“There’s no shoulder to cry on when you have no shame
There’s no finger to point when you are to blame
Open book, in my eyes shows you rain, then storming
I can’t look, when covered by the nothing and the suffering”
What a month in the heavy underground. Not only were we blessed with hundreds of albums across the world making their presence known via word of mouth, social media, streaming platforms, live shows, opening slots, festivals, label endorsements, and well, YouTube.
Wait, YouTube? You may have witnessed some of the drama associated with a major YouTube channel Stoned Meadow of Doom (SMOD), causing a ruckus online this past month. The viral support within the heavy scene was an insane and amazing outburst of comradery. At the Doom Charts its always been strictly about the music. Politics, religion, personal beliefs aside, we try to treat everyone with equal respect no matter their personal situation, unless it crosses THE LINE. We do not support or condone discriminatory acts of any sort. While I generally believe in second chances and that behavior is often a result of upbringing, cultural impacts and surroundings, I also believe in discipline, and consequences for such actions. In this case, the poor actions of SMOD were enough to garner a revolutionary action within the scene leading to what seems like closure to an online abuse of power, despite the exposure he was bringing to select bands on the channel.
We’ve all witnessed instances of shady business practices, elitist attitude, and discriminatory actions throughout our lives and are all entitled to our own opinions on how to treat such behavior. In the end I hope we all can learn and grow stronger as humans from the what happened in February, including the perpetrator.
Enough drama, check out the February Charts right here, right now!!
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. RYTE – RYTE
28. CB3 – AEONS
25. VESSEL – VAGABOND BLUES / NEW!
(STONER ROCK, HEAVY BLUES, ROCK, DESERT ROCK, FUZZ)
Vessel have returned with a titanic barge of riffy fuzz, navigating with an aural guidance of heavy blues, doomy prog, and distorted psych. If ‘Nostaligia’ took you back to a better time, Vagabond Blues will sweep you further into it’s vortex of turbulent hooks.
24. GOMER PYLE – BEFORE I DIE I… / NEW!
(STONER ROCK, HARD ROCK, GRUNGE)
The Dutch outfit Gomer Pyle has been around for more than 20 years and has always been known for perfecting the mixture of stoner and grunge. But their second album Idiots Savant from 2009 already added more to that concoction. Psych, Space, you name it, they did it. Musically diverse the tracks became genres upon their own. Slow forward to the summer of 2017. On a festival in Germany, long time friend of the band, label owner, member of Astrosoniq and their booker Bidi, passes away. The news hits like lightning on a bright and clear summer day. This album pays homage to their friend, but also to vocalist Mark Brouwer’s father and all the others they lost. It also pays homage to friendship, to love and so much more. In short: it pays homage to this thing called Life. And they do that on nine amazing tracks that all feel like a different kind of canvas; all filled with their brilliant splatters of heavy rock.
23. BIG SCENIC NOWHERE – VISION BEYOND HORIZON
(STONER ROCK, HARD ROCK, GRUNGE)
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?!
22. YATRA – BLOOD OF THE NIGHT
(DEATH, DOOM, METAL, STONER, SLUDGE)
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.
21. PHANTOM DRUID – DEATH & DESTINY / NEW!
(DOOM, METAL, STONER)
Hailing from the Netherlands, the one-man stoner-doom beast known as Phantom Druid has rendered unto the world a nefarious and earthy kind of sorcery called Death & Destiny. It’s Sabbath worship dialed up to eleven – fortified with sullen, sinister moods, thick, dirty tones, and a gloomy low-end rumble that will drag you into the depths. It even flirts with death-doom at a few points, making for some grimy, filthy magicks that should satisfy all of us who drool for doom.
20. HÄLLAS – CONUNDRUM / NEW!
(METAL, PROGRESSIVE ROCK, HARD ROCK, 70’S ROCK, ALTERNATIVE)
Hallas continues go more prog each album . This is a full blown prog album . It’s excellent too . Favorite track: Labyrinth of Distant Echoes.
19. UUBBUURRUU – UUBBUURRUU
(HEAVY ROCK, STONER, HARD ROCK, 70’S ROCK, ALTERNATIVE)
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.
18. STONUS – APHASIA / NEW!
(DOOM, HARD ROCK, HEAVY PSYCHEDELIC)
APHASIA is yet another deadly weapon in the new Greek Stoner uprising! Chock full of hot Desert licks and molten metal, Stonus carve out seven huge hunks of solid rock and fashion them as idols to the Sun God.
~REEK OF STOOM
17. RAFAEL DENARDI – TWO HANDFULS OF ROCK / NEW!
(HARD ROCK, HEAVY BLUES, STONER ROCK)
(São Paulo, Brazil)
Like Tight Phantomz meets Truth And Janey with a noggin-smacking retro vibe. A wild, raucous ride. Smoking hot riffs!! Easily one of the best albums I’ve heard this year! A contender for the end of the year list, as well. A stunner.
16. SERPENT COBRA – ANATOMY OF ABUSES / NEW!
(PROTO-DOOM, STONER, HEAVY METAL, HARD ROCK)
Eighties style evil doom . Dark and passionate. Favorite track: General Discomfort.
15. COBRA THIEF – ANIMAL OXYGEN
(ROCK, DESERT ROCK, SPACE ROCK)
Portland Oregon’s Cobra Thief 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
14. SLEEPWULF – SLEEPWULF / NEW!
(DOOM, HARD ROCK, STONER METAL)
The very first thought that entered my head was, “Is this a reissue?” Some long-forgotten Tull or Life recording liberated from the dust? Such is the sound of SLEEPWULF. From the opening zazzle of axe and bass, this is as vintage as it gets:. SLEEPWULF have delivered an album of timeless sound: an album that lovingly recreates the raw rampages of bygone heroes and celebrates the beauty of pure, unadorned heavy Rock music. A bonafide classic of the genre.
~REEK OF STOOM
13. ACID MAMMOTH – UNDER ACID HOOF
(DOOM, STONER, HEAVY PSYCH)
“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
12. FRAYLE – 1692 / NEW!
(DOOM, ALTERNATIVE, STONER, METAL, ROCK)
Crushing and ethereal in equal measure “1692” shows a band at the peak of their powers.
11. THE SPACELORDS – SPACEFLOWERS / NEW!
(KRAUT ROCK, HARD ROCK, HEAVY PSYCH, SPACE ROCK)
With only three long songs, they are inviting us on a trip that brings us to the confines of the universe in search of a censorial dimension capable of numbing us into a state of ecstasy. Ending their trilogy of albums, which started with ¨LIQUID SUN¨ and ¨WATER PLANET¨, ¨SPACE FLOWER¨ is the culmination of a journey in which psychotropics invade our neurons in a sensory catharsis. Its three songs are built without haste, flowing with a naturalness that manages to catch us among its furrows. A torrent of sensations that gets into us without giving up the heaviness, achieving the perfect balance between the most forceful passages and the velvety environments that are described.
10. MOUNT HUSH – MOUNT HUSH
(HEAVY PSYCHEDELIC, ROCK, BLUES, SPACE ROCK, STONER)
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.
9. KING MOUNTAIN – DOOMED MAN BLUES / NEW!
(HARD ROCK, STONER ROCK, DOOM, BLUES)
If you are a fan of quality stonerized hard rock and also a fully paid up member of the Free/Bad Company appreciation society then my friends, you have just hit the motherlode. King Mountain’s “Doomed Man Blues”, an album that merges the class and sheen of 70’s/80’s blues dipped classic rock with the grit and growl of today’s underground scene. Greece’s King Mountain take you back to a time when melody was King and groove was its Queen and manage do so without sounding overtly “retro” or backward looking.
8. AUNT CYNTHIA’S CABIN – MISTY WOMAN / NEW!
(PSYCHEDELIC, HEAVY BLUES, DESERT ROCK, NEO-PSYCHEDELIC)
(San Diego, California)
This album is brimming with syrupy, reverb drenched, vintage tones and mesmerizing psychedelic posturing. Turn down the lights, don the headphones and try not to be swept away in its brilliance.
7. YURI GAGARIN – THE OUTSKIRTS OF REALITY / NEW!
(ROCK, PSYCHEDELIC, SPACE ROCK, KRAUT)
The Swedes are back with their trademark sound that balances perfectly the ethereal atmospheres of Psychedelic Space Rock and the down-tuned pulse of Doom Metal, a proposal that has been crafted to perfection for this third release. Imagine the bastard son between Eloy and Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd (Meddle era) and Reverend Bizarre, creating the perfect soundscape for the mission that will define the future of all living beings, either because we are going to meet V’ger or the Doomsday Machine.
6. SHADOW WITCH – UNDER THE SHADOW OF A WITCH / NEW!
(METAL, PROTO-METAL, GRUNGE, HEAVY PSYCH, STONER)
(Kingston, New York)
This is 3rd LP from the terrific band Shadow Witch. They bring their own sound of grunge metal laced with true hard rock and a deep defining retro sound from the 70’s reminiscent of Deep Purple. Superb songwriting combined with heavy groove and some serious riffing from Jeremy Hall, killer vocals by Earl Walker Lundy, pushing forward with emotion and strength that many vocalist hear with envy, and a rhythmic back line that will strut and lead then move to low key, heavy and loose through-out the album thanks to bassist David Pannullo and drummer Doug Beans (since replaced by Justin Zipperle) This is one album you really don’t want to miss out on.
5. FOSTERMOTHER – FOSTERMOTHER
(METAL, HEAVY ROCK, STONER DOOM, PSYCH)
Texan trip technicians FOSTERMOTHER plunder the pharmaceutical mausoleum of Psychedelic Doom, freely looting from the arcane and the archaic: 70’s-infused fuzz meets the glass-hot sands of Desert Rock, bakes you to a crisp and leaves you shriveled in the pitiless sun.
~REEK OF STOOM
4. BAARDVADER – BAARDVADER / NEW!
(METAL, HEAVY ROCK, STONER DOOM, PSYCH)
(The Hague, Netherlands)
Already when I first plugged my ears into the self-titled debut album of the three newcomers from The Hague | Netherlands, the sound impressed me incredibly! It is a musical powder keg! You mean I exaggerate? – By no means!
It’s as if a whirlwind on a stormy Seattle night had carried the grunge vibes right into their souls! But if you suspect that this is just an attempt to flirt with the footsteps of the heroes of the past, you’ll be taught a better lesson at the latest when you continue listening! This threesome manages to take profit of the typical undulating “loud-quiet-loud” sound of the past Grunge era and catapult it with musical finesse into the present days. You will be shake up on a darkly colored, raging, varied swell of hard-hitting fuzzy guitar / bass riffs, massive, earthquake-like drum rhythms and stirring vocal, and pulled into a maelstrom of 70s / 90s inspired fuzzy stoner-rock. I see this rising star, with great joy under one of the best albums of this year!
3. MINDCRAWLER – LOST ORBITER / NEW!
(DOOM, PROGRESSIVE, STONER ROCK, PSYCHEDELIC, FUZZ)
Embark into a progressive journey towards the interstellar depth of space. Far beyond the great barrier of fuzz, your life will be put to jeopardy. Yes, I’ve absorbed the spice and I’ve been beset by glimpses from the future. Between joy and sorrow, I’ve seen giant riffs, unimaginable marvels, a destroyed spacecraft. I also seen on a desertic planet an escape pod. You’re doomed, but all is not lost, your destiny awaits you!
2. RITUAL KING – RITUAL KING / NEW!
(HARD ROCK, DOOM, GRUNGE, STONER, PROGRESSIVE)
Another quality Ripple Music release, huge swathes of fuzz augmented with excellent vocals. This is gonna’ be massive come end of year lists … Ridiculously good Favorite track: Dead Roads.
Seven titanic tracks of first-degree censorial assault. ..RITUAL KING delivers breadth, width and height: the full dimensions of Modern Underground Metal in all it’s geometric gelignite.FULL REVIEW
~REEK OF STOOM
1. LOWRIDER – REFRACTIONS
(DESERT ROCK, STONER ROCK, HEAVY ROCK, SLUDGE, DOOM, FUZZ)
Do a quick google search for legendary desert rock albums of the early 2000’s 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 that 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
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); Eric Varasiftsky (Stoner Rock Army); 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); Mel Lie (Sunday’s Heavy Tunes); 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 email@example.com 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.