“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates
As the old folk lore goes, March came in like a lion and out like a, well in the Doom Charts case, a fucking lion. Another solid month of new tunes, 23 of which make their debut here on the charts. If you’re on the west coast there is still time to pitch in for Bandcamp Friday and push all proceeds to the bands. Sorry we didn’t get this up sooner, but times have been busy here at headquarters and we can only do so much. Either way, what I always say is everyday is bandcamp Friday and no matter where you’re at the music is at the click of the mouse.
Today I felt I’d share something personal and one reason for the lag in getting this up a bit later than usual. Anyway, as you all know the Doom Charts is a global affair and our team spans across multiple continents and represents as much of the world as we can within this tight knit heavy underground scene. These posts are generally updated and tallied by myself, who takes time out of my real world life in a fit of passion and obsession for music. Well, I’ve recently been offered an opportunity at my day job at a new company in a new city and have been laboring away over the past month or so packing my bags and uprooting my family to dive into a new adventure in a new city. For those in the Denver, Colorado area, yours truly will be taking up residence starting next week and am excited to get to know the local scene that I hear is absolutely killer. Anyway, enough boasting about my personal affairs (I’m super excited about it), but if you’re in Denver as a band or fan, feel free to hit me up at my email listed on my bandcamp collection and lets all keep in touch in the months to come. I’m going to need to find out where all the cool record shops and venues are in the city. And that also said, we’re a global family so no matter where you live on the planet you can count on us to present the best new albums in the world each and every 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. THRONEHAMMER – INCANTATION RITES / NEW!
(Epic Doom, Metal, Sludge, Stoner)
“Incantation Rites”, the second album of the Franconian / British “Ultra Doom Metal” demons is an epic-majestic masterpiece, a giant slough of hell, forged from the anthemic genes of sludgy epic doom metal and by royal skill risen to a forward looking, all-devouring Doom-Metal monster of its kind! A monumental 75-minute cathartic mercy seat that spins with you in warlike majesty in the apocalyptic hellfire of the primordial black mass. I love this, earth shattering, brilliant and shaking to the core hell chair!!!!
24. BLACK JUJU – PURPLE FLOWER, GARDEN BLACK / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Rock n’ Roll, Sleaszy Rider SRL)
Imagine if Monster Magnet, armed with some sabbathian riffs, transported themselves to a remote recording studio located in the swampy backwaters of America’s southern states in order to make an album influenced by that regions musical culture. Well there is no need to imagine because Greece’s BLACK JUJU have stolen a march on Dave Wyndorf’s space cadets and already released such an album, “Purple Flower, Garden Black” is a mind-blowing collection of southern fried stoner/hard rocks grooves flavoured with a thick gloopy doomic garnish that will cause you to lose your shit every time you play it!
23. THE QUILL – EARTHRISE / NEW!
(Progressive, Doom, Hard Rock, Sludge, Metalville Records)
Grand masters of the grand gestures, Swedish quartet The Quill show us once again that they are perfectionists when it comes to combining seventies metal with hardrock and then spice things up with bits of stoner and smooth it out with an AOR touch. It’s weird that the ninth album Earthrise surprises once again in its amazing delivery, highly diverse, they opt for heavy metal of epic proportions one track or deliver progrock goodness the next. And yes, even that one sixties influenced psychedelic rock track which borders on becoming a power ballad will blow your mind…
22. ELK WITCH – THE MOUNTAIN / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Psychedelic, Doom, Stoner)
Coming down “The Mountain”, Oregon’s ELK WITCH arrive to tan your hide. Their 4-song debut is abundantly rich with the undiluted essentials of every profound stoner rock recording. Heaving over with Iommi-inspired riffs and rutted with rhythm and grooves, there’s a haze of hypnotic allure here sure to hold your interest. It’s an impressive first offering from this trio of musicians with burly talent, one recommended if you like The Sword, Sea Of Green, or ASG.
21. EUTANASIA – COSMONAUTA / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Stoner Rock, Psych)
Holy Damn, these Chilean fuzzster, with some evident nods to bands like KYUSS and Truckfighters, set the scene not in the middle of a desert, but right in the middle of a crater located on a planetoid that drifts into outer space. Yeah, nothing less. You gotta be careful and hold tight if you don’t want to be propelled away in the void; Eutanasia riffs are strong but the gravity is low. Cosmonauta is a cyclopean blend of Desert Rock, Heavy Psych and Doom that will creep inside your spacesuit right up to your brain!!!
20. STONUS – SEANCE / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic)
In this new journey, STONUS take a more experimental approach in search of tradition, experiencing popular sounds, gypsy landscapes and exposing themselves to the darker side of nature. In some parts they are raw and heavy, while in others they are lost in a psychedelic trance, full of roaring bass lines, heavy riffs and dreamy melodies., Always driven by bursts of fuzz all three songs are developed with a groovy that takes you flying to the different scenarios they explore.
19. WILD FUZZ TRIP – DISTANT PLANETS / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Instrumental, Stoner Rock, Majestic Mountain Records)
Wild Fuzz Trip takes us to a Distant Planet. A bumpy ride in a groovy rusty spaceship. I love how the keyboards sort of replaces the vocals in some part. The album mixes elegantly Stoner, Psychedelic Rock and Seventies elements into something captivating. The album vibe’s reminds me a bit the last album by Saint-Karloff. A highly enjoyable album made by a fuzz aficionado!!!
18. JAKETHEHAWK – HINTERLANDS
(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.
17. LORD MORTVM – DIABOLICAL OMEN OF HELL / NEW!
(Doom, Occult, Black Metal, Classic Rock)
Norway, home of the1st rate Nordic Black/ Extreme/ Metal bands Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Satyricon, Darkthrone, Carpathian Forest and now with his stellar debut lp Lord Mortvm brings his bleak, dark tale to “Diabolical Omen of Hell” Using Stoner/Doom metal that combines his creative juices to Blackened Metal, Occult, classic hard rock and heavy metal these influences are heard through-out this monster of a release. Lots of LO-FI grooving riffs, bleak lyrics and occult tinged vocals. Sitting at the head of a table for one, Lord Mortvm does it all, instruments, songwriting, vocals. It is a deep, captivating album that I highly recommend.
16. SWAMPLORD – TOMBSTONE / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Occult, Sludge)
The Russian trio’s sophomore effort compounds all the heaviness, atmospheric dissonance and urgency of its predecessor, but this time is blessed with crystal clear production and strong compositions, making this an exciting, intense addition to their efforts so far.
~REEK OF STOOM
15. AMAMMOTH – THE FIRE ABOVE / NEW!
(Sludge, Doom, Stoner Rock, Electric Valley Records)
What we have here is some gnarly caveman stoner that has been exquisitely crafted in the land down under. The guttural shrieks of agony accompany sinister guitar tones and a merciless low end bash to create a visceral listening experience. Buy. This. Now.
14. OLDE – PILGRIMAGE / NEW!
(Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge)
“Pilgrimage”is the 3rd full length release from the Toronto’s sludge heavy stoner/doom metal band ‘OLDE. Consisting of members from bands “Sons of Otis, Thrashers “Catharsis,”and “Holy Order” they bring superlative, methodical, heavy, and deliberate music right at you with a Lo and Slo tempo. Thick and heavy, the cataclysmic doom takes one on that long slow ride ending as if the universe has become this deep Black Hole,so dense nothing escapes. Nothing but you, your system, and”OLDE”. If you dig bands like High on Fire, Trouble, or Entombed, then you need this in your collection. A superb album.
13. EYEHATEGOD – A HISTORY OF NOMADIC BEHAVIOR / NEW!
(Sludge, Southern,Doom Metal, Blues, Heavy)
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
In the 7 years since their last album release, the venomous progenitors of NOLA sludge had shoulders put to the wheel… yet with EYEHATEGOD, friction is a catalyst. With a vocalist outliving an essential organ and a guitarist’s stepping away, a sense of restart permeates “A History Of Nomadic Behavior” but don’t get too frenzied, for this ain’t no damn EHG-lite! Streamlined? Sure… yet no less savage or severe, this cataclysmic quartet detonate punk-inflected dirges delivering homage to anxiety, depression, addiction, mental disorder and __ (What have you got? They’re against it). Chaotic as ever was, this riff-driven fray is done the EYEHATEGOD way: Slow and smooth, with abusive grooves in this tussle devoid of hustle — for this is… Southern Doom!
12. YAWNING SONS – SKY ISLAND / NEW!
(Rock, Ambient, Progressive, Desert Rock)
(Palm Desert, California)
Yawning Sons the Desert/post rock band mixing members of Yawning Man and Sons Of Alpha Centauri are back with their long-awaited second album after an 11-year hiatus and they don’t disappoint. Gary Arce’s plays some superbly skilled and fast flowing “note jumping” or arpeggios guitar throughout the album. It compliments the heaviness and driving rock that is a Sons of Alpha Centauri signature sound combining to make one sweet album. Of the 5 superb guest vocalist on here, 4 are returning from the debut lp in 2009 As has become the norm,’Ripple Music’s’ production on this album is just outstanding. Glad I ordered the vinyl early It is going fast.
11. WOOD WITCH – MALLEUS MALEFICARUM / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Stoner)
Oooh holy cow!!!“ Black Sabbath vibes in the finest execution!! This three-headed wooden witch from Virginias swamp was definitely catapulted straight from the Black Sabbath stage into the here and now!!! Quite stealthily, has crept up an addictive debut album to tickle your ears and soul with fuzz-heavy riffs, bluesy-groovi‘n, rock’n-stoner-metal that will immediately infect you with the virus of the old days and leave shining eyes! Thanks guys, for this sustainable infection!
9. HÄXMÄSTAREN – SOL I EXIL / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner Metal, Sludge, Hard Rock)
With Sol i Exil, Häxmästaren (hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden) have decided to leave their mark upon the world! The album takes us by assault right from the start with monstrous sludgy stoner metal grooves. It’s one fucking riff after another. They grab hold of you while the bass is busy walloping you and whilst the drum pummels us slyly. It’s a blissful aggression and what can we do if not ask for more!!!
8. COSMIC REAPER – COSMIC REAPER / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych Sounds)
(Charlotte, North Carolina)
Cosmic Reaper are like the Caterpillar engines of doom. They’re moving slowly but surely, crushing everything on their passage. Their sound is both massive and expansive with a dark psychedelic edge to it. They’re hitting up the Doom Charts this month with an immaculate Doom album that will subdue the masses!!!
7. 1782 – FROM THE GRAVEYARD / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Doom, Occult, Heavy Psych Sounds)
The title of the album is FROM THE GRAVEYARD and it starts with slow wind, haunting echoes and a vague church bell. That should be enough for you to feel giddy and dive head first into the occult doom that is 1782. The Italian duo has turned into a powertrio and has managed to sound even darker and malevolent. Got some candles left over? Some skulls and a vial of blood? Turn on the glacial occult doom rock of 1782’s new FROM THE GRAVEYARD and your evening and night is covered…
6. DVNE – ETEMEN ÆNKA / NEW!
(Progressive, Sludge, Post-Metal, Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner)
DVNE have, with their latest release Etemen Ænka, propelled themselves into the big league, the albums blend of prog, post-rock, sludge, stoner metal and doom is as good as anything released by the likes of Mastodon, Baroness and Anciients over the past few years and in places even out-tools TOOL. Complex, brutal, beautiful, unsettling and soothing are all words you could use to describe the music that populates this stunning release but the one that keeps coming to mind is MAGNIFICENT!
5. CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC – CLOUD COVERED / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Instrumental, DIY)
Clouds Taste Satanic never disappointed me, and, with the release of Cloud Covered, they still haven’t. Every track is reimagined as only CTS can, and each still retains the vibes of the original versions; making for an excellent listen from start to finish. Standout tracks include Blew (Nirvana), If You Doom Me Now (Chicago), and In the Flesh/One of These Days (Pink Floyd).
4. DRAKEN – DRAKEN / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic)
Riffs on riffs on riffs. Draken’s self-titled debut is filled to the brim with guitar that stomps, gallops, spirals, and a whole mess of other acrobatics. There’s a doomy undercurrent beneath the stoner crunch and punky Red Fang vibes, and the raw vocals bring it all home. It’s early yet, but Draken are already making a strong case for one of the year’s top debuts.
3. ACID MAMMOTH – CARAVAN / NEW!
(Doom, Stoner Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Psych Sounds)
A horde of crushing and fuzzy Sabbath riffs, as the gigantic bass throws everything in its path. With drums that boom with supernatural rhythms in an anguished darkness. Countering their fascinating voices they manage to enchant us with their laments full of pain that comes from the depths of their entrails. Transmitting despair, they manage to find the balance between heaviness and acidity to create a gloomy story whose narrative is very fluid. Its doses of heavy psych sounds and the progressive developments that we find in the final part of the album, make listening to it fascinating.
2. THUNDER HORSE – CHOSEN ONE / NEW!
(Doom, Hard Rock, Southern Metal, Progressive, Ripple Music)
(San Antonio, Texas)
Thunder Horse are back with another explosion of mischivious southern metal. Chosen One straddles the spirit world of aural dirge and apocalyptic charm, bucking with eerie melody and crushing riffs.
1. GREENLEAF – ECHOES FROM A MASS / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Progressive, Desert Rock, Napalm Records)
I’m surprised with the Swedish stoner/Desert rockscene! Last year Lowrider dominates the Charts and so far I see no reason this year doesn’t belong to Greenleaf!
From the album opener til the last note the band ticks all the right boxes for bluesy, groovy music with an psychedelic edge. Add a high energy, some gorgeous vocal melody and some fluent riffs and you have one of the best record this year so far I’m deeply in love with it!
Greenleaf has been part of the Swedish stoner rock scene since essentially the very beginning. Starting out as a Dozer side project, and led by Tommi Holappa since their inception in 1999, the family tree of current and former members touches on the who’s who of Swedish stoner rock, including Dozer, Demon Cleaner, and Truckfighters to name a few. At one point, most of Dozer was even in Greenleaf, or is it vice versa? You can add Lowrider to this list, since Peder Bergstrand has been doing covers for all these guys since he was essentially in high school!
Some of these guys have slowed down or stopped altogether, but Greenleaf still actively put out a new record every 2-3 years. Consistently excellent hard rock/stoner rock, and while personally, they nailed their sound and hit their peak with 2014’s Trails & Passes, ask 5 different fans their favourite album, and you might get 5 different answers.
The two singles from Echoes from A Mass shows two sides of a band comfortable with their sound. Love Undone is pure-Greenleaf heavy rock, as representative of their sound as anything in their catalog, while Tides is a slow burn, repetitive and a bit menacing. The ending feels like it could be more explosive, but it is not a 5-minute wasted.
Initial feelings are that this will be their best one since Trails. I’ll get back to you on that one!
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.