Today we feature Hector “Mr. Heavyhead” Hurtado, who’s a featured reviewer over at More Fuzz. Hector like his doom like he likes his heavy metal and that is epic. He’s shared 30 of his top albums from 2019 with short reviews. Pay attention, he knows his shit. Thanks Hector and thanks to all the bands who have sent in material for us to check out.
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…
1. Atlantean Kodex – The Course of an Empire
Six years after the incredible “The White Goddess” The Germans are back with their trademark Epic Metal sound, making this, at least for me, the best album of the year. The artwork is also incredible, thanks to the work of Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski. MAGNIFICENT!
2. Crypt Sermon – The Ruins of Fading Light
So you like Epic Doom Metal and wanna hear something more besides Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus? Crypt Sermon shouted out the world how great they were back in 2015 with their debut “Out Of The Garden”. With their sophomore they’ve reach a new level as musicians and composers. Pay attention to those lyrics and vocals work, it’s not for free they’re the only band with clean vocals signed to Dark Descent Records.
3. Smoulder – Time of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring
When you finish “Time Of Obscene And Evil Wild Daring” you know you have listened to one of the best debut albums of recent times. Bands like Smoulder come to claim the rightful place of epic doom metal within the heavy underground scene.
4. Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity
John Gallo is is synonymous with consistency and quality. After 2003’s (!!!) “Epicurean Mass” they are back with their sophomore “Ruins Of Eternity”, an album full of darkness vibes and catchy riffs that could serve perfectly as the soundtrack of a 70’s Italian horror movie.
5. Officium Triste – The Death of Gaia
These Dutch are an institution within the underground scene, you would thought all has been said since the days of Peaceville Unholy Trinity (Paradise Lost, Anathema and My Dying Bride) regarding Death/Doom Metal. Guess what? You need to listen to this album as soon as possible to see what’s going on within Death Doomsters. As a bonus, check the tasty vinyl editions Transcending Obscurity Records has made for the album.
6. Candlemass – The Door to Doom
A new album from the creators of Epic Doom Metal always deserves to be listened. You can see that the band is comfortable with the return of Johan Längqvist in the band, which results in a very good album, probably their best one since 2009’s “Death Magic Doom”.
7. Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus
Architects of the Traditional Doom Metal sub-genre, there it’s not too much “new” you can said about Saint Vitus. I’m a “Wino” lover but you can’t deny that the return of original vocalist Scott Reagers reinvigorated the band’s sound, creating one of the best albums of their career.
8. Brume – Rabbits
Brume has been one of my favorite bands since I started digging in the depths of Bandcamp back in 2015. Ethereal and haunted Doom Metal fronted by the talented Susie McMullan.
9. Capilla Ardiente – The Siege
My favorite Latin American release of the year. The Chileans are an institution within the Epic Doom Metal depths. Grandiloquent, emotive, theatrical and more. FFO: Solstice, Candlemass, Crypt Sermon.
10. Idle Hands – Mana
Heavy Metal meets 80’s Gothic Rock, an unusual marriage that works perfectly fine. 4AD Records could have easily edited this album back in the day.
11. Monasterium – Church of Bones
Another fantastic Epic Doom Metal release. The band is tight and Michał Strzelecki vocals reminds me of late Candlemass material with Messiah Marcolin.
12. Eremit – Carrier of Weight
Enormous Funeral/Blackend Doom from Germany. Without a bass player, the trio manages to build one of the heaviest albums I’ve heard in quite a few years. Hypnotic, abrasive and demolishing, this is the real definition of a wall of sound.
13. Lord Vicar – The Black Powder
Excellent new album from the masterminds behind Reverend Bizarre and Count Raven. You can’t expect anything less than true Doom Metal.
14. Obsidian Sea – Strangers
Traditional Doom Metal with a strong sabbathesque and progressive vibe.
15. Illimitable Dolor – Leaden Light
A truly epic album and a really good one if you’re into Doom/Death Metal. These Aussies have been delivering despair with their somber sound for the last 5 years or so. This is their sophomore album and it’s quite an accomplishment for the band, without a doubt one of my favorite releases of 2019.
16. Troll – Legend Master
Sophomore album from this Oregon band that delivers a fine Stoner/Doom Metal. The music is the perfect companion for the stories of magic, witches, wizards and more.
17. Salem’s Bend – Supercluster
Salem’s Bend are back with another piece of retro rock, an album full of bluesy and fuzzy riffs that makes it a guaranteed funny listening.
18. The Drowning – Radiant Dark
2019 has been a good year for Death/Doom Metal lovers. Welsh band The Drowning delivers an album that it’s both devastating and beautiful.
19. Djiin – The Freak
One of the most unique albums I heard this year. Psychedelic Stoner Rock with a ritualistic and mystical vibes.
20. Duel – Valley of Shadows
Texan Stoner Rock with a strong 1970’s sound, an absolute wall of sound.
21. Arrowhead – Coven of the Snake
One of the best bands from the Australian heavy scene. Excellent Stoner Rock full of fuzziness, great riffs, melodies, guitar solos and more. What else do you need?
22. IAh – ii
The Argentinean trio did it again. psychedelic and stonerized jams that serves as the perfect musical companion for a journey to the hidden corners of your mind.
23. War Cloud – State of Shock
Heavy Metal attack that sound as good as it looks. Imagine early NWOBHM bands with some Motörhead vibes, delivering great riffs and twin guitar harmonies. Explode!
24. Book of Wyrms – Remythologizer
A mystical journey delivered thru six tracks of ethereal and fuzzy Stoner Metal. With this album the band surpassed what they accomplished with Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Great addition to the Twin Earth Records catalog.
25. Merlin – The Mortal
Another strong addition to the catalog of the Saxo/Psychedelic/Stoner Rockers. If you don’t know them, imagine a stonerized version of your favorite Space Rock band, maybe Hawkwind or Pink Floyd? Anyway, enjoy the trip as much as I do.
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.