Today we feature our good friend and fellow contributor, Shasta Beast’s Top 25 albums of 2020. Shasta is one of those guys over at Stoner Hive. You know the type. Cool ass people.
- IZZY AND THE BLACK TREES – TRUST NO ONE
A diverse mix of styles from post-punk to fuzzy stoner, Izzy herself brings powerhouse vocals to an uplifting and emotional album.
- KING BUFFALO – DEAD STAR
No surprise these psych rock masters’ new album was another killer. Eerie, spacey, and one of their heaviest yet. Epic!
- GHOST FROG – ASTRAL ARCADE
Astral Arcade almost flew in under the radar too late, but thank Iommi it didn’t. A wacky psych rock masterpiece with everything from doom to poppy fuzz hooks with a splash of King Gizz vibes.
- KILLA BABES – WE ARE THE KILLA BABES
Straight up fun, these NWOBHM and glam-infused rock n rollers from Canada bring the good time vibes. Bring out the leather pants and fingerless gloves for this one.
- SERPENT WORSHIP – BLOOD & VENOM
A one-man machine of doom and gloom, each track is a dense epic of swampy tone and creepy psych. Come for some spooky western vibes and stay for the organ freakout.
- DUNGEON WEED – MIND PALACE OF THE
A wild ride of crazed doom and sludge that dials the weird way up. Grimy in all the right ways with wild solos that cut through the murk, only to leave you stumbling right back in.
- SKYPIG – HELL IS INSIDE YOU
Their debut EP hooked me and this year’s full length more than lived up to the early promise. Filthy sludge with massively weighted tone, Sky Pig brood and swirl with dark psychedelia.
- PSYCHLONA – VENUS SKYTRIP
This one’s been all the rage in stoner rock and the hype is real. Bombastic riffage deals out full-toned groove after groove, with spacey atmosphere added in for good measure.
- BEEHOOVER – LOW PERFORMER
I raved about this when it first came out and I still get chills with every spin. Totally unique sludge, Low Performer is brutal and touching at the same time. Powerfully affecting stuff.
- DESERT STORM – OMENS
The UK sludge stalwarts returned with yet another solid gold record, experimenting with new vibes and elevating their crushing sound with a modern edge and dark atmospherics. The low end still quakes, the riffs still pummel, but the ever-evolving Desert Storm are never intent to rest on their laurels.
- WOORMS – TWITCHING, AS PREY
WOORMS deal in weird, caustic, lumbering sludge, and their follow up to last year’s “slake” twists the knife even further. This is freaky good with some curve balls up its sleeve.
- EARTHDIVER – LORD OF THE COSMOS
From the never disappointing Forbidden Place Records stormed this rip-roaring stoner epic, mixing sludgy doom with ferocious bursts of speed. Adrenaline pumping from beginning to end, and what an end it is with the epic “Crusader”.
- BIG OAF – BIG OAF
Even with ten months of 2020 to contend with, Big Oaf immediately rocketed to the top of the heap. Savage sludge that hits like a ton of bricks with filthy levels of distortion, and the ability to slog and sprint in equally devastating measure.
- DEAD – RAVING DROOLING
Gravelly, molasses thick sludge with explosive drums, DEAD’s latest in a long catalogue is a unique triumph. Catchy one moment and abrasive the next, the two piece behind the WeEmptyRooms label is relentlessly creative.
- UUBBUURRUU – UUBBUURRUU
Endlessly boogie-able and high energy, the feel-good retro vibes were much needed and well spun this year. Just try to get Ice Head out of your ears.
- MIDNIGHT GALLOWS – ATTACK WARNING RED
Breakneck sludge attack with some high voltage stoner, this debut holds nothing back. The ungodly vocals are an unexpectedly perfect fit, upping the considerable heaviness another notch or five.
- SORGE – SORGE
One of the best debuts of the year, the doom is plenty epic and tripped out, but it’s the authentic atmosphere of dark, Eldritch mystery that gives me the shivers.
- MOUNTAIN TAMER – PSYCHOSIS RITUAL
These cats know how to multitask, both bludgeoning and delivering psych freakouts with this monster of an album. Every track will bulldoze right over you, and standout Scorched Earth lives up to its name.
- DRYLAND – DANCES WITH WAVES
Dryland’s debut has been a staple spin this year, an adrenaline pumping swords-and-sorcery stoner epic with some of the raddest riffs around. The vocals are a standout, and the new music video for The Sound A Sword Adores is a work of art.
- KITCHEN WITCH – EARTH & ETHER
Amazing vocals and downright groovy, heavy vibes, Kitchen Witch bring the doom and bluesy bounce. Spooky, witchy energy abounds.
- BAILJACK – SPRING
I was turned on to these guys by dumb luck in my last live show pre-covid, and just in time. 70s psychedelic blues with a bit of doom, and two unique, equally powerful guitarist-vocalists joined by a killer rhythm section. Top quality all-around.
- FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS – MONSTERS EATING PEOPLE EATING MONSTERS
Endless energy from these psych rock weirdos, MEPEM never lets up with snappy riffs and a driving beat that’s one long party, start to finish.
- RITO VERDUGO – POST-PRIMATUS
A short release I’ve had on repeat, spacey psychedelic stoner with tight, earworm grooves. These Peruvians bring the talent and have big things ahead.
- PALE MARE – PALE MARE (EP II)
Ever since their first EP, I’ve been in anticipation of more barn-burning sludge from Pale Mare, and boy did they deliver. Filthy riffs that trample everything in their way, and some experimentation with atmospherics that’s a cherry on top.
- KASKADEUR – KASKADEUR
I’ll shout it from the mountaintops, the artists previously known as Stonehenge are in a class of their own. Jazz, psych, stoner, and an alien X factor combine for a completely unique and out-there sound from top musicians.