Why don’t the Grammys matter? Because it feels rigged and cheap – like a popularity contest that the insiders club has decided. ~Trent Reznor
We probably all heard the news that Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard got snubbed at the annual Grammy Awards. Whoever is in charge of that poor excuse for an awards show needs to get their head in the gutter and start digging through the sludge filled swamps of the underground. I mean, there was no mention of Monolord not a peep about EyeHateGod, and Matt Pike was not even on the red carpet. I’ve had enough of this. All joking aside, there was much discussion behind the scenes about the rock music presence (or lack thereof) at the awards show and how the old time saying, “Rock is Dead” could in fact be true. We here at the Doom Charts are pleased to affirm, its certainly not dead, it’s where you choose to immerse yourself. Doom is not Dead, Sludge is not dead, and heavy psych and stoner are certainly not dead. The January Doom Charts gives us hope that we are going to be in for another stellar year of music in the heavy underground. Check it out below.
Also notice how close the scoring came in with the top 5 picks this month. It’s a traditional doom weak month, but hey those guys just don’t seem to get the material in front of us as well. We’ve also added a monthly playlist up on Spotify with songs from the monthly chart.
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. SOLACE – THE BRINK
Never hearing these guys before, I came to this review with fresh ears and no sense of their past. What can I say? One of the best metal albums I have heard this year hands down. Fuck off solos, riffs from the underworld all played with a mix of doom, hardcore punk, metal and stoner vibes which propel the songs along like an out of control truck hurtling off a cliff. This is the good shit.
24. LEATHERFRANK – DARK FOREST / NEW!
That sound you can’t hear is me patting myself on the back for discovering this little gem hidden amidst the wannabees and copyists.
23. THE HYPNAGOGICS – ENDLESS NIGHTS / NEW!
The debut album from heavy psych rockers The Hypnagogics, “Endless Nights” is a fully realized effort full of mood and groove. Mixing fiery 70s metal riffs with standout deep, haunting vocals, The Hypnagogics deliver an impressive slab of eerie and infectious psych.
22. MOUNT HUSH – MOUNT HUSH / NEW!
In a contrasting scenario, Mount Hush hit all the chilled out vibes that Hush suggests while hitting all the heavy riffs that you would expect from a Mountainous band. Essential listening for a new decade and a new generation.
21. TOMBSTONE EYES – LAND IN THE SKY
Chicago based band Tombstone Eyes has created quite a distinctive sound on their first full-length. They play organ driven, dark, heavy psych that contains spacey and experimental elements. The songs are dark, ominous, alienating and psychedelic, but rock hard too. Land In The Sky is an album that requires some time to sink in. If you give it time, this will become an addictive listen with a long expiration date.
20. ELDER DRUID – GOLGOTHA / NEW!
Bellicose Belfast outfit ELDER DRUID breach the salt lines to manifest their virulent breed of Doomed Sludge in their latest offering, “Golgotha”. Every yard as epic as it’s title, its power and majesty bleeds through every low-fuzzed corpuscle and sinew: a a prowling, malicious predator of brutal mass and hate that unfolds through your entrails like mercury. “Golgotha” is the Sound of Wrath. Elder Druid is the Sound of Doom. Faultless!
~REEK OF STOOM
19. FOSTERMOTHER – FOSTERMOTHER / NEW!
Texan trip technicians FOSTERMOTHER plunder the pharmaceutical mausoleum of Psychedelic Doom, freely looting from the arcane and the archaic: 70s – infused fuzz meets the glass-hot sands of Desert Rock, bakes you to a crisp and leaves you shrivelled in the pitiless sun.
~REEK OF STOOM
18. THAL – THE HARVESTING
“Third time is a harm as the underground’s ungodliest misanthrope duo strike a TKO with their most experimental outing yet! The signature savagery we’ve all come to revere is ever-present yet now tempered with a classic rock aesthetic in its evolved tones, riveting rhythms, empowered vocals, and an unexpected twist or two… same sonic based disdain and societal contempt, ’tis the season for mediocrity’s disfigurement… The Harvesting!”
17. PARADISE – PARADISE / NEW!
My homeboys from Montreal just released their third album and it looks like all the stars are in alignment. This band has been rocking strong since 2002 and their new album entitled Paradise feels like a cool desert breeze. With killer riffs and rich vocals, you definitely need to check it out.
~ERIC (THE GENERAL) VARASIFSKY
16. GYPSYBYRD – EYE OF THE SUN / NEW!
Jake Lewis the multi-instrumentalist behind Burn Ritual and King Earth teams up with Sun of Grey’s Freddy Allen (on bass) to unleash onto an unsuspecting world an album of unparalleled lysergic grooviness. The duo, flying under the project name of Gypsybyrd, deliver six songs of acid tinted hard rock drawn from the same well Black Sabbath once visited on the seminal “Planet Caravan”
15. ORC – ORC / NEW!
Frazer mentioned the Sabbath qualities, I’ll counter that this is loaded with Unida/Vista Chino tone. Either way, a very riffy, upbeat and fun rock and roll album.
14. YATRA – BLOOD OF THE NIGHT / NEW!
The highly anticipated follow up to their debut, Yatra’s “Blood Of The Night” shows the blackened doomers’ sonic assault has only intensified with time. The demonic vocals tear flesh from bone, while vilely distorted doom gives way to screeching Sabbath-inspired licks. Yatra are a force of nature, seething evil as they deal out their crushing trademark take on sludge, doom, death, and more.
13. PASTOR – UNVEIL
Pastor’s first album is an all time favorite. This one is just as good . Hard hitting seventies style acid rock in league with the greatest of heavies . I have no problem comparing this to Jerusalem, Leafhound, Buffalo, Night Sun and so on. It could easily be from that era. A song of note on this is the cover song Slave of fear originally released in 1971 by Stone Axe. It’s one of the earliest doom songs. They have a tremendous version. There is so much great with this album especially those passionate vocals .
12. COBRA THIEF – ANIMAL OXYGEN / NEW!
Portland Oregon’s CobraThief steal the show with a bombastic brew of desert rock groove, grungy angst and a nod to the late 70’s. Fuzzy riffs and thunderous drums strike with venomous intent, leaving the rabid listener gasping for air… and enjoying every minute of it.
~ ADAM WALSH
11. GRANDPA JACK – TRASH CAN BOOGIE / NEW!
(Brooklyn, New York)
They say one man’s trash is another man”s treasure and here we have Grandpa Jack, lurking the back alleys of Brooklyn with another boogie rocking behemoth. Riffs reeked in trashy fuzz and oozing with psychedelic blues. Vocally they remind me of an old go-to band called ‘Year Long Disaster’. Trash Can Boogie shines a limelight within the stoner rock slums.
10. ELDEN – NOSTROMO / NEW!
Sometimes a band needs a new name and sometimes, that, and the first track of their new album is all it takes to become completely and totally over the moon with them. Atlas changed into Elden and Nostromo is the new album. Relapse is the first track, an intro into what comes next, Sail & Savour and that’s the one we’re talking about here. It’s heavy metal, it’s proto metal, it’s stoner metal and it’s so much more! ‘Propulsive drumming, turbo-charged Sabbath riffs and vocals that are pure, 21st century Ozzy’ we wrote about the first demo Atlas produced. Well, these cats went out and perfected that given into something that is awe-inspiring and intimidating. Holy hell! Nostromo really is the smash ‘n grab article of the year!
9. BIG SCENIC NOWHERE – VISION BEYOND HORIZON / NEW!
Oh yes! A new record by the Gary Arce (Yawning Man) and Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) duo and their ever revolving array of helping hands. Mario Lalli,. Nick Oliveri, Per Wiberg, Tony Reed, Bill Stinson, Alain Johannes and a few heroes more. Perhaps a little less drawn out, jammy or wide in comparison to their earlier release but still very desert and very stoner. Which is logical when you think of all that great stuff Arce and Balch have been a part of. Indeed, killer riffs and desert psychedelics a plenty! Oh, and yes, one weird fast punk track?!
8. GOATRIDERS – THE MAGICIAN´S KEEP / NEW!
Five lysergic laced blues tinted songs, drenched in fuzz and distortion, served up by hairy Swedes with a love of a groove. Goatriders seemingly appeared from nowhere and on the evidence of “The Magician’s Keep” are not about to be going back there anytime soon.
7. PINK CIGS – PINK CIGS / NEW!
Full steam ahead comes Pink Cigs with a remarkable first album! Try to imagine some high stamina Hard Rock locomotive with a punk attitude and you’re almost there! Now, add a shit load of wagons filled with crazy fuzzy riff (who seems to have been crafted directly in the psychedelic 70’s) and, Fuck Yeah, jump aboard for a wild ride if you don’t care losing your hairs!!!
6. DESERT COLOSSUS – EYES AND TONGUES / NEW!
Desert Colossus are a stoner band who do not piss around trying to invent the wheel – they want to turn the amps up, crank out some riffs and stomp on some distortion pedals. This is raw stuff, both in production and the playing which suits the music just fine. Riffs are basic and powerful and sometimes that is all I want. Circular song passages keep the groove turned up to the max and the foot stomping beat just keeps rolling along. The guitar solos are prime electric blues – mean, aggressive and full of feeling.
5. ISLES OF MARS – ISLES OF MARS / NEW!
Isles of Mars proffer up prog-tinged, psychedelic heaviness with four tracks of pure vintage manna! From the rumpus of ‘Psychopompos’ to the strident, fuzz-strewn ‘Fields of Elysium’, this German trio evoke the heavy birds: Rooster, Budgie and Hawk. They are circling with intent…
~REEK OF STOOM
4. LOWRIDER – REFRACTIONS / NEW!
Do a quick google search for legendary desert rock albums of the early 2000s and quickly you will realize creditable lists all include Ode to IO. However, what you find is pure silence for the next twenty years. Lowrider’s latest album Refractions is an album that has been wading in the deep dark depths of our solar system. Moreover, Refractions is a black hole, a dense amalgamation of great songwriting. Lowrider shows us they are still the masters of a great stoner hooks and continue with this heavy comeback. Without a second of interstellar waste, Refractions will draw you into its maelstrom of heavy and refuse to let you escape it’s void. It’ll be hard pressed to find a better spaced out track as “Pipe Rider” as well as the album’s tremendous opener “Red River.” Whatever work you do this spring into the summer this album will quickly relieve any undo stress and allow you to feel good about this beautiful music scene. Twenty years was worth the wait but let’s hope these Swedish doomsters have more spaced out riffs cooked up for another dose soon. All I can say this will more than do and help the fill an overdue hole in the scene. Get it. Do it now!
~THE DOOM LOOM
3. UUBBUURRUU – UUBBUURRUU / NEW!
UUBBUURRUU really captures the catchiness of seventies hard rock and mixes it with a dark, occultish vibe adds a psychedelic twist to it. An album that would make Blue Öyster Cult and Diamond Head proud.
2. ACID MAMMOTH – UNDER ACID HOOF / NEW!
“Under Acid Hoof” is a fantastic delve into proto-metal, doom and heavy psych that has a hulking, matted fur of thick riffs and skewer-sharp tusks of Bass and Percussion. ACID MAMMOTH have wrought the sounds of an imagined Ice Age, fleshed them with mass, hair and ivory and laid waste to the hunters! Those that partake of the flesh are imbued with the knowledge…
~REEK OF STOOM
1.RYTE – RYTE / NEW!
Ryte are the band Pastor evolved into. Only one song has vocals and it’s on par with Pastor. The rest are instrumental and proudly carry the Pastor’s torch so that we can all see the light. The result is somewhere between Jeff Beck and Earthless.
As good a Heavy Psych Records release as I’ve heard in a while, great swirling riffs coalesce around a maelstrom of heavy prog tinged fuzz … Excellent !!
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); 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); Graur Zaur (Crypt Guard); Héctor “Mr. Heavyhead” Hurtado (More Fuzz); Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl,Orange Maze); 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); Janny Pirie (Hour of the Riff); 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); Mark Partin (The Ripple Effect); 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 (Doomed&Stoned, Stoner Hive); Remi (Remi VL); Roberto Lucas (Denpa Fuzz); Roberto Fuentes (La Habitación 235); Robert Pannell (Doom Loom); Rod Reinhardt (Captain Beyond Zen); Samir Asfahani (Super Dank Metal Jams); Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun); Shasta Beast (Stoner Hive); 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.