“Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.” — Mick Jagger
The struggle is real… and with each new day on this big blue marble, everyone, every human being, is either coping or moping. Both can be a creative catalyst, of course, an artist’s muse where on one hand is the spirit of “Can Do”, the will to overcome adversity and thrive. On the other hand, the wraith-like “Won’t Do” never knows contentment nor a harmonious moment. The musicians we each know so intimately, be it solely through the emanations of their music-laden masterpieces, or perhaps as firsthand, befriended faces, may be a type of lifeline in these trying times. Yet, have they not always been so? The crafters of shelters where we seek refuge to buttress withstanding the storms of life… Landlords of our very own fortresses where we must encircle our dreams with unwavering defense. For the loss of them is to be loosed of the very lifesblood that is our symbiotic survival, and our very sanity.
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. PALE DIVINE – CONSEQUENCE OF TIME
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Progressive, Stoner)
(West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Pale Divine started all the way back in 1995. And ever since that time, their sound has traveled even further towards the start of hard rock and metal. The new release Consequence of Time gives us a languid and a syrupy approach to seventies rock. High on fuzz the eight tracks wash over you like veneer, slow, creeping and smothering. With dual vocals and an ominous undercurrent the consequence of the new record is that it adds so much to what Pale Divine was, is and will be.
24. ILS – CURSE / NEW!
(Sludge, Punk, Hardcore, Noise)
The best part of Ils cracking the doom charts this month is the ever budding noise rock genre is finally hear to kick fuckers right in the face. Hard, heavy, and brutal with intent. Ils’ Curse brings us the fire and passion from the Portland streets. Get ready for a watershed of Hardcore Noise rock to start forces it’s face around here. Ils – Curse represents today’s attitude for me and this might be what a lot listeners need. So go get it.
23. HAIL THE VOID – HAIL THE VOID
(Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner, Metal)
(Victoria, British Columbia)
Hail the Void was able to cut through most of this month’s nonsense with their debut album. As the hyper fuzz is kicked into high gear, the sounds are similar to early Life of Agony and COC. These Victoria, BCers hit the crash with full force on this full length. You won’t be disappointed with the time invested. Crank it up to 11 and take a trip into the void with Hail the Void.
22. BLACK SPIRIT CROWN – GRAVITY/ NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Stoner)
Came here to see what all the fuss was about, the answer was nothing less than possibly the best metal release of the year… Awesome!!
21. HAMMADA – ATMOS
(Hard Rock, Psychedelic, Metal)
Vintage tones on sandy rhythms with high doses of lysergic fuzz and a raw voice that takes us decades ago. An effective collage in which monolithic stoner-doom riffs with a terrifying bass sound is combined between heavy-psych effluvia with a result that takes us away from monotony. A monumental album, full of an appealing epic that manages to absorb the listener between its grooves. Fleeing from monotony, each song has something to offer us, always undulating, raw and heavy, but also delicate and surprising
20. BOG WIZARD – FROM THE MIRE / NEW!
(Doom, Sludge, Heavy Metal)
Hailing from the state of (Western) Michigan where bands like MC5, Alice Cooper, The White Stripes and other sowed the seeds of music comes Bog Wizard. All this music comes from this fantasy inspired Doom Metal band choking us on an evil laden, thick, sludgy album. It is Doomtastic……There can be no denying this band brings their heart and soul into their music and turns it into it’s very own cauldron of lyric and song with direct approval from Satan himself. One of those albums that grows and grows on you with each listen. Three extremely talented musicians close this bad-boy with a 10 minute opus “Swamp Golem” which testifies why the only sad part about this album is it ends……
19. CURSE THE SON – EXCRUCIATION
(Doom, Stoner, Heavy Metal)
A superb blend of stonerized doom and darkened grunge. You need to take a little time out of your lives and sit down and really listen to this album to best appreciate its subtleties and nuances, you won’t regret it!
Full review here …..
18. TEMPLE FANG – LIVE AT MERLEYN / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Stoner, Space Rock)
Born from the ashes of Death Alley and incorporating members from Mühr, Temple Fang welcome us with an incredible debut album: Live at Merleyn. A live album may sound like a bizarre choice for a first release but it totally shows the organic chemistry going on between the band members. Their sound is huge, atmospheric and groovy. They offer us a unique brand of spacey progressive psychedelic rock. Maybe Heavy Kraut would be the perfect tag. No matter what, they offer a real sonic odyssey you wouldn’t want to miss; a breath taking album!!!
17. KRYPTOGRAF – KRYPTOGRAF
(Retro Blues, Proto-Metal, Doom, Hard Rock)
Out of nowhere comes Kryptograf and this blistering debut LP. Imagine Sabbath, Witchcraft and Red Fang teamed up and wrote their most wicked toned proto-doom with progressive melodies and occult tendencies.
With a fantastic debut already under their belts, stoner/desert rockers Psychlona are on a whole new level with “Venus Skytrip”. The hard hitting grooves are undeniable, and touches of doom, space, and psych make for a full sound that’s impossible to stop spinning. AOTY contender.
Psychedelic Doom with all the theatrics of Vaudeville…impeccably executed!
~REEK OF STOOM
Atmospheric old school doom edged in new school psychedelics and decorated in gothic tinted vocals that lean towards the theatrical.
14. OHHMS – CLOSE / NEW!
(Doom, Rock, Post-Metal, Hardcore)
UK noise merchants OHHMS continue to defy genre and classification. “Close” is a body of work that encompasses the spectrum of Post-Hardcore, Sludge and Psychedelia in a grimacing, menacing and intoxicating 30 minutes of intense metal!
~REEK OF STOOM
Around the head of this green beast thing floats a heavy cloud of sludgy groove-doom-riffs, carrying a footnote of classic rock from the 70s and 80s, delicately blended with the sounds of modern times. Fine grunge vibes, spherical sounds vibrate together with the melodic and catchy voice of singer Sven, who must have eaten the vocal chalk of Alice in Chains! This slow green beast is heavy on riffs, but blows a perfectly delivered spiritual vibe-cloud out of his nostrils! With this album the four guys from Dresden have proven that they are by all means one of the many great bands of their genre! This slow green beast has gold dust under its claws!
12. BUTTERFLY – DOORWAYS OF TIME
(Proto-Metal, Hard Rock, Retro, Stoner)
An instant thumbs up for the debut album from Melbourne band Butterfly. Tough as nails retro riffing, and very cool late 70’s hard rock style vox, and it sounds goddamn genuine. This has so many sincere tips of the hat to that old school heavy metal, with heavy helpings of early Kiss and AC/DC. If you’re looking for an album to get the good times rolling, this is it!
11. TEN FOOT WIZARD – GET OUT OF YOUR MIND / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Metal, Blues, Stoner, Punk)
Ten Foot Wizard have always been good at what they do but even they have surpassed themselves with their latest release. Get Out of Your Mind is an album overflowing with gritty stoner fuzz, quirky desert distortion and earthy bluesy bluster. From the stuttering opening chords of Namaste Dickhead to the tongue in cheek, cosmic-metallic strut of King Shit of Fuck Mountain Ten Foot Wizard demonstrate why they are considered one of the UK’s finest underground bands.
10. MALSTEN – THE HAUNTING OF SILVAKRA MILL / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal)
It’s a murderously gruesome story about a misanthropic miller who is up to his ghostly mischief in a small Swedish village. The insights into the mental abysses of the creepy miller shape the red thread that runs through the concept-like, first full-length album of this slow-heavy doom metal quartet from Malmö.
What makes this album so special is that the listener is literally transferred into a mirage nightmare soundscape from which there is no escape! The evocative, hypnotic voice and the unbelievably harmoniously balanced sound structure of heavy and slow, seemingly growing out of itself, exert a breathless spell and leaves behind the brilliance of the masterpiece!
9. ACID MOON AND THE PREGNANT SUN – SPEAKIN’ OF THE DEVIL / NEW!
(Psychedelic, 60’s, Classic Rock, Stoner)
(Tel Aviv Yafo, Israel)
A careful and delicate work in which you will not find powerful riffs and that punk attitude that characterizes the band, but you will embark on a time tunnel to the most flowery California of the late sixties, to the vast prairies in which the soundtrack is country and American music, to the acid rock of the first 70’s among exotic Mediterranean aromas of colorful psychedelia, or the most primitive garage rock moments. Its evocative cover is an invitation to explore content that does justice.Always offering the most melodic side in songs that exude feelings and that inevitably evoke past times. On this occasion, a band full of freshness is perceived, a band that moves like a fish in water for styles that we probably would never have imagined, but which in the end, is a gift for the listener.
8. ATLANTA – NUGRYBAUTI / NEW!
(Improvisational, Heavy Psychedelic, Rock)
“Nugrybauti” weaves, swerves and glides through epic Prog work-outs,motorik nuances and psychedelia in a dazzling display of musicianship and innovation – truly outstanding.
~REEK OF STOOM
7. BLACK HELIUM – THE WHOLLY OTHER / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Psychedelic, Drone, Stoner)
Cosmic explorers, (and the rest of you lot) prepare thyselves for one album comprising six psychedelic incantations that are scuzzy, fuzzy, gritty and dark all at the same time. Black Helium’s second album “The Wholly Other” aims to take you to a galaxy far, far away and you won’t even have to leave the constraints of your humble abode, but you will have to press play.
6. BONEHAWK – IRON MOUNTAIN
(Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner, Classic Rock)
Iron Mountain towers over the valley of riffs with the patented Bonehawk harmony, crushing rhythm and relentless bluesy hook. Perhaps the return album of the year showing Bonehawk is not slowing down, rather taking flight in their musical progression.
5. STONEBIRDS – COLLAPSE AND FAIL / NEW!
(Metal, Sludge, Stoner, Post-Metal, Progressive)
“Collapse & Fail”, third álbum of the french monster and first for Ripple Music is a short and intense work, the most evolved and perfectionist to date, an opera that mixes post metal, doom and sludge with the cold climate of the progressive metal. Stonerbirds advances at a steady pace with “Collapse & Fail”, their best album so far.
4. 10,000 YEARS – 10,000 YEARS / NEW!
(Metal, Sludge, Stoner, Post-Metal, Progressive)
Super excited about this band that includes members from the mighty band Pike. This talented trio plays a superb and very loud meal of stoner/sludge and every song delivers the best ingredients from the genres best band! They’ve added an apocalyptic and psychedelic touch to the music which are so additive. I love Kylesa, Mastodon and High On Fire. Now I love 10,000 years.
3. KINGNOMAD – SAGAN OM RYMDEN / NEW!
(Progressive, Metal, Occult, Heavy Rock)
They achieve a stimulating result by molding the hard-progressive sounds inherited from the 70’s in an elegant combination of melodies, vintage organs and refined guitars under a solid and attractive rhythmic base. The quartet continues to evolve to higher ground without stopping. An album that moves away from stereotypes to combine winds from the east with the Scandinavian tradition without any fissures in themes exude a freshness that is sometimes missed in some progressive proposals by the technique, that of using music as it is , a vehicle to transmit, and here,”SAGAN OM RYMDEN” offers the listener a pleasant walk through delicate and cozy atmospheres where there is no place for monotony.
2. BOGWIFE – HALLS OF REBIRTH / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner Rock, Heavy Psych, Metal)
As I often trudge through the deep, dark depths of the heavy underground’s murky mire, I often stubble across some unknown piece peering up out of the water at me. What I saw and heard was a solid mix of petrified and epic lead guitar and a pounding rhythm section that captures the tenor of the time. Bogwife offers their listeners a mead soaked representation of what heavy can be in 2020.
1. VALKYRIE – FEAR / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner, Classic Rock)
After five years Valkyrie is back; perfecting their sound from their last output Shadows. Fear harbors a stunning amount of awesome riffs, addictive hooks and beautiful melodies. With Jake and Peter Adams at the core of Valkyrie’s line-up there are still elements of Baroness seeping through the songs. But Valkyrie prove that their mix of proto-metal, stoner and classic rock is an impressive entity on its own.
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); Bill Goodman (The Evil Engineer); Billy Goate (Doomed & Stoned); Bob “Mr. Weird Beard” Baker (More Fuzz Podcast); Bobby Rayfield (Trendkill Radio); Brandon Collins(Super Dank Metal Jams); Bucky Brown (The Ripple Effect); Clint Willis (Hand of Doom Radio); Chris Beck (Doom Tomb Podcast); Chris Latta (Ghost Cult Magazine); Duncan Evans (Alternative Control); 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); Jay Morgan (High Desert Valley Radio); Jim Thompson (Heavy in the Hills); John Gist, (Vegas Rock Revolution); Jonny Pirie (Hour of the Riff); Joop Konraad (Stoner HiVe); Ken Elliott (Heavy Planet); Kyle Twadelle (Stoner HiVe); Leanne Ridgeway (Riff Relevant); 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); Mathieu Van Der Hert (Dutch European Stoner Rock); Mel Lie (Sunday’s Heavy Tunes); Mel Lie (Sunday’s Heavy Tunes); Mike Williams (I Talk to Planets); 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); Roman Tamayo (Doomed & Stoned); Steve Howe (Outlaws of the Sun); Shasta Beast (Stoner Hive); 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); Wombat Tarantino (Wombat Cult)
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.