“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
— Jim Morrison
Amen Mr. Morrison, can you come back and join our hard rock revolution? Time to put down the act, societal roles are overrated, we must stand up and fight for our right to party. Or is this the end my friend? I imagine Jim would be quite unhappy about the way the media has contorted reality lately, but what he would be blown away with is this months Doom Charts!! What a month. The year is halfway over and like the weather in the northern hemisphere, the global output of heavy underground music is heating up. Without further ado, let’s dive into the June Doom Charts.
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. SPACE METAL – HIGHNESS / NEW!
(Metal, Progressive, Doom, Stoner)
New Orleans, Louisiana
The only bad thing about Highness is that it is only four songs in length, totally out at about twenty-two minutes. The good thing is that every last second is packed with awesomeness, making the listener, (in this case, me), want to hear more. I play this album two or three times in a row, and it never gets old, which leads me to think that this will be one of the best albums of 2021!
24. PALE KEEPER – THE FALL / NEW!
(Stoner, Grunge, Psychedelic)
Russia is no stranger to doom, and PALE KEEPER have lapped it up like cat’s milk and delivered a litter of superb, remarkably clean-sounding doom that harkens back to days afore. They have presence, style and craft, eminently manifested in their latest ep “The Fall” – Big things await for these misanthropic muscovites!
~REEK OF STOOM
23. MOANHAND – PRESENT SERPENT / NEW!
(Metal, Black Metal, Post-Metal, Stoner)
Captivatingly caustic and brilliantly cohesive, Moanhand’s Present Serpent is a stunning example of emotive, hypnotically cinematic heavy metal. It’s grand, but not gauche, it’s wildly feral but also fertile with a luxurious sensitivity in the songwriting which strikes at an almost gothic sensuality without the cliché. This meticulously produced metallic amalgamation flips the table on genre pigeonholes and offers us a volatile, vengeful creation a bold, melodic assertion of which the self-described “One man blackened dream sludge” project should be exceedingly proud. The star of the show no doubt being Roman Filatov’s outstanding vocals which range from clear and clean to harsh and guttural growls woven like the golden thread of the fates through a relentless tide of chugging riffs, shimmering synths, and wildly classical elements. The result is as intoxicating as it is crushing with an effortless flair for the dramatic.
~THE DOOM ORACLE
22. ELECTRIC VALLEY – TAPES FROM THE GALACTIC TAVERN / NEW!
(Progressive Rock, Stoner, Hard Rock)
They say that a band’s third album is the true thermometer of their musical ability. Here, with their third installment ELECTRIC VALLEY, they offer us a more compact and worked sound without giving up their gritty roots, which confirms the evolution of the trio. We are facing a desert rock album that knows how to explore the designs of psychedelia as they had not shown us before. Somehow dispensing with the rawness of their first two albums, but without giving up their usual harsh stoner riffs, the band invites us on a journey through the desert sands with a marked cosmic character. Incorporating psycho-progressive elements they create fascinating atmospheres in search of new forms of expression of their sound.
21. DUNBARROW – DUNBARROW III
(Doom, Metal, Hard Rock, Blues for the Red Sun)
Trondheim, Norway’s Dunbarrow were a welcome addition to the proto-doom scene when they debuted in 2016 with a well executed sound that starts with Witchcraft and also draws on the likes of Cream, Uriah Heep and more obscure but swingin’ blues rock and proto-metal from Leafhound and Toad. The creamy guitar tones and hooky vocal melodies are strong as ever, and the band is stretching outward into subtly more progressive territories with an assist from Auver Gaaren on keys and mellotron on opener “Death That Never Dies” and Steeleye Span-style prog folk on “Turn In Your Grave.” Dunbarrow are rubbing elbows with the masters now, ensuring this fairly specialized subgenre continues to flourish into the decade.
~TONY VAN DORSTON
20. ACID MAGUS – WYRD SYSTER / NEW!
(Heavy Psych, Hard Rock, Metal, Mongrel Records)
Pretoria, South Africa
Emerging from the vibrant South Africa underground scene that birthed Ruff Majik, psych rockers Acid Magus deliver a debut album that’s bonafide AOTY material. Thick, rolling stoner fuzz contrasts with bright and dreamy stretches of psychedelia, and the grooves are simply masterful in their feel-good bounce and nod. This is an album that will slap a grin on your face and have you muttering “F*CK yeah” to yourself groove after groove.
19. ELARA SUNSTREAK BAND – VOSTOK 1 / NEW!
(Progressive, Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner, Sulatron Records)
The four tracks on Vostok 1, each ranging between 16 and 20 minutes in length, require a certain commitment from the listener for which you will be richly rewarded with a spectacular, psychedelic sonic experience.
Our fearless fuzzmonauts seamlessly meld together elements of acid rock, heavy psych, stoner and pulsating hard rock into a progressive masterpiece that honours Gagarin’s pioneering journey into outer space and also pays homage to the Lizard King!
Elara Sunstreak Band boldly go on this record where many modern retro-style rock bands daren’t, because for this trio from Germany it is as much about the journey as it is the final destination. Outstanding.
~BOB “MR. WEIRDBEARD” BAKER
18. SEUM – WINTERIZED / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Sludge, Stoner)
The three sludge-metal-dirty-fuck’n-roll infernalists of SEUM from Montreal, have already manifested their very own identity signpost by naming of their hot-blooded Debüt Album “Winterized”. “Winterization“ is a chemical process to separate the “wheat from the chaff“ and obtain a refined, pure end product! – and so they go and follow their quite unconventional vision. – somewhere between the genre names of stoner and sludge. With exploding ferocity, this trio rips us into their DNA of aggressively seething, sullenly grinding sludge, heavyweight bass, sprinkled with magical slivers of filthiest rock’n-roll and subtle mind traces of old Ramones punk! It’s a massive sound (which impresses immense even without guitar) that will make your skin peel off your bones as you listen to it, while they bob to the groovy rhythm. Thank you for this biting-poisonous-groovy hellmouth with blazing vibes from the golden doom era, guys and stay in your special refined magic!
17. SAVANAH – OLYMPUS MONS
(Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, Stone Free Records)
The prodge is strong with this one and man oh man, does it deliver the goods with stunningly elegant swagger. This intense, finely crafted release is expansively psychedelic yet manages to at the same time display a stylish panache, an unbelievable tightness and mega heft with purposeful vision that’s singular and crystal clear. Savanah bring chugging riffs, expressive vocals and a thick, pounding rhythm section to the summit on Olympus Mons with firm roots in doom/stoner rock and even more post rock flavours we find ourselves traversing surprisingly through some even slightly math-rock moments. Savanah absolutely break the mould with their unnervingly natural largesse and classy, almost sensitively navigated explorations. Olympus Mons is a masterpiece in the pursuit of aural bliss.
~THE DOOM ORACLE
16. DELVING – HIRSCHBRUNNEN / NEW!
(Ambient Prog, Rock, Instrumental, Psychedelic, Stickman Records)
A fully instrumental release by Elder’s Nick DiSalvo, which covers a vast array of stylistic ground. Texturally impressive and engrossing with an astounding production value, we experience beautifully contrasting and seamlessly balanced bounces from ambient prog, psychedelic krautrock, to jazz fusion, and more, a highly nuanced treasure trove of emotional acuity in its construction and worldly wonder in its delivery. Elementally experimental, Hirschbrunnen leads us upon a journey through seven organically far-out tracks which could be visually translated into something close to the more bucolic of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings populated by mystical beasts drinking from elaborately carved marble fountains, shimmering galaxies overhead and oversized humanoid flowers, bending and swaying softly in a confidently accomplished breeze of lyrical strings, outstanding guitar solos, stirring synths, and explorative bass lines.
This is a beautiful album, full stop.
~THE DOOM ORACLE
15. DEIV ID FUZZ – DEIV ID FUZZ ((PLAYA ATOMICA)) / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Surf Rock, Blues, Heavy Psych, Space Rock)
Deiv Id Fuzz ((Playa Atómica)) is the 2nd, utterly captivating solo album by DEMONAUTA’s David Véliz Molina from Chile in drum accompaniment by Felipe Acuña. This work has such a tremendous addictive potential that it will captivate you with skin and hair after the first few notes you hear! – in my words, it is a bombastic “soul-flyer”!
As soon as I dive into this album, I see myself by the Pacific Ocean or one of the numerous, Chilean desert salt lakes. If I had any, I would spread my wings like an eagle and let this saturation of hefty and shimmering desert sand fuzz rock, harmonic dancing psychedelic vibes and those magical charismatic voices, carry me across the Atacama Desert and the Andes! – and no, I would not come back, but endlessly fly my circles in these groovy spheres!
Retreat to your favorite place, close your eyes and let your soul be carried away by this fantasic piece of work.
14. MOON COVEN – SLUMBER WOOD / NEW!
(Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner, Heavy Rock, Ripple Music)
The versed Swedish doom metallers Moon Coven are back in the saddle. Were they sleeping in a dark forest for all these years, slowly gathering a dark energy in their inner selves? No idea, but sure thing, they ain’t fucking around with fairies tales. With their occult riffs that are mighty and expansive; they will drag you in a slow atmospheric darkness you won’t be able to breakout from. Surrender to this perfectly executed psychedelic doom album!!!
13. SATANIC WAVES – THEY BURN / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Doom, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic, KDR Proud)
Wow….just wow! ‘They Burn’is one hell of a debut album from the band Satanic Waves who hail from Pucón, Chile. Really stellar production on this album recorded in a small village called Huepil. This massive psychedelic stoner-doom, release echoes mulitple sub-genres. A 3-piece trio, they showcase their talent with stirring vocals, steady hard grooves, and solid songwriting. ‘Mandrake’ the opener on the album has a Pink Floyd/Elder influence with a sweet layer of guitar. If a release ever deserved physical media i.e. vinyl, this does.
12. TARLUNG – ARCHITECT / NEW!
(Black Metal, Sludge, Doom, Psychedelic, Stoner)
TarLung make hyperbole-inducing, soul-crushingly heavy doom. The Austrian trio’s third album is six epic, sludgy tracks containing equal parts nasty groove and suffocating crush, topped with death metal vocals that fit like a glove. Listen to “Architect” full blast with zero distractions, it’s a dark and uncomprising trip worth diving into it.
11. RED FANG – ARROWS / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Metal, Punk, Grunge, Sludge, Relapse Records)
After five years of downtime, several years of which was introspective yet uncertain, the Pacific North West’s great red hope resurfaces with an unmistakable return-to-roots record. Constructed upon the same type of sludge-melded Acid Grunge musicality the band first took the music world by storm with, those burly riffs, ax-hewn grooves and punch-driven percussion are like toxins and fire… internally and externally, flowing then raging. This is the Red Fang I remember from the 2009 eponymous debut or 2011’s “Murder The Mountains” and it is great to have them back and at it.
10. SOMNURI – NEFARIOUS WAVE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Metal, Sludge, Stoner, Blues Funeral Recordings)
Brooklyn, New York
People who know me are well aware that I’m hardly won over by highly aggressive death-like vocals. These album always starts with one strike for me and it’s just a matter of personal preference. But, against all odds, I’m won over by Nefarious Waves! Despite the harsher vocals, the album also features superb melodic vocals and I always love a nice mix of darkness and light fighting each other epically. Add to this the bullying bass, the “scare the shit out of me” drumming and the massive guitar riffs and the result is just purely PUNISHING!!!
9. 10,000 YEARS – II / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Sludge, Stoner Metal, Interstellar Smoke Records, Ogo Rekords, Olde Majick Records)
A substantial output of colossal fuzz and down-tuned thrashy tone set to a conceptually manic motif. Absolutely crushing in every sense of the word. Imagine Slayer and Kyuss joined forces to tour the apocalyptic remains of planet fuzz!
8. SHUN – SHUN / NEW!
(Metal, Rock, Noise, Stoner, Small Stone Records
Asheville, North Carolina
One debut album sure to march across the masses as the word exponentially enlarges with each day is the metallic infused, immaculate hard rock of SHUN. Heavy sonic weight of this quality does not just happen, here it’s the humanoid factor making it great with past/present members of Throttlerod and Made Of Machines. With technician savy ties to Unearth and Hatebreed, this album is not at all what you may expect for it hearkens back to the days of the New England sound. Enthusing emanations of Only Living Witness, Roadsaw, Seemless, and Slapshot reverberate while production from J. Robbins (Clutch, The Sword, Coliseum) and a guest spot from Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton make this an enthralling album only a damn fool would shun.
7. STONEKIND – SPIRIT OF THE VOID / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Stoner, Alternative)
Winston Salem, North Carolina
I remember very well the strong impression the first Stonekind EP had on me when it was released back in 2019. I was sold then, and now they emerge from their den to deliver us a much more mature album with all the fundamental elements that I loved (Desert, Stoner, Prog, Grunge, Post Rock, Heavy Blues). The album flows with impeccable drum rhythms that are firmly anchored by a thumping bass and psychoactive guitar riffs. Prepare to fly over the groovyness of the desert canyons up the ethereal seas of sand dunes. Spirit of the Void will make a buzz like an eagle under a burning sun. But fear not, as your thirst will grows, it’ll always end up quenched!!!
6. KVASIR – 4 / NEW!
(Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Doom Occult Rock, Glory or Death Records)
This is metal for Generation XXX, meaning it bridges the gap from early 80s, 90’s, 2000’s and brings a modern swagger with it. It’s got that crunchy, raw guitar tone that fans of early The Sword will swoon over, long intros and enchanting solos, plus a mashup of artword that’ll have you contemplating the real pronounciation of their band name. The bass drives this titanic slab of nerd doom home with an unrelenting ferver.
5. MAHA SOHONA – ENDLESS SEARCHER / NEW
(Heavy Psychedelic, Stoner Rock, Hard Rock, Made of Stone Recordings)
MAHA SOHONA has a singer who not only sings, but whispers each verse to us, making us fall surrendered to his power of seduction. Captivating in all their facets, the Swedes know how to calmly prepare the atmosphere in which their songs unfold. Always with a groovy that catches us, his songs take the elements of desert rock to write his particular psychedelic story. Its Color Haze line magnetism is perfectly balanced with a few drops of blues between its crystal clear riffs; A good dose of narcotic fuzz supported by a powerful rhythmic base, complete their long and compelling songs. Their songs are structured with long instrumental passages offering the trio’s more sensual side, but they also have ridges in which the echoes of the desert appear keeping the legacy of bands like Kyuss or their fellow Lowrider, at a high level.
4. BOSS KELOID – FAMILY THE SMILING THRUSH / NEW!
(Progressive, Metal, Hard Rock, Doom, Ripple Music)
When a band can incorporate the intricate precision of Gentle Giant and weld it to the powerful mesmerism of Motorpsycho, you KNOW you’re onto a winner. A masterclass of progressive rock, with twists, turns and tribulations that bewilder, excite and charm simultaneously. Year-end lister for sure. Immerse yourself in the knots and convolutions of a band who are at the zenith of their game.
~REEK OF STOOM
3. DEATHCHANT – WASTE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, Doom, Riding Easy Records)
Los Angeles, California
This is an all out street fight between early Metallica and Thin Lizzy. Thrashing rhythm, grappling hook and neck break energy. The combination of harmony and vigor between all the players really drives this one home. Waste was my personal #1 pick this month.
2. HEAVY TEMPLE – LUPI AMORIS / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Rock, Stoner, Psychedelic, Magnetic Eye Records)
Heavy Temple are back with a strange and compelling beast called Lupi Amoris. I say strange just because the album goes in so many directions but always while maintaining a striking cohesion amidst all elements involved. Desert Rock, Doom, Proto Metal, Prog Rock, Heavy Psych, 70’s Rock; name them! I think there is something for everyone in these 5 glorious songs! A powerful album that already stands among my fav of the year!!!
1. KING BUFFALO – THE BURDEN OF RESTLESSNESS / NEW!
(Progressive Rock, Desert Rock, Heavy Psychedelic)
Rochester, New York
THE BURDEN OF RESTLESSNESS is surely their darkest and heaviest album to date. If to his proven ability to create heavy-psych atmospheres, we combine his velvety shoegaze melodies, and a succession of hypnotic rhythms with a kraut vocation, along with his heavy strikes in the Stoner vein, the perfect storm is served. Managing to transmit to the listener their internal demons, the trio, with a crystalline sound, makes their songs at times lean on progressive metal vibrations; this is one of the incentives that King Buffalo offers us in his new album. An metal sound that beats our neurons with millimeter rhythms inevitably seduces us. The frequency ranges used, regardless of the abuse of synthesizers, are like cat purrs, which makes them have a calming effect for the listener.
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); The Doom Oracle (Spectral Ecstacy)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.