CVLT Nation’s Top Ten DOOM Releases of 2016

TEN – HORSE LATITUDES Primal Gnosis

Primal Gnosis starts with quite an ambient touch, as the drums and vocals appear through the dark depths of Horse Latitudes. Their placement in the stereo field, far away from the listener, gives that obscure tone, which in turn awakens a ritualistic sense. This is also where Horse Latitudes focus a big part of their energy, creating with slow progression a ceremonial procedure, awakened through the deep vocals, almost verging on throat-singing at times. Nice touches, as with the addition of synths in “Spirals” and the clean guitar in “New Dawn,” add a more grand and interesting aspect to their vision, while this horrific dive carries on.

Drone/Doom goes hand in hand with the ritualistic aspect of Horse Latitudes, and throughout Primal Gnosis that is what the band produces. Heavy riffs come down, and the further you dwell into the album, the further Horse Latitudes also take you down the rabbit hole. The progression of the whole album works towards this goal, something you will realize for yourself when you reach the lower depths of this hell in “Beast of Waste and Desolation” with the music achieving almost a complete standstill, before restoring its slow groove.

Read the full review here

Label: Ritual Productions

Horse Latitude

 

NINE – DOMKRAFT THE End of Electricity

Sometimes you just need to escape from reality, to let the THC infiltrate your brain and drift off on a cloud of hypnotic riffage…today is one of those days! Thanks be to Magnetic Eye for providing me with the trip I need in the form of Stockholm’s wizards of heavy DOMKRAFT‘s new album, The End of Electricity. If you like your doom on the heavy and groovy side, this band will blow you away. I can just tell these guys would ruin my hearing live, which is always a good sign.

Read the full review here

 

EIGHT – BLACK TOMB s/t

Now this might be the coolest part of my job: turning rabid music fiends on to new music! The other night, being the stoner troll I am, I stumbled across this killer new DOOM band called BLACK TOMB! Imagine if you crossed Graves at Sea with Electric Wizard and Cough, and then gave the resulting demonic creature a huge bong load – that might begin to describe this band’s sound. I’m so fucking impressed with their self-titled debut that I can’t stop listening to it. I know that BLACK TOMB is special and are going to be mammoth in no time, because they are just that fucking good! The awesome new label Graven Earth Records released their tape, and a vinyl release is in the works on Totem Cat Records.

 

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SEVEN – R.I.P. In The Wind

I am an art junkie, so all it took was one look at Adam Burke’s cover art for R.I.P.’s upcoming debut full length, In The Wind, to know that this was an album I was going to fucking enjoy! And once “In The Wind Part I” unleashed its megaton riffs on my willing ears, I was in doom heaven, seen through the mind of one too many hits of acid. R.I.P. brings you raw, dark and filthy doom that you can whip your hair to. It’s fast, fuzzed-out, loud and heavy and will encourage the overconsumption of whiskey and weed. They are like the raddest 70’s van come to life, with Ozzy in the driver’s seat and Lemmy on the passenger side! Basically, these PNW hellions know how to create doom with HUGE riffs that make you want to dance and head bang at the same time!

 

SIX – DISROTTED Divination

Unholy quadruple fuck, Disrotted have just taken doom to the next fucking level of craziness. How are we gonna explain this record to our children?? This insanity right here is for all the THC blood freaks out there from fucking planet Weedian. For all the reefer and hash freaks. For those happy wretched souls who dwell in an eternal toxic haze and enjoy life being perennially absurd, warped, mystic and weird. Disrotted are a cosmic hell ride through the most remote, darkest and unknown corners of psychedelia-induced madness. This band will make your mind travel so far, and so deep into your own unconscious that once Divination comes to its final moments, you will have no fucking idea what just happened to you as you helplessly try to pick up the pieces of your own collapsed mind…

Overall, Disrotted‘s “Divination” is an unforgettable listening experience, specifically because this record is just so crazy and out there. I don’t think anyone had ever conceived something like this before. These guys are literally on the next level of high. Their minds are just somewhere else and when they make music it’s probably impossible for anyone with some lucidity left in them to fully understand what may be happening in their creative process. But overall, this is just superior, grade A, top notch extreme doom of the most implacable craft. Your poor little brain will not fucking survive this listen.

Read the full review here

 

FIVE – BEASTMAKER Lusus Naturae

“Vibe” is a word that is thrown around pretty regularly when talking about 70s-inspired Doom. Huge walls of amps, weed, Les Pauls, Rickenbackers, bell bottoms…you know the score. Vibe isn’t tangible, it’s a vague term to define, but when it’s firing in music – it’s undeniable. And on Beastmaker’s debut album Lusus Naturae (Freak of Nature), the vibe is most certainly there.

With a couple of demos and an EP already under their belts, Lusus Naturae is out through Rise Above Records – which should give you an indication of what to expect. Despite hailing from Fresno, California, there’s a distinctly British vibe (there’s that word again) to the album. Cult horror film nods (The Mask of Satan in particular) and an aura of dread hover like spectres, while the unashamedly vintage sound allows each instrument to breathe clearly while never allowing the music to suffocate under its own weight. Cleaner moments appear frequently to heighten bleak and lonely moods before returning to the familiar rocking trudge, punctured by the occasional fuzzed-out guitar lead. Vocals in this kind of doom are cool when they sound like they’re being delivered by a zombie – and that’s exactly what they’re doing here.

Read the full review here

 

FOUR – 11PARANOIAS Reliquary For a Dreamed World

Doom/sludge plays a big part of 11Paranoias’ sound, which is no surprise when you look at the resumé of its members. Heavy, insanely distorted and torturously slow, they make sure that this comes across from the very beginning of “Peripheral Metamorphosis.” The dirty vibe, with the saturation at a high, and the vocals buried beneath the heavy riffs allow this devastating aspect to come in full force.

As was the case with their previous works, psychedelia plays a significant part in the band’s vision. Enhancing their heavy sound with effects and trippy moments was always a very suitable accompaniment to doom/sludge, but in Reliquary… this aspect has truly blossomed. The psychedelic overtones have taken on a style of their own, with a liquid manifestation, creating an unearthly haze in “Meditation On The Void” and a complete loss of consciousness in “Avallaunius.” There is a more rock-y tone that comes through, not so much the typical psychedelic doom, but rather an alien jam session, heavily influenced by the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Read the full review here

 

THREE – HOLY SERPENT Temples

Magic, Purple Sunsets, Hash Pipes, Sticky Green Bud, Expanded Minds, Altered States of Reality are only some of the thoughts I have as I listen to the new cosmic LP by HOLY SERPENT entitled Temples. This band is fucking unreal and should not be slept on, because the create a very special brand of doom. What I love about their music is the transcendental energy that takes me over with each listen! It’s almost like I don’t need to get HIGH before jamming out to Temples, because every riff has already been dipped into a blend of THC and Soulful Chaos.

Read the full review here

 

TWO – COUGH Still They Prey

They say time heals all wounds. In the case of Richmond quartet Cough, time appears to have become the catalyst that feeds their demons and fuels their fire. Their experiences over the past decade have helped shape the band’s sound into the unequivocally monstrous, down-tuned behemoth that has finally returned with Still They Pray to unleash another lesson in torment upon the world.

Whether co/vocalist and four-stringer Parker Chandler’s involvement with doom gurus Windhand was a contributing factor to Cough’s six year gap between albums remains to be seen, but either way, the latter’s return will undoubtedly be celebrated throughout the extreme metal universe. The first half of the album cements this thought with iron-clad finality, with opener ‘Haunter of the Dark’ lucid in its crawling chaos and stark in its Lovecraftian form. ‘Possession’ and the doleful wanderings of ‘Masters of Torture’ see Chandler’s & Cisco’s vocals range from mournful and melodic to shrieks that convey utter savagery, with a bloodcurdling snarl that would leave Eyehategod grinning manically in the wake of the accursed chanting of, “live to hate; hate to live.”

Utterly intoxicating in all its punishing, psychedelic splendour, Still They Pray is a glorious homecoming for Cough, who remain masters of their art as well as one of the preeminent bands to seamlessly meld doom and sludge to both devastating and mesmerising effect. These riffs have grown immeasurably in their slumber, and now finally released, they push the band to the absolute top of their game.

Read the full review here

 

ONE – GRAVES AT SEA The Curse That Is

Graves At Sea’s brand of dismal, bass-rich doom/sludge is played in such perfect concert, that when an instrument breaks away from the collective pummel, it’s a total thrill. The bass, guitars and drums here wind, groove, hammer,and plod together in perfect reciprocity, no one element any more vital or pronounced than the other. Frontman Nathan Misterek’s vocals are commanding throughout, alternating between throat-scraping rasp and gruffer bellows. Extra props to the spirited frontman for enunciating the lyrics. The fuck-it-all mantras won’t be lost on anyone here.

Graves At Sea return to us in 2016 with a record that seems to advocate for bringing doom/sludge back to the basics, but finds the right spaces to color new shades in. Having remained loyal to their roots, Graves At Sea emerge all these years later with catchier riffs, smartly structured songs, heavy hitting moments at nearly every juncture, and a biker-crank mysticism that behooves the sheer force of their mighty sludge.

Read the full review here

 

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The Author

Meghan

Meghan

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.

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Rob HammerMichael YanagitaLucifer MorningstarWarren BeydaJustin Rogers Recent comment authors
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Rob Hammer
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Rob Hammer

So last year CVLT NATION earned my respect by putting Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard on top while their debut was released in december! But I find this top-10 too traditional and funeral like… my personal favorites like Haunted, Grajo , Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard or the crushing debut by Monoliths not in your top-10?!? Fine, I can live with that but no Conan, Slabdragger or Slomatics?!?
Sorry… disrespect here…

Lucifer Morningstar
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Lucifer Morningstar

Great list of bands! But, Church of Misery should be join the lists!

Justin Rogers
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Dope! Beastmaker made this list!

Jorge Camacho
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Where’s Conan and Slomatics?

Blake Boles
Guest

Is there a playlist of these songs anywhere?

Nick Nelson
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What about Conan?

Mark Wylie
Guest

Lyam this may interest you if your lookin to go on a doom bender

Lyam Morrison
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Dope list

Martínez Carlos
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Anthony Alvarado Salazar esta es otra lista diferente

Anthony Alvarado Salazar
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Hay que revisarla pape

James Charles Boylan
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Waiting for the black metal list

Ryan Whiteside
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WE WANT BLACK METAL

Connor Crevier
Guest

Jamie Yeats Sam Samael this isn’t a bad list at all

Dubsy Gildanstern
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Pretty much spot on but you are missing khemmis

Cory Whitmer
Guest

Oversight? How’d that happen?

Dubsy Gildanstern
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Cory Whitmer lol just saying easily one of the best heavy albums of 2016

Michael Yanagita
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Would even add Spiritus Mortis, Lord Vicar, Spirit Adrift.

Rafael Domingos de Almeida
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Flavio Ribeiro

Jan Ne
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Sabrina Drebin

Geoff Doerflr
Guest

great list

Brad Barmherzig
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More stuff to check out !

Ben Moretti
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Hugh Boyd Melvin Melvinson

Hugh Boyd
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Bookmarking now.

Kyle Cooper
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Nathan !!!!

Kyle Cooper
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CVLT Nation killing it with these top tens

Jose Goiana
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Miguel Lopes

Ben Richardson
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Any chance of a black metal list?

Ryan Harding
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Seconded.

Michael Yanagita
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like Khemmis make than any of those records

Cory Whitmer
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Seriously. I haven’t heard all of them, but a few on there aren’t as good as “Hunted.”

Warren Beyda
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No R.I.P. is better than anything on that list or Khemmis actually. That is if you like real doom metal and not hipster post-rock with doom fringes, that sounds like they heard Pallbearer once and decided to start writing music.

Michael Yanagita
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Warren Beyda Sorry mr. metal police officer

Lisa Legault
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I was about to say, I love you but you forgot COUGH – Still They Pray, but then you didn’t. 😘😈

Stefan Baumgartner
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Conrad Coyle