Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter, Stoner HiVe); Tony Van Dorston (Fast n Bulbous)
Feel free to send in your albums to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.