Today is the final day of the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. The festival I’ve frequented more than any other festival on earth. And those few years when I’m not able to go; there is always a sting in my heart when I see all those lucky heavy music fiends that are able to attend. For even though the festival has grown ever more into more obscure, more extreme and more dark music; it remains a shining light in the heavy underground. Or even more so because of it! One that deserves to be championed, for it has done so much! For the music and for the fans. Cause even though good music is ever present on the festival; so are the good people! Like a huge school of black klad and often bearded fish they move through the city in synchronized head nodding motion. You dance with everyone you meet and it won’t be long before a stranger will put a beer in your hand, because he says you’re without one at that moment. It’s addictive, that feeling. While evil tones, low tuned grinds and dark bass wash over you, the world will seem happy and peaceful. I’ve yet to meet a person that went to Roadburn once and said he will never visit again. Most visitors are as addicted to Roadburn as the rest of the visitors after that first day… It isn’t just the music that opens up a door in your mind at Roadburn… It’s the people… And it never closes… Praise be Roadburn!
But this here little post wasn’t actually meant to praise that magical festival. It was meant to praise the Doom Chart Contributors and more importantly; the albums they love and adore and wrote a little blurb about but that for some reason did not make that regular post we did on the 1st of this month. You know the one. That one topped by magical MESSA! Most of these blurbs were received when the ‘regular’ post was written; but some of them were received double and other albums did not receive enough votes to make it unto the ‘regular’ post. So, we post them here and once again profess our love for all that’s heavy… And you know, there is still way more out there! And more come out daily… It will be a gargantuan job for the 1st of May; cause the amount of amazing stuff released this month is even more mind boggling! Anyway… Enough chatter… Let’s start some heavy ruckus!
The following are professions of love and adoration by Doom Charts Contributors for albums they could not stop spinning. Each month, the Doom Charts critics submit their picks for the best new doom, sludge, metal, stoner, psychedelic and other sorts of heavy rock albums. The results are compiled and tabulated into the chart which is published monthly. However, sometimes a love is so great, but the album unfortunately did not make the published Doom Charts Edition. You can peruse that love here…
ACHACHAK – PLANET HASHISH
(Stoner Rock, Desert Metal, Weedian)
It looks very much like Croatian quintet ACHACHAK have gone fully Weedian on their latest offering, the band utilising an eclectic mix of exotic scales, eastern motifs and Sabbathian riffs to create a sound that blends the more transcendental aspects of OM with the heavier riff based stoner rock of Sleep while at the same time still managing to stamp their own unique identity on things.
~ Frazer Jones
BACKBONE – EMBRACING DISSOLUTION
(Metal, Doom, Atmospheric)
Post-metallic Doom infused Atmospheric Metal makes its way from Poland to the people of this planet and the results are phenomenal! At times harrowing and bleak, yet pummeling and expansive, the spinal reinforcement of BACKBONE‘s debut album … tells a tale of growing-up through processes of disillusionment while abandoning one’s dreams and learning to accept the harsh truths of reality.
~ Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
DESERT CLOUDS – PLANEXIT
(London, England, UK)
A strong point of Planexit lies in instrumental passages that evolve into exhilarating jams: surges of power, epic string battles, incredible atmospheres. DESERT CLOUDS knows how to vary the pleasures between furious riffs, calm and psychedelic times, or hypnotic groove. To bind the whole, the vocals have a strong dramatic expressiveness. Obviously, Planexit has an aesthetic marked by the heavy rock and psychedelia of the 60s with a much newer sound.
~ Thierry ‘Pumpkin-T’ FRANCOIS
DI’AUL – ABRACAMACABRA
(Doom Metal, Southern Metal)
Does Italy have an abundance of killer Doom bands as Greece has one of stoner bands? Listening to this excellent album made me feel good. It reassured me that Metal is alive and well, as strong as ever and not going anywhere soon as long as we have musicians crafting it as well as these four dudes.
~ Andy Kovalcik
FROZEN PLANET….1969 – GLASSBLASTER
(Heavy Psych, Fuzz, Stoner)
This prolific instrumental trio are well known for their mesmerizing, long-form psychedelic jams but Glassblaster takes the band in a completely new fuzzy direction. These shorter, punchier songs ooze with a 60’s/70’s style funky groove and are a very cool addition to their already impressive discography. I cannot wait to hear what these guys come up with next!
~ Bob Baker
JACK & THE BEARDED FISHERMEN – PLAYFUL WINDS
(Heavy rock, noise)
After 8 years of waiting, welcome to the 3rd full length album of JACK & THE BEARDED FISHERMEN. Listening to the album, I particularly appreciated the intertwined interventions of the 3 guitars and the sound of the truly breathtaking terminator-bass. J&TBF is a very good synthesis of stoner, post-hardcore, and noise for a result that knows how to be powerful, oppressive, or darkly poetic with melancholic accents. The variations between genres are multiple, including within the songs themselves. So, I was not bored for a single moment during my cruise alongside Captain Jack.
~ Thierry ‘Pumpkin-Beard’ FRANCOIS
KARMA VULTURE – DEATH BY COMFORT
(Rock, Alternative, Grunge, Desert)
(Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
While listening to this excellent new EP by the Nashville Tennessee trio KARMA VULTURE, I caught myself thinking that this is how Freak-era Silverchair would ‘ve sounded if they recorded some songs today at the Rancho de la Luna with Alain Johannes on the decks. I really loved the reference of the vocal melody to Nirvana’s “Aero Zeppelin” on the last song of the EP “All About You”. This EP is clearly designed to make you have a good time! I really loved it and there is absolutely no doubt that you will too!
~ Ioannis Valiakos
LAMMPING – STARS WE LOST
Like your favorite long-lost but found-again pulp magazine, you can browse through ‘Stars We Lost‘ and find dozens of odd little bits and pieces that bring up warm fuzzy yet hard-to-pinpoint memories. LAMMPING‘s new EP is a tripping sound collage that’s drenched in an odd oozing feel of familiarity while also being one of the more original works this year, so far. The Canadian outfit has cooked up an addicting smorgasbord of 70’s rock sensibility, sampling culture from the 80’s, and contagious hooks á la Bee Gees… black-hoodied ninja Bee Gees from the Canadian sewers.
~ Crypt Guard
LUNAVIEJA – LUNAVIEJA
(Doom, Psych, Stoner)
Spinda Records continues to showcase the best of the Spanish underground with the self-titled album from LUNAVIEJA. Holy hell is this album good! The riffs and guitar tones are insane and the vocal performance is absolutely terrifying in places, particularly in album opener Unguentum Sabbati. You know the possessed people in Evil Dead? That. But on vocals.
~ Jonny Pirie
MOUNTAINEER – GIVING UP THE GHOST
(Doom, Sludge, Post-Rock)
Anyone who knows the albums of MOUNTAINEER actually knows what to expect, because the guys always bang fat riffs in your ears, with little clean vocals. Now the next long player is ready and surprises with wonderfully clear vocals and very relaxed tones that are more in the direction of post-rock. Take a pair of headphones, immerse yourself in the world of MOUNTAINEER and especially listen to the outstanding sounds of “Bed Of Flowers” – this song alone justifies buying the album.
~ Tom Schmahl
NAXATRAS – IV
(Rock, Prog, Psych)
A saga of transformation, surprising, shocking and innovative that offers us a mutant sound in which the band does not set barriers when it comes to experimenting with new vibrations. ‘IV‘ is a turning point in a band that has been building its reputation for a decade. A round trip to the 70’s, with brilliant moments of soft-rock embellished with fusion passages and a clear psycho-progressive vocation.
~ Roberto Lucas
OH HIROSHIMA – MYRIAD
Sonic waves and heavy hitting rhythms that drift across the lines of shoegaze and post-rock, MYRIAD takes the listener on a wonderful journey. Spacey, elegant, welcoming and topped with a clean vocal approach, this record is a good place for someone to start with a post-rock wormhole if they are not ready to dive into a full instrumental post-rock diet yet.
~ Bobby Rayfield
PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE – PEOPLE OF THE BLACK CIRCLE
(Cosmic and horror doom metal)
This first album was a great surprise for me. I loved the dark moods of the Lovecraftian-inspired music and lyrics. Basically built like a traditional doom metal, the originality comes from an interesting balance between the keyboards and the guitar. Fans of darkness, worshipers of Cthulhu and lovers of insidious melodies, you will find in this doom album tinged with psychedelia material to feed your most memorable nightmares.
~ Thierry ‘Pumpkin-T’ FRANCOIS
PYLAR – ABYSMOS
(Metal, Doom, Drone, Experimental)
Spanish Occult Avantagardists PYLAR made it to the top of my 2019 end-of-year list with their previous release “Horror Cósmyco” and “Abysmos” oozes similar evil emanations sprawling and festering through four tracks of Lysergic Terror, dark eyes watching from grisly caverns of sound. Spectacular release, but NOT for the faint-hearted!
~ Reek of STOOM
TENTACULA – ESTRELLA DESTRUIDA
(Rock, Garage, Psych, Stoner)
TENTACULA‘s sophomore effort dials back the surf and cranks up the scuzzy fuzz for a dark, garage rock tinged descent into the occult. The deep, charismatic vocal performance is still a highlight, and the Austrian crew continues to impress with “Estrella Destruida” in what’s sure to be just one of many more steps to come in their evolving musical journey.
~ Shasta Beast
WARCOE – THE GIANT’S DREAM
(Doom, Proto, Metal)
Italian Proto-Doomsters WARCOE are summoning the old gods of metal with The Giant’s Dream. I have no idea how many goats were sacrificed at the altar but I am sure Iommi is a happy God! If you missed out? Rectify NOW!!!
~ Marc-Eric Gagnon
WARPSTORMER – HERE COMES HELL
(Metal, Doom, Stoner)
WARPSTORMER have blown the gates off the underworld and brought a blazing barrage of heavy music to London with their debut EP Here Comes Hell! The band’s thrash-influenced stoner metal is a whirlwind of dirty, driven riffs that roar in your ears with all the confidence of a mad lion! Even with a few subdued interludes scattered throughout, this one will have you frothing at the mouth and banging your head until your brains fall out! I would tell you to tread carefully, but from the moment you hit play these tunes will take you galloping at one hundred miles an hour!
~ Brandon Collins
WYATT E. – ĀL BĒLŪTI DĀRÛ
It’s said that WYATT E. composes the pilgrimage soundtrack to a Neo-Babylonian Empire and listening to the first of the two 18+ minute-cuts on ‘āl bēlūti dārû‘ you feel like you’ve mounted the Marduk dragon on a trek through the middle east. The Belgian outfit’s music is laden with a rich and mystic atmosphere that’s reflected in its many-faceted instrumentation. Although tales of desert treks and pilgrimages through sandy dunes are alluring concepts in sci-fi pop culture as well as the oddball weed subculture, for WYATT E. it is a profoundly deeper and personal catalyst to reconnect with a culture’s roots.
~ Crypt Guard
And a special thanks goes out to Doktor420 for the cover image…
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); Martin Doomed Desbois (Le Mellow Man, Metal Alliance Magazine) 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 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.