mix of blackened sludge and doomic stoner metal is harsh , heavy and relentless which is three reasons why we love what they do...
#26: Superlord ~ Vs. Gargantuan
Solidly packed with everything that makes a great album, "Vs. Gargantuan
" could well be considered one of the best albums to come out of the UK
this year of our Lord 2020
#25: Slomosa ~ Slomosa
Desert rock from a band hailing from a country with no deserts, don't that let you be put off however because this is an album that captures the essence of sandy dunes and cactus better than some albums made by bands born into that environment.
#24 ; Gaupa ~ Feberdröm
These off the wall and unconventional Swedes
deliver once again with Bjork
-like vocals swooping and soaring over a mix of hard rock, psychedelic folk and heavy prog.
Absolutely essential listening!!!!!
#23: Malsten ~ The Haunting Of Silvakra Mill
take the listener on a tour of Silvakra Mill
a place where the spirits don't come in a bottle and wheat is not the only thing that gets ground to dust!
#22: Vitskar Suden ~ Vitskar Suden
Don't try placing Vitskär Süden
into a any genre, category or neat little labelled box because they don't fit into any, they are what they are and what they are is a very talented group of musicians creating music that is moving, meditative and beautiful.
#21: Hammada ~ Atmos
" is not one of those albums that smacks you around the head and demands you immediately fall in love with it, it is instead an album that uses stealth to achieve its goals, an album that slowly creeps up on you, song by song, gradually breaking you down with its mix of undulating grooves and thundering riffs until it finally becomes that go to album you never want to be without.
#20: Rollin' Dice ~ Reroll
-esque vocal pyrotecnics roared over crunching riffs and screaming guitar solos, driven from beneath by a tight and adaptable rhythm section give this album a truly "authentic" 70's hard rock feel.
#19: Forming The Void ~ Reverie
" finds Forming the Void
fully embracing their prog/psych side yet doing so without compromising on their signature sludgy heaviness.
#18: Tortuga ~ Deities
use atmosphere as if it were an instrument in its own right and they play the fuck out of it!
#17: Gypsybyrd ~ Eye Of The Sun
Burn Ritual's Jake Lewis
comes at you with a hazy, lysergic collection of spaced out grooves that will blow your mind to smithereens.
This is a trip!
#16: Queen Marsa ~ Queen Marsa
A vocalist with a voice that has a blend of AC/DC's Bon Scott
and Budgie's Burke Shelley
and grooves that sit at the more 70's end of stoner rock, how could i pass this up!
#15: Sleepwulf ~ Sleepwulf
There are no meandering twenty minute guitar solo's to be found here, no overly complex arrangements that confuse and confound nor are there an endless array of constantly shifting time signatures to deal with, instead we get a dazzling collection of superbly crafted rock songs built around that age old blueprint of intro, middle and outro, simple, basic and wholly effective.
#14: Arcadian Child ~ ProtopsychoCyprus
' jewel in the stone(r) Arcadian Child
return with their best yet, the band tapping into both their European
and Middle- Eastern
heritages to amaze and delight us with their lysergic laced grooviness.
#13: 10 Code ~ Ride
hail from Athens
and jam a groove that takes a little classic/hard rock, sprinkles it with a pinch of grungy alt-rock and then tops it all off with with some nicely warmed stoner fuzz, a recipe that makes their latest release "Ride
" a very tasty dish indeed.
#12: Acid Mammoth ~ Under Acid Hoof
"Under Acid Hoof
" is a superb follow up to the bands debut "Acid Mammoth
" and should go a long way to cementing their place as one of the leading lights on Athens
burgeoning doom scene, now go tell the Spartans
#11: Swamp Thief ~ I
Two man stoner unit from Swansea
cranking out filthy toned guitar riffs and thundering rhythms over which are poured gritty clean vocals.
#10: Somnus Throne ~ Somnus Throne
Somnus Throne do not write three minute ditties, neither will you find this band penning lyrics detailing the vagaries of unrequited love, this is a trio that have travelled down the dark highways of life and those experiences are reflected in the music they make and the lyrics that decorate that music.
#9: Rosy Finch ~ Scarlet
promised, in press releases, that the new sound of the band would be "very visceral and heavy
" and Desert Psychlist
can confirm that, with "Scarlet
", Rosy Finch
more than delivers on that promise.
#8: Sound of Origin ~ The All Seeing Eye
Sound of Origin
return with a new album, a new singer and a new sound. Harder, edgier and heavier than their debut "The All Seeing Eye
" floats like a shark and stings like a scorpion!
#7: Dixie Goat ~ There's No Light Without Darkness
If your not familiar with Chile's Dixie Goat
and are wondering why you should be bothering listening to music from a band situated at the ass end of the Southern Hemisphere
well then wrapping your ears around the bands new album "There's No Light Without Darkness
" will explain all!
#6: Thammuz ~ Into The Great Unknown
deliver a sound that runs the whole gamut of "underground rock" from dusty sand blasted desert rock through to dank doomic stoner metal, touching on blues. psych, punk and classic/hard rock along the way!
#5: Ethereal Sea ~ Forgotten Memories of Tomorrow
Swinging, soulful, a touch psychedelic and with just the merest hint of country rock edginess and blusesy swagger "Forgotten Memories of Tomorrow
" is an album that marks a huge leap in Ethereal Sea's
#4: Sun of Grey ~ Outerworld
It has been three years since Sun of Grey
blasted our brains with their self titled doomic two tracker but its been worth the wait, awesome is too small a word!
#3: Iglesia Atomica ~ La Guerra del Fin del Mundo
Absolutely mind-blowing instrumental jams from the masters of the art! Our personnel opinion is this is their best yet!
#2: Troll Teeth ~ Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing
Concept albums are always a little hit or miss but Troll Teeth's
"Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing
" is all hit! This is a concept that tells its story just how you might read it from a book, easy to follow, full of the requisite villains and monsters that you would expect from a good tale but also with just the right amount of mystery and ambiguity to keep you guessing right up to the end.
#1: REZN ~ Chaotic Divine
What is it that makes bands like Tool, Elder and All Them Witches stand out from the crowd when that crowd is made up of very adept bands full of equally adept and skilled musicians? The answer is risk! The bands mentioned at the top of this piece possess a fearlessness that sets them apart from the following herd simply because they are willing to experiment, to take chances and steer their music down unexpected avenues that may take them down cul-de-sac's but could equally open up whole new musical horizons. Chicago's REZN are not quite yet in the same league as those bands mentioned above but the quartet of Rob McWilliams (guitar/vocals/oud); Phil Cangelosi (bass/vocals/bağlama/rainstick); Patrick Dunn (drums /percussion/ sitar) and Spencer Ouellette (synthesizer /saxophone/flute/percussion) are certainly heading in the right direction if the bands latest album "Chaotic Divine" is anything to go by.
Well that's it folks Desert Psychlist's list of our favourites from 2020, it's been a a hell of a year but one set to a fantastic soundtrack!
So now it's time to thank all those that have played their parts this year, Michele for her endless support, hugs. kisses and transport duties, Vikki, Billy and Sian for being the best kids a Dad could ever hope for, grandchildren Ethan, Austin, Rowan and Amber for filling my heart with a new kind of love, Sreve Howe (of Outlaws Of The Sun) and Reek of Stoom (of Howls From The Hollows podcast) for constantly pointing us in the direction of new grooves and for late night chats, Joop Konraad (of Stoner Hive) for support and shout-outs, all the members at Retro Rockets for reminding us of our roots, Leanne Ridgeway (of Riff Relevant) for support and laughter., Bucky Brown ( of The Doom Charts/ The Ripple Effect) for all his hard work and cooking posts, all the contributors at The Doom Charts who monthly go that extra mile, all the record labels and PR companies for the promos and updates and last and but not least all the musicians and artists who constantly provide the grooves that shine a much needed light into our often drab lives. THANK YOU ALL!!!!