Sunday, 1 December 2013

The 'SUPER' DOOM CHART for December 1, 2013

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

Quick note: next month's Super Doom Chart will be the most super of all as we broaden our focus to encompass the best releases of the year, you won't want to miss it!

1). WINDHAND – Soma (Relapse)
Last Month: 2 [1], Months on chart: 3
Words by Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
Windhand are currently in the midst of a monster string of tour dates in support of their second album ‘Soma’. They’ve just wound up a run of dates with Pilgrim, and are now on the road with High on Fire and Kvelertak. In addition to putting out two of the most inspiring albums in recent years (& a superb split with Cough), they are also touring relentlessly, 33 gigs in 33 days from 5 September to 3 October and 37 gigs in 47 days from 1 November to 17 December. How in the heck Dorthia Cottrell will still have a voice after competing night after night with the immense volume Windhand riffs at the end of this is beyond comprehension.

“Soma” is a black granite wall of riff slowly grinding its way forth, unstoppable. A perfect follow on from their previously released material, the first three tracks of the album comprise of near on 24 minutes of floor shaking riffs, building to a crescendo with ‘Feral Bones’ in which Cottrell at times has almost a choir-like vocal going on. The album backs right off at this point with the haunting acoustic track ‘Evergreen’, before storming back with the deadly, lumbering track ‘Cassock’ which along with Feral Bones shares the honours for best track on the album. The album wraps up with a 30:29 journey which has proven to be too challenging for some to digest going by some comments and reviews here and there, but I find it to be a perfect closer to the album. The slow gradual fade out followed by eery howling winds harkens back to the similar fade in at the start of ‘Winter Sun’ from their debut, along with the storm and thunder scattered throughout that killer record. Listen to these two tracks back to back for 42 minutes of goodness J.  Here it is.

2). LUMBAR – The First and Last Days of Unwelcome (Southern Lord)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Steve Miller (Temple of Perdition)
‘The First & Last Days of Unwelcome’ is an uncompromisingly heavy sonic journey—both thematically and musically—that is as ugly as it is cathartic. While the album can essentially be characterized by rage—a smoldering rage that questions the quality of and potential for a future—the album is also underscored by a glimmer of hope, of overcoming adversity no matter what the struggle. And pain. The overall sound is what you would expect from the union of Edge, Scheidt, and Doyle. Unfortunately, this is probably the only release we’ll see from Lumbar, but the band’s sole album, despite its overall themes of loss, pain, and rage, will stand as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those willing to defiantly look catastrophe and affliction in the eyes and say, “Fuck you”.  Find the album here.

3). IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS – Of the Flock (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Steve Miller (Temple of Perdition)
By mixing laid-back, ominous swamp guitar licks with the hazy, sun-scorched twang of the American Southwest, Denver’s In the Company of Serpents have succeeded in pushing beyond the limitations of the straight-forward yet unrelentingly heavy sludge of their self-titled debut into a realm of brimstone, lost souls, and abandoned faith that would leave Sergio Leone and Cormac McCarthy cowering and at a loss for words. ‘Of The Flock’ finds the duo of Grant Netzorg (vocals, guitars, fuzz) and Joseph Weller Myer (drums, apothecary) tweaking the band’s brand of boot-to-the-teeth, doom-as-fuck sludge by including regional influences that ultimately provides a soundtrack suitable for terrorizing a village, avenging a tragedy, or simply to finding redemption through blood.  Find the album here.

4). NOCTUM – Final Sacrifice (Metal Blade)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Robin (Stonerobixxx)
These guys totally surprised me with their latest album. “Final Sacrifice” is filled with downright awesome vintage 70’s grooves with a dark, classic twist. Somewhere between Witchfinder General and Cirith Ungol with added Sabbathian flavor. This band will undoubtedly be compared to GHOST, but Noctum sounds equally good in my book, with or without theatrical value.  Find the album here.

5). MOUNTAIN WITCH – Cold River (This Charming Man)
Last Month: #13 [8], Months on chart: 2
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
Huge sounding and massive, Mountain Witch play Doom and Stoner with authority and power.  The riffs are as Sabbathy as you like without being too obvious which of course means they fucking rock like a mountain avalanche. Mid paced songs morph into slow hymns of despair but the melodic and fuzzed solos stop any signs of wrist slashing - instead you have the uncontrollable urge to start nodding and foot stomping.  Even though there are hints of jamming in some tracks, the song structures keep everything pounding along. Acid psych elements swirl at the edge of things, giving hints of hidden mystery to the already impressive tapestry being woven.  This is a great addition to the ranks of Kadavar/Uncle Acid etc but be warned ...... Mountain Witch could well leave them behind!  Find the album here.

6). BRIMSTONE COVEN – II (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Nuclear Dog (Heavy Planet)
Brimstone Coven's *II* is a metal groovefest of the highest caliber, with songs that follow no strict structural formula for either retro or stoner sensibilities yet manages to incorporate just enough deep, dark doominess and psychedelic blues vapor to fit nicely on the playlists of the Followers of the Fuzz. This West Virginia foursome fire off low tuned and mesmerizing riff volleys in steady portion while incorporating spellbinding vocal tapestries into solidly crafted melodies that conjure up a bewitching, steaming, and ultimately satisfying metal brew.  Find the album here.

7). UZALA – Tales of Blood & Fire (King of the Monsters)
Last Month: #33 [26], Months on chart: 2
Words by Steve Miller (Temple of Perdition)
Uzala has crafted a masterful follow-up to their stunning debut by slightly altering their overall sound with a cleaner, weightier production. Despite the added heft and crispness, the album still smolders with a narcotizing burn capable of anesthetizing a woolly mammoth. ‘Tales of Blood & Fire’ is one of the most interesting and immersive albums released this year and with only five tracks and a runtime near the forty-five minute mark the trip ends way too soon.  Find the album here.

8). HOLLOW LEG – Abysmal (Last Anthem)
Last Month: #27 [15], Months on chart: 3
Words by Nuclear Dog (Heavy Planet)
Hollow Leg's "Abysmal" is a massive tapestry of unique and intense metal, weaving together intricate, intelligent threads that form a thoroughly mature sound that likely derives from rock sources old and new, but resounds with a fresh and gifted riff symphony of their own creation, establishing a signature sound that becomes instantly recognizable while remaining fresh and exciting, delivering deep, immense metal gratification, as well as providing a lifetime 'go to' album. The title track starts the album off by setting an atmosphere borne of darkness both tangible and surreal. There is not a step backward on any track down the line from there. All are notable. All are memorable. All will stir your metal grinding soul.  Find the album here.

9). SASQUATCH – IV (Small Stone)
Last Month: #6 [3], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Sasquatch's latest record is one of the most unassuming, unpretentious rock n roll records I've heard all year.  It doesn't blow the doors off any other stoner rock album in particular, yet it's been a steady creeper up my album of the year list.  It's like the sure-handed Tight End of albums, always there for you in a pinch and durable beyond compare.  It's no wonder the album has stuck around the Top 10 on this list for a solid three months.  Find the album here.

10). RED FANG – Whales & Leeches (Reprise)
Last Month: #3 [7], Months on chart: 2
Words by LK Ultra
Red Fang have outdone themselves on their latest album.  For those of us who just like to kick back and smash stuff, this is the perfect soundtrack.  'Whales & Leeches' is comprised of 11 thunderous tracks of face ripping fury, but what brings it all together are the dynamics.  The rockin' parts are athletic and energetic and the slow or quiet parts are dark and moody, which makes for a well rounded album.  It's a bit like attending a housewrecker then driving off into the woods and spotting a UFO, a complete night full of laughs and deep ponderings.  Find the album here.

11). HORISONT – Time Warriors (Rise Above)
Last Month: #14 [3], Months on chart: 2
Words by A.S. Van Dorston (Fast 'n' Bulbous)
Most would not consider Sweden’s Horisont as metal, but like Witchcraft and Graveyard, they have strong roots in early proto-metal (Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, November, early Scorpions) along with lots of obscure heavy psych and familiar hard rock, good enough for the metal-oriented Metal Blade to deem worth signing. Emulating Graveyard’s brisk release schedule, their third album is out just a year after their last one, the great Second Assault (2012). On Time Warriors, I do hear more of a NWOBHM influence on some of the riffs, which lends it a heavier galloping energy than previous albums. I love how they pose for Time Warriors not in futuristic space suits, but their usual denim and leather. Because if they finally event a time machine, no one’s going to want to go further in the post-apocalyptic future. They’re gonna wanna go back to 1972, far enough to fix up our fuck-ups, and catch some awesome live rock shows.  Find it here.

12). TOMBSTONES – Red Skies & Dead Eyes (Soulseller)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
Norwegian doomers Tombstones storm back with their fourth album in as many years. Overflowing with dark, droning, rhythmic riffs that surge in a way that brings to mind the mighty Sleep (listen to ‘Obstfelder’ and ‘King of Daze’ and you will hear that goodness immediately), “Red Skies and Dead Eyes” mesmerises from start to finish and should feature heavily in many year end ‘best of’ lists, and with very good reason. This album is non-stop grim heaviness, all six tracks just kick straight in and do not let up. Strains of Electric Wizard can be heard in the opening riffs of ‘Demon Cave’, and there’s that Pike style riffing throughout which drills away while the heavy on the reverb vocals well and truly sound like they could be coming straight out of the bleak woods of Norway, as the band put it on their bandcamp page and in their recent interview with Stephane` le Saux at the Temple of Perdition blog.  This is required listening, rock solid guarantee on that. Order your copy on vinyl at Soulseller Records.  Find it here.

13). VISTA CHINO – Peace (Napalm)
Last Month: 5 [8], Months on chart: 4
Words by LK Ultra
Months after its initial release, Vista Chino's debut album still sounds fresh and is still getting a decent workout at the Paranoid Compound.  The familiar sounding, yet all-new all-different stylings of Belgian guitarist Bruno Fevery has injected some much needed creativity into this beloved genre that his bandmates helped create and define.  Catchy hooks and memorable riffs abound without bogging the album down into simplistic pop territory.  Whether or not 'Peace' has restored Garcia & Bjork to the golden throne of stoner godhood, they ought to be extremely proud of this creation, it's not like there wasn't any pressure to deliver the goods after all these years, and they did so, even while re-defining an expected sound, that's no small accomplishment.  Find the album here.

14). DOUBLESTONE – Wingmakers  (Levitation)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
Even with the recent slew of European Retro Rock releasese, Doublestone's first full-length album stands out.  This Danish crew dishes out 10 rockin' numbers that find a moody medium between Horisont's firebrand energy and Mountain Witch's doomed subduction.  Doublestone is definitely its own thing however and it's easy to drown in the warm low end of this one.  Three EP's and one album later, the band has yet to disappoint me and I haven't heard one dud from the band to date.  Find the album here.

15). MONOMYTH – Self-Titled (Burning World)
Last Month: #38 [23], Months on chart: 4 Link
Words by Pat Harrington (Electric Beard of Doom)
Monomyth’s self-titled debut is a creeper. While some releases start high on the doom charts and quickly disappear, Monomyth has been steadily crawling it’s way up the charts for going on 4 months now. I recently got the LP from Roadburn/Burning World Records (check the incredible artwork from Maarten Donders) and even though I personally have been recommending this album to anyone who would listen since September, I still can’t listen to it enough. It’s instrumental “groove rock” to the highest order (you see what I did there); the best of the good ole (pre-Dark Side) Pink Floyd mixed with a heavy dose of stoney fuzz to keep ‘em honest. It is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year and has changed the way I look at/listen to/think about instrumental rock music... a game changer indeed.  Find the album here.

16). DOCTOR SMOKE – Demo 2013 (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Clint (Hand of Doom Radio)
Doctor Smoke from Ohio released this ripping 4 track EP back at the end of August and have been working towards releasing their first full length album via an Indigogo campaign which, as of today, just hit its target. As such, the band are entering the studio in just over a week from now to record, with vinyl, cd and cassette formats planned.

Stinging high quality stoner rock riffs with mighty hooks set this band apart from the run of the mill stuff out there, great guitar tone and vocals that you feel instantly comfortable with. Great cover of the Pentagram track ‘Sign of the Wolf’ too. Not much more to be said here other than these guys have released one of the more promising demos of the year, and based on this their debut full length should be a worthy addition to the vinyl collection.  Find it here.

17). VALLEY OF THE SUN – Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Nuclear Dog (Heavy Planet)
2011 experienced a supercharged bolt from the blue aether with the Ohio retro rockers Valley of the Sun and their superb album "Saying of the Seers", so now that time for their new 2013 release has rolled up on us, anticipation among those who had worn out the former was high and hopeful for the latter. Valley of the Sun have proven they are gifted, elite riff wielders with ten fuzzy ass smacking, juicy, and bodacious tracks on the December 7th release "Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk" in which they have taken their brand of rock well beyond the derivative sounds of past rock eras and establish a meaty morsel of melodious, metal magnificence that rings out with fresh and familiar excitement.  Find the album here.

18). IRON MAN – South of the Earth (Rise Above)
Last Month: #7 [11], Months on chart: 2
Words by A.S. Van Dorston (Fast 'n' Bulbous)
Man, if Saint Vitus are supposed to be criminally underappreciated, then Iron Man from Maryland is like the invisible man. Perhaps not the best choice naming themselves after the Black Sabbath song with one of the three best known metal riffs of all time, they did start out as a Sabbath cover band. It’s just that many might assume they never evolved into so much more, but they did pretty quickly after forming in 1988, with a trio of very strong albums starting with Black Night (Hellhound, 1993). Their traditional doom was not groundbreaking, but featured original songs and great performances. Through many lineup changes, Al Morris III re-emerged triumphantly with the aptly titled I Have Returned (Shadow Kingdom, 2009). Thanks to the growing audience for doom, both new and old, they were rewarded with a deal with Rise Above in the U.K. and Metal Blade in the U.S. Producer/engineer Frank Marchand III helped Iron Man not so much modernize their sound on their 2009 comeback as run it through a meat grinder, making it sound much more appropriately rough and heavy. On South Of The Earth, Marchand is back and the heaviness seems to have increased tenfold, the bass drums sounding like colliding moons, courtesy of newcomer Jason “Mot” Waldmann. Dee Calhoun ably replaces Joe Donnelly on vocals. Unlike some of the draggier tempos of many recent doom albums, Iron Man rocks and swings. A totally essential album for doomsters, and an ideal entrypoint for newbies.  Find the album here.

19). BLACK CAPRICORN – Born Under the Capricorn (Stone Stallion Rex / Voice of Azram)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
Doom with monster grooves and soul does not come along often but when it does, I play it loud and often.  Italian doom seems to be spreading its demonic blues far and wide with Black Capricorn being no exception. With a 70's classic feel, the sound is deep, warm, fuzzy and heavy with the song writing strong enough to keep attention fixed on the groove and riff no matter how short or long the tracks are.  Strong, cleanish vocals deliver the lyrics with enough dire warning to evoke a sense of foreboding without going down the worn route of sub-Lovecraftisms. Slow paced, faster, acoustic picking to head exploding walls of power, this album has it all for me. This is what doom should always sound like! (again, this is a personal thing - if you like lightweight 70's copy bands, that is up to you!)  I have to mention the guitars - wah-wahed solos with big, meaty notes that steer clear of fretboard wankery, instead they make each note count and drill into your skull. Atmospherics are skillfuly created with synths, soundscapes and masterful use of a harmonica in just the right place.  This should be on any doomhead's playlist.  Find the album here.

20). SANDRIDER – Godhead (Good to Die)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
Seattle stoner metal trio Sandrider released the follow up to their popular self-titled album just a week and a half ago and already it's climbing the charts like an infection.  Highly energetic, but featuring a smoothness not often found in stoner metal albums of its ilk, I want to compare this one to the early works of Soundgarden, even though it sounds nothing like them.  It's something in the screamy, jumpy but still somehow laidback feel of the album.  Find the album here.

21). LIZZARD WIZZARD – Self-Titled (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
Lizzard Wizzard are from Australia and play some heavy based stoner doom with some elements of sludge thrown in to make sure you are not getting too comfortable.  The tracks are primitive doom, light on solos but fucking heavy on the riffs. If early Electric Wizard covering "Dopesmoker" floats ya boat, keep on reading this.  The sonic production is awesome - thick, aggressive and full of low-end battering to shake your pretty little eardrums to bits.  Fuzzed guitars have the distortion dial on 11 but never so far up in the mix that the bass and drums get lost.  With song titles like "Total Handjob Future" and "Dogs Die In Hot Cars", you need a vocalist who sounds like a rabid dingo tearing at the corpse of clean singing while drinking moonshine lager mixed with the dregs of a hundred used bongs - and guess what - they have!  This is the good stuff - get it now.  Find the album here.

22). MAMMATUS – Heady Mental(Spiritual Pajamas)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1
Words by LK Ultra
I walk slowly from the room, stiff-legged and saucer-eyed.  I don't know what the hell that was, but somehow I like it and am darkly fascinated by it.  I've been to other dimensions, they're about as convincing a reality as Tron and yet I can get lost in it.  This is my reaction to Mammatus, the "spacier-than-thou" power trio from Santa Cruz, California.  I'm confused and a little scared, but I'm also slightly aroused.  This is far out.

The three song, 32-minute 'Heady Mental' is a raw and naked showcase of the band's space rock extremity, where sounds explode in a kaleidoscope of colors and structures breathe, tones pulsate and album covers taste like vinegar. Sensory overload is the name of the game here and that's no average feat considering this is just music we're talking about. .  Find the album here.

23). SEREMONIA – Ihminen (Svart)
Last Month: #23 [-], Months on chart: 2
Words by Tony Maim (Black Insect Laughter)
Emerging from the darkest depths of Finland, Seremonia manage to mix doom, 70's psych rock and grimy punk without sounding forced or experimental.  The primary feel is dank and doomy, with riffage suitably low slung and powerful but thanks to the wonderful vocals provided by Noora Federley, the range goes from a velvet croon to a more hard edged style. She is complimented by the band who have a vast array of talent to back her up.  Vintage scorched earth keyboard stabs and solos mix with ghostly backing vocals, flutes, synths and effects which provide a suitably graveyard feel. There is a genuinely foreboding tone but in case you think that this is a strictly retro affair, the modern, hard hitting production and bursts of fast, ballsy workouts will stop any doubts you may have.  Seremonia have enough punk attitude mixed with a love of darkness to make them stand out among the crowd.  Find the album here.

24). BLOODY HAMMERS – Spiritual Relics (Soulseller)
Last Month: #21 [3], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Well don't look now but the band that came from out of nowhere just over a year ago and slingshotted to a surprising height of overall metal community acceptance has returned.  Actually, if the truth be told, this is the "band"s first album as Bloody Hammers's debut was really a one man jam.  While the full line-up doesn't stray far from its trademark sound, there is deviation here and a game willingness to tinker and experiment, if ever so reticently.  As it stands, I prefer 'Spiritual Relics' to the debut, it's a more organic sound here and it's nice to hear real drums on a record, but aside from a small number of slightly different sounding tunes, the two albums are nearly interchangeable.  If you liked the first one, you'll like this new one.  Find the album here.

25). SUBROSA – More Constant Than the Gods (Profound Lore)
Last Month: #10 [15], Months on chart: 3
Words by LK Ultra
Utah's very own experimental doom quintet SubRosa has crafted the go to album to escape the traditional, the expected or the norm (however strange your norm may be).  SubRosa push the sonic boundaries into the remote, into the timeless.  Sarah Pendleton's violin has a lot to do with it, her highly atmospheric playing style suggests the sound of the future while conjuring images of a pirate-laden and enchanted past.  'More Constant Than the Gods' is a listening experience all its own.  Find the album here.

26). CLAGG – Gather Your Beasts (Self- Released)
Last Month: #19 [7], Months on chart: 2 / Link
27). SHOOTING GUNS – Brotherhood of the Ram (Easyrider)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
28). ELDER – Live at Roadburn 2013 (Burning World)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
29). SPIRAL SHADES – The Hypnosis Sessions (Self-Released)
Last Month: #47 [18], Months on chart: 4 / Link
30). IN SOLITUDE – Sister (Metal Blade)
Last Month: #28 [2], Months on chart: 2 / Link
31). AT DEVIL DIRT – Plan B: Sin Revolucion No Hey Evolucion (Self-Released / vinyl from Bilocation Records)
Last Month: #8 [23], Months on chart: 2 / Link
32). AMERICAN SHARKS – Self-Titled (The End)
Last Month: #35 [3], Months on chart: 2 / Link
33). DEMON LUNG – The Hundredth Name (Candlelight)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 3 / Link
34). MOTÖRHEAD – Aftershock (UDR)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
35). ARROWHEAD – Atomsmasher (Self-Released)
Last Month: #44 [9], Months on chart: 2 / Link
36). AVATARIUM – Self-Titled (Nuclear Blast)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
37). CRYPT TRIP – Self-Titled EP (Self-Released)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
38). MELVINS – Tres Cabrones (Ipecac)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
39). SUMMONER – Atlantian (Megnetic Eye)
Last Month: #- [-], Months on chart: 1 / Link
40). MONSTER MAGNET – Last Patrol (Napalm)
Last Month: 1 [39], Months on chart: 3 / Link

A rousing ovation for the Doom Charts contributors:
Dr. Abner Mality [Wormwood Chronicles], Arttu Savy, A.S. Van Dorston [Fast n' Bulbous], Bill Goodman [The Soda Shop], Blasting D [Blasting Days], Cameron Crichton [Motherslug], Cheryl Prime [Cvlt Nation], Clint [Hand of Doom Radio], Dennis [Blasting Days], The Grime [Ripple Effect], Gruesome Greg [Hellbound], Jeff Warren [Broken Beard], Joop Konraad [Stoner Hive], Justin Gish [Forte], Katharina Pfeiffer [Psychorizon], LK Ultra, Mats Florstam [Ozium Records], Nuclear Dog [Heavy Planet], Pat Harrington [Electric Beard of Doom], Phil Howlett [Rote Mare], Racer [The Ripple Effect], Richard Maw [Sludgelord], Robin [Stonerobixxx], Rod Reinhart [Captain Beyond Zen], Scott aka Dr. Space [Scott's Music Reviews], Soggy Bob [Soggy Bog of Doom], Steph LS [Temple of Perdition], Steve Howe [Sludgelord], Steve Miller [Temple of Perdition], Stonerhead [Stonerhead Let Groove Your Brains Tonight], Tony Maim [Black Insect Laughter], Ulla Roschat [The Wicked Lady Show]

Thank you all!!!!!

See last month's Super Doom Chart


  1. On behalf of everyone who reads and looks forward to this chart - thanks for all your hard work.

  2. I love your blog and all the work you put up in it! Thank you for this!


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