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.

Eight Bells – Landless

If only the harsher elements had been brought to bear more, most importantly in the title track but perhaps even earlier, this would have been an outstanding addition to a fast-growing sub-genre. As it is, it’s a good album but when which is tinged with frustration more than anything. It leaves the listener constantly on the cusp of catharsis but without the clear cut and impassioned climax for which we long.

Heavy Blog Is Heavy’s Best Of: Doom Metal

You know this dance by now folks: this is Heavy Blog’s Best Of! This time, we’ll be tackling one of our favorite genres, doom! 2014 was an excellent year for this most-excellent sub-genre and you might know editor Eden Kupermintz (praise be onto him) has dubbed it as The Doom…

Junius – Days of the Fallen Sun

There is usually an inverse relation between energy and longevity. Some bands burn bright and turn to a crisp in the process and end up rehashing their original releases. Some bands need time to take off, preferring a long culmination of style that might be hard to keep track with. The rare bands, those we’ll take with us into the rest of our lives, are those that can produce intense emotion and keep their pace at the same time. Junius are quickly turning out to be of the latter, rarer breed. Their fifth EP, alongside two full albums, is nothing short of a near perfect creation. It knows when to be harsh, when to be epic, and when to be still.