It’s hard to believe that after about 40 years of Doom Metal there are still releases that add something refreshing to this genre. But standing on the shoulders of giants like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Sleep or Neurosis, current bands released some seriously amazing Doom records in 2011.
6. RED FANG – MURDER THE MOUNTAINS (Relapse)
Of all records on this list, RED FANG‘s Murder the Mountains is the most obvious party record. Perfect for the summer, perfect for BBQ, beer and bonghits, perfect for hang outs and headbanging. Huge riffs, great vocals and amazing solos make a more than decent Metal record. Add a Hammond organ and you’ll find yourself quitting your job and buying a motorcycle the next day. A great record and a worthy sixth position on this list! A full review of this record can be read here.
5. YOB – ATMA (Profound Lore)
Riffs, riffs, riffs and even more riffs – that sums up YOB‘s latest release titled Atma pretty good. Five songs in over 55 minutes, Neurosis‘ Scott Kelly doing guest vocals, outstandig guitar solos, a roaring bass and mythical lyrics about life in its greater coherences delivered by the perfect voice of Mike Scheidt – listening closely to this record can set you in trance. My favourite track is Atma for sure – with Kelly’s vocals it is just the perfect Doom song. Read the full review by Ryan and get this record.
4. JESU – ASCENSION (Caldo Verde)
There’s hardly any genre JESU hasn’t been assigned to: Doom, Shoegaze, Industrial, Postrock, even Pop – whatever you call it, Justin Broadrick’s project is an absolute sureshot when it comes down to beautiful, sad and floating music. Even more: JESU is nothing less but a reflection of a jaded, downtrodden and hopeless generation. Just look at the tired faces you see every morning in the streets on your way to work – Broadrick’s music seems preserve those faces forever. Read the full review here.
3. NOOTHGRUSH – LIVE FOR NOTHING (Southern Lord)
“Tonight we are very pleased to have with us: From the South Bay – NOOTHGRUSH” – so says a friendly voice at the beginning of this record. And we ARE pleased! Of course these aren’t really new recordings by one of the sickest, heaviest Doom bands ever. But Live for Nothing deliveres two radio shows in a raw but powerful sound played by NOOTHGRUSH in 1996 and 1999. Mastered by Brad Boatright (From Ashes Rise) this record proves why NOOTHGRUSH is such an important influence for literally countless of Doom, Stoner and Sludge bands around the planet. Hardly any bands were/are more pissed off than NOOTHGRUSH – try to prove me wrong. This record is a contemporary document. Full review by Sean can be read here.
2. RUSSIAN CIRCLES – EMPROS (Sargent House)
Of all Postrock bands RUSSIAN CIRCLES might be my favourite, because where others get lost in endless reverb orgies, RUSSIAN CIRCLES for damn sure know how to spell R-I-F-F. First track on Embros is the best proof, a heavy, pummeling and highly energetic monster of a song. Of course RUSSIAN CIRCLES still have lots of really athmospheric, very tense parts – but everytime you begin to feel comfortable, the next heavy riff hits you like a ton of bricks. Many bands just stick to the “quiet-loud-quiet” scheme, but RUSSIAN CIRCLES put a lot of twists and surprisig moments into their songs. All in all a heavy, thoughtful and simply outstanding record.
1. INDIAN – GUILTLESS (Relapse)
Here it is: the Doom record of the year. INDIAN surely isn’t here to make friends, to sound pleasing or to be everybodys darling. Guiltless is the meanest, most fucked up, drugged out, uncomfortable, frightening and heaviest record I’ve heard this year and probably my whole life. Disharmonic riffs and a slowness that feels like being squeezed by a caterpillar reign this record. What distinguishes INDIAN from like minded bands like Grief: Beneath all the hate and despair spewn out they are still able to let small, tiny bits of melody creep in under the surface. Sure enough, you have to listen to Guiltless quite often until the distorted beauty burried beneath tons of noise finally begins to shine through. But it’s totally worth it. Check out Sean’s full review of this record.