“Music doesn’t lie. If there’s something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music”Jimi Hendrix
Be the change they always say… The world is a crazy place right now no matter what side of the spectrum you reside. Rather than dwell on the negatives, we try and focus on the positives as evidenced each and every month here at the Doom Charts. Bringing that powerful change via the power of music.
2021 kicks off in high gear with nearly 250 albums in the running, mostly new and hot off the press. 24 of 25 abums debuting the charts. One of the team’s most engaging months in quite some time indicates our team is eager and willing to continue doing what we do to bring you our favorite picks every month. Year over year quality improvement seems to be holding consistent in the heavy underground scene and certainly, January 2021 is here to prove it!
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. IBLISS – DEMONIC, HER
(Doom, Stoner Metal, Hard Rock)
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
The lo-fi Demonic, Her album by three-piece formation IBLISS will immediately give you the chills! The raw, gritty and filthy sound tends to do that; especially when you feel the demonic breath of her occult offering the entire time behind your ear. Aah yes, the sinful properties of man, that vintage spilling of blood, dancing on a tightrope between creepy and catchy, IBLISS translates it all into something hallucinatory and mesmerizing.
24. ERED GULDUR – THE MARCH OF THE UNDEAD / NEW!
(Doom, Dungeon, Heavy Metal)
Spanish Doom protagonists ERED GULDUR delve deep into the murky fathoms of ponderous riffs, looming atmospheres and wild, trippy guitars wandering aloft above it all – a meeting of Funereal and Psychedelic Doom done with skill and fervour!
~REEK OF STOOM
23. SONIC FLOWER – RIDES AGAIN / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Stoner, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych Sounds)
Imagine Earthless on a journey through the raw sounds of the acid blues of the seventies in search of the pioneers of heavy-psychs. Boogie, rock and roll, and even doom moments coexist in this psychotropic bacchanal of outsized proportions. With direct songs, despite the fact that they seem more like a jam than typical songs, their duration does not exceed four minutes, which makes them get to the point without getting carried away by long developments. From the thunderous drums, to the hurtful guitar duo, each track builds from a repeating riff that serves as a starting point for their psychotropic whims.
22. KOMATSU – ROSE OF JERICHO / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Stoner, Sludge, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych Sounds)
The Netherlands distributors of the “super massive rock” sound, KOMATSU, are back with their most ambitious work to date, Rose Of Jericho. Its beauty is found within the blend stemming from thick riffs and dense rhythms, then topped with dynamic, emotive vocals. Breaking further from their generalized Stoner Rock designations, the quartet are on-point precise with powerful songwriting leading the way. Those familiar with the band will undoubtedly dig Rose Of Jericho, its organic evolution from previous albums. Someone just discovering KOMATSU just found their new, favorite band.
21. BLACK SKY GIANT – PLANET TERROR / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Instrumental, Space)
If you’re looking for some solid gold instrumental stoner rock (and why wouldn’t you be?) then look no further than Black Sky Giant’s album Planet Terror. This album is chalk full of groove, atmosphere and crisp guitar tones that will wrap you in a cocoon of heavy cosmic delight. The outer reaches of the cosmos are but a click away.
20. ULTRA VOID – ULTRA VOID / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Hard Rock, Doom, Fuzz)
(Brooklyn, New York)
Heavy raw stoner rock/proto-metal grooves with a delightful funky undercurrent, the five songs that make up this release are coated in vocals that sometimes border on harsh but are saved from being unlistenable thanks to the clarity of the vocalists delivery and the off-kilter quirkiness of the music that surrounds that delivery. If your looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a little left of field and a little off the beaten path then you can’t go far wrong by putting a few coins this bands way. File under weird and wonderful!
19. VOKONIS – ODYSSEY / NEW!
(Progressive, Doom, Hard Rock, Sludge, The Sign Records)
We must apologize to the readers, for some of us were so taken with the album that we forgot that it would not be released for a few months. But when it finally arrives, rest assured, it will blow your your mind! Vokonis has been moving ever forward from their doom metal beginnings to an ever more progressive future. New 6-track album Odyssey by the Swedish is their most accomplished yet; it makes expert use of all the progressive tension arcs available and still retains that incredibly heavy, doom and grunting edge. And extra cherry on top of it all is Opeth and Kamchatka’s very own Per Wiberg on keys. We all love Per and we all love Vokonis!
18. ROSTRO DEL SOL – ROSTRO DEL SOL / NEW!
(70’s, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych, Jazz, Blues)
A magnificent debut with good melodies and a perfect execution of songs rich in nuances and textures. A great guarantee that makes everything flow with a somber naturalness, without complexes. Five children of Moctezuma who, with his debut, are worthy of conquering the world. A magical half hour in which progressive rock, the most acidic psychedelia, jazz-rock and funk rhythms, are dressed in vintage tones in the purest 70’s style. Imagine a party in style with Hendrix and Alvin Lee as hosts and with Colloseum, Traffic, Deep Purple, Earthless, Santana, Zappa or Siena Root as guests. Only hurtful, a lot of Wah, wah, and a few enveloping keyboards are spiced up with the always seductive sound of the sax, one of the attractions of this instrumental album. An impressive work from first to last song
17. AROUND THE FIRE – CELESTIAL KEEPERS / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Sludge, Stoner)
Totally unique and mesmerizing, Around The Fire’s second album raises the bar yet again with their visionary melding of Greek, Egyptian, and Asian sounds with doom and sludge. The thundering riffs growl hand in hand with eastern melodies and guttural throat singing, creating a sinisterly groovy and cryptic masterpiece.
16. PSEUDO MIND HIVE – VOLUME III / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Psychedelic, Progressive, Stoner)
Love these guys’ style of heavy occult psych. The guitar tone murmurs with progressive clout while the rhythm drowns us with its pulsing undertow. Volume III sustains Pseudo Mind Hive’s status as essential Aussie fuzz!
15. SONIC DEMON – VENDETTA / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Acid, FUZZ)
Groove-laden stoner rock from the depths of Italy. A cocktail of grass and boozed fuelled madness, influenced by all the usual suspects from the world of Doom, Blues, Stoner Rock and Psychedelia along with hints of punk and good ol’ rock n roll! Heavy, heavy stoner that has an unstoppable groove to it. Bouncy killer riffs that just keep on making your feet stomp. Desperate vocals that growl over the tunes with menace and passion. Fuzzed out, distorted speaker-blown solos that rip apart the cosmos and destroy all in its path. This is the good shit.
14. PLANET CRUISER – RIDERS OF THE EDGE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Blues, Metal, Stoner Rock)
Riders of the Edge is an enthralling blend of melodic hard rock, metallic prog and heady psych that goes way beyond brilliant. There are moments listening to this when i’m reminded of 80’s cult melodic rockers Ashbury and others where Howling Giant come to mind and if you are familiar with either of those bands then you’ll know that this is high praise indeed.
13. AFGHAN HAZE – NIHILISTIC STONER HYMNS / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Sludge, Stoner Rock)
Nihilistic Stoner Hymns does exactly what it says on the sleeve – delivers sermons of Doom wrapped in the hazy incense of Psychedelia and narcoleptic pace. A powerful combo of Heavy Blues. Psych and Sludge.
~REEK OF STOOM
12. MAW – MAW / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Grunge, Space Rock)
A cauldron blend of top notch Desert, Stoner, Grunge, Punk and Psych. Their music is a sound formed from influences like Naxatras, Colour Haze and Tool but very much their own. I personally dig the 1st class twin guitars from Martyna Hebda and Kuba Stępień who rise to occasion. The hot and grainy back and forth riffing and jamsming are ear candy. The band is very tight, like they have been grooving together for eons. Vocalist Piotr Stachowiak intertwines perfectly with conviction. His vocals are idiosyncratic. The outstanding rhythm section captains this stoner ship to it’s destination. With former drummer Michał Gawroński (Szymon Piotrowskiis now banging the kit) manning the drums and Piotr Stępień on bass, they set the stage for this impressive debut. MAW is a perfect blend and good to the last drop.
11. PARALYZED – PARALYZED / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Blues, Metal, Retro)
Imagine Joakim Nilsson, Jim Morrison, and Danzig walked into a bar……. Big, burly, ballsy and bluesy growls erupt into whiskey stained, smoke-hazed debauched riffage, leaving all in sight PARALYZED. Nuff said. Favorite track: Prophets.
10. WALL – WALL / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Instrumental, Heavy Metal, Stoner)
The Cole twins can do no wrong. Birthed from quarantine, Wall is monstrously heavy instrumental sludge, drawing in the groove and crush the brothers of Desert Storm and The Grand Mal are known for. Wall is its own beast, however, a rumbling behemoth of growling doom and visceral drumming that sets a benchmark for heavy two-pieces.
9. STARIFIED – FAT HITS / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Alternative, Grunge, Ripple Music)
Moscow rockers Starified making their debut at Ripple Music with some solid gold. Solid guitar riffs and Fat solos make their way onto this album. The album kicks off with an Iommic riff filled track “Scapegoat. That, however, is only the beginning. I’d say if you enjoy Ozzmosis era Ozzy and those fat Iommi riffs from his latter solo records this album is for you.
Every song on “Fat Hits” has a diverse energy all of it’s own: “Anti-Rebel”s punk chugging breaking down into an Indie-Metal groove, “Wider Lane”s Melodic Metal flesh through to the Post-Hardcore doomings of “Noah” Every track delivered and executed with a new vigour and attitude that oozes pure class! STARIFIED have created a diverse, brilliant and thoroughly Modern Stoner Doom album….a highlight of 2021 already.
~REEK OF STOOM
8. MISS LAVA – DOOM MACHINE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Small Stone Records)
Fast paced, heavy truckin! The new album Doom Machine by Lisbon quartet Miss Lava has very little actual Doom in it. (So it fits perfectly on the Doom Charts! Grin!) Well, lyric swise there is some definite doom and gloom; but the hardrock and stoner grooves displayed here will also definitely make you smile. Atavistic stoner tunes straight from the desert dueling for attention with hardrock; and some psychedelic touches. And the album truly gets better with each listening session! Get hooked on the Doom Machine and you will get burned, by Miss Lava!
7. LEGBA – THE DEMON INSIDE / NEW!
(Doom, Psychedelic Doom, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock)
(Greenville, South Carolina)
The Inner Demon carries us thru an introspective gloomy journey. Most probably a reflection of the on going global pandemic… A progressive, melodic and melancholic approach to doom metal. Mixing clean vocals with sludgier ones, the songs offers us some interesting contrasts. A few rays of faint light, filled with sadness, filters through the shadows. Of course, these shadows thicken when the riffs embarks; they seem into us with a physical heaviness!!!
6. BLACKJACK MOUNTAIN – HOLDING TIME / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Psych, Southern Rock, Blues)
We have to appreciate albums we can crank to 11. Swamp Records come through big time with this album. Blackjack Mountain’s Holding Time pours a mixture of straight 100 proof country hard rock. With flat ass grooved out riffs accompanying a solid back line, this is exactly what I want from southern fried rock and roll. ~ROBERT PANNELL
5. WEDGE – LIKE NO TOMORROW
(60’S, 70’S, Hard Rock, Stoner, Heavy Psych Sounds)
Fresh songs full of vitality and rhythm in which the band creates the heaviest songs so far. As they say themselves: Retro-rock? Better not think about labels and enjoy. That would be the first reflection to make about a solvent and catchy album that takes elements of hard rock from the 70’s, the usual psychedelic ornaments, some progressive developments. Direct songs with lyrics full of optimism and in which the garage-rock echoes so characteristic in their two previous albums seem to dissipate in favor of a greater compositional complexity and in their heavier album.
4. DIRTY PAGANS – THE FAMILY / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Hard Rock, Psychedelic)
The Family nods firmly to the proto-metal of the early 70’s…raw, sleazy riffs and acidic atmospheres combine to create a Heavy Psych stomper!
~REEK OF STOOM
I didn’t even know this thing was out there until counting up the votes myself. Hot damn, you cannot afford not to buy this blazing output of holy fuckballs heavy rock n doom. This melds bits and pieces of various styles of metal and doom from the 70’s through the 90’s into a modern smorgasbord of heavy underground flavor. Something the whole family can enjoy, if you’re a family of metal maniacs, pun intended! This is a kick in the nuts.
3. MONSTROID – SET 2: BURNT SKY / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Desert Rock, Stoner Metal)
(Cape Town, South Africa)
Back in 2017 I was hooked by Monstroid’s first output and now, this Desert/Stoner quartet from Cape Town in South Africa is back with Burnt Sky! The gnarly bass accompanied by forceful drums create a captivating groove throughout the album. Add the lead and rhythm guitars to that and you can choke on fumes left by that rolling fire of riffs! So yeah, this time I must say I am not hooked but more horned by the fuzzy demon they’ve summoned!!!
2. HERE LIES MAN – RITUAL DIVINATION / NEW!
(Afrobeat, Sabbath, Hard Rock, Doom, Riding Easy Records)
(Los Angeles, California)
Coming in at #2 Here Lies Man’s Ritual Divination, maintains the band’s signature Afrobeat undercurrent emphasized much more on the rock n’ roll side of the trance. The keyboards expose a tribal dimension setting the stage for arguably their hottest riffs yet as a band. The first album as a full on 4-piece sees the band building upon a dynamic of heavy rock and psych and allowing the vocal chants, rhythmic keys, and ethnic drumming to breathe into the realm of the heavy occult without sounding cliche and whilst maintaining their identity and reputation that got them their start.
Here Lies Man is a band with danceable grooves that are highly addictive! The band gives us their best album so far and I don’t think they have reached the limit of what they can create! My expectations for album number five go even further beyond their, so far, familiar terrain and I’m longing for it.
1. KABBALAH – THE OMEN / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Occult, Ripple Music)
Edging it out by nearly 700 points, Kabbalah have made a statement. The Omen has cleary caught the attention of the Doom Charts council this month. Their second full length album and first on the esteemed Ripple Music roster, these 3 gals continue to progress their witchy harmonies beyond the tropes of stoner doom and into class of their own. The Omen opens 2021 with pure style and grace. Something the world needs right now.
It’s not fair to other bands when am album this good comes out; it just takes all the attention, and absorbs it for itself. This record is another stellar example of why Kabbalah is at the top of their genre!
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.