Doom metal is an extreme style of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much “thicker” or “heavier” sound than other metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. (cit. Wikipedia)
I have collected in this post the best releases of the year which present clear elements of “doom”. These artits and they albums span across many metal sub-genres, from stoner, to sludge arriving to death metal, but they all present – even if to varying degrees – the same focus on slow tempos, heavy sounds and dark atmospheres.
This is not aimed at providing an extensive reiview of all the doom albums that have been released in the last months, rather it’s a selection of those works that stand out from the mass because of something particular and unique, that “something” which drives you to listen and listen again to the songs.
Enjoy this list and check for any missing band that you haven’t already listened so far. The six albums in this list are in alphabetical order (by the artist).
Solennial by Alunah
Solennial is the fourth album by British metal band Alunah, and it represents a particular version of doom which is focused on folklore, magic, mythology and nature. The album was published on last March and is an high quality release. I honestly had to go through the LP a few times before being fully captured by the addictive melodies and atmospheres of the songs. Favourite tracks: A Forest (originally written and performed by The Cure), and Light of Winter.
Black Laden Crown by Danzig
Straight from the Mid-Year Top Ten List of the best metal albums of 2017, we find in this selection the new album by metal veteran Glen Danzig and his bandmates. Black Laden Crown, which is the eleventh full-lenght studio album released by Danzig, arrives a couple of years after the controversial home-made covers’ album Skeletons and offers a very good selection of warm, slow, melancholic but damn enjoyable heavy metal tunes. Album highlights: Devil On Hwy 9, But a Nightmare and Blackness Falls.
Children Of The Haze by Dopelord
Children of the Haze is the new studio effort by Polish stoner doom quarted Dopelord, which arrived with this release at the third entry of their discography since their formation in 2010. The music of Dopelord is an oppressively slow and psychedelic trip into heavyness. As they say on their bandcamp page, their music is inspired by old movies, 70s music and magical herbs. And indeed this is probably the most hallucinated album on the list. Best songs: Navigator and Reptile Sun.
The Vapor Sea by Lowcaster
The Vapor Sea is the debut album by Californian metallers Lowcaster, an unsigned band from San Francisco which plays an interesting music influenced by many different inspirations: from doom to thrash metal, from hardcore-punk to psychedelic rock. The band has maybe still to find a peculiar and specific style for their songs but – as a debut – this work is definitely good and promising. My favourite tracks are Ghost Lights and Pocket Bible.
Hamartia by Novembers Doom
Hamartia is the thenth studio LP from the American metal band November Doom, and is characterized by an intriguing mix of brutality and melody, sometimes difficult to follow (there are really some sudden variations of style between one song and the other), but very particular. After a series changes in the lineup, the composition of the band has been almost stable since the last 5 years and this is reflected in the balance that the five musicians achieved for this work. Maybe it won’t be remembered as the best release of their career, but it’s still a very enjoyable album plenty of doomy moments and filled with references to symbolism, life and death. My favourite songs are Devils Light, which is one of the heaviest pieces of the album, and the catchier Waves in the Red Cloth.
House of the Dead by Ordos
House of the Dead, by Swedish stoner-doom band Ordos, is probably the best album within this selection of doom metal, for sure my favourite at the moment! The band define their music as “trashy stoner-doom with inspiration from black metal, bluesy psychedelic stoner and everything in between“. The album, released on early 2017, is effectively fact packed with a blend of different metal influences and it results incredibly energetic, angry and atmospherical. Their vintage style is evidently inspired by Kyuss and also other heavy metal masters of many years ago, such as Black Sabbath and Pentagram. My favourite tracks are the title track House Of The Dead, the opening song The Infernal God, and the concluding epic piece named The Witch. Check it out if you missed this gem!