Doom Charts – 2021 Favorites – Joop Konraad

Ending this series of 2021 lists of personal favorites with my own list seems a bit much. But well, the past two to three weeks of daily lists, seemed a bit much as well. Or was it? Not weary of all those lists yet? Should we do that again next year? And get the rest of the Contributors to deliver their lists as well? So it might continue ’till the end of January or maybe even longer? Oh well, we’ll get to that next year I guess… My personal list went up on Stoner HiVe early January and this is a slightly edited and expanded list, with some blurbs for my Top 5 ranked albums. Its been an amazing year, once again, when it comes to heavy music and we trust that it will continue on in 2022! Best of wishes to everyone; keep checking all those albums! Cause they all deserve to be heard… All of them! And remember… If you listen… It will doom!

1. King Buffalo – The Burden of Restlessness

Their Dead Star release was one of the best albums of 2020. So, when King Buffalo announced they would be releasing three albums in 2021 all heads turned at once with mouth agape and a wild fluster in their hearts. Indeed, and after hearing Acheron, if the quality of the final one soon to be released even comes close to these first two already released, it will become a majestic trilogy. Legendary! For, what might be missing from loads of great albums we all love so dearly in this enormous heavy rock niche we all curl up into to hide from the outside cold. Might be a sense of urgency and the ability to transcend the mundane; offering insights and feelings about what the human condition is going through. King Buffalo have the strength and ability to make you feel that both we and they are hemmed in and torn by similar walls, frustrations, and tragedies. The new album Burden Of Restlessness is dense enough to be compulsive, somewhat hard to hear at first, the precision and the fury that resides underneath the riffs and rhythms. Where Dead Star offered a same approach, but all layered with different sort of shade, they now show more humility and a dazed frenzy. Burden Of Restlessness is about casualties, a search for alternatives, for something to do, something worthwhile. They emerge as masters at rendering the boredom and desperation of living comfortably in this society. Of translating the impossibility to escape the prison of prosperity. Often the sense of helplessness and impotence is not particularly pleasing; and such withering and brutal personal honesty is what now sets King Buffalo apart from most peers. The same can be said about those synapse-snapping shifts in tempo and tone or the way the bass weaves itself beneath all the different elements, lifting them up and with that simply emphasizing each one even more. It brings focus to every note played and every color chosen. Dense, concentrated, and heavy but opening up whenever they allow the tension to slacken. The first of three… Amazing artists with sublime craftmanship…

2. Green Lung – Black Harvest

When their highly intoxicating Woodland Rites album rose to the top of the ranks two years ago, I was still fairly new to Green Lung. Not everyone had been so lucky as to hear the earlier Free The Witch EP or their demo you see. The growth already displayed there held so much promise for the future. And that future, is here now. Black Harvest is darker, heavier, doomier, and even more accomplished. There doesn’t seem to be one note, one sound or one idea out of place and that makes Black Harvest the best follow-up they could have made. And hell, one of the best albums of 2021 for certain…

3. Temple Fang – Fang Temple

They follow the lightning, that flash moment of inspiration. They follow the ripples of energy that flow through the air. They hear when the Great Magnet calls out to them, and they know they should follow. It is Dutch formation Temple Fang. They were busy working on their first studio album during the first Dutch covid-lockdown. Everybody had little else to do, except for the drummer, who had to juggle work, family and a couple of crazy musicians that kept on sending new stuff to work on. At a tiny moment of air, when some rules were lifted, and seated concerts were possible, Temple Fang went out to do a couple of shows. These were recorded. Which was a good thing, cause the drummer could not handle it anymore and decided to throw in the towel. The guys then decided not to continue with the studio album and instead work on the live recordings. So, in short, another live record by Temple Fang capturing yet another moment in time; and what a moment it is. Fang Temple will speak to all those that love the Free rock genre; cause this is as free as you will ever hear…

4. Per Wiberg – All Is Well In The Land Of The Living But For The Rest Of Us… Lights Out…

Mr. Wiberg did it again! Not only has he been rocking hard with Kamchatka, been a part of the Big Scenic Nowhere albums; helped Vokonis deliver their majestic Odyssey record, was there when Daniel Davies finally made us enjoy his voice again on a CKY track called Lost In Departures; he also gave us: All Is Well In The Land Of The Living But For The Rest Of Us… Lights Out… A lengthy title for a shorter record that will give you goosebumps, shivers and everything else you might have ever experienced listening to music. For a moment I even got a flash of horror like when I heard Bowie’s Blackstar for the first time. This Swedish magic all-rounder delivers us once again to a highly addictive prog rock adventure. The four songs on this release form one composition and the title of the record hacked into four bits. Musically it, once again, is a completely unmatched effort of perfectly matching color, dark progressive improvisation, and passionate rock. In combination with the atmospheric moments and penetrating lyrics, it gives it all something highly essential, all-important and crucial… Especially during these times…

5. Greenleaf – Echoes From A Mass

A band that got started as a side-project has been turning everybody on ever since its first release. And where the first four records could even really be seen as side-project releases; it was the fifth album that discovered a sound that they slowly wanted to churn into a maelstrom of perfection. With the drummer and vocalist that joined back then in 2014 they turned to perfect those rumbling drums, those circling riffs, that drawling voice and make it all their very own sound. Ever more propelled by a powerful groove and a thundering boogie the tracks take a life of their own. With some blues and old roots influences they have become what they possibly set out to become from the beginning… It can’t get better than this, can it?

6.            Stone Cadaver – Memento Mori, Motherfucker

7.            Maragda – Maragda

8.            Stonekind – Spirit Of The Void

9.            Terminus – The Silent Bell Toll

10.          Snake Mountain Revival – Everything In Sight

11.          High Desert Queen – Secrets Of The Black Moon

12.          Stargo – Dammbruch

13.          Messerschmitt – Oh Death

14.          Sonolith – Voidscapes

15.          Kal-El – Dark Majesty

16.          Redscale – The Old Colossus

17.          Atomic Vulture – Moving Through Silence

18.          Agusa – En Anna Värld

19.          Motorpsycho – Kingdom of Oblivion

20.          Mastodon – Hushed & Grim

21.          King Buffalo – Acheron

22.          Monolord – Your Time To Shine

23.          The Waterfall King – Vol.I

24.          Maha Sohona – Endless Searcher

25.          Duel – In Carne Persona

26.          Wolves In Haze – Chaos Reigns

27.          Gods & Punks – The Sounds of The Universe

28.          Hippie Death Cult – Circle Of Days

29.          Dunerider – Ruins

30.          Carcano – By Order Of The Green Goddess

31.          Birmani – Birmani

32.          LáGoon – Skullactic Visions

33.          Stonus – Séance

34.          Vokonis – Odyssey

35.          Yawning Sons – Sky Island

36.          Holy Monitor – Southern Lights

37.          Miss Lava – Doom Machine

38.          Nekromant – Temple of Haal

39.          Spidergawd – VI

40.          A Better Tomorrow – Spiritual Crossing

41.          Billy F Gibbons – Hardware

42.          Blod – Serpent

43.          Robots Of The Ancient World – Mystic Goddess

44.          Plaindrifter – Echo Therapy

45.          Djiin – Meandering Soul

46.          Daily Thompson – God of Spinoza

47.          The Vintage Caravan – Monuments

48.          Komatsu – Rose Of Jericho

49.          Jack Harlon & The Dead Crows – The Magnetic Ridge

50.          Mojave Lords – Expensive Feelings

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