I survived with my sanity because of the music I constantly listened to. Doom, stoner, psych, punk – most of it produced under extraordinary conditions or isolation. With earphones firmly glued on my head, the one certainty I had during this year was that music that soothed my savage soul also helped to heal it.~Tony Maim (Doom Charts Contributor)
As we close the year down with one final month of chart results, its undeniable that most of us can and do relate to Tony as quoted above in terms of our sanity throughout 2020. Following this final month of December’s chart we will be posting a year-end list, composed by ranking the entire swath of votes throughout the year into one mega-list. So far, its looking like a solid representation of the Heavy Underground, one that we’ll continue to promote in 2021 and beyond.
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. CAUSA SUI – SZABODELICO
(Heavy Psych, Fuzz, Prog)
A nod to Hungarian master Gabor Szabo with a fusion of jazz, rock and subtle psychedelia. Painting with a wide range of colors each song, they explore sounds from varied cultures and eras without any complexes. Fleeing overproduction, the themes are shown with their virginity intact, full of freshness and innocence that is difficult not to capture you. Seductive, elegant, experimental, but beautiful and magnetic, the Danes demonstrate that they are at a higher level.
24. MOLLO RILLA – VIVA EL CAMINO / NEW!
(70’s, Hard Rock, Stoner, Doom)
Ohio’s Mollo Rilla conjure up the attitude of 90’s alternative rock and take it to new and exciting places. While listening to this album you’re on the edge of your seat, not knowing where it will take you from one song to the next.
Boasting a great production and confident songwriting, these guys are out to prove themselves amongst rock’s elite. For fans of Faith No More, System of a Down and Queens of the Stone Age. I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.
23. HYPERNAUT – OZYMANDIAS / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Stoner, Doom, Hard Rock)
Peruvian Stoner metal delivered with no-holds-barred attack and energy. Echoes of Kyuss and Truckfighters ricochet from solid walls of Groove!
~REEK OF STOOM
22. TROLL TEETH – GOES NOWHERE, DOES NOTHING / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Doom, Hard Rock)
Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing is an album that tells a story, a story set to music that slowly unfolds not page by page but song by song and each song a chapter in that story. A perfect marriage of music and storytelling “Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing” is an album that will have you edging wide eyed with wonder and excitment towards the edge of your seat with its lyrical tales of monsters, villains, betrayals and lies but at the same time will have you jumping from that seat with the sheer power and strength of its music.
21. APEWARDS – PEAKS VOL 1 / NEW!
(70’s, Hard Rock, Heavy Blues, Retro)
Apewards play heavy distorted stoner which has the thick fuzz abandon that I crave – this also has the effect of bringing the bottom deep end into doomy type song passages. This three piece have a massive sound but are not afraid to bring the intensity down a notch when needed to stretch the tension out.
The 4 tracks and riffs just keep coming – if you want some dirty stoner rock’n’roll with a dose of blues soaked passion to bang your head along with, give these guys a listen – this is the good shit.
20. COSMIC MARAUDER – VENUS RYDER / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Psych, Stoner Rock)
The debut album of this still quite fresh three-piece from the middle of Germany, is definitely “maraudericious“! Cosmic swaggering grooves, explosive fuzz attacks and vocals that tangle between gritty passion and clear melody, find their balance in rough-legged, grating riffs and thundering bass rhythms.
And it is exactly this harmonious rubbing of these polarities used between groovy-jamming lightness and dark, rough heaviness that makes this tension-ridden psych-stoner-doom work so “maraudericious“ special. Well done, guys!!
19. WEDGE – LIKE NO TOMORROW / NEW!
(60’S, 70’S, Hard Rock, Stoner, Heavy Psych)
The Fuzz’n’Roll lords Wedge are back in town with a third opus called ‘’Like No Tomorrow’’. Forget all about the pandemic, it’s party time!!! They’ve come with a simple mission: setting the place on fire with their hard rocking retro boogie. Wedge are offering both a vintage vibe and a reinvigorating wind. The album is perfect to put some shades on these dark times.
18. DRUIDS – VOL. 1 / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath, Hard Rock, Stoner, Doom)
Start with a generous pour of hypnotically thumping bass and follow that with a generous helping of hard charging riffs filled with lightning. Mix in powerful and precise percussives and finish it off with smooth, smouldering vocals that hint at the theatrical. What you end up with is a cocktail of dark heavy metal ambiance……. Or Druids’ first EP Vol. 1.
17. WILLOW ASH – HYPNAGOGIA / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Retro, Stoner, Fuzz, Doom)
Hypnagogia wraps you up in a comforting blanket of Heavy Psych but something sinister lurks in the darkness. Your brain’s synapses crackle like an open fire as the metamorphic doom sparks involuntary muscle spasms, jolting you back to lucidity from your hallucinatory state. One thing clear in my mind is that you don’t want to sleep on this release.
~BOB “MR. WEIRDBEARD” BAKER
16. SATORINAUT – EXCLUSIVE ALL INCLUSIVE / NEW!
(Punk, Psychedelic, Blues, Post Rock)
Get ready for Satorinaut! With their Liquid wah-wah sounds, lysergic riffs and cosmic rhythms they will sunder your mind from your body and drive it up to the big rift. Psychedelic Rock as it meant to be. A true bliss of instrumental joy!!!
15. EL COLOSSO – FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock, Alternative)
To be honest I first heard Melbourne’s superb heavy stoner rock band ‘El Colosso’s’ 1st LP, “Pathways” earlier this year. I was taken by surprise by how very good it is. Doom inspired Boogie that really rocks. They just released their 2nd LP, “Forgotten Ancestors” which finds them taking their music another step forward. It’s balls to the wall riff heavy blues-tinged hard rock with great drumming and strong bass playing. Matt Cooper’s vocals are powerful with an incredible metal pitch and range. This is a sound completely all their own making. Sure you feel the influences of bands like Black Sabbath to even a little Foghat…the boogie rocks big time. One thing I noticed was how good the production is on their 1st album. History repeats itself here with raw, clean and strong as hell sound. The instruments and vocals are perfectly aligned. This band has hit a home-run here.
14. THAMMUZ – INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN
(Stoner, Hard Rock, Psychedelic, Doom)
If this record was a pizza with mushrooms, I’d eat it whole and I hate mushrooms; that’s how good this record is. The riffs, the vocals, the atmosphere, everything is just done so nicely, especially on “Slow” (which is my personal pick on this album). So soups on, dude, sit down with me, and let’s eat this pizza pie whole!!
13. KHAN – MONSOONS / NEW!
(Progressive, Heavy Psych, Stoner, Instrumental)
Australian Proggy Post-Metallers KHAN weave their intricate strands of melody and subtlety to full effect on “Monsoons” – a dynamic, probing album that cannot be absorbed in one listen: Intriguing and inviting.
~REEK OF STOOM
12. BANTHA RIDER – BINARY SUNSET MASSACRE / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Stoner Metal, Instrumental, Doom)
Instrumental Psych/sludge,doomstoner with influences from Star Wars and their criminal actions ? Yes please! The bands full-length debut (which is crushing my mind and made my body explode and my soul to reach outer space) are in the veins of the darker and more progressive Karma To Burn and /or maybe Pelican. I got everything from the psychedelic, spacious guitars to guitars tuned down and filthy death metal thing in some way. I like that the music are always moving forward and the album awakening me when the band lose themselves in psychedelic jams like they do in March Of The Bantas.Lovely!
If instrumental music are not for you. Think over
11. SUN CROW – QUEST FOR OBLIVION
(Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Proto-Metal)
From the PNW region of the U.S., where entire musical movements first gained motion, comes another, but one unto itself. Seattle’s SUN CROW arise aloft like a phoenix bound upon its “Quest For Oblivion”. Wielding a molten take on blackened blues, high upon wings of existential doom and proto metal, this album oozes molasses-like sweltering groove. These contents are heady, lysergically laced and outright otherworldly at times but with morphing elements of aggressive density giving way to gloomy, dismal virtuosity. The darkened vessel that is “Quest For Oblivion” is an epic of far reaching appeal.
10. KING MOUNTAIN – DAYS OF REDEMPTION / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Blues)
Although they’re not anywhere near the South geographically, the Greek hard rockers have established or ‘redeemed’ themselves as heavy hitters in the modern-era Southern inspired stoner rawk with a downhome soulful swagger. Bridging the gap between Mudvayne and Nashville Pussy these boys from Greece pack a gritty punch loaded with fuzz-toned groove.
9. 10 CODE – RIDE
(Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative, Grunge)
There are times in the history of music one could say that many great things (bands) hail from Greece. Not a falsehood by any means, this commentary was made to reference the likes of the Athens-based quartet 10 CODE, and their recently issued sophomore album, “Ride”. And what a ride it is! Chock full of a fluid swagger moving through mountains of desert rock, precise and on point though never pretentious, there is an unwavering confidence to this aromatic, contemporary rock. With an edginess reminiscent of early Queens Of The Stone Age, and the potential for a commercial appeal ala Foo Fighters, the wide expanse of multifaceted music made by this fantastic foursome delivers something for everyone. Yes, these Grecians have our number, and we have theirs, it is one and the same: 10 CODE.
8. MISSISSIPPI BONES – WISE WORDS FROM THE UNINFORMED / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Blues, Stoner, Doom)
Mississippi Bones are often unfairly compared to Clutch but Mississippi Bones are truly their own animal who exist in a completely different world to their Germantown, Maryland cousins. Mississippi Bones’ world is one populated by aliens, monsters and cannibals and they narrate their stories of these strange creatures and extra terrestrials over musical backdrops that are part southern rock, part Americana and part stoner/hard rock. That they do this while keeping tongues pressed firmly into cheeks, a mischievous glint in the eye and and a knowing smile never far from their mouths is too their credit and not their detriment.
7. BLACK SPELL – BLACK SPELL / NEW!
(Doom, Psychedelic Doom, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock)
Psychedelic Dread Doom emanating from Italy; a pulsating, quivering, lysergic dose of Heavy power and Tripped-out delivery laced with Old-School sound – Epic!
~REEK OF STOOM
6. STONE MACHINE ELECTRIC – THE INEXPLICABLE VIBRATIONS OF FREQUENCIES WITHIN THE COSMIC NETHERWORLD / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Psych, Desert Records)
Three long jams that immerse us in a dark psychedelic space in which narcotic developments make us cross the barrier to a sensory world dominated by magnetic and intriguing instrumental passages. Anyone who does not know this couple, can hardly believe that we are facing a duo, of course, listening to the songs it would be very difficult to reach that conclusion, which is an endorsement and an invitation to discover their fascinating sound. His instrumental jams rise from the abyss to gravitate in a dark orbit close to Earthless with a charge of mystery and sinister mysticism.
5. GREEN DRUID – AT THE MAW OF RUIN / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Drone, Ambient, Psychedelic)
Everything that was presented on the band’s debut has increased here. For me “At the Maw of Ruin” marches forth with both stunning speed and heavy-footed slowness, and with a development in the songwriting that are massive and with an knowledge from the bands earlier material.The band improves me with this creation that is not only another landmark release for them, it’s a doom work that is to be hailed as a magnificent to many.
With a running time just over an hour, the album is an ambitious thing from the band. It might be for some a gigantic runtime but my advise is to give this record time. And when you give it time you will see a different body and the richness of it.
You will get a dynamic and memorable listening experience when spending time with this album. The outstanding song on the record “A Throne Abandoned” are a good example. This song has a swampy, a contagious power that has an independent life of its own guitar riff, and some absolutely beautiful and haunting vocal harmonies. which are contagiously effective from start to finish.
4. SUPERLORD – VS. GARGANTUAN / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Hard Rock, Space Rock)
Heavy… fuzzy… dense… and murky.. This is the sonic equivalent of smoking a fatty. You know.. That feeling of being in a smoke filled room with poor lighting. It’s murky, at best, even in the middle of a sun filled day. Sounds are just above muted… like you’ve got heavy cotton in your ears. It’s the drug induced feeling that you never knew that you needed. Burn One!
Hazy clean vocal tones delivered over a backdrop of raucous riffs and thunderous rhythms that come at you hard fast and fuzzy are Superlord’s stock in trade and it looks like business at the moment is booming for this British three-piece. Included in some important end of year list, despite only being released in December, is one reason to check out the bands debut EP “Vs. Gargantuan”, the other reason is…. we said you should
3. SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT – END OF FOREVER / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Krautrock, Heavy Psych, Space Rock)
The German band says goodbye in a big way with their latest album. Symphonic passages, stoner riffs, acoustic moments, psychedelic mists, progressive developments, 70’s hard rock, some Latin beat. Can you ask for more? Without a doubt the answer is NO. Good melodies endowed with their characteristic mystique merge with moments of hard 70’s in line Jethro Tull or even Pink Floyd, with rural moments that collide with the multitude of unexpected turns in each song. The beauty of the guitar developments is another of the great endorsements of this wonderful farewell work in which the oriental fragrances that invade well-constructed themes are also found.
2. KING CHIEFS – FLYING INTO VOID / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Doom, Hard Rock, Fuzz)
(San Diego, California)
King Chiefs are the kings of melodic distortion and groove. Flying Into The Void, quenches a hunger for progressively catchy riffs and bright and cheery tone.
The Four from California deliver some tasty stoner, desert and hard rock on their new album Flying Into The Void. But that is ofcourse only the main line; the main line covered in a thick layer of fuzz! But the rock is fluid and the influences a plenty. Prog touches, grungy hooks and nineties affection. Something incredibly catchy lingers here, highly dynamic and melodic the nine tracks all have their own identity and all sounds like the King Chiefs. And chiefs they are!
1. WORMHOG – YELLOW SEA / NEW!
(Progressive, Stoner, Doom, Metal)
Greece’s Wormhog combine the raucous riffage and thunderous rhythms we have come to expect from bands from their part of the world with the complexities and intricacies we usually associated with the more highbrow prog bands of the UK, Eastern Europe and the USA, yet do so without compromising on either dynamic. I suppose there are those that will describe what Wormhog do on “Yellow Sea” as “prog metal” but there is something a little more feral and raw to the grooves found here that would justify the word “stoner” finding its place somewhere in that description.
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); Doomsday Jesus (DoomsdaysJesus); Duncan Evans (Alternative Control); Eric Varasiftsky (Stoner Rock Army); Frazer Jones (Desert Psychlist); Geoff Leppard (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); 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.