Thursday, 1 August 2013

DOOM CHART for AUGUST 1st, 2013

Here it is, Doom Chart # 3!  The culmination of the work of a month that flew by way too fast.

This is the collective unconscious of Doom ... the final word on what's goin' on underground!!

There have been a few subtle changes this time around such as the name and month and there will be more tweaks coming in the future but the process remains the same: the best reviewers, radio hosts, label heads, distributors, etc. in the underground world of stoner / doom send me their list of favorite albums of the past month.  I compile those various lists into this chart.

I didn't bring in as many guest writers this time around, but I did get help from A.S. Van Dorston from Fast n Bulbous, Todd (Racer) from Ripple Music, Pat Harrington (Electric Beard of Doom), Katharina from Psychorizon, the brilliant Nuclear Dog from Heavy Planet, and the immortal Joop Konraad of Stoner Hive.  Also I leaned heavily on the writing talents of Tony Maim from Black Insect Laughter website so an extra special thank you goes out to him!

1). GOATESS – Self-Titled (Svart)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
The culmination of four years of behind the scenes work, Goatess makes it's boldly doomed debut at the top of the chart.  Obviously, this much hyped album did not disappoint, making good on its promise to deliver devilish delicacies of doom.  'Goatess's success lies largely in its overall sound and mood to create a full package and a strong overall impression.  It took something very special to break Uncle Acid & Co's stranglehold on first place ...  Find the album here.

2). UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS – Mind Control (Rise Above)
Last Month: #1 [1], Months on chart: 3
Words by A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous)
It's weird to realize this is the band's third album, and just two years ago they were unknown, but on the verge of setting vintage metal hearts aflame with their low-fi proto-doom with eerie, Lennonesque harmonies on Blood Lust (2011).  Mind Control is just about as great as we could hope for.  While there's not as many incredibly catchy songs, the sound is way better and brings out the details that were missing previously while rocking harder.  An album made for driving, and for being heard live on the road, it's ironic that they're playing with Black Sabbath on the European leg, but left behind for the U.S. tour.  Find the album here.
Words originally posted here, used with permission.

3). ORCHID – Mouths of Madness (Nuclear Blast)
Last Month: #3 [-], Months on chart: 3
Words by Todd Severin (Ripple Effect)
Influence or nicking?  Is there a difference?  How many bands in the post-Sabbath era of doom aren't borrowing here or being influenced there?  Orchid are leaving their mark in the retro-doom world with Theo in full Ozzy mode, Mark tossing lead note flurries a la Tony Iommi, Nickel riding his bass like Geezer and Carter's Ward inspired drumming.  What they do they do amazingly well and tight.  The doom is visceral, a double forearm smash to the solar plexus.
Find the album here.
Words originally posted here, used with permission.

4). BRUTUS – Behind the Mountains (Svart)
Last Month: #7 [3], Months on chart: 2
Words by LK Ultra
Brutus just want to have fun, BUT, Brutus are also chased by demons; a darkness which they embrace and add fully to their music.  Thankfully however, that darkness doesn't manifest itself in morbid navel-gazing and boring pip-squeaky melancholia.  Even as the band is worried, hurried and harried through the dark forest, they're still crushing beer cans on their foreheads, belly belching like men do and generally causing whatever amounts of mischief and havoc as they possibly can.  Find it here.
Words originally posted here, with minor edits.

5). CULT OF OCCULT – Hic Est Domus Diaboli (Self-Released)
Last Month: #9 [4], Months on chart: 2
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
Second month in a row!
If you like your Doom laced with filthy Sludge, welcome to Cult of Occult.  Sludge metal is the punishing sound that first hits your ears - low-slung and primitive - and then the riffs start ...

Huge magical riffs that slowly progress to different chord sequences but always with lumbering  menace.  The vocals are almost hardcore but perfectly suit this type of music.  Like Iron Monkey meeting Sleep, these tracks are monolithic in nature and length but of such power that I can see a lot of traditional doom fans being put off by the unfettered violence that is on offer.

This is one of the heaviest things I have heard since the Primitive Man album "Scorn" from the start of the year.  This really is an awesome display of music that truly can stop you in your tracks.  Find the album here.
Words originally posted here, used with permission.

6). PYRES – Year of Sleep (Granite House Records)
Last Month: #40 [34], Months on chart: 2
Words by LK Ultra
Right from the opening of "Proximity" it's apparent that each moment of 'Year of Sleep' is well thought out and executed with precision.  Pyres display a refined ear towards composition and each element of the songs show a severity of purpose.  This may be the best Canadian metal album of 2013 and is without a doubt one of the best from anywhere in the world from this year.  Find the album here.

7). BLOOD CEREMONY – The Eldritch Dark (Rise Above)
Last Month: #5 [2], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Blood Ceremony's third album was different, perhaps challenging at first with its heavy emphasis on folk / prog influences, but it's a strong enough album to keep you interested even though you might not initially understand everything you're hearing.  Then, once it's assimilated, it occupies it's own distinct niche within the vast expanses of popular music and I for one, can't get enough of it.  The riffs are there, the moonlit vibes are there, the storytelling is there, what's not the like? Find the album here.

8). BORRACHO – Oculus (Self-Released)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
A year and a half after making just about everybody's best of list for the year's end of 2011, Washington, DC's Borracho have victoriously returned with their second full-length release (or thereabouts).  Find the album here.

9). BLACK SABBATH – 13 (Vertigo)
Last Month: #4 [5], Months on chart: 2
Words by LK Ultra
Lo! and it was written that the mighty ones would return to find a world in decay and ruin.  Their historical metallurgical warnings left unheeded.  The uncomprehending eyes of the children below were then to witness scenes of internal strife amongst the revered dark host.  And the children would also witness a falling out and a division among the mighty and so instead of uniting the world of man, the dark angels instead divided the globe into unequal halves.  For those that have ears, let them hear!



SABBATH!!!!  Find it here.

10). SCORPION CHILD – Scorpion Child (Nuclear Blast)
Last Month: #23 [13], Months on chart: 2
Words by Pat Harrington (Electric Beard of Doom)
So who the hell is Scorpion Child and why the hell are they on the Doom Chart!?!

This album reeks of 80's arena rock choruses, an almost Mutt Lang-ian approach via AC/DC & I dare say, Def Leppard.  The singer sounds like Billy Squire for fuck sake?!?  Why have I listened to this album repeatedly since I first got it?  How did the curiosity slowly grow into admiration?  How come I'm walking around my house singing Polygon of Eyes? and what the hell does that even mean!?!  There are ballads on this album, yes PLURAL... one of em is even a bona fide power ballad!  I HATE THAT SHIT!  But FUCK that song is really fuckin good!

Why the fuck are we even talking about these guys?  If I'm writing this, it means I'm not the only one who selected this album for the chart... damn that riff in the The Secret Spot is good... and that Hammond organ is fuckin killer!

Nevermind... I'm just gonna dig on this album in a dark corner with the headphones on where no one can see me... I might even lift up my lighter for the power ballad... no one will ever know!  Find it here.

11). KADAVAR – Abra Kadavar (Nuclear Blast)
Last Month: #2 [9], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Apparently, the mighty fall.  Kadavar have not only fallen out of the top 3 but they've fallen all the way out of the top 10.  No matter, their album still rocks and they're still the latter-day Teutonic version of AC/DC in their prime.  
"His beard wasn't long enough."
They may have already replaced their drummer but it shouldn't impact their musical vision and the promise of a torrid 70's style high frequency of output.  For now though, we'll continue to enjoy 'Abra Kadavar' in all its riff dripping glory.  Find the album here.

12). CATHEDRAL – The Last Spire (Rise Above)
Last Month: #12 [-], Months on chart: 3
Words by Joop Konraad (Stoner Hive)
The final call for Cathedral. The Last Spire is coming down to the wire. And even though they called it quits before; this time they seem to be resolute. And on their decisive salute they return to the doom metal with which it all started. And as ever they have those Cathedral choices on it that are weird, fun or annoying. Like some freaky keyboard or irritating laughter. Without those it would have been a grand tower of fable. But now it might crumble too soon like Babel and leave us with nothing but wreckage and ruins and memories of what was lost… Find it here.

13). CHURCH OF MISERY – Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above)
Last Month: #6 [7], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
By their very nature, Church of Misery is one of the most apocalyptic bands one can imagine.  Huge swinging riffs, pure power rhythm and lyrics telling the stories of the world's most notorious murderers.  In most ways this is a typical Church of Misery album, the very fact of which alone would see it make this chart no matter what, but there are differences.  The sound of the album is more stoned than doomed, the riffs are perhaps superficially 'thinner' sounding, but the vocals are clearer and there's breathing room here to allow the listener to fill the cracks in with his mind, making the band's twisted vision, perhaps, all the more ruthless for it.  Find it here.

14). JEX THOTH – Blood Moon Rise (I Hate)
Last Month: #13 [1], Months on chart: 2
Words by Katharina Pfeiffer (Psychorizon)
"Blood Moon Rise", youngest mindchild of redheaded Mistress Jessica and her instrumental entourage creates an entire realm, inhabited by the old familiar spirits.  Visionary yet timeless song craft of jinxed, psychedelic Rock.  It clearly captures the moment of which, at least to me might be the best line-up yet.  While the tunes float into one another, the lyrics seem to tell stories of the unmerciful nature, desperate destinies still catching a glimpse of hope and in the end the only certainty is to be found in death itself.  Swaying back and forth, doomy ballads get tangled with straight tracks.
My personal recommendations are "The Places You Walk" and "Psyar" or simply the overall enjoyment of the record, which surely strengthens JEX THOTH and their position as a leading part of the Occult/Doom genre.  Find it here.

15). 11 PARANOIAS – Superunnatural (Ritual Productions)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
When members of Ramesses and Bong get together, you pretty much know what to expect ....... well ..... yes and no.
Of course it is outrageously slow and heavy but - there are some atmospherics and a druggy psych feel to this that makes it a bad trip you want to ingest!
Heavily echoed vocals shout, gibber and moan with a sense of unease.  Raw sounding guitars make a wall of noise, providing riffs as well as drones that truly give a nightmare feeling.
Heavy psych textures from the depths of space swirl around the song structures, giving the powerful music an air of unreality.
This powerful collection of songs is a rare treat for anyone wanting to explore fucked up/drugged down heaviness!  Find the album here.

16). TROUBLE – The Distortion Field (FRW Records)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
Though this album is receiving mixed reactions from listeners, most can find much to love on the second effort by recently re-formed legends Trouble (and first with Exhorder/Alabama Thunderpussy vocalist Kyle Thomas at the helm).  Old school metal that doesn't rely so heavily on the doom but on a barrage of power to get its point across, 'The Distortion Field' will satisfy most older metal fans of any stripe.  Find the album here.

17). NAAM – Vow (Tee Pee)
Last Month: #34 [17], Months on chart: 3
Words by A.S. Van Dorston (Fast n’ Bulbous)
These hairy, heavy psych dudes look like they came from the dark forests of Finland, rather than New York.  Their trippy self-titled debut in 2009 was apparently too unfashionable in their home city to get them noticed.  Pulling influences from Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Nektar and likely a bunch of obscure German and Italian psych prog, they strike the perfect balance of thick guitars and swirly organs, sounding better than ever on Vow.  With a ton of European bands like Ufomammut, Colour Haze and Motorpsycho either uninterested or financially unable to tour the U.S., it's nice to have some stateside talent to make up for it.  Find the album here.

18). QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – … Like Clockwork (Matador)
Last Month: #8 [10], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
The ever adventurous, ever-evolving Queens of the Stone Age have been a fixture in the stoner / doom consciousness since their birth in 1998.  It's hard to consider them a stoner / doom band anymore after so many changes and they may have alienated more than a few folks along the way, but most rock n rollers have dug on a Queens album at one point or another.  'Like Clockwork' ups the experimentation to the nth degree.  Find it here.

19). SPELLJAMMER – Vol. II  (Self-Released)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
Though it's over a year old, Spelljammer's 3 song EP 'Vol. II' remains a fixture on the scene due to its recent vinyl release via STB records (which comes with a vinyl only bonus track).  What you'll find on this black slab is monolithic riffs that bob like ship-killer icebergs and roll like logs down hills.  Spelljammer doesn't have many songs under their belts, but those they do have are slow poured over mighty mountains.  These Swedes do more with less.  Timber!  Find the album here.

20). HORSE LATITUDES – Black Soil (Doomentia)
Last Month: #52 [17], Months on chart: 2
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
This guitar-less trio have produced an outstanding slab of doom with trance inducing drones to give things a really occult feel.
Horse Latitudes have stripped away any traditional '70's rock influences and used the power and heaviness of sludge to craft epic tracks that do not forgive or indulge in frippery but take you on a bad trip through the sonic assault that emerges from the speakers.
Having two bass players give the meaning "low-end" a new experience in throbbing, distorted riffs that are played at an ominous crawl.  With no guitar player, the leads are naturally bass led but at a pace that just piles on the tension and menace.
Shamanistic drums keep the funereal pace with relentless, primitive beats to which the bleak vocals are shouted and moaned.  This is doom music in the truest sense.  Find the album here.

21). DEVIL – Gather the Sinners (Soulseller)
Last Month: #18 [3], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Here's a strong contender for this reviewer's year end Top 10.  We're talking borderline retarded cave man riffs and old school metal sensibilities.  If this were the only kind of music in the world ... I'd be happy with it.  'Gather the Sinners' is 12 great songs and they all have damp armpit hair.  This is music to smash things to.  Find it here.

22). KYLESA – Ultraviolet (Season of Mist)
Last Month: #11 [11], Months on chart: 3
Words by Nuclear Dog (Heavy Planet)
Kylesa have carved themselves a unique niche in the world of underground metal by combing elements of a myriad bygone rock eras into a fresh, exciting sound that strikes simultaneous chords of nostalgia and discovery.  You may hear sounds reminiscent of Beastie Boys intertwined with the high desert hooks of Kyuss and Fu Manchu blending smoothly into psychedelic waves of past and present.  Consummate skull blends seamlessly with unfiltered power to produce some of the coolest metal of the year.  Find it here.

23). ALICE IN CHAINS – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (Capitol)
Last Month: #19 [4], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Though these guys have been a band for 25 years, have had staggering success and are pushing 50, there's still a vocal contingent of dissenters for A.I.C.'s latest.  Not sure what these people expected, but this album have me exactly what I was hoping for.  A substantial collection of solid tunes by a bunch of seasoned pros with a defined and distinctive sound.  And they did it better and with more style and class than I could have hoped for.  Find it here.

24). PURSON – The Circle and the Blue Door (Rise Above)
Last Month: - [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
Though not to everyone's taste, Purson has carved out their own distinctive niche with their 70's prog influenced acid folk.  Rosalie Cunningham's high powered vocals and inimitable style cast a time displacing spell over the listener, transporting you back to a time when knowledge and understanding of the world seemed possible, right around the corner and just might have been dangerous.  They're perhaps a bit miscast as a stoner/doom band but they've been holding their own sharing stages within this underground world and winning audiences over, including Doom Charts contributors.  Find the album here.

25). MAGIC CIRCLE – Magic Circle (Self-Released)
Last Month: #20 [4], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
From Boston comes this troupe of Hardcore scene vets trying something different and succeeding ... epicly.  A dynamic six song affair, 'Magic Circle' is all about power and force.  Though it can be hard to come by outside the U.S. (due to Armageddon shop shipping policies) it's worth tracking down and most who have heard it understand how the band got their name.  Find it here.

26). ROTE MARE – The Invocation / The Kingdom (Self-Released)
Last Month: #15 [11], Months on chart: 2 / Link
27). STONED MAGNUM – From Time ... To Eternity (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
28). WOLVERINE BLUES – Convict (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
29). BLACK WIZARD – Young Wisdom (Self-Released)
Last Month: #33 [4], Months on chart: 2 / Link
30). WO FAT / EGYPT – Cyclopean Riffs (Totem Cat)
Last Month: #25 [5], Months on chart: 2
31). THE GRAVE – Demonia EP (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
32). MAGISTER TEMPLI – Lucifer Leviathan Logos (Cruz Del Sur)
Last Month: #54 [22], Months on chart: 3 / Link
33). SPIRITS OF THE DEAD – Rumours of a Presence (The End)

Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
34). WITCHES OF GOD – The Blood of Others (Self-Released)
Last Month: #21 [13], Months on chart: 2 / Link
35). CULTURA TRES – Rezando al Miedo (Devouter Records)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 2 / Link
36). LA CHINGA – La Chinga (Self-Released)
Last Month: #22 [14], Months on chart: 3 / Link
37). NIGHTSLUG – Dismal Fucker (Self-Released)
Last Month: #59 [22], Months on chart: 2 / Link
38). SPACE WITCH – The Alchemy Paradox (Self-Released)
Last Month: #17 [21], Months on chart: 3 / Link
39). HOLY MOUNT – Alpic (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
40). EGYPT – Become the Sun (Self-Released)
Last Month: #14 [26], Months on chart: 3 / Link

A rousing ovation for this month's contributors:
Aaron Pickford [The Sludgelord], A.S. Van Dorston [Fast n' Bulbous], Arttu Sävy, Artūrs Vilmanis [Archiv Hate], Bill Goodman [The Soda Shop], Cameron Crichton [Motherslug], Cheryl Carter [Cvlt Nation], Chris Markwell [The Sludgelord], Clint [Hand of Doom Radio], Dennis [Blasting Days], Edward Gane [Amplifier Worship], Gruesome Greg [Hellbound], Haris [Welcome to the Void], Jeff Warren [Broken Beard], Katharina Pfeiffer [Psychorizon], LK Ultra, Mats Florstam [Ozium Records], Matt Fitton [The Sludgelord], Nuclear Dog [Heavy Planet], Ollie Stygall [The Sleeping Shaman], Pat Harrington [Electric Beard of Doom], Phil Howlett [Rote Mare], Richard Maw [Sludgelord], Rod Reinhart [Captain Beyond Zen], Soggy Bob [Soggy Bog of Doom], Steve Miller [Temple of Perdition], Todd Severin [Ripple Music], Tony Maim [Black Insect Laughter], Ulla Roschat [The Wicked Lady Show]

Thank you all!!!!!

See last month's Doom Chart

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