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…
Stevie, aKa Reek of Stoom, joined the Doom Charts crew in 2019 and is a featured writer over at our good friends and colleagues, Doomed & Stoned as well as Stoner HiVe. Stevie’s got some great taste and carries a lot of passion and drive in the underground scene helping spread the word any way he can. Check out some of his favorites below. As always, let us know what you think and be sure to drop on by our contributors pages for a deeper look into the heavy underground.
20. DR. AWKWARD AND THE SCREWS – GETTIN’ OUT OF STYLE
“Gettin’ out of Style” instantly throws you into the world of 70’s hard rock; ballsy, full of attitude and unashamedly straight-to-the-point. Subtlety goes right out of the window the moment Take Me Down begins…the band grooving into the glammed – up swagger of Silverhead without the sequinned cat-suits.Doomed recalls the power rock of Detroit as the inimitable Doctor struts like a fighting cock, hurling his meanest Alice Cooper sleaze at the mike. A thoroughly enjoyable 40 mins of retro rock delight. If you’re in that waiting-room of woe, here’s the good news – the Doctor will see you now…
19. GIN LADY – TALL SUN, CROOKED MOON
Tall Sun, Crooked Moon is the rarest of all precious stones: Lilting, harmonious country rock that breathed life back into a genre thought long-demised. Opener Everyone Is Love should be heard in every bar in Nashville: Gin Lady mix up a sweet julep of Neil Young and Allman Brothers licks that simply ooze through your ears like warm treacle.
18. THE ASTRAL VOID – MANDRAGORA
Mandragora takes us through a cornucopia of doom, stoner, electronica and general Far-Outness that will leave you in utter despair…but craving it! Side A wields 3 spine-melting pools of festering, nefarious Doom delivered with vigor and intent, whilst vocalist Gabrielle‘s laments sprinkle liberal doses of mandrake over the flesh. Side B: A cold, crippled capsule nine clicks from the nearest jump-gate…..alone in the ink of the life – sparse void. Engines dead, bulkheads creaking, LifeSup runs out in an hour…you contemplate the utter hopeless Truth: There is NO rescue.. and the darkness yaws with the ultimate horror of knowing you’ll never return… An impeccable EP that puts THE ASTRAL VOID firmly in the firmament of new-born stars.
17. SCARECROW – SCARECROW
Scarecrow oozes pure class: Emphatic, timeless grooves hewn from 70’s proto-metal and early 80’s NWOBHM that is strongly satisfying, masterfully executed and stamps a massive ‘CLASSIC’ tag on your frontal lobes.
16. MONARCH – BEYOND THE BLUE SKY
MONARCH, an impressive 5-piece outfit from Encitas, California exude the full 70’s aura of progressive rock: Organ shimmering, groove-inducing rhythm sections, sweet guitar licks and fusion-esque dynamics all rolled into an authentic early prog sound akin to Spring, Quatermass, Caravan etc. Musically accomplished and very easy on the ears, this album is a great introduction to any new proghead’s collection, and a shoe-in for us older guys who sigh wistfully and succumb to the nostalgia….
15. GÉVAUDAN – ITER
Iter is a dark, dystopian yet hauntingly beautiful album that plummets into stark crevices, scales sheer drops of despair and wallows in drowning pools of bleak introspection..masterful and moving.
14. HIPPIE DEATH CULT – 111
HIPPIE DEATH CULT‘s new opus, 111 reads like a rocker’s almanac: a mental cogniscence of every great band you ever heard…it’s all here – laid bare, unashamed and honest. An album that is immediately evocative of all the 70’s heavy blues giants and the influences can be heard throughout – but retro it is not…this is modern heavy rock music of the very highest order that just has enough of that nostalgic feel to be familiar. A triumph!
13. BEES MADE HONEY IN THE VEIN TREE – GRANDMOTHER
Stuttgart doomers BEES MADE HONEY IN THE VEIN TREE make a welcome return to the scene with their latest opus, Grandmother. Four strychnine-drenched blotters of loathing which immerse you in pustulent dissonance, atonal atmospheres and crawling cacophonies of gloom. BMHITVT have drawn the dark psyche of the subconscious to the surface, the horrible fascination and rancid beauty of rot – the distilled essence of doom. They invite you to look inside.
12. SOLAR HALOS – COILED LIGHT
SOLAR HALOS invoke subterranean noises; crusted walls of intense riffery, threaded motifs of mournful, despairing vocals from Nora Rogers underpinning overwhelmingly bleak landscapes of abrasive guitars and shuddering rhythms. SOLAR HALOS open a portal to an all-encompassing journey through the dank tenements of Doom. Witches and vulpines move aside…a new siren arises.
11. YEAR OF THE COBRA – ASH AND DUST
Vocally tight and melodic, the melodies on offer in Ash and Dust orchestrate the doom theatrically and forcefully. The Divine looms darkly sinister in a harsh shadow of savage riffery and counterpoints the title track’s hard punk spikiness and abrasive edges. The album exudes power and depth throughout, wreaking emotive anguish with each track. Highly accomplished!
10. THE LUCID FURS – NO GOD, NO PROBLEM
No God, No Problem is every reason I listen to heavy music. Immaculate, angst-riddled doom with blues flavourings and jazzy spices, topped with the fantastic voice of Karen O’Connor pleading, gasping and imploring for attention – the perfect blend of modern doom. Wait is track of the year, hands down!
9. OPIUM LORD – VORE
Vore is heavier than a gulag’s contraband search! Thick, foetid riffs smeared over a spine-snapping bass/drum combo with a malign presence unlike anything hitherto. Despairing wails clutch at the bleak, cruel noises, vainly trying to elicit hope in the foulest of pits. All 7 tomes weigh mighty and massive. Glory and the spoils ensue.
8. BOMBAY GROOVY – ODYSSEY
The level of musicianship on display in Odyssey is simply mind-boggling and the True fusion of East meets West is both evident and executed with a vigour and depth these old ears haven’t heard in too – long a time. Classic is an understatement: BOMBAY GROOVY have lit the incense and, indeed, the temple of prog fusion alight.
7. THE COSMIC DEAD – SCOTTISH SPACE RACE
Scottish Space Race is impossibly loud: breakneck pace. blistering heavy psych and a handful of blue meanies offer up a truly mind-expanding experience! A Glasgow brain-kiss with a multi-coloured bruise of wonder.
6. CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC – SECOND SIGHT
Second Sight throws potent waves of acidic and acerbic heavy psych cannons 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.
5. GEIST – SWARMING SEASON
GEIST, a collective of anger management consultants from NE England, were let loose in a smash room. The resulting cacophony was recorded during this session. Lightning fast, loud-as-fuck and lethal! Every single ounce of venom has been wrung from the fangs on this album and delivered intravenously….a chilling monolith to misanthropy. The authorities have been informed…
4. ELDER – GOLD & SILVER SESSIONS
The Gold & Silver Sessions heralds the return of a band who’s assuredness and constant striving has delivered a jewel of a release: a multi-faceted, shining stone of effortless psychedelia that bathes in warm shallows of serenity, meanders through inner-spatial mind caverns and ion- fueled excursions into the outer realms.
3. WEEED – YOU ARE THE SKY
Every once in a while an album comes along that ticks every box you’ve got: Intelligent, thought-provoking, entertaining and refreshingly different. Bainbridge Island’s WEEED have produced such an album. As with all great albums, You Are The Sky leaves you wanting more. Thoughts of the imagined glory of that elusive ‘extra track’ lingering long after the final notes ring out. This is a marvelous, satisfying and staggering display of just how good it can be when it all comes together.
2. MAMMOTH WEED WIZARD BASTARD – YN OL I ANNWN
For their fourth outing, the Welsh cabal summon up the dead spirit of DikMik to deliver the very echt of psychedelic doom. Majestic, vibrant slabs of sound that the Cymru dragon itself would fear. Outstanding!
1.PYLAR – HORROR CÓSMYCO
PYLAR are experimental black metal deconstructionists from Seville, Spain. Their latest work, Horror Cósmyco opens abyssal portals into hideous, unnamed realms of chaos. Imagine Oranssi Pazuzu doing abhorrent drugs with Keziah Mason then commandeering Event Horizon…you don’t need eyes where they’re going…A terrifying, strychnine-fuelled excursion into the very heart of pure, chaotic evil.
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); Tom Schmahl (Rock Circuz); 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.