Roberto Lucas is a hard working, passionate listening, and relentless supporter of the scene. Check his work out over at his site DenpaFuzzand have him take photos and do interviews of your bands show sometime. Check out his top 25 albums from 2019 below. He’s into the heavy psychedelic shit.
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…
25.- SPIDERGAWD – “V”
Seeming to go against the tide, with an involution in their compositional creativity, they present an album that is pure hard and heavy rock without complexities. A disc that smells like sweat with its powerful riffs, but the melodies are carefully pampered. Creating their own identity with vibrations similar to Kiss, Iron Maiden, Grand Funk, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Q.O.T.S.A, etc. and merging them with Tempest moments. With enough skill so that their songs are not at all bland, SPIDERGAWD builds songs that could become hymns by bringing fresh blood to a saturated panorama of proposals cut by the same cloth.
24.- BRUNT – “ATARAXY
True to their style, they are reaching to even deeper and showing more atmospheres. In this new album, the music will seize the senses and absorb the listeners with its psychotropic grooves and create a euphoric state of mind. Hypnotic, meditative, spellbinding-there are many adjectives you could use to describe an album that ends up being more of a graphic, sensory experience. This album is one of them-with each new listen you discover new matrices that make it much more enjoyable. ATARAXY, developed in the shadows is easily one of the great instrumental surprises of the times.
This new album is an opportunity for everyone who still hasn discovered one of the most solid and creative trios in the world of Instrumental Stoner and Heavy Psych. Relax and let the sensations come to you.
23.- SWAN VALLEY HEIGHTS – “THE HEAVY SEED”
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.
22.- MANTRA MACHINE – “HELIOSPHERE”
Based on tight riffs and high doses of space psychedelia, the Amsterdam trio embarks on a new odyssey beyond the confines explored by man. The heliosphere, that region located light years from the earth and where solar winds cause a magnetic bubble where you’ll find the planets of the solar system, including Earth. A complex system of layers that is perfectly reflected with the four long tracks of this album. A magnetism not exempt from desert echoes, supported by a pulsating bass line and an instrumental bet where the interplanetary mysticism is described is correct in each note.
21.- THE PILGRIM – “WALKING INTO THE FOREST”
Gabriele Fiori, the leader of BLACK RAINBOWS, KILLER BOOGIE and guru of the Heavy Psych Sounds label, puts on the loner-folk costume in his intimate solo project called THE PILGRIM. With the vocation of doing something other than heavy sounds and distortions, “WALKING INTO THE FOREST” offers a personal vision in which the musician is shown unleashed, performing ten acoustic songs full of arcadia and melancholy. A wonder to the delight of the most music lovers. An album to listen to and enjoy without complexes
20.- STEW – “PEOPLE”
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.
19.- AVER – “ORBIS MAJORA” (Australia)
At this point, it is no longer news that we receive a new album of huge proportions from this Australian volcano of the psychedelic and alternative scene. Taking us to the land they want us to experience, their compositions are born from a big-bang in which supernovas invade our minds with ecstatic passages of psychedelia combined with dense stoner moments. The whispering vocals that mutate into rawness and deep rage accompany the catharsis that the band “AVER” generates in each song. The magic made music in many of this supernatural album’s passages makes “ORBIS MAJORA” a strong analgesic for the welfare of the human mind.
18.- SAGENESS – “AKMÉ”
Sageness is a band that doesn’t need a singer to convey the infinity of sensations that it brings with its therapeutic compositions. With influences ranging from Colour Haze to Pink Floyd without losing its stoner rhythms and structures that flirt with post-rock. Intense while still being relaxing, this trio manages to lift our souls, taking us on a journey where no seat belts are required. Taking the listener on blasts through atmospheres of attractive heavy psychedelia where undulating stoner winds make an appearance by embedding themselves in thick riffs. One of the keys that make AKMÉ work so well is in the wonderful moments where the guitars traps us in their laps to caress us like a mother with a baby. A purifying musical story that you can slowly savor to appreciate all its nuances.
17.- THE SONIC DAWN – “ECLIPSE”
Here their music is more multicolored than ever, because the road to a better future begins in the mind, and the Danes know how to get to the deepest part of you. A journey away from darkness. Some might say a trip. Instead of catching the listener and walking him through long sections and alone to forget where he is, THE SONIC DAWN tries to do it by the direct route. There are tracks that seek to put you directly on the trip, without notice. With direct songs that get stright to the point without wasting delicacy, in a renewed version of certain moments make them seem like The Beatles of the 21st Century. All this plus, giving us exciting lysergic moments, may be one of the most brilliant ones offered so far.
16.- ELDER – “THE GOLD AND SILVER SESSIONS”
Any ELDER fan who looks here for the sound that brought them to fame with their magnificent and acclaimed “LORE” could be seriously disappointed. Here, the now quartet, does not sound like stoner, does not sound like doom, does not sound like ELDER as we have known them. Yes, it sounds like something quite different but wonderful. A completely instrumental work where the band experiments with sounds and silky psycho-progressive textures strongly influenced by kraut music. Three long songs in which the band seems to show itself without any type of ties being free to compose and execute something different. A trip to unknown atmospheres so far by the band.
15.- MARS RED SKY – “THE TASK ETERNAL”
An album that can satisfy both doom lovers and faithful followers of stoner-psychedelic sounds. A perfect combination of both styles that is seasoned with those honey-flavored voices, heiresses of the pop psychedelic music from sixties. A work that sounds like MARS RED SKY, but has an infinite compositional richness where nuances make it your most complete and exquisite album. Special and space, because lysergic vibrations invite us on a trip to unknown worlds, dense sideral atmospheres in which baroque psychedelia coexists with stoner-doom sounds in perfect harmony.
14.- BRANT BJORK – “JACOOZZI”
The son of desert escapes from the bowels of the dusty sounds to fly freely in the construction of “MANKIND WOMAN”, where he creates what could be a contemporary classic. Using blues, funk elements and, especially, following the swamp-rock roots, wraps them on a classic rock package; A sonic fusion somewhere between Cream and Tony Joe White, XXI century version. A voodoo ritual where Hendrix’ spirit comes back to mesmerise us with a sonic brew that is not an exercise in nostalgia, just draws inspiration in the golden age of rock, without the intention of imitating it or forcing a retro sound.
13.- THE BLACK WIZARDS – “REFLECTIONS”
Showing a commendable maturity, The Black Wizards immerse us in a bleak forest in which hallucinogenic mushrooms permeate their songs. High doses of psilocybin mixed with the DNA of the blues blues in a magical environment created by gentle tracks that lie down in the heavy-psych depths since its inception. A balanced work in which the old and the new live in perfect harmony. Elaborate themes that start from the most classic blues-rock but have an innovative character.
12.- THE LUNAR EFFECT – “CALM BEFORE THE CALM”
One of those albums of which, after the first chords and the first voices, you are caught between their grooves. With a tight rhythm section, an impressive vocal delivery and a huge arsenal of tasty and deep guitars. A modern version of rock firmly rooted in the seventies with blouse aftertaste. Through a psychedelic shamanic dyes, they spread blues vibrations with a penetrating and captivating voice.
11.- NUMIDIA – “NUMIDIA” (Australia)
From Australia, we are surprised with the debut of NUMIDIA. One of those pleasant surprises that we find every so often. A quintet in which three guitars split the leading roles on progressive psychedelia structures in which the sounds of the Middle East give a touch of exoticism and magic that, surely, will surprise the listener. There is no shortage of North African influences or heavy sounds that are combined with seventies hard rock elements in an album in which the dreamy atmospheres, heirs of some Pink Floyd moments, are not at odds with the heaviness of some passages and folk echoes. In addition, it includes the best version that I have ever encountered of a song from the legendary Erkin Koray. An AWESOME album!
10.- HÍBRIDO – “I”
̈Post-Alternative Rock, Progressive Psychodelia…or something like that… from Algeciras. Consisting of two thirds of Viaje a 800 and Atavism mixed with another killer guitar.̈ This is how HÍBRIDO describe themselves, and they aren’t wrong. Their freshman album brings us psycho-progressive sounds with a seventies lineage where we can find great creative moments. Drinking from the nectar which Atavismo has sucked, the inherited sounds of the pioneers of Andalusian rock are reflected in some of the five long songs that contain their grooves. Epic lyrics full of heavy rhythms and melancholic notes preside over a surprising and solid album.
09.- UFFE LORENZEN – “TRIPRAPPORT”
An album created in a summer house, between birches and the running of the rivers. Lonely places conducive to creation over fourteen days in which the musician was creating this wonder. UFFE himself comments that the first two days he was with his guitar thinking about how to start that adventure. The inspiration came from a fungus intake, and creativity came without brake. And how! Sweet melodies with a common denominator, the velvety and warm voice of UFFE and always a lysergic frange in diffuse sounds that remain in the background. A wrapper in which the psychedelic coming of the sixties unites with contemporary vibrations.
08.- CRYPT TRIP – “HAZE COUNTY”
Resonating exploration that echos the music of America in the seventies while staying true to their southern, rural, hard rock style. Although you can see the common denominator throughout the whole album, every one of the nine songs has a life of its own. Haze Country gives a new twist to the music a lot of us grew up on and that so many groups have mimicked.
07.- SACRI MONTI – “WAITING ROOM FOR THE MAGIC HOUR”
Without losing their kaleidoscopic and lysergic spirit, the San Diegan quintet continues to give us layered jams with excellent guitarwork. The group has delved deeper into progressive elements and with melodies that have been crafted and tended to carefully, something that marks them as different from the rest of the prolific scene in San Diego. If we open the heavy-psych packaging, we’ll find tracks with a clear progressive strand that weaves through and sustains the album, allowing it to not lose its freshness among much more complex compositional structures.
06.- MONKEY3 – “SPHERE”
A personal interstellar journey in which space-psych and stoner forcefulness are presents. With crystalline melodies, Pink Floyd’s passages, and gritty moments in which the band raises the intensity with portentous instrumental developments. Molding all the edges, their music flows in a completely magnetic way creating atmospheres that take us to spaces that allow us to be visited from a mental and sensory prism. A black hole in which we are trapped by relaxing moments in which its effects envelop and numb us, to wake up sharply with pharaonic megalithic landscapes. A step forward in your infinite creativity with a masterful execution
05.- BRIGHT CURSE – “TIME OF THE HEALER”
The British give a twist to the heavy and psychedelic scene with An album in which through five long themes they manage to play styles as varied as jazz, blues, psychedelia, progressive, stoner…. All supported by a rock of seventies origin, developing each song with care, to create a common story. Skilfully incorporating sounds of saxophone or flute that can dislodge you at first, but that finally tastes like blessed glory. Delicate in their melodies, the pair of guitars continue to howl in unison on a rhythmic basis that is always presented contained. If we join the vocal force of Ramain, and the passages in which they submerge in heavy-psych waters, we find ourselves a jewel that breaks stereotypes.
04.- MOTORPSYCHO – “THE CRUCIBLE”
As if they had taken the elixir of youth, this trio emits inspiration and versatility in a work that seems to be a continuation of their previous album. The incorporation of the Tomas Järmyr’s drum and his youth gives a different approach and a breath of fresh air reflected in his compositions. Now they immerse themselves in the progressive rock of the seventies with a mastery available to very few. Their creative ability seems infinite and here we find influences from Yes, or from a more experimental King Crimson. From those ashes, and their particular way of composing, they create their own musical legacy for the enjoyment of future generations, creating with their records a whole field to explore and learn.
(NO BANDCAMP LINK)
03.- LUNA CRUISE – “LUNA CRUISE”
A new re-incarnation of the “Lizard King” in the throat of Kris Heironimus, their vocalist, who brings his own personality the peculiar and authentic sound of THE DOORS in its most shamanic facet incorporating high doses of fuzz. The most hazy and smoky psychedelia as a point of inspiration for thirteen tracks that are a treasure in the 21st century. Songs that meander sensually to convey a spell that will stun us and cause us to lower our guard and attack us with a virulent force. Colored by the retro organ in pure Manzarek style, they bring us into the late sixties with an enveloping and bewitching sound.
02.- THE DEVIL & THE ALMIGHTY BLUES – “TREE”
This is a band that draws influences from a multitude of sounds with a measured cadence. The music is a parsimony that doesn’t get tiresome, with a strength that doesn’t quite scratch metal. With some slow tempos that the listener will love, this EP maintains the rawness of Arnt O. Andersen’s voice and haunting songs that seem calm, but always carry a grand force behind them. The magic makes these songs, with the spirit of blues coursing through its veins and the psychedelia always present. A psychotropic tour de force that never delivers bad trips, raw feelings that are never cloying, and a careful execution that puts them at the forefront of some of the most notable bands in this alternative scene. With hits that could be seen as monotonous, but aren’t, and with a voice that is never louder than necessary, Tre never loses its main essence. These attributes that possess an innate form are sure to make Devil and The Almighty Blues one of the greats
01.- COLOUR HAZE – “WE ARE”
COLOUR HAZE do not have to be accountable to anyone and in their new work they explore new ways in their sound without giving up their heavy-psych essence. Here we find a band that continues to evolve, looking for new ways that enrich their sound with more progressive vibrations. A band as prominent as COLOUR HAZE could stagnate in its sound and fame, but they decide to continue looking to the future with new routes in their music. We are not talking about any radical change, not anything like it, but we are facing an innovative album that at times sounds more than seventies than ever. A work in which we find varied stylistic influences that range from jazz to the bowels of progressive hard. An influence that touches scenarios more typical of the Canterbury sound than of heavy psychedelia, without losing its doses of stoner heaviness or the beauty of its classic psychedelic harmonies. A fundamental album that everyone would enjoy.
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.