“Everything we’ve done, we’ve done together. We got here together, and we’re still here. Things have happened, but it’s always worked out for us, ’cause it’s always been all of us. That’s how I know. ‘Cause as long as it’s all of us, we can do anything.”
The Walking Dead…. sort of symbolic of our mainstream vs the underground. The mainstream being the zombies of course. We’ve all been together sorting through the bullshit for several years, and some of us our entire lives. Despite our political differences, we are all a part of the same team and each month bringing more power to our arsenal in the form of hard hitting jams. July brings another 23 brand new entries to the table with the top slot being pretty much a runaway. Congratulation to all the bands who made the list out of 223 different albums getting votes.
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. BLUNT HORSE / GRILTH – SPLIT / NEW!
(Metal, Progressive, Doom, Sludge)
A filthy split all around, sludgers Blunt Horse and Grilth team up for a quaking five tracks spanning two very different takes on the genre. Blunt Horse’s sludge is more on the progressive side, with dynamic and ever-changing riffage, and cleaner vocals painting horrific, vivid imagery. At the other extreme, Grilth is no frills burly and bludgeoning noise, lumbering along at Conan-level heaviness and tempo with seismic low end. A fantastically grimy split promising gnarly heavy to come for both acts.
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. ABSYNTH – PLEBE 2178 / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Sludge, Heavy Psychedelic)
A damn fine debut indeed. Plèbe 2178 from Belgium’s Absinth brings us 7 tracks of psychedelically sludgy stoner doom with gargantuan amounts of powerful brood and boom. Between tripped-out atmospheric sequences and erosively blazing guitar solos, we find gloriously imposing, soul annihilating harsh vocals delivered with both lush ferocity and intrepid skill. Superb low-end reverberations pull together the immense amounts of talent and prowess of each player with inventive compositional qualities and a powerful emotive ambiance. This is gut rumbling, headbanging horn throwing heaviness at its finest folks. Get it in you.
~ The Doom Oracle
22. HEAVY RELIC – HEAVY ELECTRIC SOUNDS / NEW!
(Progressive Rock, Stoner, Hard Rock)
Electric Heavy Sounds is what lysergic dreams are made of! The drum and bass section craft groovy textures colliding with ethereal ambiances set by an inspired keyboard while psychedelic/heavy blues riffage explodes in our consciousness like dying supernovas. If you like instrumental heavy trip, you got to buy your ticket for this hallucinatory cruise.
21. MAHA SOHONA – ENDLESS SEARCHER
(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.
20. SLEEP MOSCOW – OF THE SUN / NEW!
(Alternative, Progressive Rock, Psych, Majestic Mountain Records)
Shimmering, transcendent, and sublime. ‘Of The Sun’ is a sombre opus of subtle, electrifying beauty and a deeply poignant release from start to finish. Sleep Moscow creates a wholly unique and captivating new genre soundscape, filled with wonderous atmospherics and texture whilst communicating an exceptionally executed conceptual chutzpah. Behind elegantly melancholic and rapturously cinematic symphonic interludes, expertly placed samples mingle with sweeping strings, ominous heaviness, and gorgeously spare keys amongst sleek swathes of retro synth and mellotron. Emerging throughout is a heavy, shadowy sense of pain, deep hope, and gripping sensitivity expressed in emotionally charged lyrical content given life by the soulful phrasing of Green Leaf’s Arvid Hällagård. Of The Sun is a tale of a cosmonaut departing a dying earth and leaving everything behind in his quest for something bigger. Something more.. We now stand transfixed in the beguiling shadow cast by ‘Of The Sun’ hoping that our ‘more’ consists of new offerings from Sleep Moscow on the horizon, positively breathless for the next chapter.
~ The Doom Oracle
19. WIZZERD / MERLIN – TURNED TO STONE CHAPTER 3 / NEW!
(Progressive, Metal, Hard Rock, Stoner, Ripple Music)
Kalispell, Montana / Kansas City, Missouri
What started as good old fashioned MEME battle sparked between the two bands randomly on social media, has evolved into not only a kinship within the underground heavy scene, but a nerd metal battle of epic proportions. While its easy to find pockets within each song you gravitate towards, the 3rd split album on Ripple Music’s ‘Turned to Stone’ series is essential in the perpetuation of the battle of the bands type concept. Either way, the listener goes home with a trophy, whether it be one of those killer vinyl options available from the label or band direct, or just the pride in bragging to your friends as to who you think the real Wizard master is.
18. MANGOG – ECONOMIC VIOLENCE / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Rock, Argonauta Records)
Much like the scene depicted on the cover of “Economic Violence”, less is more in the age of MANGOG. With a headfirst descent into the darker recesses of traditional Doom, the album hearkens to the heralds of old ala Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass or Saint Vitus. Nothing is too overthought or crammed with needless flamboyance but instead, organic elements derived from topnotch songwriting and deep aural intricacies win the day. MANGOG really step into their own on this latest opus, but it’s a step that also sets them apart from much of the contemporary crop of Doom bands.
17. AMENRA – DE DOORN / NEW!
(Doom Metal, Hardcore, Sludge)
The agony and the ecstasy of Amen Ra’s De Doorn (The Thorn) sticks deeply in the psyche and envelopes the listener in a sanguineous shroud of enthralling darkness. Viscerally explosive and hypnotically feral there is a cathartic austerity to this spectacularly intense release, which expounds beyond the band’s already prolific history of boundary-pushing, and breaking, modus operandi and places this album, their first non- Mass offering in a completely different stratosphere all its own. While the perspective of the band’s sound may have taken a slightly different direction, the result is still the same as we have come to expect from Amenra’s hypnotically intense, impeccably balanced blend of ominous sludge, atmospheric doom, and post-metal milieu which never fails to pull the listener through an emotional spectrum that is filled with astonishingly harrowing moments of epiphany and eulogy.
~ The Doom Oracle
16. CASSIUS KING – FIELD TRIP / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Nomad Eel Records)
Every member of Cassius King has an impressive resumé, and together they have created one of the best albums to come out in July 2021. Field Trip takes what Dan Lorenzo (ex Hades, ex Non Fiction) does in Vessel of Light, and expands upon it in the very best way possible; and once you add in the vocal talents of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, ex Watchtower), the drumming of Ron Lipnicki (ex Overkill), and the bass talents of Jimmy Schulman (ex Hades), you get a record that, in my opinion, cannot be beat!!
15. RED BEARD WALL – 3 / NEW!
(Heavy Rock, Sludge, Noise, Post-Hardcore, Grunge, Desert Records)
The bearded wizard of rouge and nicest guy in Metal, Aaron Wall, takes the reigns entirely for the third offering from Texas’ RED BEARD WALL. Writing the songs, playing all instrumentation, providing vocals, and serving in the role of shot-caller supreme, the crimson minstrel leaves ruination in his wake. Through complex, multidimensional compositions, a cathartic recording results, one riddled with self-searching soul yet set to an incendiary sonic delivery… but not all is aggression here. A tempering of this emotional deluge makes for insightful and relatable songs that sweep across a broad spectrum of intensities… and no one leaves unscathed.
14. FROGLORD – THE MYSTIC TOAD / NEW!
(Doom, Metal, Stoner, Sludge, The Swamp Records)
The Mystic Toad welcomes you with these motor pulsating beats and the kind of riffs that don’t forgive. Don’t worry about the throbs your feeling; you’re not having a heart failure. Just let the grooves seize you! With these almost occult litanies going from clean to viscous beware not to mutate yourself into a batrachian. The Froglord deliver a forceful mix of stoner metal, psychedelic doom and sludge that comes straight out of the swamp!!!
13. ACID MAGUS – WYRD SYSTER
(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.
12. RAT KING – OMEN / NEW!
(Doom, Fuzz, Sludge, Stoner Metal)
Since 2016, the four RAT KING(s) from Indianapolis have been romping around the underground scene and have kicked several, well-received EP-rats, into all the dark and murky corners and holes to life, tirelessly preparing for the arrival of the long-awaited Rat Emperor, the first full length album. The Omen of the Rat Nation has prophesied it! The Emperor slashes his dirty, razor sharp claws from the deepest shadows, drawing you into gloomy, oppressive corners … its haunting, soulful voice will fog your brain. Now you’re floundering! – caught in the web of overrolling, exploding sludgy fuzz riffs, groovy-heavy creeping drums and senses spinning gauze veil. An aura of heavy, gloomy-threatening sound, captivatingly fractious atmosphere and mood influences from the 1960s and 1970s envelops it. Beware of his claws! Once he has grabbed you, you are lost! – forever trapped in the dim and doom candlelight of the rat kingdom! All hail to the the rat emperor Omen.
11. MAMA DOOM – ASH BONE SKIN N STONE / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Hard Rock, Stoner, Majestic Mountain Records)
Newburgh, New York
Here’s an album that got my full attention (played on repeat). It features eight killer songs. The New York trio embark us to a ride on the doom side of things. The voice of D.Lolli (Mama Doom) is just awesome! Chuckie Rumbles (bass) and Smak (drums) are giving us killer melodies. This is a classic doom, occult and psychedelic rock album I fully recommend to all fans of the genre. Rock on!
~ERIC “THE GENERAL” STONER ROCK ARMY
10. THE LORDS OF ALTAMONT – TUNE IN, TURN ON, ELECTRIFY! / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Garage, Punk, Heavy Psych Sounds)
Los Angeles, California
Tune In, Turn On, Electrify is an intense output of menacing noise, callused by retro garage-punk and polished by modern heavy-psych.
9. FIMIR – TOMB OF GOD / NEW!
(Cosmic Doom, Metal, Sludge, Stoner Metal, Argonauta Records)
Fimir are, according to legend, descendants of demons and humans. Light-shy creatures of darkness and mist. Shaking off their old ghost-ashes of former CHURCH OF VOID band times, the five-headed FIMIR rise from their Norwegian “Tomb of God”, with new heavy cosmic-demonic gravity. When the church bell tolled four times, a weighty six-track cosmic-doom-metal debut-behemoth jumps out at you and takes you on an unleashed, heavy riff-riding journey.
With a chorus of catchy ‘knife-throwing’ guitar riffs, pounding bass, heavy thundering doom drums and a melt-in-your-mouth guttural voice, FIMIR unleash their very own unsettling doom spirit for this fantastic debut with classic doom-metal vibes, dipped in atmospheric cosmos. This fat beast has been sitting comfortably on my shoulder for some time now, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to shake it off! Hails & Horns to this debut album and your signing with Argonauta Records, FIMIR- guys! Stay in you magic.
8. GODS & PUNKS – THE SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE / NEW!
(Stoner Rock, Space Rock, Doom, Heavy Psychedelic, Forbidden Place Records)
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The Sounds Of The Universe is the final release, but first chapter, of the four-part adventure that the Brazil rockers called their ‘Voyage Series’. And on it the five Gods & Punks turn up the space rock, the psychedelic touches but still retain that proggy and doomy feeling. Do you need to be familiar with the stuff that came before? Hell no, cause it’s the first chapter and it will stand on its own no matter what. Will it entice you to go back (or forth) towards those other releases? Hell yes, cause it is one damn majestic journey into all of the farthest reaches of the heavy stuff we all love so dearly!
7. CAVERN DEEP – CAVERN DEEP / NEW!
(Doom, Psychedelic Doom, Stoner, Hard Rock)
The spectral melodocism creeps low and slow with an infectious barrage of festering solos and progressive groove. Reminds me of the dank, dark and manic sounds of a Jerry Cantrell solo album.
6. LUNAR SWAMP – MOONSHINE BLUES / NEW!
(Heavy Blues, Fuzz, Stoner Rock, Doom, The Swamp Records)
Six songs drenched in thc, their dense, shamanic blues drugging and hitting us alike. Powerful riffs, 70’s echoes and heavy psychedelia manage to magnetize the listener with a slow but leaden tempo thanks to their stoner-doom echoes. Under the intoxicating mists that emerge from the most mysterious swamps, LUNAR SWAMP knows how to move perfectly in those psychotropic atmospheres. With the stealth of an alligator in its natural habitat, the Catanzaro trio immerse themselves in the legacy of the Lizard King, seizing his shamanic faculty to elevate us to a lysergic trance in which proto-doom and murky Stoner sounds take over. our senses to the rhythm of blues.
5. SPIRAL GRAVE – LEGACY OF THE ANOINTED / NEW
(Heavy Metal, Doom, Traditional Doom, Hard Rock)
Metallic shards of doom-infused riffs, slag-glazed vocals , brainwashing bass, and carnivorous groove place Spiral Graves in contention for trad-doom metal album of the year.
4. GRIEVING – SONGS FOR THE WEARY / NEW!
(Occult, Metal, Hard Rock, Doom)
The Polish stoner doom scene is stronger than ever filled with heavy sounds, cosmic trips, psychedelic vibes, and a sludgy attitude. With tons of new bands, projects, songs, albums, even labels Poland is riff-filled land. Yet with only a few prophets Candlemass-like epicness (Monasterium, Evangelist) classic doom metal is almost absent here. Composed of 3 of 4 members of black metal/hardcore monster Mentor and scene veterans Artur Ruminski, Wojciech Kałuża, Bartomiej Lichołap, Grieving is filling a niche debuting with the heavy-sounded album “Songs for the Wear”. With overwhelming a sense of finality, old school melodies, Sabbath-worshipping riffs, and lovecraftian darkness and doomy sadness they are reminding us that we are doomed. …and of course, there are crosses and churches.
3. PLANET OF THE DEAD – PILGRIMS / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Heavy Fuzz, Stoner)
Wellington, New Zealand
Powerful and full on grooves of raucous sci-fi themed sludge/stoner metal coated in equally powerful and full on vocals. These Kiwi’s don’t pull their punches, like an old journeyman boxer they come out of the corner swinging and don’t stop until they’ve battered you into submission.
2. BOTTOMLESS – BOTTOMLESS / NEW!
(Doom, Heavy Rock, Stoner, Psychedelic, Spikerot Records)
Debut self-titled from an Italian trio that is inspired by, pays tribute to, and holds their own along side such gods as Sabbath and Pentagram. An absolutely solid album throughout which looks into the past and harkens the future with equal measure. To be sure, this album takes you into a “bottomless” pit of doomic riffs.
1. THE AGE OF TRUTH – RESOLUTE / NEW!
(Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Doom, Stoner Rock)
The Philly brotherhood is back preaching the truth via hard knocked hooks, pulsating rhythm and ferocious harmony. The fab 4 continue on their fight for humanity in the form of this 7 song self-titled with more grease than cheese steak it rode in on.
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); Gruby (Doomsmoker); 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); 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); Shasta Beast (Stoner HiVe); 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 email@example.com 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.