Monday 23 December 2019


Well here we are again another year over and once again the underground rock scene has outdone itself, a seemingly endless array of old favourites and sparkling new kids on the block have been releasing albums and EP's over the last year, so many so that at times its been hard to keep up and that's despite the efforts of the scenes movers and shakers, PR's firms, record labels and the bands themselves doing their best to inform of us of anything worthy of note. With the end of another year also comes the expectation of those end of year lists we all love to peruse and pour over, now last year (2018) Desert Psychlist was pilloried for including a couple of releases that landed late from the previous year (2017), albums that narrowly missed our cut off point, we will not be making that mistake again and this years list of 25 albums will be picked solely from those released in 2019!
These picks are Desert Psychlist's favourites from 2019, they may not be your favourites but hey that's the name of the game, anyway here we go....

25. InterAltar ~ III
Inner Altar have ,with "Vol, III", taken traditional doom into territories it may not have previously visited, this is not a bad thing, genre's need to be challenged so as to evolve and Inner Altar are a band evolving at an alarming rate.

24. Skunk ~ Strange Vibration
Proto-metallic grooves with a underlying air of funkiness, vocals might be an acquired taste for some, John McKelvy's voice has a unique helium toking quality, but once you get acclimatised to them they actually work rather well.

23. Kook ~ III
Kook take the best from all your favourite genres throw it all in the air and use what lands to make one unholy delightful noise!

22. Sabba ~ Pentacle
Superb atmospheric dark dank doomic/occult grooves overlaid with ethereal vocal tones

21. Noise Factor ~ The Raven EP
Imagine Pagan Altar jamming with USA cult melodic 70's rockers Ashbury and you might just get a handle on what Noise Factor are all about.

20. Crypt Trip ~ Haze County
Crypt Trip have with "Haze County" finally shook off the stoner/hard rock tag, that had many mentioning them in the same breaths as Sweden's Graveyard and Witchcraft , and have embraced the roots of their own countries musical history

19. The Red Widows ~ Fuzzifixion
The Red Widows evolution from a damn good proto-metal/doom band to an ass kicking dank,dark stoner doom outfit is complete, here is the proof.


18. Lord Vicar ~ The Black Powder
If ever you should feel the mantle of doom is being snatched from the grasp of the scenes elders by the genres growlers and screamers then put this doomic diamond on and know that real doom still exists and is doing very nicely 

17. Book of Wyrms ~ Remythologizer
Elements of heavy metal, psych, doom and stoner rock weaved together in a spellbinding tapestry of sci-fi/fantasy themed genre-defying majesty.

16. Planet of Zeus ~ Faith In Physics
PoZ's last album "Loyal To The Pack" was somewhat of a transitional affair in that it was seemingly tailored to meet the needs of a more mainstream audience, this time around PoZ put a little more of their legendary bite back into the mix and sound all the better for it!

15. Paralyzed ~ Hidden Sun
Excellent collection of proto flavoured heavy blues grooves packed to the gills with soaring guitar solo's and crunching rhythms, think Buffalo meets JPT Scare Band

14. Saturna ~ Atlantis
Classic rock given a whole new lease of life by an utterly superb Spanish quartet. This is so good it'll give your goosebumps goosebumps!

13. The Black Furs ~ Stereophonic Freak Out Vol. 1
Heavy stonerized doom grooves drenched in distortion, fuzz and feedback fronted by superb clean sneery vocals that give everything an urban inner city feel 

12. Planet of the 8's ~ Tourist Season
Seriously impressive desert flavoured release from an equally impressive Australian collective. #

11. Spiral Guru ~ Void
This is fantastic! Imagine a hybrid birthed from the coupling of Howling Giant and Holy Grove fronted by a vocalist with the folk-rock chops of a Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention) or a Annie Haslam (Renaissence).

 10. Gévaudan ~ Iter
"Iter" is an album that will appeal to both the traditional doom crowd and those that like their doom a little on the blacker side, an album that leans towards prog in places yet at the same time stays true to the basics of its doomic roots, an album that's not quite a masterpiece but comes damn close.

09. Troll ~ Legend Master
"Legend Master" is that doom album you always wanted to hear but never expected to be made, an album that is intelligent as it is groovesome, an album that marries the old with the new without the need to go into extreme territories, an album you have to hear.

08. Scarecrow ~ Scarecrow
Proto flavoured metal/doom that will knock you off your feet and stamp your brains into mush, in a good way of course

 07. Clouds Taste Satanic ~ Second Sight
CTS deliver the goods yet again, this is instrumental heaviness of the highest order, WOW just doesn't cover it!

06. Hippie Death Cult ~ 111
Swaggering mix of 70's hard rock and modern stoner rock that ticks every box you could ever wish to be ticked

 05. Howling Giant ~ The Space Between Worlds
Howling Giant smash it out of the park with this their first full length album, might and melody never went together so well.

 04. Elder ~ The Gold & Silver Sessions
 Majestic mellow and mesmerising grooves from the scenes brightest hopes

03. Ordos ~The End
If the bands last effort "House of the Dead" didn't satisfy your need for quality blackened stoner doom then "The End" most certainly will.

02. Merlin ~ The Mortal
Merlin return with more boundary pushing musical wizardry, This band are a one off, a unique sounding collective with a groove like no other band on this planet. Celebrate their contrariness, wonder at their weirdness and be mesmerised by their magical music.

01. Green Lung ~ Woodland Rites
The term "occult rock" is one that causes a bit of confusion, at Desert Psychlist we tend to think of something tagged as "occult rock" as being grooves that although "doomic" are not what you could call full on "doom", grooves that share many of doom's characteristics but lean towards the more melodic and accessible end of the spectrum. Now you may not agree with our definition but whether you do or not does not take away the fact that "Woodland Rites" is a superb album that is both melodic AND accessible.


Desert Psychlist would like to thank … all the PR agencies, record labels, bands and artists who have sent promo's, both digital and physical, the Doom Charts and all its contributors for giving the underground scene a visual point of reference and Steve Howe at Outlaws of the Sun for all his help and encouragement. Special thanks to Michele Jones for her love, patience and understanding and Billy Jones, Vikki Jones and Sian Jones for grandchildren, guitars, gigs and love. Desert Psychlist would also like to thank everyone who has perused these hallowed pages over the last year , whether you came here by intention or by accident your support is appreciated 

© 2019 Frazer Jones

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