“When the willow bends towards the end of day~ Mark Lanegan
And twilight falls again
To the funny sound that a blackbird makes
Twilight falls again
As no good reason remains, I’ll do the same
Thinking of you…”
We’ve lost another legend. One of the most beautiful growling voices has left us. The dark poet, the bard of the gutter, the troubadour of despair and he who was able to give all that is gray and all that is black that the perfect puncture of light. Mr. Lanegan has given us so much great music and personally I’ve been lucky enough to interview him a couple of times. He was one of my heroes; and his departure has left my nerves barren and raw. And then, when not even barely recovered from that heavy blow… War in the Western world…
I have always been very conscience of the fact that I’m from the Western world and that my world view has been shaped by Western eyes. But even so, even if my news and my media are framed a certain way. It is not state controlled and does not send out pure propaganda. The Doom Charts are not political. As we have stated before. But once again the world is in turmoil. And once again there is no other way around this, then to offer up the obvious: Russia’s leader is quickly descending into dangerous madness. Invading a sovereign country, that wants to go a different route than he prefers. And then, when the world sanctions him for his deplorable actions; threatening the world with nuclear weapons. He has been alone for most of the pandemic and that has not done much good for his sanity it seems… It spells doom for the entire globe, and we cannot let that happen… Even if you are still on the fence about what is happening, even if you believe some of what Russian media has stated; there is no denying the fact that when a world leader threatens the rest of world with nuclear weapons; things have gone too far… We’re almost over the edge…
A wise man and a scribe once stated: “The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” Well, I don’t know about you… But this is an edge I do not want to cross… Let’s all come together now; for it has always been us. The good ones, the ones that want to do good and the ones that know that every extreme view on any subject is pure fear and a way to hope for some for of control… I’m sounding like an old hippie again; but I don’t care. They have always been right… Make Love, Not War…
And now on to business, cause even though there is doom lurking around the corner. We are here to offer up the good form of doom for you all. The heavy rock, heavy metal form of doom. And yes, loads of stonerrock, hardrock, seventies blues inspired rock, psychedelic rock and everything that you can think of that might fit between those genres. Cause the Doom Charts have always been about the heavy; in whatever shape or form. And there is so much of that heavy good stuff being released every month! Cause from the 30 that are mentioned this February edition; there are 28 new ones! So, thank you for all that heavy music, for giving it to us. The energy and the spirit that lies within those notes! And the way it offers up escape for those of us lucky enough to be able to escape…
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. SMED – SMED / NEW!
29. FAT GRASS – SHADOWS / NEW!
26. WOVENHAND – SILVER SASH / NEW!
25. HEBI KATANA – IMPERMANENCE-無常 / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Stoner, Seventies)
Hell yes!!! Hebi Katana known as the Tokyo Samurai Doom are back to slash us with a new album called Impermanence. I really loved their self-titled album but this one quite something! As we say: Next Level! They’re sliting us with their insane psychedelic blues filled with groovy textures and swirling riff. Rooted firmly in the 70’s rock, the track are rich and full! The guys have a sound of their own and it’s quite refreshing. I’m just floored how good it is!!!
~ Marc-Eric Gagnon
24. CHARLEY NO FACE – ELEVEN THOUSAND VOLTS / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Punk, Noise, Stoner)
(Denver, Colorado, USA)
Charlie No-Face (Ray Robinson), aka the Green Man, was an American man who was badly disfigured in an electrical accident. If he went out in public, it would create panic, so he went for long walks in the dark of night. Stories of his appearance then eventually morphed into urban legend. Charlie No-Face , the four piece doom/psych/fuzz rock band from Portland, Oregon, have taken the perfect name. Their first album, The Green Man, was a perfect homage back to that tall tale. On their sophomore release, Eleven Thousand Volts, they have added a second vocalist, Carina Hartley, that adds to their creepy, atmospheric, and dark sound. Think of them as that spooky faceless entity creeping through the night: bringing fear and uncertainty with their fuzzy dark riffs and haunting vocals. This album is just as good, if not better than their fantastic debut from last year. Hopefully they will become a type of urban legend themselves.
~ Andy Kovalcik
23. SOUND OF SMOKE – TALES / NEW!
(Rock, Psych, Seventies, Soul, Blues)
‘TALES‘ is a steamy tale of blues, psychedelia, soul and heavy vintage vibes, united in a dreamlike tale where the hippie spirit is reincarnated in 21st century songs. A magical mixture of heavy and fuzzy riffs, with bucolic and soft melodies. A whole spiritual journey marked by the sensuality and strength of the voice of Isabelle Bapté. Reminiscent of the west-coast sound of bands like Jefferson Airplane (especially for a voice reminiscent of Grace Slick), ‘Tales‘ takes you to the depths of the earth with passages full of spirituality, but also with fresh songs that hook you with ease. A whole party of songs more typical of the last century with an enveloping atmosphere and an acid guitar that always offers us good solos appearing at the right time. A distinctive sound that drinks from soul, in a spiritual trance in which surprises are guaranteed. Mysterious and intoxicating, the intensity of its harmonies manages to provide the listener with a pleasant journey into the domains of the deepest psychedelia.
~ Roberto Lucas
22. VOLCANOVA – COSMIC BULLSHIT / NEW!
(Rock, Hardrock, Punk, Stoner, Metal)
Having toured extensively in his own country, played at the Eistnaflug festival and performed regularly in the capital Reykjavik with Elder, Brain Police, Sólstafir and Vintage Caravan, the group has also traveled abroad, in recent times, and has notably converted the people of Scotland to his cause on two occasions. Whether playing in large cities like Glasgow or in the remote highlands, audiences fall in love with their special brand of Icelandic stoner rock wherever they play. Volcanova released their debut album Radical Waves via Swedish label The Sign Records in August 2020, and has benefited from numerous reviews and interviews in the foreign press. Radical Waves received fantastic reviews around the world and has been called by some the “best stoner rock album of the year 2020”, among groups of big caliber such as Lowrider, Slomosa, Elephant Tree and many more. Radical Waves was finally successfully celebrated in October 2021 and performed in its entirety, at an almost sold-out venue, Húrra in Reykjavík, after countless cancellations due at Covid19. Volcanova here offers their second disc, an EP called Cosmic Bullshit, consisting of six songs. It was recorded and mixed by Helgi Durhuus of Studio Helvíti in August and September 2021, mastered by Esben Willems (drummer of Monolord) at Studio Berserk and will be released via The Sign Records on February 25, 2022. A NO BRAINER!
~ Martin Doomed Desbois
21. TUSKAR – MATRIARCH / NEW!
(Sludge, Metal, Post-Hardcore)
UK sludge purveyors TUSKAR return with “Matriarch“: A 7-track platter that struts the gamut of noises between Sludge Metal and Post-Hardcore to excellent effect, bringing dynamism and atmospheric flair throughout.The heaviness of the riffs combined with the almost ambient juxtapositions showcase a talent and penchant for arrangement that will surely see them thrive.
~ Reek of STOOM
20. NORNA – STAR IS WAY WAY IS EYE / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Sludge)
(Sweden & Switzerland)
An atmospherically dense, harrowingly heavy debut release, Norna’s ‘Star Is Way Way Is Eye’ comes blasting through the ether with a towering display of deeply gloomy, sludgy, post-metal power.
A magnificent journey through malevolently creeping swathes of jagged light and abyssal darkness, Norna simply batter the listener with a colossally rich and unctuous soundscape of pure, thunderous hell, poured like burning tar from the ancient vessels of Gehenna and filled with miasmic agony, tumultuous torment, fire, and bloody brimstone. Five tracks of exceptionally balanced, tectonic heft, resulting in a destructive wall of sound that’s as brutal as it is blindingly beautiful. Norna’s ‘Star Is Way Way Is Eye’ is a canonical force of nature sure to reach heights only akin to its infinitely masterful depth. Do not miss this gorgeously grim album.
~ The Doom Oracle
19. Z28 – MACH II / NEW!
(Rock, Stoner, Psych, Space)
(Lynn, Massachusetts, USA)
Z28 put the Mass in Massachusetts: Stirring Psychedelic work-outs tinged with a grungy, retro delivery that conjures up vintage 70’s Rock in all it’s splendour!
~ Reek of STOOM
18. TITANOSAUR – ABSENCE OF UNIVERSE / NEW!
(Metal, Rock, Stoner, Doom)
(Hudson, New York, USA)
When someone says “Titanosaur” to you, you think of the heaviest, largest, and most powerful animal that has walked the Earth. You’re not so far from the description of this Hudson stoner band. All qualifiers are correct. The only inaccurate representation would be to imagine that this animal is always slow because of its weight. Some tracks are fast paced, so you’d better imagine a running titanosaur with a throaty bass voice that would make it sound like an enraged Motörhead. Absence Of Universe gives the impression of the crushing charge of a furious herd of giant quadrupeds – sometimes faster (The Echo Chamber), sometimes heavier (I Will Live Forever). There’s only one exception, in the middle of the album is a bucolic breathing called Miles To Go. A powerful and balanced album. If you dig it you might find the biggest eggs ever!
~ Thierry ‘T-Rex’ François
17. FIREBREATHER – DWELL IN THE FOG / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Sludge)
Following their excellent “Under a Blood Moon” on 2019, the Swedish trio have just returned with what is hands down their best work to date! “Dwell in the Fog” has six anthemic and relentlessly melodic songs, with compelling grooves that waltz between the best moments of Mastodon and High on Fire. The guitars and bass are flowing like a river of lava, with a blistering tone and a top notch production. There are intelligent Sabbath references (check out the vocal melody on “Creed”), whereas my favourite song of the album “Spirit’s Flown” took my mind to the brilliant and criminally underrated “Burn Your Halo” by IAmFire. Brace yourselves for a mind-bending experience, and don’t be surprised if you see “Dwell in the Fog” in the top albums of the year. That’s what great albums are made of!
~ Ioannis Valiakos
16. MOUNT DESERT – FEAR THE HEART / NEW!
(Rock, Desert, Stoner, Psych, Grunge, Post, Metal)
(Oakland, California, USA)
Mount Desert is a psychedelic, desert rocking, post-metal, stoner and grunge duo that delivers their debut full-sized album Fear The Heart with feverous energy and a zealous passion. With an ever present dark hum, a warm glow and unrushed compositions, the album balances perfectly on a tightrope above an endless abyss. It’s dreadful down there; but up here there’s magical trickery. Quicksilver mystique dredged up from ancient tradition; born a new and offered up for redemption and inspiration… Stunning! Fear The Heart will remain seductive for all ages to come…
~ Joop Konraad
15. KRANDÜS – KRANDÜS / NEW!
(Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA)
This Virginian outfit weave effortlessly in the space between Stoner Rock, Doom and Psychedelia with gusto and no small swagger – expect potent hooks, insane shredding and blissed-out bonganautics!
~ Reek of STOOM
14. BLIND SUN – UNDER THEM STONES / NEW!
(Rock, Hardrock, Blues, Grunge)
Hard-rocking riffs, blues infused tones, sultry/soulful vox… Blind Sun must be wrecking the clubs in Athens if their live show is anywhere the level of their newly dropped “Under Them Stones” record. It’s a tasty reckoning of their talent and one band that demands consideration before your next music purchase.
13. WIZARD MASTER – PHASMATIS / NEW!
(Rock, Doom, Wizard)
Those Italians eh, if they are not designing sharp fashion wear, creating wallet busting colognes and perfumes or whizzing around on waspish sounding scooters then they are cranking out quality fuzz drenched scuzzy doom, the last one being something Wizard Master are rather good at.
~ Frazer Jones
12. GREEN RIPPER – DARK SESSIONS /NEW!
(Metal, Proto, Hardrock, Doom, Stoner)
(San Antonio, Texas, USA)
“Dark Sessions” is an EP perfect for those of us of a certain age who remember when out of the blue a single by a band like Deep Purple (Fireball), Black Sabbath (Paranoid) or Hawkwind (Silver Machine) would pop up in the music charts and blow all the pop poseurs and one hit wonders out of the water, your dad would be shouting at you to turn that shit off and your mum would be sitting there holding her bible that much tighter and your sister would be running screaming to the safety of her Osmond’s records. “Dark Sessions” is an EP jam packed with those type of tunes!
~ Frazer Jones
11. KUROKUMA – BORN OF OBSIDIAN / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Sludge, Psych, Stoner)
“Born of Obsidian” is a fervently creative slab of sludge, drawing from Mesoamerican myth, diverse percussion, and a penchant for absolutely leveling listeners’ ears. Enveloping the ten ton riffs being thrown around, a major highlight is the atmosphere. “Born of Obsidian” feels primal and unknowable, like it was dredged up from some long forgotten pit.
~ Shasta Beast
10. NAXATRAS – IV / NEW!
(Rock, Prog, Psych)
‘IV‘ is a turning point in a band that has been building its reputation for a decade. With a new focus on other sound territories, ‘IV‘ is a fascinating album for the listener. These four surgeons of psycho-progressive sounds have no qualms about incorporating elements of fusion into an esoteric bet, in which the voices that we find in some of their songs add shine to them. Balsamic, but also heavy, this album elevates NAXATRAS to a new sound universe that spins its creativity in this example of maturity.
~ Roberto Lucas
9. ACID ROW – AFTERGLOW / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Rock, Psych, Stoner, Punk)
I have longingly awaited the second full-length album “Afterglow” of these Prague for energy radiating Rock-Devil-Trolls! Meanly, the trio had already fed me addictively for quite a while with each of their thunderous acid-punk, in succession released songs! With glowing red veined eyes I now follow the beastly-trapping soundhand of stirring riffs, horror-beastly blues voice and a groovy 90s grunge-acid-stoner-prog-punk, through the mystical-historical Prague catacombs! – I could sniff endlessly after the raw-groovy soundfinger, from which foggy psych bubbles plopping, which conjure up again and again not yet discovered sound fragments in my auditory canals – and I give you devil’s testimony, this album leaves a hot sizzling “afterglow” on the peel!!! Thanks to Alexej Fonar, Doomin Kles, Venca Zlo und David Hluzek for this devilish „Afterglow“
~ Mel Lie
8. SÖNUS – USURPER OF THE UNIVERSE / NEW!
(Rock, Metal, Space, Acid, Psych, Stoner, Prog)
(San Fransisco, California, USA)
Back to the Rööts! Multi-Instrumentalist David Wachsman invites to a drug drenched trip through the early 90s psychedelic rock era. Acid-Space Rock with a spicey Stoner Rock voice. Pure Pink Monster Hawk Floyd Magnet Wind Worshipping. Turn on, fire one up, tune in, lean back and enjoy the trip!
7. HOLY WITCH – LEVITATING / NEW!
(Rock, Psych, Stoner, Proto, Occult)
(Shreveport, Louisiana, USA)
Holy Witch, a trio of scruffy looking dudes from Shreveport Louisiana, who play heavy psych/stoner rock have put out their debut full length titled Levitating. The album cover certainly evokes the occult stoner/metal side of this very tight and talented band. Although that 70’s influence is immediately present once you press play so is the deeper more complex psych side. With this album Holy Witch have shown what, in my opinion, hard rockin bands need most of all, some kick ass, killer guitar playing.
~ Andy Kovalcik
6. HYDRA – BEYOND LIFE AND DEATH / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Stoner, Occult)
Some bands, unfortunately, can’t handle the weight of a great debut Fortunately, this is not the case. After a beautifully songful first album, Hydra arrives out of the swamp fortress with a new head filled with doom metal riffs, singable choruses, unbelievably catchy melodies, and cheerful occultism. And while “Beyond Life and Death” may not seem like that much of a hit at first, with each listens and even song it convinces that even without possessive choruses like “No One Loves Like Satan” from the debut album, it has something incredibly compelling and huge replay value. These songs and we are dealing here with real, classic, songs, very quickly can capture the ears and minds building themselves a cozy and comfortable lair there, which they will not leave for a long time.
~ Krzysztof Zawistowski
5. OBSIDIAN SEA – PATHOS / NEW!
(Rock, Seventies, Psych, Doom)
Cool vocal melodies retro 70’s rock with bursts of psychedelia. Is that what’s going on with Obsidian Sea? I guess in a really over simplified way it is. They get the cool riffs going then really expand on things in a very pleasant way. Always returning to the verses very smoothly. They can get aggressive but it never feels angry. I mean, they just have a “vibe” that makes for a really enjoyable listening experience. A vibe that is unique. The album almost feels “retro-progessive” sometimes. It’s heavy but always smooth.
~ Jim Thompson
4. SMOKE – GROUPTHINK / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Southern, Grunge, Sludge, Blues, Psych)
(Lynchburg, Virginia, USA)
Doom, grunge, sludge, blues and heavy psych merged, melded and blended together to create a sound so addictive it should carry a health warning. Bury me in Smoke!
~ Frazer Jones
3. FOSTERMOTHER – THE OCEAN
(Metal, Stoner, Doom)
(Houston, Texas, USA)
Fostermother’s new album, “The Ocean,” is for real. Its maturity is impressive. This isn’t an album with a bunch of songs, it’s an album with a story to tell. There is an element of ethereal drone that sucks you into the voyage of the telling. There is also an aggressive element that is punctuated by a guitar tone that is pure electric butter, hot and smooth. Drop the needle, put the headphones on, and experience “The Ocean.” Soon to be on my shelf.
2. SLEEPWULF – SUNBEAMS CURL / NEW!
(Metal, Doom, Psych, Occult)
The impatiently awaited follow-up to the Swedish-Scottish quartet’s self-titled debut (my AOTY 2020!) once again leaves mouths open in astonishment. The production is warm and vintage and achieved perfection by live recording directly to a TASCAM tape machine. Belong to their trademarks the lyrics deal with occultism, mysticism and alchemy. The music is inspired by Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull, but sounds more towards Witchcraft and Pentagram to me, which is not a disadvantage. Despite, or precisely because of the various influences, Sleepwulf’s music never sounds like one of their predecessors, thanks to their high recognition value, but rather unique and timeless. AOTY contender!
~ Captain Beyond Zen
1. KRYPTOGRAF – THE ELDORADO SPELL / NEW!
(Hardrock, Proto, Metal, Seventies, Prog)
Kryptograf‘s second album captivates with an impressive cover, which shows a magician with a warning finger in an enchanted forest. Musically, the band has developed from booming doom towards psychedelic rock with a folk touch and a dark atmosphere. A change that not every fan will like, but the first-class and catchy songs are performed so confidently and casually, as if this band had been inspired by the magician in the enchanted forest. Full marks, because it hardly gets any better.
~ Captain Beyond Zen
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 420, Core 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&Stoned, Stoner HiVe); Remi VL (Remi Post Too Many Links); 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 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.