It a lot of ways the first Doom Metal band is Black Sabbath. They had the tri tone riffs and scary subject matter especially with the song Black Sabbath, and It's fair to say that all Doom bands are influenced by Sabbath. The problem is you could say that about any sub genre as they have influenced almost everyone.
So you have to move it on to the 80s. Now I had no knowledge what so ever about Doom in the 80s, I was still listening to 70s Rock and Maiden, Motorhead and Thrash Metal. It wasn't until Cathedral brought out The Ethereal Mirror that I was aware of this style of music and I loved it because Sabbath are my favourite and it seemed to me that these bands were doing their own heavier version of Sabbath.
So I started looking up bands from the past like Candlemass, Trouble and Saint Vitus, all under the banner of Doom but all very different. Like a lot of genres I tend to pick up on it a bit late so I missed out on Sleep until later and took me a little while to pick up on Electric Wizard. The scene now is as big as ever with many young bands forming. The newer bands tend to lean more towards a Retro Stoner Doom type sound and less of the Trad Doom style.
Cathedral, Candlemass and Trouble are my favourites. I love the first 3 Cathedral albums Forest, Ethereal and Carnival although there is great stuff all through their career. I first saw them in 93 supporting Sabbath a bit of a dream as you can imagine. I didn't know it at the time but the band had split so for that show they used the guitarist and drummer from Pentagram how cool is that.
For me Candlemass is all about the first 2 albums Epicus and Nightfall fantastic albums but again with so many different singers and lot's of albums there is great music throughout their career. I see them recently at HRH playing mainly Epicus, great show although I would love the original singer or Messiah to come back.
I love the 1990 self titled album by Trouble and also The Skull with the first album and the underrated Plastic Green Head my favs too. Eric Wagner Is not in the band anymore which is a shame because he has such a distinctive voice. They have another singer now but I feel Eric needs to be in the band to make it the real Trouble.
So to sum up what I love about Doom is the raw heaviness and emotion that comes out of playing slow. Also you have got to admire the complete lack of giving a shit about being commercial in any way. I always love music that has an honesty to it. I still consider myself fairly new to Doom there are still many bands I have not heard, and with the genre breaking into many different factions there will be no end to listening.
My top 10 Doom albums in alphabetical order
I think a lot of people would go for their debut album but Be Forewarned their 3rd album from 94 was the first one I heard so I have lived with it more. By far the oldest band on the list they were formed way back in 71 as a struggling drug fueled Rock band always fronted by Bobby Liebling. It wasn't until the early 80s when he teamed up with the band Death Row that they started to get their Doom laden sound. Best songs: Live Free And Burn, Bride Of Evil, Petrified, Be Forewarned
This along with the first Cathedral album was the first time I heard anything this slow and heavy. This their 2nd album from 97 to say the least is crushing. It's a toss up between this and Dopethrone as their classic but I prefer the riffs and guitar tone on this album. I was lucky enough to see them in their classic 3 piece line up and it was loud. Pure drug induced Doom insanity. Best Songs: Return Trip, Wizard In Black, Doom Mantia, Son Of Nothing
I wasn't sure weather to include this album or not because they are kind of associated with the NWOBHM, but they have become so influential to the Doom scene I couldn't leave them out. What strikes you first about this band is the controversial album covers they are pretty bad. Says more about women's place in Metal at the time than anything else. The music is great though, this was their first album from 82 Doom before anyone knew what Doom was. Best songs: Invisible Hate, Free Country, Witchfinder General, Burning A Sinner
Probably the first band to self identify as a Doom band with that album title their debut in 86 and what an absolute classic it is. It does exactly what it say's on the album title this is epic doom metal at It's best. This album really spearheaded the movement with It's over the top operatic vocals and songs about myths and legends as well as straight up depressing lyrics, great guitar riffs as well. They even invented the doom dance. certainly one of my favourite doom albums. Best songs: Solitude, Demons Gate, Crystal Ball, Under The Oak, A Sorcerer's Pledge
Being that The Ethereal Mirror was the first album I heard from Cathedral as you can imagine I was totally shocked when I first heard the debut from 91. I couldn't believe it was the same band. At first I didn't like it because it was too slow and lacked melody. Then the more I listened the more I got into it. The main thing that shocked me was Lee Dorrian's vocal style, much more guttural and mournful a total one off he never repeated that vocal style again. It's a proper serious Doom album very emotional and the guitar sound is unsurpassed by anyone a truly monstrous album one of the best. Best songs: Commiserating The Celebration, Ebony Tears, Serpent Eve, Soul Sacrifice, Equilibrium
It show's the strength of this band and in this album in particular that they have become bigger since they split up. So much so that since they reformed they are now the hottest ticket around headlining festivals everywhere. I love this album mixing Stoner and Psychedelics with heavy as fuck guitars and vicious bass this is the blueprint for all the Stoner Doom bands that are around today. Yes the vocals tend to sound the same for each song but that don't matter this is another one of my favourites. Best Songs: Dragonaut, The Druid, Evil Gypsy, Aquarium, Holy Mountain
I know some people would go for the debut as their favourite personally it was a fight between The Skull and this their major label debut and their 4th album. Quite unusual for any bands 4th album to be there classic but they really went to town with this album producing 4 music videos a big fat sound and great songs, also a move away from their pro christian lyrics. I think the band thought of it as a new start by naming the album Trouble because their debut was called Trouble so they had to change it to Psalm 9. Consistently this album has the best songs one of my favourites. Best Songs: At The End Of My Daze, Psychotic Reaction, The Misery Shows (act ll), R.I.P, Black Shapes Of Doom
This is the newest band on the list starting out in 2008 and is part of the new wave of Doom bands that are basically trying to be as heavy and as brutal than anything that has gone before. When I saw them live for the first time I was stunned at how noisy and brutal they were it was an amazing experience. Their first album was great but I didn't think it captured how they are live. This their 2nd album just does that with only 1 song under 10 minutes and 2 songs over 15 minutes It's a crushing tour de force. Best songs: Mercenary Blues, Evacuate, Shrine Of Debauchery, Dawncrusher Rising
Arguably the first band to release a Doom album the debut was recorded in 82 and released in 84 just a month before Trouble's debut, I understand that most people would choose Born To Late or the first 2 albums with the old singer but like Pentagram I heard this album first so have lived with it longer. This was the last album with Wino as singer back in 90 until the recent reunion. Saint Vitus has more of a punk feel to them having toured with a lot of hardcore bands back in the 80s. The guitar sound is awesome and totally unique to Dave Chandler. All about emotions and life struggles this album brilliant stuff . Best Songs: Living Backwards, I Bleed Black, Patra, Jack Frost
Another relatively new Doom Band who clearly worship Saint Vitus. This their debut from 2010 is an old style Doom masterpiece. Songs consist of typical slow tempos but then would often break into groovy mid paced sections a great combination. A great life band also with a female bassist (finally, not enough females in my list). The singer would often scream WE'RE ALL FUCKED now that's proper Doom. Best songs: The Agony, The Trial Of Elizabeth Clarke, Gomorrah, Impaler Tepes
So I hopes you liked this blog check out the next one at the end of the month.
In the meantime you can vote for one of these albums on my poll with the winner having the album played in full.
and checkout my next show the start of Doom month: https://www.facebook.com/events/381492755563248/