These posts are written by: Lincoln Jones

Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard

Ah, Electric Wizard. If you don’t know them by now, you will never, never, never know them. No you won’t. Well, scratch that; maybe you will. After all, the legendary doom outfit has just put out their ninth (!) full length record and, although it seems unimaginable that there could be metal heads unfamiliar with the band’s discography and sound, it’s incumbent to remember that not everybody is as old as dirt like yours truly. In fact, it’s been over twenty years since the band first started releasing music so it stands to reason that there are plenty of readers who weren’t even born when Dopethrone dropped and left its massive resin stain on the world of stoner doom and sludge. While that certainly makes me feel old, it also presents an exciting opportunity for younger listeners. THIS IS NOT A DRILL: if you have never listened to Electric Wizard’s seminal album Dopethrone, you are required to take an hour today and give it a spin. Arguably as important as any album in the genre, Dopethrone cemented the sound of filthy, distorted, bass-heavy stoner doom and paved the way for hundreds of bands and albums that followed in its smoky, bongwater-soaked path.

Doomsday – October 2017

Hello heaviest of Heavy Bloggers! Welcome back to Doomsday, our monthly roundup of All the Doom that’s Fit to Print.™ October is a special time of year, particularly in America: the weather is turning colder and gloomier, horror movies show up in earnest in theaters and cable networks across the country, and the general anticipation of Halloween fills the air. October 2017 was particularly special for doom heads as both Bell Witch and Primitive Man unleashed career-defining tours de force upon the world. But wait, there’s more! Lots more! Grab your earplugs, it’s Doomsday.

Spirit Adrift – Curse of Conception

Curse of Conception is the second full length effort from desert dwelling Spirit Adrift, but one could be forgiven for assuming this is the work of a band with twice that output under their belt. Formerly a hyper-competent but somewhat conventional doom band, Curse clearly demarks a new era for the Phoenix outfit, one that showcases the band evolving from a heavy band into highly a skilled rock ‘n doom songwriting machine. And, to be sure, that’s not to slag off the band’s previous efforts. Their debut, Chained to Oblivion, is fantastic, fuzzy, and shouldn’t be ignored by anybody considering themselves a doom fan. But the band’s split with Khemmis earlier this year makes even more sense in hindsight. To both Spirit Adrift and Khemmis, good songwriting and heaviness isn’t an either/or proposition. And simply playing heavy music mid-tempo doesn’t forever handcuff a band to traditional doom. Just like their Colorado cohorts, Spirit Adrift are too restless, too musically curious and, as it turns out, too talented not to explore beyond their initial doom origins.

Monolord – Rust

One of the most appealing aspects of doom metal is its relative simplicity. Unconcerned with the breakneck tempos of grind, the technical necessity of trash and death, or the atmospherics (and, often, the aesthetics) of black metal, doom is largely content to let the genre’s music speak for itself. Of course, it helps to have the amp wattage to all but forcibly compel heads to nod but, at the end of the day, the riff is the riff and doom will live or die by the power of the riff alone. There’s something vaguely traditional in that simplicity: a reverent confidence that the power of one gnarly guitar line, repeated burgeoningly and ad nauseum, can transcend the need for other genre trappings and transfix a listener into zoned-out bliss. Generally speaking, doom worships no god but the riff and Monolord are here to spread that gospel.

Doomsday – August 2017

Hello Heavy Bloggers! Welcome to Doomsday, our new column that seeks to compile a monthly roundup of all things doom. Standing alongside the likes of Death’s Door and Kvlt Kolvmn, Doomsday will highlight a few releases every month that, for whatever reason, may not warrant a full-fledged review on Heavy Blog but we still think deserve a recommendation out to you, oh faithful readers. There’s a lot of music that can fit under the Doom umbrella and we’ll try to keep an “open ear” policy: Drone, Stoner, Groove, Ambient, Funeral Doom, and good ol’ Death-Doom. We’ll take all comers. If it’s slow and low, it’s Doomsday. And without further ado, here’s some of the heaviest tunes August had to offer.

Thank You For Not Smoking: Variations on a Stoner Doom Theme

As a genre, stoner doom has some fairly definitive characteristics: slowed-down tempos, rumbling low-end bass and rhythm, a focus on mountainous, hypnotic riffs, and a certain intangible haze cast over it all, creating a psychedelic-glazed listening experience. But perhaps most importantly, stoner metal worships at the altar of marijuana. Proudly wearing its influence on its sleeve (and name), stoner metal varyingly employs marijuana as a muse, a political rallying cause, an artistic aesthetic, and generally as the raison d’etre for the (sub)genre as a whole. From the smoke-filled cough intro in Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” to Sleep’s epic journey to Jerusalem to Dopelord carrying the genre’s torch in one hand and a bong in the other, stoner doom is fundamentally and un-apologetically intertwined with marijuana. And yet, as firm of a grip as the green leaf has on the genre, there are contingents within the stoner doom scene that don’t embrace weed with the same fervor as their counterparts. Indeed, as counter-intuitive as it seems, examples abound of bands in the stoner doom realm that either explicitly or implicitly eschew the very association with marijuana that the scene largely views as a prerequisite.