“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~Henry David Thoreau
The Doom Charts is all about consensus from a wide variety of individuals, each with their own personal tastes and proclivities. Whichever genre suits your tastes, we aim to bring you our opinions about what is hot right now. But they are only our opinions. Music is the great unexplored country and the beauty of all new discoveries is in the exploration. We each find our own paths: sometimes they converge finding kinship and accord, most times they are about self-exploration: both are equal and valid.
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…
Old school metal with proto-doomic undertones “Holy Water” is a triumphant return from the band who gave us the excellent EP “Among The Gods”. A little less Sabbath-esque than its predecessor “Holy Water” finds Sleeping Village moving away from their Iommi inspired refrains and moving towards a sound that is a more their own and one that should see them expanding their fanbase not only in their homeland but also internationally..
Are they invaders? Are they liberators? Maybe a bit of both!!! It can’t be passed under silence that SOLDATI is a musical project by Sergio Chotsourian formerly from Los Natas. But wait, don’t expect it to sound the same; we’re in the future and the reality is twisted. Yup, this is what we call evolution! So, just let you submersed by these vibrations. Doom Nacional is an album filled with darkness and hope; a heavy experimental equilibrium blending stoner, desert rock, doom, 70’s rock and so on! It’s the fruit of 5 years of work and it’s a fucking juicy celebration of life!!!
No-one does Black Light Psychedelia in quite the same way. OP summon out dread psychoses of Psychedelia in a litany of bitter wild berries and pungent herbage during ‘Mestarin Kynsi’ (The Master’s Claw) producing a suffocating, hallucinogenic trip of fear and dark paradise. Exceptional!
~REEK OF STOOM
These harbingers of Doom regale us with tales of tortured souls, hallucinating minds and the self-destructive tendencies of mankind. Fans of old school Metal and Classic Rock will proclaim this album more of a blessing than a curse.
Spell digging deep Into the musichistory incorporating some of the best 70s rock ideas into a perfect blend of NWoBHM and goth rock. There are obvious nods to acts like Thin Lizzy, and Rush. Also adding some “modern” bands like In Solitude, and Cauldron, but in the end Spell manage to stear the Ship enough to have an identity to stand on their own.
20. LORD BUFFALO – TOHU WA BOHU
(Desert Rock, Experimental, Americana, Dark Folk)
Tohu Wa Bohu amply demonstrates Lord Buffalo’s penchant for bleak, wind-swept Americana; Weaving and melting droned violins, slow driving bass and heavy percussion paint grim, tumbleweed-strewn landscapes of doom between the alt-folk of Chelsea Wolfe and the psychedelic Western tones of All Them Witches. Truly mesmerizing.
~REEK OF STOOM
Earthdiver once again leaves something witchy behind for the listener. Their latest effort, Lord of the Cosmos, is a half cocked wah-ride through the stratosphere. With one foot in vintage stoner rock and the other one in classic hardcore, these guys pay homage to the great releases of the early days as well as the cosmic takeover we see in the scene now. COC, Fu Manchu, Nebula and Atomic Bitchwax would all be proud of this Denver Trio. This is one you should do NOW.
~THE DOOM LOOM
18. VINNUM SABBATHI – OF DIMENSIONS & THEORIES
(Doom, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych, Instrumental)
The Mexican band built an album that is a real science fiction story. A narrative that is based on space sounds with lots of samplers and effects and an attractive combination of doom and heavy-psych elements sci-fi dominante spaces. Narcotic, spacey, mysterious and enigmatic are the five themes moved to outer space. That spacial world where all gravitates calmly, but in the storms of meteorites and celestial trash are reflected in heavy crude moments in an effective combination. A narrative in which the moments are accompanied by diffuse drone instrumentation always guided by a dynamic drum. Pure space rock, with plenty of mysterious phrases that make the voltage is present.
17. FROZEN PLANET…1969 – COLD HAND OF A GAMBLING MAN / NEW!
(Heavy Psychedelic, Instrumental, Jam, Blues, Stoner Rock)
A new journey through the incredible vibrations to which we are accustomed. Australians are heavier perhaps than usual. For lovers of psychedelic jams, FROZEN PLANET… 1969 they are a guarantee of quality, and here they show it again. A new adventure that provides us with an opportunity to expand our sensory capacity through its psychotropic themes. A sonorous exuberance to delight from the calm, and if it is with a stimulant, much better. In this way you can soak up all the lysergy that its grooves contain. With moments inheriting the most acidic rock of the 70s, and with the shadow of Hendrix appearing at some point, the trio invites us on a journey through the confines of a sensory universe full of nuances and interpretive richness. Reverbs, pauses, and authentic rhythmic bacchanalia between pedals and effects, make this album an example to follow for those trying to make this type of music. Without a preconceived concept, they do not hesitate to incorporate elements of space rock, psychedelia and even jazz in this waste of sensations.
Proto flavored doom that channels elements of Sabbath, Budgie, Buffalo,Pentagram and every other proto band you could care to mention. LOVE THIS!
Full review here ….
Holy crap! Who put the mushrooms in the sky?
FDJ nailed the description.
I’ll add Witchfinder General to the list.
You heard of acid doom. This is Shroom Doom!
Lord Fowl are back with what seemed like ages since their landmark album Moon Queen (2012). With Glorious Babylon, their second album on Small Stone Records and third overall, the boys push the limits they set with Moon Queen almost a decade ago. While they’re not breaking new ground here they have a way of giving you the warm and fuzzies like when Molly Hatchet or Thin Lizzy first broke out in the 1970’s. I know because I was born in 81′ and my dad was practicing making me while those bands were making waves. The melodies are soaked in southern-charm and stamped with the finest fuzz. The songs are relatively even keel and loaded with funky bass, catchy riffs, and ear-worm vocals, leaving you in a perma-smile state each and every 37 minutes on display. Highly recommended and near the top of my list this month.
Maya Mountains lays waste to its desert Doom surroundings with towering riffs, colossal fuzz and smoldering rhythm.
Great to have this now on bandcamp and can’t wait for the vinyl. Huge fuzzy riffs and stoner psych vibes are smashed together resulting n something rather special… Favorite track: Dead City.
The Australians come out swinging their Doom-swords with one hell of a a record.With a lot of the genres most important ingredients like baleful intros detonating drums, chugging riffs, lovely breakdowns catchy chorus and excellent vocal melodies.I’m thinking of Witchfinder General or Pagan Altar when I listen.
Buckle up you’re in for a wild ride!! The diversity and range throughout these 6 tracks is innately constructed and mind blowing. The bass lines are wicked as always, the proggy textures flamboyant, and the vocals harmonies are sublime.
Do NOT finalize your end-of-month rankings until you’ve heard this one! Laura Gilchrist-Donnelly of King Witch is one of the best vocalists in the scene right now, perhaps even transcending the heavy underground in terms of power and excellence.
10. DOPELORD – SIGN OF THE DEVIL
(Doom, Metal, Sludge, Heavy Metal)
Sign of the Devil is the fourth album of Dopelord’s ascending evolution. An epic collection of the best and most powerful riffs they have recorded. A homogeneous, dark and overwhelming album, “Doom bastards” been the highest peak of the whole album! Sign of the Devil is the most complete work of Dopelord, Hail Satan!
9. CIRITH UNGOL – FOREVER BLACK / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Doom, Power Metal)
The long awaited Cirith Ungol comeback album exceeded everyone’s expectations. All the passion of their youth remains. This is easily as good as their first two legendary albums. This is how Doom metal used to sound! True metal. True doom. Arise legions and feel the burn, feel the freeze, the frost the fire it will burn inside of you.
High Priestess already had a unique thing going with their 2018 debut, and that feeling only intensifies with Casting the Circle. The trio already demonstrated the playing and songwriting chops to sell their Om meets Coven heavy psych, and applying them to a more conceptual vision lets those elements shine even more. It may be best suited for mood listening, and a couple of songs can be intense undertakings, but this material demands to be digested as a whole. Those who enter this circle will be rewarded accordingly.
7. KING BUFFALO – DEAD STAR
(Doom, Metal, Sludge, Heavy Psych)
(Rochester, New York)
With every album King Buffalo gets better with than they were on the previous one; Dead Star is no exception to that rule. This record is their newest, and perhaps most experimental release to date; right down to the alternate tuning they created during the initial stages of writing. The sounds they created with that tuning are incredible, and you really shouldn’t sleep on hearing them for yourself.
6. FAMILIARS – ALL IN GOOD TIME / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Stoner, Fuzz)
Familiars’ All in Good Time is an album that resonates with the sounds of psychedelia, blues, and stoner vibes. I find that this is a great album to listen to in headphones, on the stereo, or wherever you are; for proof, check out the track called “Homestead”, I guarantee that you’ll be hooked instantly.
Their steady growth and rise towards an amazing level of craftsmanship took a massive jump when Repeated Exposure To… was released in 2016. And now the 1000Mods quartet returns with a follow-up to that absolute beauty of a record. Youth Of Dissent moves ever forward towards the top of the heavy pyramid but with a sound that moves back towards the nineties. No less than eleven tracks filled to the brim with those amazing riffs and hooks, interspersed here and there with some psychedelic freak outs, bluesy solos or droning guitars. Add to this the wild bass work and intense drumming and we have yet another legendary album in the making. They are still Gods alright, still the kings of nowhere… And we will worship them as they rightfully should be… By everyone!
Got them “Roadhouse Blues”, feel a little like your coming to “The End”, need something to “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” well the odds are “Five to One” that Mooch’s “Hounds” will supply all your wants and needs in one sweet package of fuzz drenched stonerized bluesy grooviness . As you may be able to tell from the tongue in cheek intro to this blurb Mooch have somewhat of a Doors vibe going on, both musically and vocally, but even if your not a fan of The Lizard King and his cohorts there is still enough good old desert fuzziness here to not only “Light My Fire” but yours also.
Witchskull’s newest album ” A Driftwood Cross” on Rise Above Records is pure hellfire into your ears. This 3 piece band from down under (Canberra) follows up 2 excellent albums and doesn’t disappoint as they chug along with a driving force that gets your feet moving quickly and head bobbing. Front man Marques De Pasquale’s (formerly of Looking Glass) vocals haunt throughout this exceptional album as he continues to be a unique player. This is an early Album of the Year candidate as Witchskull is carving their path with heavy rock that has a familiarness to it while crafting songs that stick in your brain that has you craving for more.
Obtaining a greater number of followers for their cause every day, in this album they immerse themselves with a greater depth if possible in the complicated territory of progressive rock without losing the heavy sound that saw them born. This time through five long tracks they play lush, intricately intertwined melodies that grow and dissolve equally among their massive riffs. Now, with a new formation with Michael Risberg on guitar and George Edert on drums, together with Fabio Cuomo on the piano and synthesizers, they build an exuberant album in which the legacy of bands from the last century such as Yes or the Rush themselves are very present in their compositions. The psycho-progressive songs seem to be the ones that best adapt to your musical proposal to offer its best version.
The tracks have a similar structure regarding the progression of their intensity; with a development many times more typical of King Crimson’s experimentation and symphonic developments that you never know where they will take you.
I’m never one to tell bands how they should evolve with any semblance of authority, but Elephant Tree’s sound is right where I wanted it to be on Habits. The band’s alt-prog tinges were what made their self-titled album so engaging, and seeing them double down makes their songwriting even more confidently vibrant. One can also hope this blend successfully translates to greater exposure to the heavy rock world at large. Either way, this is an exciting listen that should not and hopefully will not be ignored.
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 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.