The fuzz-drenched Doom edition
Another year has gone and now a new decade has started. Despite me trying not to miss excellent albums over the year(s), I discovered another impressive release of 2018 in early 2019: the debut of Deathbell – finely crafted Doom from France!
In 2019, I was turning my focus generally more unto my favorite genre – Doom Metal – listening to new albums and attending gigs as well as learning to play doom riffs on the guitar. You find my top gigs further down. Me slaughtering great songs on my guitar – certainly not (yet).
We saw a lot of amazing releases in 2019 and a lot of them made it into my notes. The hard part is always to select my personal favorites out of them and I still believe every album belongs on #1. Like last year, I decided to split them between EPs and Albums. I also added worthwhile albums from bands from my local area – be sure to check them out, I added them under the moniker Local Heroes.
A very personal highlight of 2019 is that a photo I took of Swedish heavy stoner rockers Cavem3n at Rare Guitar in Münster, Germany ended up as the gatefold photo in their great album The Stalefield Incident:
Voir cette publication sur Instagram
One of my photos was used in the gatefold vinyl (and CD booklet) of the new album of @cavem3n – so cool to see my photo printed that large. It feels so great!🤘🏻😀🤘🏻 #Repost @cavem3n ・・・ @_blackkraken looks proud of his picture in our album:) #cavem3n #album #stalefieldincident
Cavem3n – The Stalefield Incident
So, a big thank you to the labels and artists who provided the More Fuzz team and me with promo material, Bandcamp links and more. And of course to all the concert promoters and bands who welcomed me to photograph their gigs and festivals.
Top 10 EPs of 2019
10. Aptera – Aptera
Raw powerful mix of sludge, doom and stoner metal by Aptera from Berlin, Germany.
9. Sonic Prayer – Snake Charmer
Also hailing from Berlin, Germany, Sonic Prayer bring us their take on doom on their first EP. Imagine OM meets Sleep and then have a child. I am looking forward to a full LP.
8. Stonekind – Stonekind
Now to some heavy stoner rock from Stonekind hailing from Winston Salem, USA. It’s their first release and it got some pretty nice, groovy riffs and melodies – sometimes delving into bluesyness. Highly enjoyable. BTW, Mr. Cromlech wrote an extensive review for More Fuzz.
7. Warchief – Morning Home
Warchief from cold Jyväskylä, Finland bring us two songs with hot groovy stoner rock with psychedelic influences. Hard hitting, their sounds is rumbling into ones guts.
6. Häxan – Burn the Witch
Two great songs full doom with retro influences by Häxan from Toronto, Canada. It would be nice to see a full album.
5. Fuzzthrone – Fuzzthrone
I found Fuzzthrone from Moscow, Russia by pure chance on Youtube while I was looking for rare live videos of Electric Wizard’s “Torquemada ’71”. Fuzz drenched doom following the spirit of the Wizard. I most certainly want more!
4. Sàbba – Pentacle
Melodic fuzzy stoner doom by Sàbba from New York, USA. The Wizard and Sabbath are both strong in this one.
3. Magmakammer – Bloody Diamond
Magmakammer from Oslo, Norway is Norway’s answer to Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. Sinister and psychedelic doom, this EP is a great follow up to their last album – Mindtripper – from 2018.
2. Elder – The Gold and Silver Sessions
Elder from Boston, USA come up with an EP with feels like being in a jam session with them. Excellent mix of psychedelic and prog rock. Amazing guitar work to enjoy.
1. Domkraft – Slow Fidelity
Doom! A new release by Domkraft from Stockholm, Sweden with heavy fuzzy riffage and hypnotic rhythms. The song “Where we part ways” also features guest vocals by Mark Lanegan, Lea Alazam (Besvärjelsen) and Marty (Slomatics). You cannot get more epic! BTW, there is a live album coming in 2020.
Top 20 Albums of 2019
20. Eremit – Carrier of Weight
Heavy doom/sludge by Eremit from Osnabrück, Germany. Three songs spanning nearly 70 minutes. Atmospheric monstrous slow riffs shaking the earth – similar in experience to Conan and Toner Low. And if you see them live, expect to see fog … lots of fog.
19. Dead Witches – The Final Exorcism
More great fuzz drenched occult stoner doom … this time by Dead Witches from Bournemouth, England. Dripping pure heaviness from the notes.
18. Witchfinder – Hazy Rites
Different stoner doom and sludge influences can be heard on the amazing album of Witchfinder from Clermont-Ferrand, France. An enjoyable ride on heavy riffs.
17. Temple of the Fuzz Witch – Temple of the Fuzz Witch
Like the band name suggests, Temple of the Fuzz Witch from Detroit, USA give us more fuzz drenched doom interweaving fine riffs and melodies to a coherent entity.
16. Yatra – Death Ritual
Sludgy stoner doom on this debut album by Yatra from Maryland, USA. Slow and heavy guitar and bass riffs, growling vocals … what’s not to love?
15. SÂVER – They came with sunlight
Amazing post metal with sludge and doom influences by SÂVER from Oslo, Norway. Heavy, cold, thunderous riffs, sometimes everything’s a bit abstract like in a Modern Art painting. It’s hard to describe the soundscape of SÂVER, so best give it a listen.
14. Firebreather – Under a Blood Moon
The second album of Firebreather from Göteborg, Sweden is pure doomy sludge. It reminds me a bit of early High on Fire (which is not a bad thing!). Pretty powerful album.
13. Hazemaze – Hymns of the Damned
The second album by Hazemaze from Stockholm, Sweden oozes classic doom riffs inspired by Black Sabbath crossed with some psychedelic influences. Great enjoyable album.
12. Slomatics – Canyons
Sludgy doom by Slomatics from Belfast, Northern Ireland. They take you on a melodic, heavy riff laden space journey.
11. E-L-R – Mænad
Hypnotic and atmospheric post metal with doom influences by E-L-R from Bern, Switzerland. Invoking death and despair but still with a positive undertone that death is just as a part of nature as rebirth is. It has some Sólstafir vibes, too.
10. Tanith – In Another Time
Pretty cool retro rock by Tanith from New York, USA. They bring the 70s back. Strong Stormbringer and Black Blade vibes!
9. Book of Wyrms – Remythologizer
Powerful melodic doom with a lot of 70s influences by Book of Wyrms from Richmond, USA. Fantasy and SciFi seem to be the inspiration for the songs. I had to chuckle when I read a review where it was written: “some song title sound like they came up during a drunken, late night RPG session”. Well, it’s not a bad thing, isn’t it?
8. Goatess – Blood and Wine
This happens when doom metal meets the desert. The third album of Goatess from Stockholm, Sweden is a mélange of heavy stoner riffs, great melodies and vibrant vocals while still showing its doomyness. Listen to this while driving through a desert. The fuzz is strong.
7. Tar Pit – Tomb of Doom
Back to the fuzz drenched doom. This time by Tar Pit from Portland, USA. An excellent melodic blend of doom and sludge with bluesy undertones.
6. The Red Widows – Fuzzifixion
A serious fuzzy stoner doom avalanche by The Red Widows from London, England. This one has to be played loud – so loud that even the souls of one’s neighbours are totally shaken. Total fuzzifixion.
5. Superlynx – New Moon
The second full-length of Superlynx from Oslo, Norway cement their place into psychedelic doom metal. The album surprised me with the great addition of oriental sounding melodies. And of course Pia’s haunting vocals are still there. A great moody release. Close your eyes and enjoy it.
4. The Ivory Elephant – Stoneface
An amazing psychedelic rock album by The Ivory Elephant from Melbourne, Australia. Bluesy, very rich guitarwork, sometimes jazzy, sometimes you hear the surf guitar vibes. It’s just great. Another album to just pump up the volume, close your eyes and drift away.
3. Monolord – No Comfort
On their fourth full release Monolord from Gothenburg, Sweden explore their melancholic side. It’s an album which you have to listen a couple of times to get into it – and then you discover all the fine details of the songs. I guess it’s their most mature album so far and I am looking forward to what’s next. I might add one or two songs to the ever growing list of songs my guitar teacher has to play with me.
2. Year of the Cobra – Ash and Dust
The latest album of doom duo Year of the Cobra from Seattle, USA blows your socks off. Powerful bass and drums, slow fuzzy riffs, haunting vocals, spiced up with some punky attitude (the song “Ash and Dust” reminds me a bit of Sonic Youth). Amazing album.
1. The Well – Death and Consolation
Fuzzy and riff heavy psychedelic doom trip by the trio The Well from Austin, Texas, USA. Sabbath-worship meets post punk. It’s dark but still has a postive outlook. It’s one of the great albums into which you can lose yourself. BTW, Mr. Cromlech did a full review of the album.
Alunah, Angel Witch, The Balls, Besvärjelsen, Black Lung, Black Road, Black Vulpine, The Black Wizards, Blackwater Holylight, Bright Curse, Brume, Brunt, Candlemass, Caronte, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Cities of Mars, Clouds Taste Satanic, Cosmic Witchery, Crypt Trip, Dead Feathers, Demon Head, The Devil And The Almighty Blues, Dö, Doomstress, El Supremo, Electric Hydra, Etherial Riffian, The Great Machine, Green Lung, Hela, High Fighter, High Reeper, Hippie Death Cult, Holy Serpent, Jagannatha, Jess By The Lake, Kadavar, Kal-El, Kröwnn, Lightning Born, Lochness, Lord Vicar, Mammoth Storm, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Mephistofeles, Monocluster, Mos Generator, Nebula, The Neptune Power Federation, Nightstalker, Ole Devil & the Spirit Chasers, Rosalie Cunningham, Saint Karloff, Saint Vitus, Sleeping Giant, Stonefield, Thronehammer, Troll, Vokonis, Witchers Creed, Wizzerd
Local Heroes of 2019
Liquid Orbit – Game of Promises
Great psychedelic rock / prog rock from my hometown: Liquid Orbit from Bremen, Germany. It’s their second album. So if you are into prog rock from the 60s/70s you might want to give this album a spin.
The Great Beyond – The Great Beyond
Where I currently live, we have a pretty healthy music scene. Out of this scene, the heavy rockers The Great Beyond from Münster, Germany released their amazing debut album in 2019. If you like heavy rock inspired by the 70s, give it a listen.
Neorite – Temple of the New
The music scene in Münster, Germany is pretty varied and Neorite offers a pretty amazing mix of different metal styles: Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Doom, Prog Metal. If this is your thing, listen to it.
BLCKWVS – 0160
Doomers BLCKWVS from Münster, Germany released a new amazing album. Hard hitting doom. One with guest singers and one instrumental. Go here for the instrumental version.
Mojo Jazz Mob – …from between the fields
Mojo Jazz Mob from Münster, Germany released a great new album full leaning more into the heavy rock side. Total Thin Lizzy vibes.
Inhale the Gray – Hide
Heavy stoner rockers Inhale the Gray from Münster, Germany released their first EP in 2019. Check it out!
Rødel – Rødel
I saw these guys lately at a gig here in Münster. Rødel hails from Paderborn, Germany and they released their first EP. If you are a fan of Red Fang or Clutch, you might give this EP a listen.
Top Gigs of 2019
My overall highlight was certainly the Electric Wizard gig at Kulturkirken JAKOB in Oslo, Norway. Great atmosphere, great gig. And pretty colourful, too. And I got to see Witch twice. And of course the awesome Death Valley Girls …
- Cavem3n @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Child @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Church of Misery @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- Death Valley Girls @ Gleis 22, Münster, Germany
- Dopelord @ Café Sputnik, Münster, Germany
- Dopelord @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- E-L-R @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- Electric Citizen @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- Electric Citizen @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Electric Wizard @ Kulturkirken JAKOB, Oslo, Norway
- Firebreather @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- The Great Machine @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- Kikagaku Moyo @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- King Buffalo @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Monolord @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- Nebula @ Up in Smoke 2019, Pratteln, Switzerland
- OM @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- Sangre de Muerdago @ Culthe Fest 2019, Münster, Germany
- The Shrine @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- Stonefield @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- We Hunt Buffalo @ Rare Guitar, Münster, Germany
- Witch @ Desertfest 2019, Berlin, Germany
- Witch @ Desertfest Warm-Up 2019, Berlin, Germany