“When I was younger I knew I could do anything – I could be the president if I wanted to, but that was a stupid idea – I’d rather be a rock star” -Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain for president? Can we write him in? I’m sure somebody somewhere is thinking the same thing. Maybe being a rock star wasn’t a good idea and had he taken a different path we could be voting him into office right now? Fun to imagine, but we know the reality…..
October is one of my favorite months mostly due to the nostalgia surrounding the changing of the colors, shorter days, and the crisp, cool mornings. Lately it’s seemed like no month will top the last in the music realm, yet here we are banging our heads in disbelief on the quality of tunes still coming at us. We’re continually climaxing month to month in terms of relentless exposre to music in the heavy underground.
In typical fashion, nearly 300 different albums voted to chart this month and for the first time in the history of the charts, to my knowledge, besides the very first chart, the entire top 25 albums are NEW meaning no repeats from last month. This is just insane, and that’s not even counting the host of bad ass albums just released on October 30th as our voting closed up for the month.
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. SOMNUS THRONE – SOMNUS THRONE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Desert Fuzz, Grunge, Heavy Psych)
(Los Angeles, California)
It’s been a while since I came across some good old fashioned ‘painful doom’ as we used to say back in Vokonis camp. This crushes on all sides all while soaring with a majestic tone and powerful volume.
24. THE RE-STONED – THUNDERS OF THE DEEP/ NEW!
(Instrumental, Heavy Psych, Hard Rock, Metal, Doom)
(город Москва, Russian Federation)
If you are a sucker like me for all that is psychedelic, fuzzed out and space rock, you will be absolutely ravished by the new album from The Re-Stoned. I’m always amazed to see how prolific and synergistic musicians they are. Thunders Of The Deep is another grandiose trip they are conveying us to and make no mistake, it’s never a small feat for an instrumental band to cut through the scene. The Re-Stoned are doing it with brio!!!
23. SWAMP THIEF – I / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Southern Rock, Metal, Doom)
Swamp Thief come out swinging on their first release. Comprised of only four tracks, but by the end of em, you’ll feel like you’ve been buried in an avalanche of riffs and heavy rock. Down-tuned, fuzzy and awesome. Can’t wait to hear what comes next from this Swansea two-piece.
22. DRUG BEARD – DRUG BEARD / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Sludge Pop, Stoner Rock)
Like a swarm of bees weighted down with hallucinating substances, “Bongrippers child”, “Melvin’s muse” and Acid Bath vibes hum in a very unique choreography through Zappa’s guitar riffs! What a fantastic and impressive debut by this trio, who let their heavy fuzz-loaded beard snake over muddy bog, shady gulches and moon-desert dunes. These guys came out of nowhere like a comet crash, leaving you with dizzy senses and shaky legs and, like after a hang-over, having you try to figure out which of the mixed ingredients have clouded your brain!
21. ACID MESS – SANGRE DE OTROS MUNDOS / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic, Doom)
The most ambitious album by the Spanish psychedelic band offers us a range of styles ranging from the psychedelia they have been practicing for years, to brilliant progressive passages influenced by Andalusian rock of the 70’s, Latin rhythms and the most alternative underground echoes. Its wide variety of records makes all the songs shine with its own light offering us many incentives for a pleasant listening. The complexity of well-crafted themes contrasts with real energy wastes that hit you knocking you out. An album with great freshness that uses a wide range of colors to achieve a sound box worthy of the best pinacotheca. Riffs, melodies, vocals, everything is taken care of in detail in a work mainly psycho-progressive but in which there is no shortage of exotic elements that enrich songs that wave with a thousand shocking twists.
20. NARLA – TILL THE WEATHER CHANGES / NEW!
(Heavy Blues, Stoner Rock, Progressive Rock)
Narla’s – Till The Weather Changes rises from a land of well-rehearsed improvisation. Rightfully positioned somewhere between Television’s Marquee Moon and KGATLW’s entire catalog, Narla creates a vibe in a time of vibes. Till The Weather Changes is a sonic treat that blends the peaks with the valleys while floating colorful streams of virtual sensations throughout. Simply put, if you enjoy music you will enjoy Narla.
19. FUZZ – III / NEW!
(Psychedelic Rock, Rock, Stoner)
(Los Angeles, California)
The bands focus on the album is to create some brontosaurus-sized riffs, having maximal fun and to create some addictive and sharp melodies. They do it very well. From the first to the last song, the album is perfectly produced by Steve Albini, adding the feeling of standing in the front row at one of their concerts.
18. BIG SCENIC NOWHERE – LAVENDER BLUES / NEW!
(Desert Rock, Heavy Psych, Blues, Hard Rock)
Out on Heavy Psych Sounds the new Lavender Blues EP by Big Scenic Nowhere is once again sporting a majestic line-up. We’re, of course, treated to the wonderful sounds of Gary Arce, Bob Balch, Bill Stinson and Tony Reed. But this time there are more legends in the equation. How about a Danial Mongrain? Or a Per Wiberg? And last but not least, the godfather himself Chris Goss. Indeed, Lavender Blues is sporting all the goods and selling us a progressive rock adventure that incorporates all that came together in the desert. With more than enough space, stoner and psych it is Big Scenic Nowhere at it’s best: incredibly wide vistas and total freedom. Free rock for the open mind!
17. SONS OF OTIS – ISOLATION / NEW!
(Doom, Blues, Spave Metal, Rock, Sludge)
Canadian Terror Trio, Sons of Otis deliver mammoth slabs of crippling Doom, Psychedelic Horror and meat-hook riffs that tear you apart – what’s not to like?
~REEK OF STOOM
16. MOLASSESS – THROUGH THE HOLLOW / NEW!
(Progressive Rock, Metal, Stoner, RocknRoll)
If inventive, highly-accomplished progressive music is your bag then this is the Louis Vuitton of them all! Spectacular soundscapes brimming with superb musicianship and effortless genre-blurring…stonewall keeper!
~REEK OF STOOM
Five years after their farewell performance as The Devil’s Blood at Roadburn four of the former members debuted at the same festival last year as Molassess. Farida Lemouchi, rising like a phoenix from a past of tragedy and suffering, sounds stronger than ever. The band has new tricks up their sleeves on the death disco prog of “Death Is,” and “Formless Hands,” which settles into a funk groove in the middle of the ten-plus minute track that’s somewhere between Parliament, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, until horror soundtrack sounds augment the eerie, chanted crescendo. Through The Hollow ascends to a powerful, progressive statement of a new psych noir classic.
~TONY VAN DORSTON
15. FULANNO – NADIE ESTÁ A SALVO DEL MAR / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Doom, Desert Rock, Sludge)
Fulanno are a full on Argentinian doom unit with sludgy undertones, whose riffs are thick and nasty, rhythms are thunderous and pummeling and whose vocals are clean and strong. Damn this is impressive!!!!!
14. MR BISON – SEAWARD / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Progressive Psych, Stoner Rock)
Holy man made buffalo! This might very well be Ripple Music’s release of the year. Seaward drifts closer to progressive heaven by way of bass heavy hook and classic rock dirge.
13. SPIRIT ADRIFT – ENLIGHTENED IN ETERNITY / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Doom, Hard Rock)
On their new album, their best to date, Spirit Adrift give us melodies which represent the classic bridge between doom and NWOBHM. I hear Megadeth’s incredible thrash, Judas Priest’s armageddon stomp, and Pink Floyd’s textural magnificence . But they’re doing it without copying and they’re doing it with enthusiasm that feels new and fresh.
12. KADAVAR – THE ISOLATION TAPES / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Retro, Stoner, Fuzz, Doom)
The German outfit’s penchant for experimentation bears succulent fruits on “The Isolation Tapes”. Echoes of Floyd & Beatles abound, sublime shifts from ambience to doom, delivered with real style and panache!
~REEK OF STOOM
11. APE SKULL – FIELDS OF UNCONSCIOUS / NEW!
(Classic Rock, Proto-Metal, Funk, Stoner, Doom)
APE SKULL are back five years later! A band that seems to have come out of the time tunnel treasured. Installed is the sound of the early 70’s with Hendrix as a prophet, and bands like Cream, Edgar Broughton Band or many others as references. The Roman trio shows itself in full power creating an outstanding album of “vintage” rock. Without poses and full of authenticity, its sound comes out of your gut naturally. The effective combination of blues, funky psychedelia, soul and pure acid hard rock, will undoubtedly delight the most purist lovers of old-fashioned rock. We are facing about forty minutes of pure ACID ROCK with capital letters, without artifice.
10. CORTEZ – SELL THE FUTURE / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Stoner, Doom, Hard Rock)
Dropping a needle down on a Ripple Music release I’m always taken back to why I’m so obsessed with this genre of music. A group like Cortez comes out of the woodshed to split some logs of Iommi inspired riffage while wielding a grunge fueled axe. Sell The Future will fuel your fire as this dark winter approaches. Grab some kindling and stoke the flame with this more than heavy Ripple release.
9. SUN OF GREY – OUTERWORLD / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner Metal, Fuzz)
(Colorado Springs, Colorado)
If you loved Sun of Grey’s self-tiled debut release but hoped for a little more from the band than just two songs, then the bands first full length release “Outerworld” is going to answer all your prayers. Sun of Grey spoil us this time around with six absolutely mind-blowing songs that prove you can still be heavy, loud, muscular and intense without having the need to sacrifice essential elements like melody and musicality.
8. HORIZON – THE WHITE PLANET PATROL / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Space Rock, Desert, Blues)
The third album by the Spanish trio is a blinding, sandy whirlwind bathed by the Mediterranean breeze. An album that gives off sweat in each song and in which the spatial sounds of previous deliveries are shown more content. What you’re going to find here is an intoxicating and hazy fuzz binge. Desert stoner in an album where each song is to the point and in which we find echoes from the 70’s, especially in the voices, as well as exotic accessories that aromatize us with perfumes from the other shore of the Mare Nostrum. Contagious groovy and dusty nebulae with doses of psychedelia always with forceful rhythms and a sublime bass in their sound.
7. RUFF MAJIK – THE DEVIL’S CATTLE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Blues, Garage, Sludge, Doom)
After having turned the spirits in 2019 with Tårn, Ruff
Majik return, straight from his native South Africa to strike a series
of songs all more angry than the others with, The Devil’s Cattle.
The band seems as edgy as the bull wearing their cover, leaving a
multitude of voices with many tones to accompany and multiply the
impact of a direct composition which will leave more than one on the
kneecaps. Thirteen titles of such rigor and virulence that there may be a good number of jaws on the ground during their next concerts both because of the hymns which will be chanted with fury, but also for the pit which already promises to be monumental, get ready the surge, Ruff
Majik is here and will spare no one.
6. ARCADIAN CHILD – PROTOPSYCHO / NEW!
(Heavy Psychedelic, Eastern, Neo-Psych, Garage, Folk)
The Cypress based, psychedelic masters, Arcadian Child released their third full length album on October 9th. The album is called Protopsycho. Where or not you’ve ever liked anything by this band, this is the album that you’ll need to have, it’s just that good.
5. OCCULT HAND ORDER – THE CHAINED THE BURNED THE WOUNDED/ NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Stoner, Fuzz, Doom)
With this second EP ” The Chained The Burned The Wounded “, Occult
Hand Order, based in France, give us a meteorite of fuzz just behind
the head who will numb more than one. Their definition of Doom is
stellar, the construction of each riff let the possibility to discover
and rediscover their universe at each listening. Somewhere between the hypnotic Mars Red Sky works and the fuzz monster, Wormsand, Occult Hand Order is beginning to be one of the most interesting bands in France. With imagination and ideas to break the limits of subgenres, Occult Hand Order deliver their singularity to finally shine on the international scene.
4. TEMPLE OF THE FUZZ WITCH – RED TIDE / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Doom, Sludge, Stoner)
Once upon a time, Detroit was known as “Motor City” for cranking out some “American Muscle” in the form of hot rods. Fast forward to 2020 (aka the year of the wart)… and Detroit is no longer the “Motor City,” but that doesn’t mean it’s not cranking out some serious muscle. That’s right! Temple Of The Fuzz Witch are cranking out plenty of muscle in the form of downtuned riffs and bottom feeding low end torque. Red Tide is the vehicle for that muscle and their second full-length release.
3. PALLBEARER – FORGOTTEN DAYS / NEW!
(Epic Doom, Progressive Metal, Stoner)
(Little Rock, Arkansas)
Doom is Pallbearer’s stock in trade, their product, their reason for being and for the past twelve years business has been very good but the Pallbearer that brings us new album, “Forgotten Days” are a very different band from the one that brought us their debut “Sorrows and Extinction”. “Forgotten Days” has all the usual hallmarks of a Pallbearer release, the dense epic sound, the melodious and powerful clean vocals and the tense atmospherics, but there is something a little more considered and subtle about what the band bring to the table with this release that causes it to sit much easier on the ears than past endeavors. Whether its the way they bring all those elements together this time around or just a case of the band making a huge evolutionary musical leap is hard to say. What can be said however is that this is some damn fine classy doom!
2. FUMAROLE – VALLEY OF TEN THOUSAND SMOKES / NEW!
(Stoner Metal, Hard Rock, Fuzz, Desert)
I seriously advise you to buy a good helmet before visiting the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The spellbinding cohesion between the thick riffage on guitar, the groovyness of the bass lines and the bulldozing percussion will coerce you into some nasty and unsafe head banging!!! Fumarole have served us a vigorous and intoxicating Stoner Rock album that will enslave us for eternity!
1. REZN – CHAOTIC DIVINE / NEW!
(Doom, Drone, Stoner, Metal, Psych)
REZN came back with Chaotic Divine, a massive album that shows us the transformation and maturity of this Chicago band. The level of composition it’s on another level, the experimentation and perfect combination between the psychedelia and the slow and heavy riffs makes this album unique.
The main achievements of the album are the concept and the structure of the songs: it starts slowly, creating an involving atmosphere through the guitars, vocals, synth, and sax; and then just explodes with massive riffs that take you into a deep abyss on this trip. Also, the artwork is marvelous, Allyson Medeiros did exceptional work.
Definitely one of the most amazing albums of this year, REZN has been changing the rules of the Psych Doom, taking it to another level.
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); Chris Tighe (The Mighty Decibal); Duncan Evans (Alternative Control); Eric Varasiftsky (Stoner Rock Army); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Geoff Leapord (Atom Heart Mutha); Graur Zaur (Crypt Guard); Günther “Doktor420” (Stoner Hive); 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 (The Ripple Effect); ‘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.