View Full Version : The Forty Essential DOOM Albums

05-23-2012, 08:23 PM
it has begun....
The list will include nothing but doom all forms of it. just because this board needs more of it.

I will finish the entire list tonight. i know im notorious for not finsihing these things.

05-23-2012, 08:27 PM

05-23-2012, 08:38 PM

Did I piss you off manks? lol Sorry if I did. Didn't mean too. You were hoping I finished one of the other two lists?

05-23-2012, 09:47 PM
it has begun....
The list will include nothing but doom all forms of it. just because this board needs more of it.

I will finish the entire list tonight. i know im notorious for not finsihing these things.

Very curious to see this list.


05-23-2012, 09:49 PM
Did I piss you off manks? lol Sorry if I did. Didn't mean too. You were hoping I finished one of the other two lists?

Bouville was a huge doom fan, therefore our doom smilie is named after him.


05-23-2012, 10:07 PM
Ok to make it this easier I will be posting the reviews from Allmusic when possible to make it easier on me. If they don't have one on a specific release. I will say and then write my own thing.

40. Trouble - Manic Frustration (1991)
(Def Jam)
After ten years of hard work in the face of adversity, doom metal kings Trouble had seen it all, and after making an incredible comeback with their self-titled fourth album in 1990, the band once again teamed up with producer (and label boss) Rick Rubin for 1992's appropriately titled Manic Frustration. On this occasion, the Chicago-based quintet finally decided to take a chance on expanding its puritanical doom outlook, and infused the album with additional retro-rock inspirations such as acid rock, psychedelia, and Beatlesque variety, resulting in the band's most unique and user-friendly work. From the very get-go, the Hendrix-ian "Come Touch the Sky" literally burst off into the lysergic stratosphere and the mock apology of "'Scuse Me" vented years and years of living-out-of-time frustration in under three minutes, while the hallucinogenic likes of "Rain" and "Mr. White" seemed to represent the polar emotional opposites of the hippie generation's naďve idealism (the first was Woodstock, the second Altamont). Less adventurous, riff-based creations like "The Sleeper," "Tragedy Man," and the title track afforded old-time fans a few opportunities to reconnect with Trouble's Sabbath-derived origins, but Manic Frustration's defining triumphs were undoubtedly those that dared mesh together all elements of Trouble's expanded musical kaleidoscope. And so, one is inevitably drawn to the sheer guitar-shredding fantasy and frenzy of "Hello Strawberry Skies," the unsettling comedown and blissful return provided by the gentle "Breathe...," and the staggering majesty of "Memory's Garden" (all highlights of Trouble's career), where singer Eric Wagner's mournful bray spins a tale of loss, faith, and hope of simply chilling proportions. Sadly, none of these were capable of stopping Manic Frustration's title from ringing horribly prophetic after its release, when Trouble once again faced the mixed blessings of widespread critical acclaim but no significant album sales beyond the underground heavy metal faithful.

The Sleeper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IO8X1kso3s)

39. Krux - Krux (2002)
(Mascot Records)
Just why bassist Leif Edling felt the need to form yet another doom metal band besides his main concern, legendary doomsters Candlemass, is anyone's guess. But classic doom is what Sweden's Krux are all about, and except for the different personnel involved, their eponymous debut could almost pose as a Candlemass record, if truth be told. Dominated as it is by the same manner of oversized riffs, detuned guitars, and unhurried rhythms, beautifully melancholic songs like "Krux" and "Omfalos" owe much of their distinctive tones to the commanding voice of one-time Yngwie Malmsteen band singer Mats Levén. Outstanding opener "Black Room," for example, might have struck too close to home in that regard, only thanks to Levén's contribution, it sounds less like Candlemass than the apex of Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath. Prime instigator and songwriter Edling is in fine form as always, coming forward to sing on the sparse interlude "Sibiria" before unleashing waves of distorted bass effects on the spacy "Evel Rifaz." Freed from his bass-playing gig with Entombed, Jörgen Sandström takes full advantage of his opportunity to peel off one bludgeoning power chord after another; and guest soloists Nicko Elgstrand (Terra Firma) and Fredrik Akesson (Talisman) also take turns playing guitar hero, proffering stinging leads to such head-banging anthems as "Nimis" and "Enigma EZB," respectively. Meanwhile, Carl Westholm also pitches in with judicious doses of synthesizers, occasionally brought to the fore, but mostly used for accenting purposes. Krux finally veer slightly from their trad-doom formula on the multipart, 12-minute "Lunochod" -- whereupon trippy bleeps and squawks see them embarking on sonic traipses through the cosmos. This slight departure notwithstanding, Krux is a doom metal record through and through, and especially ideal for Candlemass fans.

Omfalos (Live) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v-MznRUioQ)

38. Place of Skulls - With Vision (2003)
(Southern Lord Records)
For a band that reached its creative peak in the early '70s, Black Sabbath has certainly had a long-lasting impact on heavy metal. Their riffs have influenced just about every stoner rock combo of the '90s and 2000s, and Sabbath is the band of choice for people in the doom metal field. Although Place of Skulls was formed in 2000, their approach owes a considerable debt to Sabbath's trailblazing work with Ozzy Osbourne -- there isn't a riff on With Vision, Skulls' second album, that isn't Sabbath-minded. Of course, the Sabbath influence that permeates this 2003 release isn't surprising when one considers what bands Skulls' members once belonged to. Guitarist/singer Victor Griffin (Skulls' founder) is an ex-member of Pentagram and Deathrow, while guitarist/singer Scott "Wino" Wienrich's credits include Spirit Caravan, the Obsessed, and Saint Vitus, in other words, Griffin and Wienrich both have a long history of belonging to Sabbath-influenced bands. And because Place of Skulls are as Sabbath-minded as they are, this CD will be classified as doom metal or stoner rock; however, it's important to note that Skulls isn't nearly as extreme as some of the bands that are considered doom metal. Compared to the noisy, brutally dissonant Grief (a great underground doom band that enjoyed a small cult following), With Vision is quite musical and melodic. This CD is heavy, but not in a ferocious, bruising, sledgehammer-to-the-cranium way; Place of Skulls caters to those who like their metal with a lot of melody. While With Vision is hardly the most original or groundbreaking metal disc of 2003, the material is generally well written and well executed; Place of Skulls definitely deserves some credit for craftsmanship. All things considered, With Vision is a decent and respectable, if derivative, outing for Griffin and his headbanging colleagues.

Long Lost Grave (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5FhA91xESo)

37. Acid King - Bosse Woods (1999)
(Man's Ruin Records)
Black Sabbath was a major influence on a lot of the bands who recorded for Man's Ruin in the late '90s, and Acid King certainly doesn't escape the influence of early Sabbath on Busse Woods. This isn't to say that Acid King is a Sabbath clone -- far from it. True, Lori S.' singing owes a debt to Ozzy Osbourne, and her slow, forceful, brutal guitar riffs recall Tony Iommi's contributions to Sabbath. But the Bay Area band's heavy metal/stoner rock tends to communicate a looser, more jam-minded outlook than the music of Sabbath, and there are other direct or indirect influences one could cite as well, such as Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix, and Hawkwind. Sabbath tends to get right to the point, whereas Lori S. enjoys stretching out when it's appropriate. Even though Acid King's brand of metal has often been described as stoner rock, one needn't be a stoner or use drugs to appreciate such metallic grooves as "39 Lashes," "Drive Fast, Take Chances," and "Electric Machine." Even if you consider yourself a teetotaler, Busse Woods is an exhilarating dose of metal.

Silent Circle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1asjg3PK55s)

36. Evoken - Embrace The Emptiness (1998)
(Elegy Records)
New Jersey's homegrown funeral doom institution, Evoken, refused to play it safe with their 1998 debut full-length, Embrace the Emptiness, which took long strides (with looooong songs, of course) beyond their nascent genre's barely established fundamentals, and successfully eclipsed the comparative immaturity displayed by 1996's Shades of Night Descending EP. So, in addition to slumbering tempos underpinned by reverberating drums, evanescent synth orchestrations haunting thundering guitars, and booming growls hurled straight from the deepest, foulest crypt, album standouts like "Tragedy Eternal," "Chime the Centuries End," and "Ascend into the Maelstrom" also boasted a few rather "energetic" passages and tormented clean baritones mixed in by frontman John Paradiso. Another absolute colossus, the self-explanatory "Lost Kingdom of Darkness," even made room for some tinkling piano in its successful bid to depict endless caverns snuffed by impenetrable, everlasting darkness -- a fitting summation, come to think of it, for Evoken's entire aesthetic vision, of which Embrace the Emptiness arguably represented the first fully fleshed chapter.

Lost Kingdom of Darkness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VAtHHNWF7A)

35. Middian - Age Eternal (2007)
(Metal Blade Records)
It was a sad day for doom metal when YOB broke up in 2005. But thankfully, that was the not the end of YOB leader Mike Scheidt's involvement with doom metal. The guitarist/singer wasted no time assembling a new band: Middian, whose debut album, Age Eternal, isn't a big departure from YOB's work. Like YOB, this trio (which also includes bassist/singer Will Lindsay and drummer Scott Headrick) operates on the sludgy, Black Sabbath-influenced side of metal (as opposed to the more gothic side of doom epitomized by Paradise Lost and Anathema), and Middian is also a band that loves to stretch out. Age Eternal only has five tracks, which may lead some to assume that it is an EP. But this 57-minute CD is no EP; some of those five tracks last 11, 14 or 15 minutes -- and that penchant for extended numbers is certainly very YOB-ish. Despite being similar to YOB, Middian is not a carbon copy of Scheidt's former band; Middian offer more fast tempos, and their performances are somewhat heavier and have more of a psychedelic edge. Nonetheless, Age Eternal will not come as a major shock to those who are familiar with Scheidt's YOB days. Like YOB's albums, this 2006 recording is not for those with short attention spans; this is complex doom that has a lot of interesting twists and turns and never adheres to a standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus format. But those who were YOB admirers will be happy to know that Scheidt is still providing quality doom metal.

Dreamless Eye (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvFq6Eh3zUQ)

34. Goatsnake - Flower of Disease (2000)
(Southern Lord Records)
With Flowers of Disease, Goatsnake delivers its trademark slick, thick, and smooth guitar tones ŕ la Kyuss meets Black Sabbath, way-low dropped tunings, heavy drumming, solid production values, and some pretty weird instrument appearances. These guys have been around the proverbial doom metal block, and it shows. Pete Stahl gives a vocal performance that is unique, melodic and dynamic in range, lending a classic doom sound that's an increasingly untypical and refreshing vocal approach in today's black-, death-, and grindcore-influenced doom metal scene. The slow- to mid-paced grooves are all the Sabbath-inspired heaviness you could hope for, but much of the album comes off like a wasted summer evening from your best memories. "Easy Greasy" has Stahl singing "Fellout and tore up/With my friends and their freaks/We laugh and lie so high it's sweet." Not only that, but the mouth harp thing, along with the slow, heavy groove, gives off this "down by the river, takin' it easy" feeling. This is a doom record though, and aside from the fact that there's plenty of mellow "let it go" attitude here, the title track is the most morose. "Flower of Disease" conjures suicidal thoughts with the lyrics "I touch these walls of this place I know/Death is standing right outside the door/I smile inside to hide the cries/The pain just loves to multiply." An enjoyable listen, this album is a perfect marriage of modern production techniques, excellent riffing, melodic classic doom, and grooving ambience.

The Dealer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjR-Z_TDdzA)

33. My Dying Bride - The Angel and The Dark River (1995)
(Peaceville Records)
Rarely does one individual sound so perfectly exemplify the mood of a record like the groaning, distant foghorn on My Dying Bride's third full-length, Angel and the Dark River. This English five-piece pens such bleak, soul-crushing tunes that its use of a lone foghorn to conclude agonizing opening cut "The Cry of Mankind" is strikingly appropriate (and most likely self-indulgent in the hands of a less convincing outfit). At no other time in its long and creatively prosperous career has My Dying Bride been so suicidally self-absorbed, evident by vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe's use of a clean, despairing, and melodic moan throughout, having ditched the death growl of earlier releases; in fact, the rest of the band followed suit, setting aside any death metal influences, carefully using violins and keyboards to enhance the group's brooding excursions, and managing to not sound gimmicky in the process. Generally, the arrangements stretch out over long, progressive, and swampy plains of powerfully droning, yet still memorable, guitar riffs, patiently rumbling drums, and Stainthorpe's vague and ghastly lyrical drippings, presumably painfully squeezed out of his own slit wrists. Not unexpectedly, songs take their sweet time getting their point across, clocking in between seven and 12 minutes, standouts being "From Darkest Skies," "Black Voyage," and "Your Shameful Heaven," the latter of which actually picks up the tempo beyond a snail's slime-trail-oozing pace, but with the same destination in mind: Pure, utter, unrelenting depression. Most likely, few will appreciate the tortured, pitch-black majesty of My Dying Bride, the band being the withered and shriveled trail's-end of fauna-wilting gothic doom metal, but MDB devotees should agree that Angel and the Dark River is its most effectively poisonous slab of internalized, navel-gazing horror. Other albums in the MDB catalog are more concise (Like Gods of the Sun), experimental (34.788%...Complete), and brutal (Turn Loose the Swans), but Angel and the Dark River stands alone in the center of a misty sea of tears, dolefully bleating its foghorn into the unforgiving wind.

A Sea To Suffer In (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu9QBWoIq9A)

32. Warhorse - As Heavens Turn To Ash (2001)
(Southern Lord Records)
With this crushing full-length debut, Warhorse stake a well-deserved claim to a piece of the sprawling Black Sabbath-inspired doom metal underground. Reminiscent at times of contemporaries Goatsnake and Electric Wizard, As Heaven Turns to Ash is well-crafted start to finish, the production allowing the material to really shine. The second track, "Doom's Bride," originally recorded on a cassette deck in the band's practice space and titled "Death's Bride" on Warhorse's 1998 demo, comes off with so much power that it sounds like almost like an entirely different band. The same is true with the version of "Lysergic Communion," this album's fifth track. The astounding low end and brutal guitar tones seem to have saturated the analog tape during recording beyond levels previously thought possible, while the songs' solid structures make it an effort to keep yourself from either banging your head or killing your neighbors. The overwhelming heaviness is accentuated by fantastic and tastefully executed song dynamics, shifts in mood, volume, and tone that draw you into the recording and its tortured landscapes. Warhorse supported the release of this album by touring with doom legends Electric Wizard. This is an excellent debut.

Lysergic Communion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKhePr2FLVM)

31. Grand Magus - Monument (2003)
(Rise Above Records)
Well, this is more like it! Swedish stoner rock trio Grand Magus did themselves few favors with their solid but unspectacular 2002 debut, which quietly sank into the general morass afflicting the doom/stoner movement at the time. And when guitarist and singer JB subsequently hooked up with Michael Amott's high-flying Spiritual Beggars, it looked as if Grand Magus were doomed (no pun intended) to vanish altogether, leaving only that one middling release to their name. However, thanks to the incredibly gregarious and liberal nature of the Swedish music scene, here they are -- unexpectedly back with a 2003 follow-up that is quite deserving of its imposing title: Monument. Howling winds and mournful guitar lines introduce album opener "Ulvaskall (Vargr)," which promptly lurches into gear on an Iommi-approved, bent-note riff and fittingly bleak words intoning "I'm damned and I'm cursed forever/Destined to walk this land," over and over again. Ensuing single (yeah right -- a "single," ha!) "Summer Solstice" steps it up a notch to take listeners chugging down the highway, and by the time Grand Magus slow it down again for the lysergic roll of "Brotherhood of Sleep" and the gargantuan doom creep of "Baptised in Fire" [sic], retro-metal fans will likely be foaming at the mouth over what they're hearing. Simply put, energetic doom doesn't get much better than this, or, for that matter, the album's frightfully heavy next offering, "Chooser of the Slain (Valfader)," which combines chiming bells, concussive power chords, and lyrics of Viking lore to thrilling and terrifying effect. And to wrap things up on a high note, the likeminded "Food of the Gods" offers a final, concise battering before the colossal denouement of ten-minute epic "Ye Who Seeks...Shall Find." Powerful, steady, unrelenting, and always f*ckin' heavy, Monument helped put the bite back into what was then a distressingly flagging strain of heavy metal.

Baptised In Fire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgI7CxxyB-g)

05-24-2012, 12:02 AM
30. Pagan Altar - Volume One (1982)
(Oracle Records)
Before it was dredged from out of the depths of time and obscurity for official release via the band's own website in 1998, Pagan Altar's Volume 1 had been one of the most bootlegged unreleased albums circulating within the heavy metal underground over the previous twenty-odd years. Recorded at the band's own Pagan studios in 1982, these high-quality demos were shopped to no avail for record companies of the day before landing on the bustling pre-internet, underground metal tape-trading network -- then eBay, where opportunistic bootleggers began commanding outrageous prices for them in the mid-'90s. This finally motivated long retired bandmembers to make Volume 1 available themselves, but how is it possible that such an acclaimed band -- even if it was cult acclaim -- slipped under the music industry's radar during one of the most prolific periods for signing heavy metal bands in the genre's history: the early-'80s New Wave of British Heavy Metal? Well, along with a reputation for stubbornness and doing things their own way, Pagan Altar were clearly swimming against the current of most successful N.W.O.B.H.M. bands; ignoring the innovative simplicity and accelerated pace brought on by punk rock, to carry on embracing heavy metal's earliest, largely slothful and exceedingly gothic template, as laid down by original masters Black Sabbath. Amazing as it may seem today, both qualities were radically unfashionable during the rise of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, et al, leaving Pagan Altar's music sounding positively ancient by comparison -- even though all songs contained here had been written between 1981 and the London-based group's inception, in 1978. Gregorian chants from the same intro tape used to open Pagan Altar's highly theatrical live shows launches the band's eponymous song: a doom-laden affair marked by such recognizable Sabbath-isms as foreboding, downtuned power chords, bowel-loosening bent notes, and stunning lead work from guitarist Alan Jones topped with the curiously nasal delivery of his sibling vocalist Terry (later attributed to a bout of the flu!). The comparatively vigorous "In the Wake of Armadeus," meanwhile, splices together slightly altered versions of the riffs from "Electric Funeral" and "Black Sabbath" -- the song -- with memorable results; and the synth-introduced "Judgment of the Dead" arguably qualifies as the album's best track, with its strikingly melancholy melodies and explosive punctuations from the rhythm section of bassist Trevor Portch and drummer John Mizrahi. Along with subsequent offerings like "The Black Mass" and "Night Rider," all of the above epitomize post-acid rock '70s heavy metal at its best (i.e. -- "classic" doom), recalling the work of American also-rans Bedemon and Pentagram, while generally proving more authentic (and better executed) than the work of like-minded British contemporaries Witchfinder General. Only as the end draws near does the album swerve into unfamiliar territory, via Alan Jones' acoustic guitar solo piece, "Cry of the Banshee," before segueing back to habitual sounds for the thundering stomp of eight-minute closer "Reincarnation," which duly reopens the gates of Hell for a relatively up-tempo, but still typically heavy descent through all nine circles. With that, Volume 1 runs its course, and while its D.I.Y. production and old-fashioned metal aesthetic certainly explain why Pagan Altar were overlooked by the chart-minded wardens of the music industry, the band's inspired songwriting, musicianship, and vision also justify their rise to cult status in the eyes of heavy metal fans with little care to commercial success.

Judgement of the Dead (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-7wZyUeyTE)

29. Coffins - Buried Death (2008)
(20 Buck Spin)
Coffins are the type of metal band who honor their multiple inspirations to the best possible extent -- they're fully inculcated in an approach and sound, as the album and song titles make perfectly clear, not to mention the album art, but they recombine them in a way to make their own mark where possible. On their second incarnation's second album, Buried Death, the overwhelming sound from their many '80s and early-'90s forebears -- ranging from Justin Broadrick's Godflesh-era guttural grunts, definitely a holdover from the group's earlier work, to high-speed death metal -- continues the pattern started on Mortuary in Darkness. The same lineup of Uchino, You, and Koreeda is in place, and if Buried Death is an extension of the earlier album then it's a brilliantly done one, with the sheer thickness of Uchino's guitars ranking as some of the best-sounding riffs out there. It doesn't hurt, either, that You's drumming, though often high-speed enough for early Carcass (another clear model, especially in the occasional vocal exchanges between Uchino and Koreeda), actually has a full-bodied impact instead of a skittering rampage. All this is arguably the counterweight to the fact that Coffins are working clearly within a wide-ranging style rather than extending it, but this is still the best kind of tribute -- the one that leaves an individual mark. So if the tempo changes on songs like "Cadaver Blood" are familiar elements, the weird guitar effects on "The Frozen Styx" give a sense of what the band can bring to the mix in turn. A definite highlight is "Altars of Gore," with Uchino's riff being the kind of strutting kick, well matched by the rhythm section, more appropriate to Motörhead than many later bands could manage, but still with the deep vocal rumble heard throughout the album.

Altars In Gore (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1srRn9eWlk)

28. The Gates of Slumber - Conqueror (2008)
(Profound Lore/I Hate Records)
Although their moniker would suggest the ultimate doom band, Indiana's Gates of Slumber have actually never thought twice about charging down the highway at full throttle when the mood hits them, and their third album, 2008's Conqueror, sees them shifting into fifth gear even more frequently as they idle along in first. Indeed, after peeling out of the driveway via the rollicking juggernaut of "Trapped in the Web," the trio repeatedly gallops into battle (see "Children of Satan," "The Machine"), amidst some midtempo marching ("Ice Worm"), and, yes, yes, sluggish doom crawls like the title cut and "To Kill a King." But whatever tempo they choose, the Gates of Slumber almost always pay out-and-out tribute (whether intentional or accidental, remains unclear) to the Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan -- heck, any group led by the legendary Scott "Wino" Weinrich. So do countless other bands, mind you, but the Wino similarities found in the vocals and frenzied guitar solos tendered by GoS frontman Karl Simon make such comparisons inevitable -- no matter how excellent his band's songs may be, when considered in a vacuum. If anything, Wino never had the patience, through all of his many projects and years of service, to concoct a multi-part colossus on the scale of Conqueror's closing "Dark Valley Suite," which revisits all of the avenues mentioned above, and then some, thanks to the softly atmospheric centerpiece, "Call of the Black Gods." And, once again, listeners unburdened by the knowledge of the Gates of Slumber's inspirational baggage will likely find nothing but a seriously engaging traditional heavy metal album in Conqueror.

Eyes of the Liar (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfXopu3Bs2o)

27. Mournful Congregation - The Monad of Creation (2005)
(Weird Truth Productions)
*My Own Summary*
Mournful Congregation, while not having the claim to the greatest funeral doom album in my eyes are definitely the most consistent band in the genre. Staring from their first record onward to this year's "The Book of Kings". The band has released four epic records of majestic and ethereal funeral doom. The clear cut winner out of the four though is their second, "The Monad of Creation". It's overflowing with melancholia and despair, desolating anything in its path. Huge glacial riffing over deep bowel releasing growls it literally downs you in a sea of pitch black darkness. The acoustic flourishes are of the highest order as well, and just make the atmosphere that more vibrant. Highly recommended, quality funeral doom that never becomes a burden even for genre beginners.

As I Drown In The Loveless Rain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3tw8zTpMVo)

26. Sunn O))) - Black One (2005)
(Southern Lord Records)
Although claiming that Black One is the darkest Sunn 0))) album yet may be a little overzealous on their label's part (unless, of course, its meant as a not-so-subtle play on most recent predecessors White1 and 2), there's certainly a good chance that it's their most diverse. Whether that's a simple case of there being more and shorter songs present (all of seven, and only shorter by these guys' standards, mind you), or an unprecedented volume of outside collaborators (mostly underground black metal buddies lending their vocals), Black One experiments with a number of new tricks to go with the by now expected ultra-droning aspects of Sunn 0)))'s sound. For example, both "Orthodox Caveman" and "Cry for the Weeper" drink from the same old, Earth-derived dead-water pool that inspired Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley to start melting their amps in tribute to begin with; while the improbably brief "It Took the Night to Believe" (featuring blood-curdling shrieks and croaks by Wrest) may well be Sunn 0)))'s most unapologetically black metal moment ever, taking a page from Burzum's bloody book with its spooky loop of buzz-picked guitar melodies to go with a reliably subterranean foundation. Keeping with the black metal mindset, the pair then proceed to deconstruct Immortal's "Cursed Realms (Of the Winterdemons)" into a barely recognizable primordial soup of tonal thrumming, before calling Xasthur's Malefic down to the basement to supply additional screams for the splendidly named "Candlegoat" and megalithic closer, "Báthory Erzsébet." (For the latter, in fact, he was supposedly locked inside a coffin, microphone and all, so as to inspire a suitably suffocating feeling of horror -- proving that extreme sounds sometimes truly do demand extreme measures.) In other words, Black One is a cautious but unquestionable departure from Sunn 0)))'s pre-established m.o., and arguably their most accessible effort to date, in the bargain. But even though there'll always be those purists looking for a bone to pick, its difficult to imagine too many original fans not embracing these still remarkably blackened sounds.

It Took The Night To Believe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIR1KfKXH6s)

25. Hour of 13 - Hour of 13 (2007)
(Shadow Kingdom Records)
Tempting as it is to label Hour of 13's eponymous debut a doom album without even a second glance, fact is it's actually a pure heavy metal album in the genre's most fundamental, unadulterated definition, formulated in the early '70s by Black Sabbath. And even though this essentially rules out the possibility of true musical innovation, Hour of 13's sheer mastery of the style's every last aesthetic nook and cranny -- from the devilishly occult lyrics and bare-bones production to the simultaneously simple yet towering power chords from which everything derives -- easily transcends mere imitation, and ultimately reminds us that all subsequent metallic subgenres are ultimately dilutions, for better or worse, of the original, flawless monolith. The proof is in the riffing, as they say, thanks to the improbably fresh-sounding sequences conjured by lead visionary Chad Davis, who handles all instruments (save for the odd solo played by album engineer Corey Leonard) on sinister offerings like "Call to Satan," "Submissive to Evil," "Hex Harm," and "Missing Girl." Yes, ultra-specialized heavy metal historians will of course recognize occasional scattered touchstones like Pentagram ("Endurement to the Heirs of Shame"), Pagan Altar ("Grim Reality"), and even Budgie ("Allowance of Sin"); but, if not for vocalist Phil Swanson's warbling delivery and recurring Satanic invocations (which invariably smack of Ozzy Osbourne, more often than not), even Sabbath's irrefutable influence affects the template more so than the duo's songwriting imagination. And for those incapable of buying that last sales pitch -- check out the exceptionally forceful opening riff of "The Correlation," which hasn't an ounce of doom about it as it chugs along to the snappier tempos of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, or even -- dare we say it -- American '80s metal! The point being that Hour of 13 are anything but a surprise-free nostalgia act, but rather proud carriers of heavy metal's timeless flame, from the past into the distant future.

Allowance of Sin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96lIBwhrgbY)

24. Spirit Caravan - Jug Fulla Sun (1999)
(Tolotta Records)
Jug Fulla Sun, Spirit Caravan's debut, follows a sonic continuum that began in the late '70s when Scott "Wino" Weinrich emerged from the outskirts of Washington, D.C., with the Obsessed, his stripped-down hybrid of biker rock and metal. That outfit made tremendous strides in bridging the gap between the long-haired metal contingent and the still developing, though already rabid, D.C. hardcore scene. Jug Fulla Sun shows Wino augmenting his trademark brand of doom-laden guitar work and slow-fuse vocal ferocity with greater lyrical depth and overall textural breadth. The songs are rich, refined, articulate, and created by a lifer, a true veteran of the hard music scene. Wino has obviously gone to great lengths here to subordinate his outlaw vision to a more expansive, comprehensive view of mankind, and of greater truths. The somewhat nebulous scope of his lyrics is enhanced by Lungfish vocalist/tattoo artist Dan Higgs' cryptic cover painting. An excellent album.

Fear's Machine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k8dBWiTcm4)

23. Ahab - The Call of the Wretched Sea (2006)
(Napalm Records)
With their ambitious debut album, 2006's The Call of the Wretched Sea, Germany's tellingly named Ahab embark on a treacherous voyage to reinterpret Herman Melville's immortal whaling adventure, Moby Dick, through the suitably equivalent sonic leviathan of funereal doom metal -- or, as they are eager to dub it themselves: "Nautik Funeral Doom." Of course one need only look back a couple of years to find Mastodon's more oblique treatise on the very same literary subject, via their own Leviathan album; but what Ahab lacks in outright originality, they handily make up for with The Call of the Wretched Sea's meticulously assembled husks of words and music (plus, in terms of pure heaviness, this leviathan makes Mastodon's sound as light as a sparrow!). The titanic tandem of "Below the Sun" and "The Pacific" steers listeners away from port, and casts them directly down into the darkest ocean abyss with slothful, somber synthesizer melodies, cataclysmic downtuned guitar waves, and echoing percussive thunders. These provide a formidable frame for lyrics frequently adapted directly from Melville's writings and delivered in an impossibly deep, guttural vocal style that sounds as though it was performed by Moby Dick himself -- har-har! But it's surprisingly clean-droned baritones substituting these rumblings on "Old Thunder," which features an unusually uplifting, orchestrated central portion, bridged by an atmospheric interlude called "Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales" to yet another colossal epic in "The Sermon," itself boasting a shimmering central passage of near-silent melodic ripples that temporarily interrupt the album's prevalent, monolithic guitar grinds. The Call of the Wretched Sea subsequently achieves a dual climax via "The Hunt" and "Ahab's Oath," both of which are marked by keening, rather infectious melodies, but which still leave the listener feeling as if crushed under the pressure untold fathoms. What's more, their words reveal that Ahab's musical retelling of Moby Dick is only just begun here, with a lot more story from the novel's original argument yet to be set to music on ensuing albums. If and when that comes to pass, Ahab will have their work cut out for them, because The Call of the Wretched Sea has set the funereal doom bar especially high -- or low, as it were.

Old Thunder (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAc_uHmlvlg)

22. Warning - Watching From A Distance (2006)
(The Miskatonic Foundation)
*My Own Summary*
An amazing traditional doom album filled to brim with melancholia and somberness. This is the closest album I've seen that has come to a funeral doom-ish atmosphere without the chocking despair if that makes any sense.

Footprints (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=774GvRN2yKk)

21. Solitude Aeturnus - Beyond The Crimson Horror (1992)
(Roadrunner Records)
Solitude Aeturnus obviously saw no reason to alter their favored formula for Euro-inspired doom (featuring frequent flirtations with both thrash and power metal) when the time came to record their sophomore album, Beyond the Crimson Horizon, in 1992. Having been previously introduced by the group's excellent debut, Into the Depths of Sorrow, said formula had immediately saddled them with the not altogether fair reputation of being America's answer to Candlemass, so there was little they could do about that. But there was definitely room for improvement where this second album's production standards were concerned, and so Beyond the Crimson Horizon's first noteworthy -- and quite possibly lasting -- impression was infusing a punchier mix, and crunchier metallic thump into new numbers like "Black Castle," "The Final Sin," and closing instrumental "Beyond..." -- all of which also revealed some welcome self-editing, as compared to that first album's lengthy excursions. Unfortunately, with the exception of primary highlights like the uncommonly energetic "It Came Upon the Night" and the uncharacteristically mellow "Beneath the Fading Sun," Beyond the Crimson Horizon simply lack as many compelling riffs, overall, as its predecessor. And vocalist Robert Lowe's more prominently mixed banshee vocals actually come off way too over the top, even recalling Fates Warning screamer John Arch at times, with their less disciplined exertions. Indeed, Lowe's only major attempts at showing restraint come during the moody introductions to impressive opener "Seeds of the Desolate" and the aforementioned "Beneath the Fading Sun," proving that more isn't always necessarily better -- even in the realm of heavy metal. And despite a strong showing by most any definition of American doom of the time, Beyond the Crimson Horizon arguably falls just shy of the band's first outing, in the balance of things, making it a recommended, though not utterly essential purchase.

It Came Upon One Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyRd96wN2KI)

05-24-2012, 01:06 AM
I came here looking for traditional doom, but I all got was ashes & dust.

05-24-2012, 01:42 AM
I came here looking for traditional doom, but I all got was ashes & dust.

I think so far this first half is pretty evenly split between genres. Trad Doom, Funeral Doom, Stoner Doom, Drone Doom, Death/Doom, Gothic Doom.

Anybody else got any comments? Well I guess Ill finish the second half tomorrow. Haha sorry I under estimated how daunting doing this in one go would be.

05-24-2012, 02:13 AM
Please continue on :hmm:

05-24-2012, 09:10 AM
Damn son, I've got some homework to do. Awesome job so far! :rocker:

05-24-2012, 09:28 AM
I've only listened to The Angel and the Dark River and Beyond the Crimson Horror out of all of these. I really have a lot to check out, I guess :lol:

05-25-2012, 01:20 PM
I will finish the entire list tonight.

Whats up daimonos :tp:

05-27-2012, 12:18 AM
20. Witchfinder General - Death Penalty (1982)
(Revolver UK Records)
Unlike many of their New Wave of British Heavy Metal peers who injected their music with a certain punk attitude, Witchfinder General drank strictly from the Black Sabbath fountain. Their 1982 debut, Death Penalty, is a celebration of all things Sabbath -- from the plodding rhythms of "Burning a Sinner" and "R.I.P." to the early-Sabs intro of "No Stayer," and even the band's rocking "Paranoid" knock-off, "Free Country." Singer Zeeb Parkes' range is rather limited, but that never stopped Ozzy Osbourne, and his mostly satanic lyrics are especially amusing on the cryptic-sounding opener "Invisible Hate," which eventually resorts to shouts of "more beer." Despite similarly silly lyrics, the song that bears the band's name is definitely the album's highlight, thanks to its engagingly ferocious main riff.

Burning A Sinner

19. dISEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into The Peripheral (1993)
(Relapse Records)
*My Own Summary*
One of the mightiest doom/death records ever imagined. It's a trip to your deepest darkest nightmares and back. Choking despair and brutal savageness all in one. If you gave funeral doom steroids this is what it would become.

The Tree of Life and Death (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr4jNutSDUE)

18. Earth - Earth 2 (1993)
(Sub Pop)
Subtitled "Special Low Frequency Version" on the front -- and if one opens up the CD, the reverse of the booklet shows a wide selection of pills -- arguably Earth and its stoned and droned appeal in a nutshell. If Carlson and his bassist du jour, in this case Dave Harwell, weren't quite Sub Pop's answer to the ranges of U.K. guitar extremism from the likes of Godflesh, Main, and Skullflower, Earth still came pretty darn close to it, creating a record even the Melvins would find weird. Consisting of three long instrumentals edited together as one long monster slam of feedback and howling, Earth 2 dedicates itself to the proposition that there's no such thing as too loud, trudging, or doom-laden. Opening track "Seven Angels" does show that for all the semi-chaos, things are still based around riffs, or at least one key riff endlessly repeated and drove directly into the ground through layers of hum and delay. Had Tony Iommi written it, nobody would have blinked an eye, but not even Sabbath gave itself over so thoroughly to the power of the amplifier -- and all this without drums. Without even a slight pause, "Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine" takes over, namely all 27 minutes of it. With a more paced, clock-chime-from-damnation melody leading the way deep into the track, stretching out and getting even more end-is-nigh as it goes, it's a bizarre but strong, weirdly fascinating performance -- ambient music completely and totally suffused with threat and fuzz.

Teeth of Lions Rule The Divine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mN-rHLFm7c)

17. Reverend Bizarre - In The Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend (2002)
Curiously, of all the major heavy metal subgenres (black metal, death metal, power metal, folk-metal) steadily embraced by Finnish bands starting in the early '90s, doom seemed to be the last to arrive in a significant way. Whether this was a matter of simple coincidence or because it's much more difficult to stay warm when playing music so damn slowly, all this Scandinavian country could muster before the turn of the millennium were obscure funeral doom trawlers Skepticism and the heavily gothic-leaning Shapes of Despair. At last, Lucifer said "Let there be Reverend Bizarre." This Sabbath-worshipping trio's 2002 long-form debut, In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend, championed vintage doom of the highest order: you know, the kind that comes with very large crosses, much standing around in snow-covered graveyards, frequent references to Aleister Crowley, and -- most important of all -- very large and scary goats, as seen on the cover detail taken from Francisco de Goya's Witches Sabbath. This proves the perfect framework for monolithic tracks like "Burn in Hell!" and "Sodoma Sunrise," where the bandmembers treat every majestic mega-riff as though it's both the first and last they'll ever play, and where Albert Magus' semi-operatic vocals (he doesn't bother with deathly grunts until second-to-last track, "Doomsower") don't quite challenge a Messiah Marcolin, but still prove more melodramatic than a Bobby Liebling or even Ozzy himself. "In the Rectory" recalls Cathedral for sheer slow-crawling concentration and, for its unmitigated sense of imminent dread, the especially sorrowful "The Hour of Death" recalls Electric Wizard. And it's a testament to the strength of Reverend Bizarre's power chords and melodies that things don't even get all that preposterous until the final snail-paced grind of the 21-minute "Cirith Ungol" (no relation to the L.A. band). Packed into a CD-busting 75 minutes, it's no wonder these six tracks were enough to announce Reverend Bizarre -- and really Finland's -- true arrival on the international doom stage.

Sodoa Sunrise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWayZPaAFZc)

16. Winter - Into Darkness (1993)
(Southern Lord Records)
Winter assured themselves instant cult status with many doom/death metal enthusiasts when they unleashed their indescribably bleak debut album, Into Darkness, in 1992. A towering monument to uneasy listening, the album is metal at its most unpalatable and indigestible, but it's so purposeful and convincing that it naturally transcends most accusations of, well, just plain sucking. The fact is, tracks like "Oppression Freedom," "Goden," and "Eternal Frost" appear composed of the basest elemental building blocks of audible sound -- their creeping rhythms, grainy guitar chords, and bowel-shuddering grunts merely hinting at tunefulness, while leaving only claustrophobic oppression in the wake of their destructive paths. The same is true for the Celtic Frost-tinged "Servants of the Warsmen" and epic-sized testimonials such as "Destiny" and the title track, all of which actually manage to pick up the pace for short spells, but only barely long enough to circulate the blood and keep the body warm -- not quite reanimate the corpse. Simply put, Into Darkness remains unique in its extreme, uncompromising inaccessibility, and its inspiration clearly dies on (get it?) in the works of future sonic-depth explorers like Thorr's Hammer, Sunn 0))), and Unearthly Trance.

Goden (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tZd7_xZTek)

15. The Obsessed - Lunar Womb (1991)
(Meteor City Records)
After fronting Californian doom gods Saint Vitus throughout their most fertile career phase, in the second half of the 1980s, lead vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich decided to throw in his towel, dust off his long-in-disuse guitar playing talents, and resurrect his original retro-metal power trio, the Obsessed. Unfortunately, the band's first eponymous album from 1990 (there had been an EP -- the legendary Sodden Jackal -- way back in 1983) was patched together from ancient recordings and contained disappointingly few outstanding songs to recommend it, and it wasn't until the following year's sophomore Lunar Womb that Wino (here also acting as producer) really gave some cause for fans to celebrate his departure from Vitus. Backed by an all-new rhythm section featuring bassist/co-producer Scott Reader (future Kyuss, Unida, etc.) and drummer Greg Rogers, Wino seemed to find his songwriting legs again with instantly memorable numbers like "Brother Blue Steel," "Bardo," and "Back to Zero," even as the years of rust visibly fell away from his sharp and dynamic guitar work (watch for prime solo breaks in "Kachina" and "No Mas"). Elsewhere, "Hiding Mask," "Jaded," and "Endless Circles" are all superlative samples of bite-sized doom -- a Wino specialty (most of his contemporaries being prone to epic waffling) that is abandoned only at some risk by the still quite successful six-minute title track. But then, the appearance of a sub-two-minute hardcore blast in "No Blame" (another trademark of most every Wino album, and revealing of his Washington, D.C., roots) tilts the scales in the other direction, and helps make Lunar Womb about as balanced an album as the Obsessed ever recorded. So much so that it led to their signing by major label Columbia before next effort The Church Within, which, as it turned out, fell well short of Lunar Womb's lofty standards.

Back To Zero (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2KbpakurMg)

14. Katatonia - Brave Murder Day (1996)
(Century Media Records)
The first of two Katatonia discs to feature Mikael Ĺkerfeldt of Opeth subbing for regular vocalist Jonas Renske, Brave Murder Day is perhaps the most thorough and accomplished first-phase release from the Swedish death/doom outfit. The music is simple, almost trance-like gothic metal topped with Ĺkerfeldt's signature shouts and growls. Dynamics aren't exactly places at a premium on Brave Murder Day, but quieter moments on tracks like "Day" are a nice touch. These softer spots never really hint at the band's coming genre shift, and unlike later outings, there are no borderline alternative rock moments on Brave Murder Day. This should delight fans of Katatonia's earliest recordings. Consistent and committed to its gloomy theme, this 1997 Century Media offering represents the metallic high-water mark from an ever-evolving group.

Brave (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5tW9fekzJo)

13. Pentagram - Relentless (1985)
(Peaceville Records)
Relentless is a well-chosen name for Pentagram's belated first album, as it was only through relentless determination that vocalist Bobby Liebling -- a fixture of D.C.'s club scene since the early '70s -- managed to persist long enough to see its 1985 release. And though it is hampered by the usual sonic limitations you'd expect from an independent recording, from a musical standpoint, the album more than lives up to pent-up expectations. A raw, untainted slab of pure doom metal, Relentless is a time tunnel straight to heavy metal's very inception at the hands of Black Sabbath -- largely thanks to its lo-fi recording, ironically. Guitarist Victor Griffin is an obvious disciple of Tony Iommi's fretwork, and the eerie similarity between Liebling's and Ozzy's vocal styles simply must to be heard to be believed. Together, they lead the band through grim anthems of depression and social ostracism, including the excellent "Dying World," "Sign of the Wolf (Pentagram)," "You're Lost, I'm Free," and "Sinister" (whose leaden backbeat is punctuated by what sounds like iron stakes being driven through a vampire's heart). Hardly a masterpiece, but well worth the wait, Relentless instantly confirmed Pentagram's position alongside Saint Vitus and Trouble in the American doom metal elite.

The Ghoul (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1En8nhifu7c)

12. Asunder - A Clarion Call (2004)
(Life Is Abuse)
*My Own Summary*
The greatest funeral doom album I've ever heard. While most funeral doom just settles for despairing atmosphere and never really tries to be menacing and heavy. This album is one of the few in the genre that actually does that. Heavy as shit throughout, while also making you feel its sorrow.

Crown of Eyes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySAS76d7T7k)

11. Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986)
(Leviathan Records)
During the mid-80's, the European heavy metal scene was dominated by countless thrash, death, and black metal bands playing at breakneck speeds and screaming in a high-pitched frenzy. So when Candlemass released their debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986, its songs (featuring slow, lumbering riffs straight out of the Black Sabbath handbook and vocals delivered in a baritone, operatic style) offered up a stylistic curve ball of shocking proportions. After disposing of its deceptively optimistic introductory acoustic guitar, opener "Solitude" develops into a complete monster, replete with lyrics of suicidal depression and churning with the most colossal, down-tuned guitar riff since Sabbath's "Iron Man." And that's just the beginning, as succeeding tracks "Demon's Gate," "Crystal Ball," and "Under the Oak" (later re-recorded in its definitive version for the band's fourth album Tales of Creation) trudge by with deliberate, immutable doom. Although the group's vision was startlingly well-conceived and unique for its time, bassist, songwriter and all-around group leader Leif Edling had yet to find all the right components. And despite offering the strongest, most consistent songwriting of the band's career, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus was let down by vocalist Johan Lanquist, whose performance failed to deliver with the power and command of his immediate successor Messiah Marcolin. A pillar of classic '80s metal nonetheless, this album will satisfy all doomsters.

Under The Oak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWUDNTlzhyQ)

Well now it's done to the top ten. ;) Any predictions?
And Thanks for the comments Brutal, Sep, and Slap!

05-27-2012, 08:24 AM
Awesome list, I know the majority of the bands/ albums, will check out the ones I dont.

05-27-2012, 11:22 AM
Top Ten please :D

05-27-2012, 11:47 AM
I fucking love that Asunder album!! I used to be so obsessed with it. I'm truly grateful that I got to see the Asunder/Corrupted tour in 2008. That was one of the greatest shows I've ever seen!

05-27-2012, 11:54 AM
Random interesting fact of the day: Kurt Cobain did some vocals for a few Earth songs back in the day.

05-27-2012, 10:37 PM
This list is eye candy. So many awesome albums here.

It's a fucking shame Disembowelment only wrote one album.

05-27-2012, 10:42 PM
This list is eye candy. So many awesome albums here.

It's a fucking shame Disembowelment only wrote one album.

I know have you heard the Inverloch mini album? How a about the new Ahab yet?

05-27-2012, 10:45 PM
I know have you heard the Inverloch mini album? How a about the new Ahab yet?

No to Inverloch, yes to Ahab. I'm actually listening to The Giant right now for about the fourth time.

05-27-2012, 10:48 PM
No to Inverloch, yes to Ahab. I'm actually listening to The Giant right now for about the fourth time.

And your thoughts? :D I'm actually really interested to hear your take on the album and my review.

05-27-2012, 10:50 PM
And your thoughts? :D I'm actually really interested to hear your take on the album and my review.

My take is, the review is absolutely correct in every aspect, and it's my favorite Ahab album to date. Which isn't that surprising given my undying love for post-rock.

I really think Herbrand Larsen's contributions added a ton to the album.

05-27-2012, 10:54 PM
My take is, the review is absolutely correct in every aspect, and it's my favorite Ahab album to date. Which isn't that surprising given my undying love for post-rock.

I really think Herbrand Larsen's contributions added a ton to the album.

That's awesome and yeah I figured something like that since you're a huge post rock fan. I just didn't know to what degree lol. Yeah Herbrand killed on both of those tracks, especially the title track. What's your favorite song? Mine is still Aeons Elapse without a doubt, that ending :drool: Fucking sucks they're only playing one NA date don't it? :flame:

05-27-2012, 10:59 PM
That's awesome and yeah I figured something like that since you're a huge post rock fan. I just didn't know to what degree lol. Yeah Herbrand killed on both of those tracks, especially the title track. What's your favorite song? Mine is still Aeons Elapse without a doubt, that ending :drool: Fucking sucks they're only playing one NA date don't it? :flame:

Aeons Elapse is the best track, but the best vocal work is on The Giant.

I love the softer melodic parts of the album. It all contrasts so well... this album has a better chemistry than the first two (I know some would disagree with that). I think it's every bit as monstrous as the previous two albums, but in a less oppressive way, which I'm absolutely fine with.

05-27-2012, 11:04 PM
Aeons Elapse is the best track, but the best vocal work is on The Giant.

I love the softer melodic parts of the album. It all contrasts so well... this album has a better chemistry than the first two (I know some would disagree with that). I think it's every bit as monstrous as the previous two albums, but in a less oppressive way, which I'm absolutely fine with.

This is the perfect summary of "The Giant" man. You nailed that shit perfectly. The softer parts do make the album, the subdued instrumentation is just as deep as any of the monster riffs on the album. They make the doom parts so beastly they don't need the death metal at all anymore.

05-28-2012, 12:01 AM
10. Church of Misery - Master of Brutality (2001)
(Southern Lord Records)
Church of Misery may very well be the undisputed (and unchallenged) kings of Japanese stoner/doom. But that's not just because they're competition is so limited. These disciples of sludge earned plenty of credibility with their first two releases, Taste the Pain and Church of Misery, so it wasn't a surprise when Yoshiaki Negisi (vocals), Tomohiro Nishimura (guitars), Tatsu Mikami (bass), and Junji Narita (drums) dropped the supremely heavy EP Master of Brutality. Recordings that feature music this slow and thick rely completely on the groove capacity of the musicians involved. The riffs simply must be charged with an essence that's difficult to describe but immediately recognizable to aficionados of stoner/doom. When done right, a certain timelessness comes into affect. It's as if metal never wandered so far away from its simplistic, psychedelic roots -- as if this wasn't just another subgenre in what has become an incredibly segmented form. There's plenty of said magic and ability on Master of Brutality, as each of the five original tracks (that just as with prior Church of Misery releases are each based on different serial killers) pound mercilessly through repetitive, yet sublime stoner figures. There are no high or low spots, no weak tracks to be avoided, or embarrassing experiments. On this 2001 Southern Lord release there are just six (including one Blue Öyster Cult cover) relentless, sonic clubbings. Any serious fan of low and slow metal has a hole in their collection until they acquire Master of Brutality.

Ripping Into Pieces (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlZnsOW3V-s)

09. Saint Vitus - Born Too Late (1986)
(SST Records)
Born Too Late is undeniably a defining effort in the spirit of the early, now considered "classic" doom metal sound. The marriage of vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich, founder of Maryland's D.C. area legends the Obsessed and L.A.'s own legendary doom pioneers Saint Vitus, produced a sound and lyrical landscape that was not commercially successful in its own right, but which has inspired and continues to influence myriad popular culture figures such as the Melvins, Nirvana, L7, Fugazi's Ian McKay, Black Flag's Greg Ginn (owner of SST, Saint Vitus' label) and Henry Rollins, Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Grief, Sleep, Cruevo, and a list of bands, musicians, and genres too long to list without writing a novel. Long after Black Sabbath had shifted their sound away from the bombastic, sludgy riffing of classics like Paranoid, Masters of Reality, Vol. 4, and the like, Saint Vitus and the Obsessed rose from regions that were birthplaces and breeding grounds for early-American hardcore punk. While identifying intensely with the independent and socially critical nature of those scenes, Saint Vitus's sound was deeply rooted in the gloomy ballistics of early Sabbath. Born Too Late's sludgy, ultra-slow riffs never break out into the galloping rhythms of, say, "Children of the Grave," however. This album is like Black Sabbath on Quaaludes and wearing lead suits underwater. Each chord rains down like a hammer, and each progression takes an eternity to resolve. In the early '80s, while everyone in the pop music culture was looking for the new sound, be it new wave or hardcore, Saint Vitus were decidedly retro. You don't even need more than the name of the album's title track, "Born Too Late," to get the point. But Wino drives it home anyway, with the lines "every time I'm on the street/people laugh and point at me/they talk about my length of hair/and the out of date clothes I wear." The lyrics go on to point out that while "they say [his] songs are much too slow," they also "don't know the things [he] knows." That's for sure. Before almost anyone else had even realized that rock was on its death bed, Saint Vitus were looking back on the '70s with nostalgia. Throughout, the album is what might be considered a cliched retrospective of that bygone era's heavy metal sentiments. Dragons, psychedelic drugs, images of war, and severe alcohol abuse dominate the landscape. The most important consideration with this album, though, is not the originality of the approach. What separates Born Too Late from nearly all heavy metal up to that point was the outright admission that the band's passion - slow, heavy music - not only lacked commercial viability, but was in fact itself a source of the ridicule and social alienation the music speaks to. The punk rock style integrity of the band's commitment to that sound and image was in direct opposition to the money and chicks attitude of L.A. glam metal of the day. While the impact Saint Vitus made with Born Too Late at the time was minimal, the legacy of that early dedication has influenced and changed the world of music. For all fans of grunge, stoner rock, and doom metal, this album is a classic.

Dying Inside (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcrEJ01zv7U)

08. Boris - Amplifier Worship (1998)
(Southern Lord Records)
With their second full-length album, Boris takes their sludgy, Melvins-influenced doom rock style and gives it a heavy psychedelic slant. The album is divided into five tracks, but like their other albums, Absolutego and Flood, it plays out like one extended piece and is meant to be listened to straight through in one sitting. It starts out with a slow, ugly doom riff that repeats for several minutes before heading into a stretched-out, psychedelic jam section on the lengthy second track, "Ganbou-Ki." After another succession of heavy riffing, psych-rock jamming, and a little bit of up-tempo punk action (the first part of "Kuruimizu," which still retains a Melvins-like feel), they move into several minutes of spacey, surprisingly pretty guitar/bass picking, similar to much of what's on Flood. Finally, they settle into a dense guitar/bass feedback drone ŕ la Earth for the lengthy final track, "Vomitself." The album as a whole feels like a sort of journey in terms of how it opens in one vein, moves through various other sections, and then closes in yet another style, but it also maintains a consistent mood (and they don't use the word "doom" to refer to this type of music for nothing). In any case, Amplifier Worship proves Boris to be on the more innovative (not to mention heavy) end of the sludge/doom metal spectrum and is recommended to open-eared fans of the style; casual listeners, on the other hand, will probably have trouble getting into the album, since it does require some patience.

Vomitself (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0TP5QLrnWE)

07. Autopsy - Mental Funeral (1991)
(Peaceville Records)
At a time when many of his band's better-known contemporaries (Death, Sepultura, Morbid Angel, etc.) were putting all their energies into finessing the death metal genre in numerous different ways, Autopsy's sophomore album, Mental Funeral, took the opposite route, reflecting bandleader, vocalist, and drummer Chris Reifert's oft-stated goal to create the "sickest shit imaginable." That's not to say it wasn't groundbreaking in its own perverse way, though, and we're not talking about the gory lyrics or slightly improved production standards either, but rather Reifert and company's apparent discovery of doom metal. Album opener "Twisted Mass of Burnt Decay" may rip into action at a manic pace, but it steadily downshifts in tempo to pave the way for a slew of form-challenging death/doom creepers -- most notably the spine-freezing "In the Grip of Winter," grossly distasteful "Torn from the Womb," and organ necrotizing "Destined to Fester." When the band does give vent to its adrenalin (see grindcore exercise "Bonesaw") or wavers back and forth between blistering and slothful extremes, the results can be both stunning (see the glorious "Robbing the Grave") and self-indulgent (the overlong "Hole in the Head"), but they're certainly never easy to predict. Meanwhile, Reifert shows the same range on his battle-scarred vocals as he does behind his kit, spanning the decibels between bowel-vacating croaks through spleen-bursting shrieks, and so do guitarists Eric Cutler and Danny Coralles, whose savage, remorseless rhythm parts are frequently at odds with their agile, melodic leads. Sadly, while it won over as many fans as it pissed off upon release, Mental Funeral arguably confused an even greater number of consumers, turning Autopsy into death metal's ultimate love/hate band, the one no one seemed able to agree on -- not least the bandmembers themselves, as a series of increasingly inconsistent and controversial albums that brought on a speedy demise just a few years later would soon show.

In The Grip of Winter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGACfUD0M-Q)

06. Ufomammut - Idolum (2008)
(Supernatural Cat Records)
Not exactly the most prolific band in the Universe, space metal ensemble UFOmammut waited all of four years between their first two albums, 2000's impressive Godlike Snake and 2004's sonic atershed, Snailking. Then, with the exception of the bite-seized Lucifer Songs EP in 2005 and a collaboration with Lento in 2007, they left earthlings waiting yet another four years for their third album proper, Idolum, to arrive -- like a faithful comet returning, right on schedule, to the inner solar system after its long and mysterious orbit out to the Oort Cloud. And despite this long absence, UFOmammut's sound also remains largely unchanged and surprise-free, since Idolum continues to meld doom, stoner rock, metal, acid, and space rock into a distinctive crush of thrumming guitar sludge, atmospheric passages, and predominantly raw, distorted screams. Hypnotic opener "Stigma," for starters, provides a typically escalating opening sequence, while the more dynamic "Stardog," though punchier and almost grunge-like in nature, also treads familiar ground; leaving it to the ensuing "Hellectric," in turn, to pump up the space rock ambience tenfold and explore some new textures along its wafting, weaving voyage through the ether, and foreshadowing somewhat more uncharted musical dimensions yet to come. These include the album's emotional highlight, "Ammonia," where UFOmammut fess up to their Pink Floyd influences with the help of haunting female vocals ŕ la "The Great Gig in the Sky" (performed by Rose Kemp); the rhythmically insistent "Nero," which, with its multiple moods and bouts of chiaroscuro, borders on the post-rock universe populated by Isis, Cult of Luna, et al; and, the comparatively concise mega-blast of "Destroyer." All that's missing, then, is the album's mandatory closing monolith, "Void," which, in line with past examples, lasts a veritable eternity at nearly 30 minutes, but also produces multiple points of interest along its long space odyssey, including its eerie, Kraftwerk-ian intro, protracted fidgeting with alien frequencies halfway through, and quite expected, but still devastatingly effective concluding catharsis. All in all, the above balances enough familiarity and inventiveness to satisfy acknowledged UFOmammut believers, while both converting and generally wowing the newbies in the audience. It is therefore safe to proclaim the security of UFOmammut's lofty standing alongside similarly visionary leviathans such as Electric Wizard and Opeth, for possessing one of the most recognizable and individualistic sonic imprints in underground heavy metal.

Stigma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFJy8OQ6qRI)

05. YOB - The Unreal Never Lived (2005)
(Metal Blade Records)
YOB has never exactly been easy listening. They are masters of doom metal -- slow, heavy, ominous, forceful headbanger music with a strong appreciation of Black Sabbath (whose riffs have been a primary influence on the doom/stoner/sludge field). But the Oregon residents have managed to increase the heaviness factor somewhat on The Unreal Never Lived, which favors a generally thicker, more distorted sound than their previous releases. That isn't to say that YOB has turned into one of the many ultra-dense, ultra-claustrophobic metalcore or death metal bands that believes in bruising for the sake of bruising; even with the increased heaviness, The Unreal Never Lived is not the type of metal album that goes out of its way to be harsh. Nonetheless, the thickness factor has definitely increased for YOB -- and another thing that makes The Unreal Never Lived come as a bit of a surprise is Mike Scheidt's lead vocals. Scheidt, in the past, was known in doom/stoner circles for his high-pitched vocals; he was arguably the doom equivalent of Rush's Geddy Lee or Cradle of Filth's Dani Filth. Scheidt can still hit the high notes, but this time, he surprises you with a lot of deep, guttural death metal-ish growling -- not the sort of thing one expected from him on previous albums, but it works nicely on this 2005 recording. Despite those changes and adjustments, The Unreal Never Lived still has YOB written all over it. These guys are still doom all the way, and they continue to enjoy extended performances; "The Mental Tyrant," for example, lasts 21 minutes. Bottom line: The Unreal Never Lived is a pleasant surprise that will probably be well received by the majority of YOB fans but may help them acquire some new ones.

Grasping Air (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiIy75AbSFY)

04. Sleep - Dopesmoker (2012)
(Southern Lord Records)
The saga of Sleep's Dopesmoker was already almost ten years in the making by the time of its belated release in 2003. Originally slated to follow closely behind their second album of a decade earlier, the landmark Sleep's Holy Mountain, it lingered in unreleased limbo instead -- the subject of a vicious legal dispute between the Northern California trio and their record company, London, which refused to release Dopesmoker as delivered by the band -- that is, a single, 60-minute-long song! The impasse eventually led to the stubborn band's ignominious dissolution circa 1997 rather than conform to the label's demands, leaving fans waiting for an album that most assumed would never be heard. But come 1999, an incomplete, disjointed version of the recordings was cobbled together and released by Rise Above Records with the title Jerusalem. Unfortunately, this version sounded oddly ragged in places, with senseless digital song divisions and an abrupt, obviously chopped-off ending; so for all intents and purposes, the ideal work as envisioned by Sleep clearly remained unrealized. Thankfully, all these glitches were finally corrected for the definitive, band-sanctioned 2003 edition of Dopesmoker, which bears a top-notch production job courtesy of Billy Anderson (Helios Creed, Natas, etc.) to boot. Revealed here at last, in all of its colossal glory, Dopesmoker is at once an instant doom metal classic -- some might even say a masterpiece -- as well as an impossibly dense, nearly impenetrable listening experience for unprepared fans (just to give you an idea, the first vocals only arrive 16 minutes in). Meticulously composed in the style of Gregorian chants as interpreted through the ears of Black Sabbath, "Dopesmoker" esoterically describes -- get this -- the "Weedian" people's pilgrimage to the "riff-filled land." But lyrics aside -- and there are precious few here to justify stressing over them -- what skeptical listeners must take into account here is that "Dopesmoker" is in fact a single song, not a series of song snippets stitched together progressive rock style. As such, this initially daunting edifice of snarling riffage requires quite a bit more patience and dedicated sampling before its secrets are unlocked and its riddles unraveled, but therein lies the crux of what is ultimately a very rewarding experience.

Dopesmoker (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24pOo5htg9E)

Now down to the top three.......

05-28-2012, 12:16 AM
my points:

1. I love that Church of Misery album, but I think I like their other releases just a bit more. I'd actually probably put Houses Of The Unholy at the top.

2. It took me forever to get into Born Too Late, because I started with the self-titled and listened to it FOREVER. But now I really, really like it. Title track is a killer live, too.

3. That's my favorite Boris album, and in my top ten albums of all time. Seriously god damn perfect.

4. >Autopsy

Killer album though.

5. Dopesmoker. Essential. Nuff said.

can't wait to see your top 3!

06-04-2012, 01:52 AM
I think it's time you reveal the last three albums :D

06-04-2012, 02:01 AM
I think it's time you reveal the last three albums :D

Hmmmm.... you think so? How about at least two more tonight then?

03. Black Sabbath - Master of Reality (1971)
(Vertigo Records)
With Paranoid, Black Sabbath perfected the formula for their lumbering heavy metal. On its follow-up, Master of Reality, the group merely repeated the formula, setting the stage for a career of recycling the same sounds and riffs. But on Master of Reality Sabbath still were fresh and had a seemingly endless supply of crushingly heavy riffs to bludgeon their audiences into sweet, willing oblivion. If the album is a showcase for anyone, it is Tony Iommi, who keeps the album afloat with a series of slow, loud riffs, the best of which -- "Sweet Leaf" and "Children of the Grave" among them -- rank among his finest playing. Taken in tandem with the more consistent Paranoid, Master of Reality forms the core of Sabbath's canon. There are a few stray necessary tracks scattered throughout the group's other early-'70s albums, but Master of Reality is the last time they delivered a consistent album and its influence can be heard throughout the generations of heavy metal bands that followed.

Into The Void (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mda8RBiEkcc)

02. Electric Wizard - Dopethrone (2000)
(Rise Above Records)
As Deep Purple's Roger Glover once said, "Heavy isn't about volume, it's about attitude." And no band better illustrates this statement than England's Electric Wizard -- the reputed heaviest band in the universe -- whose every album has managed to push the boundaries of down-tuned, grinding, monolithic doom metal to unprecedented depths. Sure, they pack plenty of volume as well, but none of it could possibly work without the band's uncompromising worship of weed and all things gothic and malevolent. After a long hiatus (during which they were no doubt traveling the cosmos without ever leaving their parent's basements or putting down their bongs), Electric Wizard finally returned to action in the year 2000. The resulting dirge masterpiece, Dopethrone, delivers walls of sound so dense that at first they seem too big to fit into your ears. At a paltry three minutes, the opener "Vinum Sabbathi" may be the Wizards' first true candidate for an actual "single," but it really serves as a teaser for what's to come. Introduced by short spoken intros taken from B-movies a la White Zombie, extended riff-monsters like "Funeralopolis," "I, the Witchfinder," and the three-part colossus "Weird Tales" are vintage Electric Wizard. Though they never exceed a snail's pace, they somehow manage to build in intensity, from single note guitar lines to huge power chords with deliberate, maddening certainty. First-time listeners will find it easier to cope with more compact offerings like "Barbarian" and "We Hate You," but with time, they'll see the light and embrace the obscenely heavy title track, with its patented "Iron Man" oscillating riff. In short, with Dopethrone, Electric Wizard has raised the bar for doom metal achievement in the new millennium -- good luck to the competition.

Funeralopolis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO7VP34n2Ps)

Now just one more.......

06-04-2012, 02:07 AM
"I am Albino, you wish to see me?"

I fucking love that intro. :demonwing:

06-04-2012, 02:10 AM
Great reviews. Good highlight choices too; I jam those two songs every time I pick up my guitar for an afternoon of doom!

...what could #1 possibly be, then, though? :eyes:

06-04-2012, 10:00 AM
Awesome list. I'll be sure to check most of this out!

06-06-2012, 04:08 PM
Great reviews. Good highlight choices too; I jam those two songs every time I pick up my guitar for an afternoon of doom!

...what could #1 possibly be, then, though? :eyes:

When the Kite String Pops? :eyes:

06-06-2012, 04:19 PM
When the Kite String Pops? :eyes:

Nope.... ;) guess again?

06-06-2012, 04:23 PM
Nope.... ;) guess again?

I feel like the winking means I had the right band.... so Paegan Terrorism Tactics?

06-06-2012, 04:31 PM
With Paranoid, Black Sabbath perfected the formula for their lumbering heavy metal. On its follow-up, Master of Reality, the group merely repeated the formula, setting the stage for a career of recycling the same sounds and riffs...

There are a few stray necessary tracks scattered throughout the group's other early-'70s albums, but Master of Reality is the last time they delivered a consistent album and its influence can be heard throughout the generations of heavy metal bands that followed.


06-06-2012, 10:38 PM
I think it would be better to say that Master of Reality is the last album where the actual songs are all killer no filler. Volume 4 has Changes, SBS has Who Are You?, Sabotage has Supertzar, etc.

06-24-2012, 10:19 PM
List looks good dude.

I would have added:

Melvins - Lysol EP
Melivins - Bullhead
EYEHATEGOD - Take As Needed For Pain
Crowbar - Odd Fellows Rest.

12-05-2012, 12:04 AM
Where is number one goddammit