Doom Charts – December 2021

It’s a new dawn… It’s a new day… It’s a new life, for me… And I’m feeling good…

~ Cy Grant / Nina Simone

This is not a year-end post. This is not a glance back at what the year brought. This is the regular December 2021 edition of the Doom Charts. Posted; as usual, on the first of the month. In the near future a lot of our contributors will be sending their Personal Top XX lists and they will all go up on the site. Followed by a Top 100 of all the albums that got voted on. And then we close the book on 2021. We won’t stop listening to those albums though, cause they will forever be with us. There have been so many great releases once again; that we cannot do much more but keep promoting all that heavy stuff we love, tip our hats, applaud and give them all the universal nod. But for now; here’s December. 254 albums got voted for this month and that resulted in 22 spanking new albums that got blurbed! Let it blurb, let it blurb… Let it doom, let it doom!

Welcome to Doom Charts, representing some of the finest bloggers, journalists, radio, podcasters and 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…

30. CERVUS – IGNIS / NEW!

29. KANAAN – EARTHBOUND / NEW!

28. NEKROMANT – TEMPLE OF HAAL / NEW!

27. LADY LUNA AND THE DEVIL – MOTHER OF ALL SIN / NEW!

26. MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS – HOLD MY BEER / NEW!

25. CRYPT WITCH – RITUAL HERBS / NEW!

(Doom, Psych, Stoner, Sludge, Metal, Instrumental)
580 Points
(Germany)

Apart from some samples, these are instrumental tracks… …which a lot of the time gets my heart sinking. There are a lot of generic Stoner/Earthless clones clogging up my collection and I am growing weary my friends… But worry ye not – this is a different beast. Crypt Witch do not piss around with quiet atmospherics or calm passages – this is heavy, fuzzed up guitar playing that wants to get your head nodding while you drool over classic offerings from Electric Wizard & Sleep. In case I have not pleaded their case enough, we are talking about riffs, majestic riffs, more riffs and huge riffs!
~ Tony Maim

24. CLYDE VON KLAUS – MOONBEAMS / NEW!

(Doom, Garage, Punk, Grunge, Psych, Stoner)
664 Points
(Hutto, Texas, USA)

Based in Hutto, Texas, Swamp Records’ own Clyde Von Klaus is quickly becoming one of my favorite one-man projects. The diversity between the tracks-and even within some track-is impressive on this killer release titled Moonbeams. I also love how he uses different vocal techniques on different songs to great effect, sometimes reminiscent of Mudhoney or Monster Magnet and other times something altogether different. An interesting album that has a great balance of experimentation while exploring many heavy genres that we are familiar with.
~ Andy Kovalcik

23. WIZARDS OF HAZARDS – BLACK WIZARD / NEW!

(Doom, Metal)
684 Points
(Finland)

Traditional Doom Metal band Wizards Of Hazards, from Finland, are back with a new EP. Picking up right where they left off after last year’s EP and full length , they give us three more hard driving, riff filled songs that any fan of this type of music will enjoy. What I really like are the piercing leads that fit perfectly over the tight, pounding rhythm section. From pics I’ve seen it looks like they perform in robes too. What else could a doom/heavy metal fan possibly ask for? This band has it covered.
~ Andy Kovalcik

22. GREEN DESERT WATER – BLACK HARVEST / NEW!

(Stoner, Blues, Rock, Psych)
705 Points
(Oviedo, Spain)

This year has seen the arrival of two albums sporting the title “Black Harvest“, both from bands with Green in their name and both jamming grooves with a retro(ish) dynamic but whereas Green Lung channeled the organ heavy sounds of classic rock into their album Green Water Desert‘s “Black Harvest” is all about the blues, but this is not the stale suited blues of Eric Clapton and Joe Bonamassa this is a stonerized version of the blues played with a gritty attitude in a road weary threadbare t-shirt.
~ Frazer Jones

21. GIN LADY – CAMPING WITH BODHI / NEW!

(Psych, Rock, Sixties, Seventies)
732 Points
(Sweden)

Swedish Country Stoners GIN LADY vault from the back of their previous release “Tall Moon, Crooked Sky” into the realms of late 60’s early 70’s West Coast, embracing and morphing NRPS, Moby Grape, Quicksilver, etc, into a modern living & breathing entity of its own. One for the Deadheads!
~ Reek of STOOM

20. BIRMANI – EP4 / NEW!

(Rock, Fuzz, Sludge, Stoner, Grunge)
835 Points
(Montreal, Québec, Canada)

Following their brilliant self-titled album that came out only in April 2021, Birmani is back again to close the year with the 4th instalment in a series of killer EPs that started back in 2018. “EP4” consists of four songs recorded by the band itself at home towards the end of summer 2021. But this is something that you would have never guessed, as the overall production is excellent. The EP kicks in with the big riff of “Encore” and vocals that bring to mind early Alice in Chains (Facelift era). Midway however, the song takes an intelligent Mastodonesque turn, and if the opening riff sounded big, the closing riff is massive… EP4 is slightly under 26 minutes of music but when it finishes, you will feel a sense of completion and you are bound to want for more. I know I did. Much as with almost all of their previous work, this EP is highly recommended!
~ Ioannis Valiakos

19. DEMONIO – ELECTRIC VOODOO / NEW!

(Metal, Doom, Acid, Psych, Fuzz, Garage, Stoner)
882 Points
(Italy)

One man’s psych-fuzz is another man’s scuzz when it comes to Italian trio Demonio and their super unnatural “Electric Voodoo“. Crackling under the weight of each retrograde riff is a dark energy with malevolent intent, all distorted for your listening pleasure. Hallucinogens should be included with every copy sold but be beware that some avant-garde moments do sizzle within this slab of energized occultism.
~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

18. DEEP VALLEY BLUES – III / NEW!

(Stoner, Rock, Proto, Metal, Blues, Seventies)
1184 Points
(Catanzaro, Italy)

Deep Valley Blues like their Stoner heavy and thick – these boys are not taking in the desert vibes but are lurching through the swamps, drinking moonshine infused with stoner groove anger and looking for unsuspecting tourists to fuck up. There is an excellent blues/early 70’s proto-metal vein running though the songs but do not be mistaken in thinking that these tracks are a retro-fest. The blueprint is rock but Deep Valley Blues have stomped their own brand of riffage, producing a slew of meaty, heavy stomp monsters! With fuzz boxes set to kill, the track arrangements are flawless, meaning you cannot stop your head nodding along. Vocals are aggressive when needed but know when to rein back, leaving the relentless riffs to rumble along.
~ Tony Maim

17. LUCIFUNGUS – CLONES / NEW!

(Metal, Doom, Stoner)
1272 Points
(Australia)

Equal parts heavy riffs and sly innuendo, LUCIFUNGUS return from Down Under with an album that isn’t held back by its humor, but rather bolstered by it. “Clones” is a party album in the absolute best sense, as long as your party never lets the keg run dry or the bowl go unpacked. This duo delivers a head-banging good time with this album’s excellent balance of the heavy and the ludicrous.
~ Fuzzy Cracklins

16. LOW ORBIT – CRATER CREATOR

(Rock, Metal, Stoner, Sludge, Doom, Psych)
1344 Points
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Hailing from Toronto, LOW ORBIT are back with a long concocted 3rd opus. They’re on their way to conquer the Stoner/Doom zone with their intergalactic riffs reverberating through the deep space! Crater Creator interlace with dash Heavy Psych, Desert Rock and Sludge while being genuinely groovy! So crushing and powerful that Galactus himself decided to enroll them as their new heralds.
~ Marc-Eric Gagnon

15. SPIDERGAWD – VI / NEW!

(Rock, Stoner, Psych, Hardrock, Seventies)
1376 Points
(Norway)

NOT ON BANDCAMP

With a new guitar player in their midst the Spidergawd sound on the new album VI has propelled towards a more guitar orientated sound. That ever present soulful sax from earlier albums has been pushed back and is used more like a framework in between which the band uses every other aspect of their new sound to paint colorful, seventies inspired pictures. Also new, and an improvement is the adding of more vocal lines and polyphonic parts. It’s their sixth album; a different one, yet when listening, it quickly becomes trusted, familiar and loved. It’s still Spidergawd, in all its glory!
~ Joop Konraad

14. FLYING GUILLOTINES – OLYMPUS / NEW!

(Stoner, Rock, Prog, Metal)
1467 Points
(Berlin, Germany)

Tremble my friends, the Flying Guillotines, hailing from Germany, are summoning the old Greek Gods right from Olympus! They’re offering us a striking blend of Stoner Rock / Heavy Rock with a touch of Old School Metal with a dash of Prog. While having their own identity, they highly remind me of The Sword in their prime time and I say that as a compliment!!!
~ Marc-Eric Gagnon

13. WOLFTOOTH – BLOOD & IRON / NEW!

(Metal, Doom, Stoner)
1470 Points
(Richmond, Indiana, USA)

From the opening flurry of galloping riffs on the first song, “Ahab,” Wolftooth conjure images of a smoke-filled teepee and lyrics that echo the wisdom of shamans. Strong influences of NWOBHM are evident on this record, but not to the point it overwhelms… this is in every sense of the word a Wolftooth album and a tasty one it is! Chris Sullivan and Jeff Cole’s soaring tandem guitar attack is Conan of Cimmeria sexy and, while somber and evocative at times, will punch you in your proverbial face with little to no warning. Terry McDaniel and Johnny Harrod, bass and drums respectively, provide the driving force that can only be described as a thousand seasoned veterans taking the battlefield in a smoke filled dawn. It’s no secret that Wolftooth are a force to be reckoned with, Napalm Records knows it, I know it, and now, you know it.
~ Gravitoyd

12. PLASTIC WOODS – DRAGONFRUIT / NEW!

(Rock, Prog, Psych, Stoner)
1485 Points
(Antequera, Spain)

Named after the fruit Pitaya with its scale-like skin, “Dragonfruit” is the new album by Plastic Woods from Andalucia, Spain. Following their debut “Icarus” album of 2019, “Dragonfruit” is a rich palette of progressive stoner rock sounds that hops across decades and genres with remarkable dexterity, demonstrating the band’s musicianship and crafting a unique sound. With their new album, Plastic Woods invite you to take a bite of their “Dragonfruit” and follow them on a musical trail of versatile prog stoner rock tunes. After the very first listen, you will already be very happy that you did. Unquestionably unique, check it out today!
~ Ioannis Valiakos

11. HYPNOTIC FLOOR – ODD CONJECTURES / NEW!

(Rock, Prog, Psych, Garage, Proto)
1552 Points
(Vienna, Austria)

HYPNOTIC FLOOR‘s exquisite blend of Garage Psych, Proto-Metal and early 70’s Prog Rock is infectiously infused with glorious riffs, honey-dripping hooks and vintage atmospheres… a Christmas Cracker!
~ Reek of STOOM

10. MADMESS – REBIRTH / NEW!

(Rock, Prog, Psych, Stoner)
1809 Points
(Porto, Portugal)

A monument to the heavy psychedelia of the XXI century. The Portuguese trio MADMESS, with their first LP ‘REBIRTH, picks up where they left off in their promising debut EP. The path is none other than that of the best heavy-psych sounds of the moment. Taking the listener to a cathartic state in which the mind is released from any pressure, ‘REBIRTH‘ is a fascinating sensory journey to a new dimension. Long unpredictable songs, which are around ten minutes for the most part, and that invite us to walk through the heart of the heavy psychedelic of the 21st century.
~ Roberto Lucas

9. APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE – UNTIL THE DARKNESS GOES / NEW!

(Metal, Doom)
1904 Points
(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Highly atmospheric doom. There is a nod toward the likes of Candlemass but the riffs on ‘Until The Darkness Goes‘ aren’t as polished adding a crunchier tone to the already leaden weight eminating from the guitars, which in turn blends perfectly with gloriously emotive vocals. A spellbinding album cloaked in darkness and light.
~ Steve Woodier

8. ELDER & KADAVAR – ELDOVAR: A STORY OF DARKNESS & LIGHT / NEW!

(Rock, Psych, Prog)
2500 Points
(Berlin, German)

Two of the most prominent bands of our scene joining forces for a special collaboration record is the kind of thing that might arouse or at least pick the interest of more than a few stonerheads. Though as both bands showed in their last few records, it’s best not to build too many expectations. They are coming to the point where they feel the need to experiment, step out of their comfort zone, and surprise the listener. The two singles previously released still gave an idea of what was coming our way, a core of strong Floydian vibes, with some resurgence of each band’s styles, with a twist. This record is more at the crossing of Elder’s “Gold & Silver Sessions” and Kadavar’s “Isolation Tapes”, with both bands coming together, each musician trying things out, giving us some voices we haven’t heard before, switching instruments, truly enjoying themselves, having fun, and just getting with the flow. The result is full of contemplative vibes, with still a few inquiries in heavier territories, some jammy parts reminding of Motorpsycho’s laid-back outbursts (after all it’s one of Nick’s main sources of inspiration) and atmospheres spanning several decades. It’s maybe not the most catchy wholesome riffage record some were expecting, but it’s quite a peculiar singularity, an out-of-time gem full of details that flows smoothly in the ears. So lay back, relax, and let your mind surf on Eldovar‘s blissful sonic waves.
~ Mr Stone

7. STARGO – DAMMBRUCH / NEW!

(Rock, Stoner, Instrumental)
2590 Points
(Dortmund, Germany)

Choosing not to have lyrics means connecting the listener directly with the emotions of music, abstract and intangible art. This bet is won by STARGO. The 3 tracks of Dammbruch are half an hour of pure emotion. To call their music Stoner Metal would be too reductive. The album erases many boundaries between genres: desert, post-metal, heavy psych, etc. The atmospheres alternate between power, contemplation, brutality, psychedelia. These 30 minutes are so intense that they are too short!
~ Thierry ‘Pumpkin-T’ François

6. SPECK – UNKRAUT / NEW!

(Rock, Psych, Space, Kraut)
2670 Points
(Vienna, Austria)

If consumed accidentally it might make your head nod, your hip swing and your feet tap for at least 37 minutes. Handle with care! This Austrian kraut is highly addictive! During the summer the power trio released The Metz Sessions and earned some well-deserved attention. Now their debut album came out right in time to enter your best-of-2021-lists – in mine it’s top3. Kraut- Spacerock on its best.
~ Günther “Doktor420”

5. THE SPACELORDS – UNKNOWN SPECIES / NEW!

(Rock, Psych, Space, Kraut)
3030 Points
(Germany)

If you feel the need to take a trip through space, go no further! Unknown Species is an absolute psychedelic space rock masterpiece; a must have! After seven albums, the German spacemen are tirelessly doing it once again! It’s amazing how this band never fails to mesmerize us! The song Time Tunnel will surprise you with a different musical approach. Long live The Spacelords and Rock On!
~ Eric ‘The General’ Varasifsky

4. SPACESLUG – MEMORIAL / NEW!

(Metal, Doom, Stoner)
5542 Points
(Wrocław, Poland)

From the somber beginnings of Into The Soil , you can feel the bleak foreshadowing . When the album unfolds the wash of a gloomy groove takes hold. There are times of minimalism ,then you are immersed in satiating riffs with dystopian vocals as you journey through expansive intervals on songs like Spring Of The Abyss and In The Hiatus Fall . In a low toned vocal timbre Spaceslug take you through a land of harsh reality. The sonic experimentation of their latest release is a testament to the band forwarding their sound as well as heavy music as a whole.
~ Chris Beck

3. KING BUFFALO – ACHERON

(Rock, Psych, Prog, Stoner)
9100 Points
(Rochester, New York, USA)

KING BUFFALO has earned its reputation by making a completely personal sound recognizable, but it is also showing us on each new album that the evolution of that sound is endless. Here, again, they prove it to us again with a magical album brimming with gratifying songs with innovative elements. Four long songs of ten minutes each, which have their own identity and which show us the melting pot of vibrations in which the Rochester trio unfold with ease. Relentless rhythms that always hit the right beat at the right time, guitars capable of taking you to heaven or plunging you into the most abject depths, and a sublime, hypnotic and full of magnetism bass.
~ Roberto Lucas

2. WEEDPECKER – IV: THE STREAM OF FORGOTTEN THOUGHTS / NEW!

(Psych, Grunge, Stoner)
9984 Points
(Warszawa, Poland)

The polish heavy psych masters are back after some heavy changes in their line-up. With 3 additions from the polish doom scene, one could have expected this fourth album to turn to the dark side… Except it’s exactly the opposite that happened! You’ll still recognize the Weedpecker vibe we all know, though their new blend also reminds me of early Tame Impala. This thick fuzzy tone and sunny psych rock atmospheres bring some new and interesting flavors to their emblematic sound. Even if this mix could seem dubious at first, they have a way to melt smoothly one into the other with slick transitions, taking the time to let the songs develop smoothly. Weedpecker took us by surprise with this turn in their sound, but I won’t complain, for I am quite curious about what they can do with a bit more experience in their new sonic blend.
~ Mr Stone

1. RESTLESS SPIRIT – BLOOD OF THE OLD GODS

(Metal, Stoner, Doom)
13770 Points
(New York, USA)

The stoner doom foundation comes down hard, licks cut deep, encapsulated by a heavy/hard rock crunch.
~ Steve Woodier

You should really be warned from the start that the new album by Restless SpiritBlood of the Old Gods” is a beast. The trio from New York has created an album that easily looks eye to eye with bands like Mastodon, High on Fire and Psychonaut.
~ Ioannis Valiakos

DECEMBER SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

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); Andy Kovalcik (Bandcamp-NYP-Hard&Heavy); 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); Fuzzy Cracklins (Fuzzy Cracklins); Geoff Leppard (Atom Heart Mutha); Graur Zaur (Crypt Guard); Gravitoyd HM (Gravitoyd Heavy Music); Gruby (Doomsmoker); Günther “Doktor420” (Stoner HiVe); Héctor “Mr. Heavyhead” Hurtado (More Fuzz); Hugo Hulleman (Metalfan.nl,Orange Maze); Ioannis Valiakos (Desert Vulture); Jamey Morris (Fistful of DOOM); Jay Morgan (High Desert Valley Radio); Jim Thompson (Heavy in the Hills); JJ “HP Taskmaster”Koczan (The Obelisk); 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 420Core of Destruction Radio) Matthew Thomas (Taste Nation); Mathieu Van Der Hert (Dutch European Stoner Rock);  Mel Lie (Sunday’s Heavy Tunes); Mike Williams (I Talk to Planets);  Mr Stone (More Fuzz); Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker (The Ripple Effect);  ‘Papa’ Paul Rote (Doomed & Stoned); Reek of STOOM (Doomed&StonedStoner 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); Steve Rodger (God’s Holy Trousers); Steve Woodier (Deathrattle Podcast); Tanguy ‘Mr Fuzz’ Dupré (More Fuzz); Thierry “Pumpkin-T François (Metal Intégral); Tom Hanno (Tom’s Album Reviews); Tom Schmahl (Rock Circuz); Tony Maim (Black Insect LaughterStoner HiVe); Tony Van Dorston (Fast n Bulbous); Wombat Tarantino (Wombat Cult)

Feel free to send in your albums to stonerdoomcharts@gmail.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.

7 thoughts on “Doom Charts – December 2021

    1. Morning Daniel… Thanks for following along… What album are you referring to if I may ask? Cause I just checked; 253 albums received votes this month… Not one of them is Black Road… Are you referring to the 2017 reissue that came out on vinyl this year?

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  1. A great Doom Charts this month, finally got around to sitting down to check it out! While I totally can dig some stony psych stuff, it’s nice to see some real DOOM get recognized this month, especially Apostle of Solitude and the top of the charts Restless Spirit! Thanks much for what y’all do – I look forward to it every month!

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  2. I’m sorry, and I don’t know how to say it nicely, but Gin Lady is just weak. It may be great music for some, but it seems way out of place on Doom Charts. Loving the rest of the picks!

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