For most of us this time last year we were getting our first taste of the COVID blues. Fast forward to 2021, and it appears there is some light at the end of the tunnel. In many areas live music is making its way back on track, cases seem to be trailing off and we’re beginning to ease into a sense of normalcy. That said, the music continues to blow our minds and has remained a staple while everything else around us seemed more like pandamonium.
February features a tight race at the top with many albums clearly influencing the listeners. Several records from January hang on for another round this month seeing 21 new entries dominating the charts as per usual, with a total of 279 unique albums voted upon.
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. MOS GENERATOR – THE LANTERN / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Progressive Rock, Stoner Rock)
(Port Orchard, Washington)
The Good Book says “There is nothing new under the sun…“, but I must protest this proclamation. It is true ‘The Lantern’ is a collection of songs from MOS GENERATOR originally released on CD as ‘The Vault Sessions’ in 2006, and as ‘Tales From The Vault’, a 10” picture disc in 2007. With the original album long out of print and a virus providing many with plenty of free time, the man that wields the magic, Mr. Tony Reed, remixed and mastered at the tracks at his own HeavyHead Recording Co. in August / September of last year. Adorned with new artwork, the results more than speak for themselves as each’s initial raw nature remains intact yet with newer, fully fleshed-out facets that only impress.
24. SONIC FLOWER – RIDES AGAIN
(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.
23. VOKONIS – ODYSSEY
(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!
22. PSEUDO MIND HIVE – VOLUME III
(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!
21. DEMON HEAD – VISCERA / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Diabolic, Metal, Doom, Metal Blade Records)
Those first DEMON HEAD releases were much more lo-fi, occult and proto sounding. But don’t worry, the new album Viscera still retains some of that old DEMON HEAD sound. But slower, much more intense and with a much grander arc and grandiose gestures. The atmospheric qualities have risen to cathedral proportions and the result is an unhurried, gothic, rock noir album with an everlasting mystical ambiance.
20. GRANDE FOX – EMPTY NEST / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic)
This album is one of the ones that just recently hit my radar, but has completely blown me away already. The songwriting is extremely well done, applying dynamics to create peaks and valleys, diversity to keep things interesting, and is accentuated by killer vocals. This is a great album; buy it, don’t even think about it, just buy it.
19. DAYGLO MOURNING – DEAD STAR / NEW!
(Progressive, Doom, Hard Rock, Sludge)
Power trio DayGlo Mourning operate within a realm of heavy music beyond the constraints of a specific genre. Their debut full length album Dead Star has an inner core of Doom Metal fused with elements of Heavy Psych, Stoner Rock and Space Rock. Stellar dual vocals tell tales of the occult, sacrifice and death amidst a galaxy of riffs. The thunderous, down tuned, sludgy bass frequently takes the lead and coupled with the pulsating drums gives this record a groove that is out of this world.
~BOB “MR. WEIRDBEARD” BAKER
18. ELECTRIC MOTHER – II / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Hard Rock)
Five-piece ELECTRIC MOTHER hails from those magnificent Scottish islands in the north! And the quintet just self-released their sophomore album II on both vinyl and cd and give us a tasty combination of nineties alternative metal, grunge, stoner and hardrock. It’s got groove, it’s got heart and it’s got soul! Low slung, low punk, bass heavy, massive hooks and damn fine guitar colors! Marauding guitars and almost eighties aura give it all this classic touch. Indeed, you’re listening to something indispensable, eclectic and majestic!
17. CULT OF LUNA – THE RAGING RIVER / NEW!
(Progressive, Post Metal, Sludge, Doom, Metal)
A great slab of heaviness here. Cult Of Luna have made a more direct, organic sounding album and this time around get straight into what they do best. The guitars are massive sounding and are driven along by the superb tribal drumming, creating walls of noise that seem to overpower with their deluge but you quickly realise that subtle changes within the riffs are opening up different levels within the passages. There is excellent interplay with clean, echo driven guitar and the distorted, ferocious chords that explode out from these tunes. Mark Lanegan adds his world weary vocals to the track “Inside Of A Dream” to great effect.
16. HERE LIES MAN – RITUAL DIVINATION
(Afrobeat, Sabbath, Hard Rock, Doom, Riding Easy Records)
(Los Angeles, California)
Dropping from #2 to #16 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.
15. KOMATSU – ROSE OF JERICHO
(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.
14. CANCERVO – I / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Rock, Doom, Electric Valley Records)
CANCERVO, on their debut album ‘I’, we are wrapped in leaden riffs and atmospheric passages of heavy psychedelics under transcendental tones that invite reflection. Without a doubt, this is an ideal album to listen to accompanied by a good bud of good weed to enhance all its narcotic and mystical power. Its heavy riffs and voiced-free instrumentation attract us to a dark story full of lysergic effluvia that often flirt with doom postulates. Six tracks that walk through erratic territories venturing into a wandering psychedelic under Stoner passages with many progressive elements of a supernatural character.
13. ROSTRO DEL SOL – ROSTRO DEL SOL
(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
12. SUNNATA – BURNING IN HEAVEN, MELTING ON EARTH / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Heavy, Progressive)
If you stumbled upon a tribal initiation ritual this would likely be the soundtrack to it… There’s an earthy, hypnotic mysticism on display throughout. One minute you’re feeling something feral and the next you feel something almost like jubilation.
In short… take a little Bauhaus and throw in some catchy pop songwriting sensibility and blend that with some sludgy doom elements and you have Sunnata’s Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth.
11. LORDS OF THE OPIUM CHURCH – LORDS OF THE OPIUM CHURCH / NEW!
(Rock & Roll, Punk, Heavy Metal)
Canada’s latest heavy export, LOTOC combines the raw vitality of 70’s Hard Rock with the dense, lush atmospheres of Doom and Sludge delivering a highly-accomplished debut that will stay on your deck for days…
~REEK OF STOOM
10. APPALOOZA – THE HOLY OF HOLIES / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Grunge, Stoner, Doom, Ripple Music)
Hailing from Nantes, these French rockers propel us toward some complex grooves and progressive rhythms. Ranging from creamy to burly, the vocals are just SmAsHiNg! In a positive way, they remind me of both Alice in Chains and Tool. The sugar-coated harmonized riffs sprinkled with Middle Eastern spices are yummy as fuck! There is many layers to this album and it will sure deserve many spins!!!
9. JURASSIC WITCH – BLACK MASSES AND ASHES / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Sabbath Worship, Stoner)
(Los Angeles, California)
Primal and groovy, two-piece Jurassic Witch’s debut is a lethal combination of crushing, sludgy riffs and bluesy hooks. Clocking in at almost 40 minutes across 4 songs, each track is an epic journey in pulverizing tones and thunderous drums.
8. PARALYZED – PARALYZED
(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.
7. HOLY MONITOR – SOUTHERN LIGHTS / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Kraut, Space Rock)
A fascinating album that plays with spatial elements, kraut rhythms and oriental vibrations in KIKAGAKU MOYO line in soft songs impregnated in beautiful sonic fragrances that do not forget the Greek tradition. Some songs that are a balm for the listener and that help the bad vibes. With vintage tones, contributed by its warm keyboards, voices that evoke the psychedelic pop of the 60’s and acid guitars full of magnetism. The Greeks create their own magical world, elevating us to a sensory dimension in which everything floats in an ethereal way, relaxing our senses and providing us with a rewarding journey.
6. DOPELORD – REALITY DAGGER / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner)
Dopelord follow up their excellent 2020 release,”Sign of the Devil” with “Reality Dagger”, an EP of such magnitude that it almost eclipses its predecessor and the fact that it does this while only consisting of three songs tells you just how good this EP is. Poland’s lords of the low-slung riff deliver, over a period of just 21minutes 32 seconds, grooves that are as heavy, dank and dark as anything you could ever hope to hear from a band operating on the extreme edges of metallic music but have a uniquness of sound and musical attack that is far in advance of anything currently being attempted by their contemporaries. “Reality Dagger” trancends terms like stoner,doom or sludge, this is Dopelord music …accept no substitutes.
5. NOSTONE – ROAD INTO THE DARKNESS / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Occult, Punk, Sludge)
If you want to take a trip on a vintage 70’s occult sound, well,this album is simply just for you. Imagine Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats meeting Electric Wizard and you’re almost there.It’s super fuzzy rock with a hint of blues. These 3 guys from Argentina did an awesome job. This album is definitely a grower!
~ERIC “THE GENERAL” VARASIFSKY
4. INDICA BLUES – WE ARE DOOMED / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Doom, APF Records)
Humm, with that energy level they could have very well had called themselves Sativa Blues… But I guess they wanted us to lay back firmly in our couches, take a big puff and drift away in that psychedelic groove they offer us. Indeed, Indica Blues rolled us a big spliff full of their own mixture of doom, blues and desert rock. But, to be truthful, I don’t smoke weed anymore at the exception of very rare occasion. So, since that album is smoking hot, let’s get crazed on it!!!
3. VOID COMMANDER – RIVER LORD / NEW!
(70’s Rock, Doom, Southern Metal, Hard Rock, Ozium Records)
The Southern rockers from the great North are back with another output of freaky fuzz. The commanding blues licks churn a thick distorted groove and ooze with sweet stoner-soul. Imagine Sabbath and Zeppelin in a ring with Marshall Tucker and the Grateful Dead. Everyone gets a trophy here folks.
2. JAKETHEHAWK – HINTERLANDS / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner, Hard Rock, Progressive, Ripple Music)
Strap yourself in for the ethereal experience of Hinterlands the new release from ‘Jakethehawk’. Rocking out with a regal style the band describes their music as a brand of Desert/Appalachian Rock (or Allegheny Mt.) as they are known in Pennsylvania. Six songs from start to finish build a simmering ride of heavy post rock intertwined with a celestial superb prog that builds right to the end. I could compare them to Elder, Opeth, or Howling Giant but this album is some kind of special beast above and beyond while being their own brand of music. The outstanding, A-1 production is something that one expects from a release by Ripple Music. Magnificent vocals, guitar and keys throughout from John Huxley, together with Josh Emery’s impressive guitar and vocals, Justin Lober’s first-rate bass, and the superlative anchor Jordan Lober on drums bring it and bring it hard. This is an album that one doesn’t want to miss. It’s that good.
1. SPELLJAMMER – ABYSSAL TRIP / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner Psychedelic, Riding Easy Records)
Abyssal Trip is a sprawling, monumental and crippling slice of Psychedelic Doom that rivals CONAN and SLOMATICS with it’s Jovian gravities and UFOMAMMUT’s swirling, dark ambiences…TRULY EPIC! End of year lister guaranteed!
~REEK OF STOOM
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.