Stoner Rock Primer

There’s often confusion when a musical sub-genre is made up to describe bands that had already been around for several years. The term “stoner rock” started to become widely used in the late 90s, after Roadrunner Records released the compilation, Burn One Up! Music For Stoners in 1997, featuring originators Kyuss and Sleep, along with ex-Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme’s new band, Queens Of The Stone Age. The following spring, MeteorCity released Welcome To MeteorCity: Desert Rock, Sludge and Cosmic Doom featuring Fatso Jetson, The Atomic Bitchwax, Demon Cleaner, Goatsnake, Lowrider, Sheavy and Dozer.


Typically there was a lot of whiny reactions to the stoner rock label, from literal minded fans who felt it should apply to anything “trippy” like Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead, to bands who insist they simply play rock, or heavy rock. They worry that the label limits their audience. If it does, I can’t see it being any more offputting than sludge, doom, grindcore or drone. The segment on stoner rock in the 2009 documentary Such Hawks Such Hounds is titled, “An Unfortunate Moniker.”

Queens Of The Stone Age showed that a band can somewhat shed the label simply by distancing themselves from the characteristics associated with stoner rock. Their second album Rated R (2000) largely abandoned the low-end and hypnotic, fuzzy guitar riffs for a more diverse palatte of clean sounding psychedlia, hard rock and even some punk. A significant portion of Kyuss fans lost interest in the band at that time, while they also gained a much larger mainstream rock audience. I like the new direction Queens Of The Stone Age took, but also agree that it’s no longer really stoner rock. I find variations of the fat, bulbous, throbbing bass, sticky and fuzzy guitar tones, and rhythmic groove achieved with different combinations of vintage tube amps and effects pedals to be extremely addictive, and it’s useful for me to be able to sort a playlist using stoner rock, and find more like-minded bands. In the past decade there’s been a growing community that agrees. Stonerrock.com started in 1999 and built up a sizeable community before closing in 2010. The ObeliskThe Soda Shop and Stonerrocklives have picked up the slack. The owners of the MeteorCity label launched the online store in 1997 called All That Is Heavy “dedicated to stoner rock, doom, psychedelic, sludge and desert rock.” While the audiences in the U.S. are pretty small, stoner rock is much more popular in Europe. Since 1995, the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland has hosted pretty much every stoner rock band mentioned below. Tickets sold out within an hour last year. Tickets for 2012 go on sale November 26, 10:00 Central European Time. Other stoner/doom/psych oriented festivals are Desertfest in London, the week before Roadburn, Yellowstock and OcCulTrAnCe in Belgium, Duna Jam in Sardinia, Italy, Desert Scene in the UK, Robustfest in Ukraine, Doomsday Festival in Australia, Eyes Of The South and Stonerfest in New Zealand, and many more. Fests in the U.S. have been limited mainly to label showcases, and smaller ones like Liquid Sludge Fest in Austin, TX, and Fuzzapalooza, hosted by The Soda Shop. They were unable to make a second one happen in 2011, but plan to do one in Chicago for 2012. Sleep, Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu are all currently touring and playing a particular classic album in its entirety, and Kyuss Lives! is also touring.

Influences

The influences of stoner rock go back mainly to the unholy trinity of Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath and Hawkwind. All three bands started with heavy blues rock and emphasized different things. Blue Cheer’s use of distortion and volume was the earliest template for proto-metal. Hawkwind took psychedelic rock and made it heavy, particularly on the albums that featured Lemmy Kilmeister on bass. Black Sabbath’s influence with the evil-sounding tri-tones that spawned doom metal is only a hint at the breadth of their impact on all that is heavy.

However, there were plenty of other groups who understood what made Black Sabbath sound beautiful. Their fat, bulbous, throbbing bass, fuzzy guitar tones, and rhythmic groove turned out to be the pinnacle of proto-metal, and the seeds of stoner rock. This mix of qualities could be found in a slew of lesser known proto-metal bands like Pentagram, November, Atomic Rooster, Budgie, Buffalo, Groundhogs, Uriah Heep, Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Bang, Hard Stuff, Bloodrock, High Tide, Captain Beyond, Bullet, Stray, Leaf Hound, Poobah, Primevil, Highway Robbery, Damnation, The Third Power, Head Over Heels, Velvet Turner Group, J.D. Blackfoot, Fuzzy Duck, Jerusalem, Morly Grey, Orang-Utan, Steel Mill, Truth & Janey and others. However, none of the bands managed to reach beyond regional or cult audiences. Metal evolved through great bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, and in the 90s exploded into dozens of sub-genres like death metal, black metal, doom, grindcore, etc. The music became more impressive in many ways, and usually more extreme, in turn splintering the fanbase. To an average music fan, this in a way signals a death of a genre, just like many stopped listening to new classical after 1950, and jazz after 1970. It’s not that the music stopped progressing, it’s that it evolved so far into avant garde territory that it became virtually unlistenable to anyone who wasn’t an expert or connoisseur. It was precisely at this point in the 90s when certain bands decided there were elements of proto-metal that were worth exploring instead of pushing the boundaries of extreme metal.

Proto-Stoner Rock

It’s hard to find heavy bands not influenced by Black Sabbath, but in the 80s, there were a group of metal bands that rejected the faster direction of NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) and thrash, and revived the doomy aspects of Sabbath, slowed it down even more, and tried to make it heavier. It’s hard to top Sabbath at their own game, especially with some of the trends in 80s production techniques, but doom metallers like Witchfinder General, Trouble, Pentagram, The Obsessed, Candlemass and Saint Vitus gave it a valient try. These bands made some very good to great albums, and definitely have made an impact on later stoner fans to the point where magazines, web sites and online music stores focus on doom metal just as much as stoner rock. Bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, Warhorse, The Hidden Hand, Ramesses, Bongzilla, Weedeater and YOB fused doom and stoner together to varying degrees. But largely, doom metal is a distinctly different sound and style.

A key early influence of stoner rock came out of Montesano, Washington, and due to the location, and connections to Nirvana and Mudhoney, were poached by grunge, much to King Buzzo’s dismay. Buzzo Osbourne formed Melvins in early 1983 with Matt Lukin and Mike Dillard (soon to be replaced by longstanding member Dale Crover). They started out playing Cream and Hendrix covers mixed with hardcore punk. By the time four of their songs were featured (along with Malfunkshun, Green River, Soundgarden and U-Men) on the Deep Six (1985, C/Z) compilation, the seeds of their original mix of Black Sabbath, Black Flag (both early hardcore incarnation and when they slowed down the tempo and grew their hair out) and Flipper were already apparent. On their 6 Songs EP (1986, C/Z), the songs rarely went much past three minutes and were often shorter, while managing to fit in glacially slow riffs, occasionally speeding up like a lumbering dinosaur falling down a mountain. Their music started getting more complex for their first album, Gluey Porch Treatments (1987, Alchemy), showing a restless, prickly creativity that will influence not only stoner rock but grunge, drone, doom and sludge, refusing to be pigeonholed in any one particular genre. Many would rate Ozma (1989, Boner) and Bullhead (1991, Boner) as stoner rock classics. I agree they are astoundingly great albums, but the willfully jarring rhythms and lack of fuzz cement their status in my mind as key influences rather than the first stoner rock. This goes similarly for the psych rock of Screaming Trees, Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me (1987, SST), Soundgarden’s Screaming Life EP (1987, Sub Pop) and Ultramega OK (1988, SST), and Mudhoney’s (with Matt Lukin from Melvins) Superfuzz Bigmuff EP (1988, Sub Pop). Some elements were there, but not the whole picture.

For that we need to travel south to Palm Desert, California, where Mario Lalli, Scott Reeder and Alfredo Hernandez formed Across The River in the mid-80s. They started the practice of generator parties, taking a gas-powered generator into the desert for long jam sessions. They were meant to record an album for SST, but broke up. The only available recording is this footage of “N.O.,” a song that would later appear on a Kyuss album. Hernández and Lalli joined up with Gary Arce and Larry Lalli to form Yawning Man in 1986, but didn’t officially release albums until a later incarnation two decades later. In a 2002 L.A. Weekly interview, Brant Bjork said:

“Yawning Man was the sickest desert band of all time. You’d just be up there in the desert, everybody’d just be hanging, partying. And they’d show up in their van and just, mellow, drag out their shit and set up right about the time the sun was goin’ down, set up the generators, sometimes they’d just go up there and drink beers and barbecue. Sometimes it would be a scene; sometimes it would be very intimate. It was very casual and loose and everybody would like, while they’re playing, everyone would just lounge around. They were kinda like a house band. It wasn’t militant like Black Flag. It was very drugged, very stone-y, it was very mystical. Everyone’s just tripping, and they’re just playing away, for hours. Oh, they’re the GREATEST band I’ve ever seen.”

A double CD of late 80s demos, The Birth of Sol Music was supposed to come out in 2007 and never did. A listen to some tinny sounding bootlegged MP3s indicate you really had to be there. They revealed an even more eclectic range than Melvins, throwing some Minutemen and Meat Puppets in the mix. However, the desert rock juggernaut was now rolling, and in 1988 John Garcia, Josh Homme and Brant Bjork formed Katzenjammer (German slang for “hangover”). Soon they changed their name to Sons Of Kyuss, after a monster featured in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons book Fiend Folio. The band honed their chops in the same sort of desert generator parties that Across The River and Yawning Man inspired them with. They self-released their first EP, Sons Of Kyuss in 1990. Desert rock had arrived, just a little rough around the edges, with Garcia’s voice lacking the world-weary weight he would soon develop, similar to how Metallica’s James Hetfield had not yet developed his full-throated roar on early releases.

A couple other key records appeared in 1990. In San Jose, a band called Abestosdeath, consisting of Al Cisneros, Chris Haikus and Matt Pike, self-released the 7″ single “Unclean,” and “Dejection” with the label Profane Existence. Greatly influenced by Saint Vitus, the raw, screamy doom already showed potential for something special. Across the country in Red Bank, New Jersey, Monster Magnet, with Dave Wyndorf, John McBain and Tim Cronin had already released two demo tapes in 1989 titled Forget About Life, I’m High on Dope, and I’m Stoned, What Ya Gonna Do About It?. Of the three bands, Monster Magnet were by far the most fully developed in 1990 when they released their self-titled EP on Glitterhouse records in Germany. Even fans familiar only with their most recent releases would instantly recognize Monster Magnet’s fusion of Hawkwind-inspired psych and Detroit heavy rock.

Birth Stones: The First Stoner Rock Albums

Abestosdeath became Sleep, and released Volume One (1991, Tupelo). However, it was still indebted to 80s doom revival bands, and Sleep hadn’t quite fully grown into the stoner behemoth they were destined to become. Kyuss were well on their way with Wretch (1991, Dali). They added Nick Oliveri, and had come a long way in establishing their psychedelic desert rock sound. Unfortunately the recordings had problems, and they wouldn’t nail it until they hook up with producer Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality). Meanwhile, Monster Magnet came out with their first album. While it would not be released domestically on Caroline until 1992, Spine Of God came out on Glitterhouse in 1991. I can’t find an exact release date to see if it predated Wretch’s September 23 release date, but it’s certainly by the far the best of that 1991 batch.

On June 30, 1992, Kyuss dropped the big one with Blues For The Red Sun. This time around, the recordings, with the help of Chris Goss, captured their thundering sound perfectly. Garcia sounds bigger than life, and Homme’s guitar, fed through a bass amp, is appropriately sunbaked, bombed out. Some press took notice, but what would become one of the most influential rock albums since Black Sabbath, only sold 39,000 copies at the time. Despite the whole Nirvana success, that still was considered not that bad at the time for most bands. But Kyuss would not get to enjoy the fruits of their legendary status while they were together.

Sleep also took a giant step when they submitted a demo to Earache Records, who released it as-is as Holy Mountain in the UK November 1992, and in the U.S. in March 1993. It was a landmark release in how it created a unique vision of stoner doom that was far more psychedelic and fuzzed out than any of their precursers. With the cannabis leaves on the cover and lyrics like “Look into the rays of the new stoner sun rising,” (“Holy Mountain”) and “Stoner caravan from deep space arrives,” (“From Beyond”), no one can deny that this is quintessential stoner rock.

All three stoner pioneers were signed to major labels. Monster Magnet joined A&M and released the excellent Superjudge (1993), Dopes To Infinity(1995), and Powertrip (1998), which even had a minor hit with “Space Lord.” Many consider Dopes To Infinity their career highlight, and Monster Magnet have concurred by planning to perform the album at two UK dates on November 24 and 25, 2011. Sleep were signed with London records and started recording their magnum opus Dopesmoker in 1993. They submitted their hour-long, single song masterpiece in 1995, and the label rejected it. The band reworked it and pared it down to 52 minutes, and the label still refused. They broke up in frustration, and the redone album, retitled Jerusalem, was finally released in 1999 by The Music Cartel in the U.S. and Rise Above in Europe. The original Dopesmoker was finally released in its full glory in 2003 by Tee Pee Records. It was definitely their masterpiece. Jim Jarmusch used parts of the album for his movie Broken Flowers (2005). Sleep reunited in 2009 to perform both Holy Mountain and most of Dopesmoker at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festiveal, and commenced a tour in 2010.

Queens Of The Stone Age (Loosegroove, 1998)Unida - The Great Divide (2001)
Queens Of The Stone Age (1998) & Unida, The Great Divide (2001)

Kyuss signed to Elektra and released Welcome To Sky Valley in 1994, which many believed was their best. …And The Circus Leaves Town (1995) was less successful, feeling somewhat fragmented, probably reflecting the strains within the band, which broke up shortly after. While Homme toured with Screaming Trees, Garcia formed Slo Burn and released the fabulous Amusing The Amazing EP (1996, Malicious). That band didn’t last long, but he then formed Unida, and released the excellent Coping With The Urban Coyote (1999, Man’s Ruin). They signed with American Recordings, but their 2001 album The Great Divide was never released due to label problems (Rubin had a falling out with Columbia/Sony and moved the label Island Def Jam, losing Unida in the shuffle). Leaks to the internet reveals it to be Unida’s best effort, and a real lost opportunity to share in the success of fellow Kyuss alum Homme, who’s 1998 debut Queens Of The Stone Age (Loosegroove) was a promising progression from Kyuss. Garcia also recorded a side project at that time under the name Hermano. The first sessions, eventually released as Only A Suggestion (2002, Tee Pee) was not as vital as Garcia’s other projects. Dare I Say… (2005, MeteorCity) was much improved, but pretty under the radar except for hardcore Kyuss/Garcia fans. However, Garcia is belatedly reclaiming his moment of stardom with a reunion Kyuss Lives!of original Kyuss members. Homme was critical of such a reunion, stating in a 2007 interview he would rather let it lie, with most people who belatedly discovered Kyuss having missed their chance. “Kyuss has such a great history that it would be a total error. I like that nobody saw Kyuss, and that it was largely misunderstood. That sounds like a legend forming to me. I’m too proud of it to rub my dick on it.” Harsh words from someone speaking from the luxury of having made a comfortable living from the success of his latest band that has included Kyuss members. Nevertheless, out of respect or deference to Homme, the band, consisting of original members Garcia, Brant Bjork (who released a series of eclectic solo albums with a more grooving R&B influence, the best of which was his first, 1999’s Jalamanta) and Nick Oliveri, with Bruno Fevery replacing Homme, have called themselves Kyuss Lives! and are currently touring, and plan to have a new album in 2012. Meanwhile, Homme’s words are water under the bridge, as he was spotted banging his head to a July 2011 Kyuss Lives! performance in Belfort, France. Garcia said he understands Homme would probably be unable to tour with them even if he wanted to, as he’s recording albums by both Queens Of The Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures.

In 1994, former Yawning Men Mario and Larry Lalli opened a desert rock club, “Rhythm & Brews,” and started a new band called Fatso Jetson. They released two albums on SST, Stinky Little Gods (1995) and Power Of Three (1997), and despite drumming assistance from Brant Bjork, they had nothing in common with Kyuss or stoner rock in general. They released Flames For All (1999, Man’s Ruin), but it wasn’t until Toasted (2001, Bong Load) that they got heavy. Fu Manchu were also longtime veterans of the Southern California scene. They were originally hardcore punkers Virulance in 1985, releasing one album in 1988 before becoming Fu Manchu in 1990. Their first album, No One Rides For Free (1994, Bong Load) was solid hard rock with a touch of groovy psych. After ten albums, they’re still going strong, though their flair for songwriting is hit and miss. In Search Of… (1996, Mammoth) is often cited as their best. They are playing the album in its entirety on their Fall 2011 tour.

Like Sleep, Electric Wizard and Orange Goblin, Goatsnake grew out of the ashes of a doom band. After The Obsessed broke up in 1996, the rhythm section (Guy Pinhas and Greg Rogers) joined forces with Greg Anderson of Seattle noisy proto-post-rock band Engine Kid and doomsters Burning Witch, and Pete Stah, a desert session regular. Anderson would also concurrently form the drone band Sunn 0))). They released Vol. I (1999, Rise Above/Man’s Ruin) and toured Europe with Unida, Fatso Jetson and Electric Wizard (wish I could have seen that!). The tour was like stoner rock grad school, resulting in the classic Flower Of Disease (2000, Man’s Ruin). The album bore a unique sound, like a melodic but crushing death metal band slowed down to stoner/doom speed. It’s one of the last American stoner rock classics as bands in England and Europe were just starting to reach a peak. Goatsnake reunited for the 2010 Roadburn festival, but it was just a one-off. There would be other great American stoner bands of course. Sleep’s Matt Pike went in the direction of Goatsnake’s harder sound with High On Fire, and took it to another level, become a full fledged and highly admired metal band. Sleep’s rhythm section Al Cisneros and Chris Haikus continued the direction of Dopesmoker to create mammoth pieces of hypnotic drone rock with Om. Former Fu Manchu mates Eddie Glass and Ruben Romano formed the hard rocking Nebula. After their debut split EP with Swedish band Lowrider, they made a series of solid albums starting with To The Center (1999, Sub Pop).

England

Like Sleep, Dorset, England’s Electric Wizard evolved from more traditional doom metal beginnings, when Justin Osborn of Lords Of Putrefaction connected with the rhythm section of Thy Grief Eternal in 1993, and released a single. Their self-titled debut (1994, Rise Above) was accomplished but standard doom rock, while Come My Fanatics… (1996, Rise Above) introduced sludge and stoner rock elements to stunning effect, sounding heavier than anything at that point. After three years of difficulties, they released their masterpiece, Dopethrone (2000, Rise Above) that earned them the title, heaviest band in the universe. DopethroneDopesmokerDopes For Infinity, they’re lucky people didn’t call it dope rock. They never matched this achievement in any of their subsequent four albums, but their stature and popularity continue to increase to the point where their status rivals Kyuss.

Welsh band Acrimony has a name that sounds like a death metal band. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t quite connect with a loyal audience like Electric Wizard. Their first album, Hymns To The Stone (1994, Godhead/Gestrichen) was a solid effort, somewhat derivative of Kyuss, but with their own touches of psychedelic and space rock. Tumuli Shroomaroom(1996, Peaceville/Music For Nations/Leaf Hound), however, was a stone stoned classic, complete with spine crushing heavy guitars and unusually memorable riffs and melodies to anchor the spacey bits. Unfortunately, that was the last album the band made before breaking up, aside from the rarities collection, Bong On – Live Long! (2007, Leaf Hound). Former Acrimony members currently play in two new bands. Lee “Roy” Davies plays in southern rockers Lifer, and the rest formed Sigiriya, which continues the hard rock aspects of Acrimony without the spacey bits. They recently released Return To Earth (2011, The Church Within).

Our Haunted Kingdom debuted with a split 7″ with Electric Wizard in 1996. Improving their name to Orange Goblin, they released their debut album the next year, Frequencies From Planet Ten (1997, The Music Cartel), a great stoner rock album with just enough glistening shades of psychedelia to match its colorful Alice In Wonderland (assaulted by aliens) cover, with extra rock. Their third, The Big Black (2000, The Music Cartel) is even better. In 2011, Rise Above released a boxed set with their first five albums, remastered with bonus tracks. The band is still going strong with their seventh album, A Eulogy For The Damned (Candlelight), coming out February 13, 2012.

Canada

Newfoundland’s Sheavy formed in 1993 and have a slew of solid albums. Steve Hennessey’s uncanny vocal resemblance to Ozzy Osbourne gives the band the challenge to rise above the tag of Black Sabbath copyists, and generally they do quite well, especially on Celestial Hi-Fi (2000, The Music Cartel). Sons Of Otis formed in Toronto in 1992, taking their time in finding their sound. They struck gold with Templeball (1999, Man’s Ruin), which rivals Electric Wizard for heaviness. They continue to bring the bottom-heavy goods with Songs For Worship (2001, The Music Cartel), X (2005, Small Stone), and Exiled (2009, Small Stone).

Blood Ceremony - Living With The Ancients (Rise Above) 11

In 2008, Toronto, Canada’s Blood Ceremony issued their self-titled debut album that features Jethro Tull-inspired flute and female vocalist Alia O’Brien. Named after the 1972 Spanish horror flick Ceremonia Sangrenta, the band mines hundreds of occult themed films as inspiration for their songs. Their second album improves on everything, vocal performance, songwriting and impeccible analog production worthy of the Swedes.

Argentina

Los Natas - Toba Trance (Ektro) 03

While Los Natas have been together since 1993, it’s clear that Kyuss made a strong impression on them in the mid-90s with their debut album, Delmar (1998, Man’s Ruin). After that derivative but promising effort, Ciudad de Brahman (1999, Man’s Ruin) took a big artistic step in forming their own eclectic sound. Corsario Negro (2002, Small Stone) stepped further away from the typical stoner rock fare to solidify their own identity, and released their most unique achievement with Toba Trance (2003, Ektra) on Circle’s Finnish label. Like Circle’s kosmische and psychedelic influences, Toba Trance and Toba Trance II (2004, Ektra) featured extended free-form pieces. International respect for the band extended to Germany, where Colour Haze released München Sessions (2005) on their Elektrohasch label. The double disc live in the studio set recapped songs from throughout their career, and included guest guitar playing by Stefan Koglek on “Tomaiten (Jamm Aleman).” At this point they’ve become elder statesmen, with their influence heard in bands such as Causa Sui. On El Hombre Montaña (2006, Small Stone) and Nuevo Orden de La Libertad (2009, Small Stone) they returned to relatively more traditional songs with vocals.

Europe

Colour Haze - All (Elektrohash) 08

Colour Haze formed in 1994 in Munich, Germany. The key to Colour Haze’s sound is an absolutely gorgeous guitar tone. Whether it was laboratory precision or unholy voodoo, they managed to make the perfect mix of Hendrix and Kyuss. Songs are often long and meandering, with minimal vocals, which wisely do not interfere with the mesmerizing psychedelia that is absolutely addictive. Early work like Seven (1998) and Periscope (1999) are far more raw and aggressive, with possibly some influence from the likes of Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu. Los Sounds de Krauts (2003), Colour Haze (2004), Tempel (2006) and last year’s All (which happens to be my favorite stoner rock album of all time), get progressively more melodic and psychedelic, perfecting their sound. She Said was originally scheduled for a September release, but has been delayed until 2012 due to some equipment problems during mixing. Bandleader Stefan Koglek sent me one of the tracks and it’s hugely promising that the new album will be as good or better than All. Koglek also runs the Elektrohasch label, which features other great German stoner bands like Rotor, My Sleeping Karma, Hypnos 69, The Machine, Argentinia’s Los Natas, the Dutch Sungrazer and Danish Causa Sui. Colour Haze feature.

Tortona, Italy’s Ufomammut formed in 1999, and were influenced by Kyuss, Monster Magnet, early UFO and krautrock, while developing increasingly heavy, spine-crushing doom-influences. After a promising start with Godlike Snake (2000, Beard Of Stars), it took four years to make the followup, Snailking(2004, The Music Cartel/Supernatural Cat), a stunning progression that indicated Ufomammut was one of the best heavy bands on the planet. After the excellent Idolum (2008, Supernatural Cat), they finally topped themselves with the classic Eve (2010, Supernatural Cat), a five part opus that tells the tale of the so-called mother of mankind, with a suitably cinematic and mind-blowing cosmic trip that’s wildly diverse, yet feels like a cohesive piece. Stoner rock’s first opera.

Italy has raised the bar for stoner rocks’ visual look, with stunning album and poster art by the Malleus Rock Art Lab, including members of Ufomammut, and the self-publishedVincebus Eruptum magazine (now distibuted in the U.S. via The Soda Shop), the most visually stunning indie zine I’ve seen since Motorbooty.

Gorgeous Ufomammut tour poster by Malleus Collective Vincebus Eruptum No. 11

One of the best of the Belgian bands, Cowboys & Aliens were formed in Bruges in 1996 by John Pollentier as more alternative rock, but inevitable as roadkill, they fell under the influence of Black Sabbath. Their secret weapon that set them apart from the pack was vocalist Henk Vanhee. Bearing a strong similarity to Kyuss’ John Garcia, he also had the versatility of Robert Plant. A Trip To The Stonehenge Colony (2001, Buzzville) showed off their talents, but it was their third album, Love Sex Volume (2002, Buzzville) that saw the band firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately they were unable to take advantage of the momentum and label and personnel changes (including the loss of founder Pollentier) delayed their next album, Language Of Superstars (2005, Apache), which was a strong effort, but not cohesive enough to surpass their previous peak. A sci-fi movie Cowboys & Aliens came out in 2011. It would be nice if the band got a little cash kicked to them for use of the title, but I doubt it. They would have made a great addition to the soundtrack. That same year, they returned with Pollentier back in the ranks, with new tourdates and the Sandpaper Blues Knock Out EP.

One of the newest picks of the litter from Colour Haze’s Elektrohasch label are from Holland. Sungrazer started out making music for a local theater company. I’m not sure how they ended up taking the Kyuss-inspired desert rock road, but I’m glad they did. They take their label-owners’ deliciously fuzzed-out guitar tone (not to mention an impressively fat bass sound) and create songs that are sprawling seven-plus minute jams, but also full of catchy hooks. Mirador (2011, Elektrohash) changes things up by introducing some more gentle psychedelic passages in between gonzoid fuzz attacks.

Been Obscene  - Magic Table Dance

Another newer discovery on Elektrohasch is Been Obscene from Salzburg, Austria. Formed in 2008, they released their first album, The Magic Table Dance in the spring of 2010. Similar to Sungrazer’s latest album, they offer a diverse palate of fuzzy stoner riffs and more liquid waves of psychedelia, and some proggy moments. They’ve been described as having a “dirty, creamy, swampy guitar sound” like Kyuss. Kyuss is a common comparison for many of these bands of course, but I’d emphasize the creamy over dirty to describe their sound. Shortly after discovering them this year, I learned they already have a new album out as of late September, 2011 called Night O’ Mine. Due to slow distribution channels, I still don’t have it in my hands, but All That Is Heavy should stock it soon. From a YouTube preview, the band not only digs deeper into a nocturnal melancholy vibe, but also features, at least in one song, what sounds like some indie post-rock structures that remind me of Polvo. I can’t wait to hear the whole thing.

Causa Sui - Pewt'r Sessions 1 & 2

Danish band Causa Sui also started on Elektrohasch, with their first two albums Causa Sui (2005) and Free Ride (2007) influenced by Colour Haze. But onSummer Sessions Vols. 1-3 (2008-2009), they stretched out in a more spacey, krautrock-inspired instrumental direction. The 2:06:06 worth of music on that set is impressive, but the experiments don’t always hold my attention. On Pewt’r Sessions 1 & 2 (2011, El Paraiso), however, they nailed it, managing to be both experimental, sometimes proggy or even jazzy, and consistently compelling. It’s encouraging to see these bands pushing boundaries and challenging the assumption that all stoner rock bands are retro nostalgia acts.

Pyrior - Oceanus Procellarum (Away) 10

Germany’s Pyrior started up in 2008 as a musician’s community dedicated to jam sessions. The result is Oceanus Procellarum, a gorgeous piece of mirage-inducing instrumental desert rock and bent space rock that’s a welcome addition to the canon, especially during the long gap between Colour Haze albums. The album is overall heavier than Colour Haze and Causa Sui, with heavier drum sounds, and relentless riffing.

Sweden

When Dungen made a big critical impact in 2004 with their third album, Ta Det Lungt, it seemed remarkable that an album recorded explicitly to sound like it was made in 1972 would be so popular, not to mention all the lyrics being sung in Swedish. Multi-instrumentalist Gustav Estjes of Vastergotland, Sweden grew up on folk and hip-hop, and discovered a wealth of Swedish underground psychedelic rock from 1968-74 while cratedigging for beats. I loved that sound, and knew there had to be a lot of other bands doing similar stuff, including ones with heavier influences. It seemed that they did not receive as much critical attention as Dungen for the same reasons that Black Sabbath was derided back in the day. Their music seemed primitive next to groups who incorporated bits of folk, prog, classical and avant garde jazz.

The Swedes in particular are so ridiculously meticulous about coaxing the perfect vintage timbres that I can’t help but be in awe.

Sgt. Sunshine (Abstract/Elektrohasch) 03Sgt. Sunshine (Abstract/Elektrohasch) 03
Malmö, Sweden’s Sgt. Sunshine were lead by Cuban-born Eduardo Fernandez-Rodrigues on guitar and vocals, whose fluid guitar lines were the closest competition for Colour Haze’s Stefan Koglek at the time. Their psychedelia was distinctly influenced by early Can, both in use of repetition, and Fernandez-Rodrigues’ vocals, sung partically in Spanish. Their brilliant self-titled album quickly went out of print, making it one of the most sought after stoner rock cult artifacts. Two thirds of the trio split in 2005, leaving Eduardo to recuit Chilean bassist Michael Mino and Egyptian drummer Robin Rubio, certainly making Sgt. Sunshine Sweden’s most diverse stoner export, and possibly the greatest. Koglek’s Elektrohasch label reissued the debut album (which quickly sold out again), and their follow-up, Black Hole (2007, Elektrohasch), which dug even deeper into krautrock influences to a somewhat less swaggering but just as captivating effect. Here’s hoping that’s not the last we’ll hear from this legendary group. Or at least see their debut back in print.

Spiritual Beggars - Ad Astra (Music For Nations) 00Spiritual Beggars , Ad Astra (Music For Nations) 00
One of the very first stoner rock bands in Sweden, Spiritual Beggars formed in 1992 by Michael Arnott (Carcass, Arch Enemy). Given his metal background, the band was harder and heavier than most of their peers in the 90s. After Spiritual Beggars (1994, Wrong Way), and Another Way To Shine (1996, Music For Nations), singer Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand perfected his gravelly stone growl by Mantra III (1998, Music For Nations). They hit their peak with Ad Astra (2000, Music For Nations), which is a brilliant balance between judicous use of seemingly long lost Sabbath and Kyuss riffs, and some psych rock. The album has made it to a lot of all-time best stoner rock lists. Despite replacing Spice went back to The Mushroom River Band to record the solidSimsalabim (2002, Century Media/MeteorCity), while Spiritual Beggars got a new vocalist with Janne “JB” Christoffersson. On Fire (2002, Music For Nations) was even more popular, with an increased use of melody and a swinging, Molly Hatchet southern rock influence. Demons (2005, SPV/InsideOut) was consistently good. Five years later they emerged with yet another new vocalist, Apollo Papathanasio on Return To Zero(2010, InsideOut), which shows them struggling with inconsistent material for the first time since their debut. They’re still a great band, well worth seeing live.

Witchcraft - The Alchemist (Candelight) 07Witchcraft, The Alchemist (Candlelight) 07
Witchcraft are the most recently popular of the Swedish bands, though it’s now been four years since their last album. With humble beginnings as merely a Pentagram tribute band, their first self-titled 2005 album had some weaknesses. Firewood (2006, Candlelight)showed a remarkable improvement in sound production, while their latest took a leap forward in developing their own voice as great songwriters. It’s a perfect gateway into the tip of the mountain of stoner rock.

Graveyard - Hisingen Blues (Nuclear Blast) 11Graveyard – Hisingen Blues (Nuclear Blast) 11
Arisen from the ashes of the band Albatros, Graveyard shares Witchcraft’s love of Pentagram and excellent songwriting. Joakim Nilsson and Rikard Edlund also spent time in 90s band Norssken with Witchcraft’s Magnus Pelander. They rock just a bit harder, and singer/guitarist Joakim Nilsson has a stronger voice. After just one album, (Graveyard, 2008), they seemed to have the most potential of the Swedish bands to reach a larger audience. Nearly every cut is killer, with “Thin Line” and “Lost In Confusion” providing some impressive emotional intensity. They performed a smoking set opening for CKY in 2009, and Hisingen Blues (2011, Nuclear Blast) shows them fulfilling that promise with some stellar songwriting and performances, while mixing it up with some slower tempos.

Mammoth Volume - A Single Book Of Songs (Music Cartel) 01Mammoth Volume, A Single Book Of Songs (Music Cartel) 01
By the late 90s, there were no shortage of Swedish bands enamored with Black Sabbath and Kyuss. Mammoth Volume’s twist was adding bits of Blue Oyster Cult, Yes, Gentle Giant, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jethro Tull. After a solid debut album Mammoth Volume (1999, Music Cartel) and Noara Dance EP (2000, Music Cartel), they hit their peak with A Single Book Of Songs By Mammoth Volume (2001, Music Cartel), which added additional tetures like folk without losing that beautiful, thick fuzzy guitar tone.

Terra Firma - Harms Way (SPV) 01Terra Firma, Harms Way (SPV) 01
2001 was a great year for stoner rock, with another band seeing their peak. Terra Firma was formed by Fredrik Lindgren of Unleashed and Lord Chritus a.k.a. Christian Lindersson, who sand in both Count Raven and Saint Vitus. They were relatively short lived, with debutTerra Firma (1999, Music Cartel) as their only other recording.

Lowrider - Ode To Io (MeteorCity) 00Lowrider, Ode To Io (MeteorCity) 00
At the time, Ole Hellquist’s uncanny vocal resemblance to Kyuss’ John Garcia lead to some controversy as to the band’s lack of originality. Yet they were just one of many filling that void for fans who wanted to hear more than the few albums Kyuss produced, and they did a stellar job. Eleven years later, it’s just a damn shame they didn’t record more, aside from the 1998 split album with Nebula.

Truckfighters - Mania (Fuzzorama) 09Truckfighters, Mania (Fuzzorama) 09
Truckfighters influences were more contemporary when they debuted with the lengthy Gravity X (2005, Fuzzorama), referencing the signature Kyuss guitar fuzz infused with Soundgarden and Fu Manchu. Phi (2007, Fuzzorama) was a step toward honing their own signature sound, while on Mania, they pared down from two guitars to one and stretched their songs out with more progressive psych flourishes, kind of like how you’d imagine Queens Of Stone Age would have evolved had they eschewed hooks for peyote and an edge of poetic melancholy. On tour in the U.S. summer 2011, they also are featured in a Fuzzomentary, in which people like Josh Homme give tongue-in-cheek interviews about how Truckfighters influenced the likes of Kyuss. The DVD release apparently depends on funding from fans.

Dead Man - Euphoria (Meteor City) 08Dead Man, Euphoria (Crusher) 08
Dead Man is also linked with Witchcraft and Graveyard, with drummer Kristoffer Sjödahl having been part of Norrsken. On theirself-titled 2006 debut, they stood apart from the pack by including elements of acoustic folk and prog, while Kristoffer Sjoedahl has a unique warble that may take some getting used to, but certainly lends to their own style. Euphoria is heavier and, in my opinion, better.

Blind Dog - Captain Dog Rides Again (MeteorCity) 03Blind Dog, Captain Dog Rides Again (MeteorCity) 03
Blind Dog’s bassist/vocalist Tobias Nilsson came from the Lemmy Kilmeister school for both his instruments — crushingly heavy basslines, and a harsh roar that sounds like he’s been gargling nails. Together since 1996, their first album Last Adventures Of Captain Dog (2001, MeteorCity) had some great rockers, but not enough to stand out from the crowded pack of Swedish rockers. On Captain Dog Rides Again (2003, MeteorCity), they hit their stride, changing things up with clean vocals on some tracks (like standout “Let It Go”), and introducing more diverse elements like prog and Soundgarden. This was their last album, but their experiments inspired other bands, particularly Truckfighters in their future direction.

Numbah Ten - Reborn In 3D (Numbah Ten) 10Numbah Ten, Reborn In 3D (Numbah Ten) 10
Numbah Ten has been around since 1997, and incredibly, they remain unsigned. Their first two albums, Numbah Ten (2002) and Thou(2003) are more demos than anything, showing off promising songwriting chops, but not yet nailing their sound. The End…Of The Beginning (2004) is much improved, showing them ready to take off. All three are available free on their Bandcamp page. But then they disappeared for six years. Reborn In 3D (2010) should have been a triumphant topping to a surging wave of popularity, but instead it was pretty much ignored. In 76 minutes they journey fluidly from fuzzy Colour Haze style riffery to liquid psychedelia to heavy downtuned doom and back. Video of “Beyond The End” with artist Brian Smith.

Dozer - Beyond Colossal (Small Stone) 08Dozer, Beyond Colossal (Small Stone) 08
Dozer were likely a major influence on Truckfighters, as they also started with a Kyuss meets Soundgarden sound, forming back in 1995, and issuing their first albums on Man’s Ruin a decade ago. Their third album, Call It Conspiracy (2003, Molten Universe) got some good press, and Through The Eyes Of Heathens (2005, Small Stone)featured guest vocals from Mastodon’s Troy Sanders. Beyond Colossal (2008) confirms Dozer’s status as Sweden’s heaviest stoner rock band, and able to hold their own with metal bands Mastodon and High On Fire without completely crossing over. Their fifth album may also be their last, as the band went on indefinite hiatus while Fredrik Norden returns to school.

Abramis Brama - Smakar Söndag (Transubstans) 09Abramis Brama, Smakar Söndag (Transubstans) 09
Abramis Brama have been kicking around for over a decade. With a half dozen great albums under their belts, they’re still virtually unknown outside of Europe. This will hopefully change with Smakar Söndag, a real corker. Like Dungen, they usually sing only in Swedish, although in 2003 they re-recorded some of their early songs in English for Nothing ChangesRubicon (2005, Nasoni/Sweden Rock) is great too. With some hard touring perhaps they will create enough demand to make more of the catalog available. Their live shows are legendary, rocking hard enough to rival not only their Swedish peers, but the likes of Motörhead.

Siena Root - Far From The Sun (Transubstans) 08Siena Root, Far From The Sun (Transubstans) 08
Formed in 1997, Stockholm’s Siena Root rocks hard at times, but also incorporates organs and flute, influenced by Deep Purple and Jethro Tull. After the solid A New Day Dawning (2004, Rockadrome) and the hard to find Kaleidoscope (2006, Nasoni), singer Oskar Lundström really hit his stride on their third album, Far From The Sun (2008, Transubstans) with a soulful quaver between Dead Man’s Kristoffer Sjoedahl and Paul Rodgers. Their fourth album, Different Realities (2009, Transubstans) incorporated more Middle Eastern melodies. They’re releasing a live double album called Root Jam on November 16th.

Burning Saviours - Hundus (I Hate Records) 06Burning Saviours, Hundus (I Hate Records) 06
Burning Saviours were gone before I ever heard of them, flaming out in early 2008 after just three albums where they refined their originally heavier doom metal into more progressive stoner rock. Their self-titled 2005 debut and Nymphs And Weavers (2008, Transubstans) are good, but I think they hit their peak with their second album, Hundus. However, via their Facebook page, it looks like they’re back in business, playing gigs and releasing a 7″ single on Night Tripper. A welcome return!

Grand Magus - Monument 03Grand Magus, Monument (Rise Above) 03
Grand Magus is lead by singer/guitarist JB from the Spiritual Beggars, who’s great pipes and guitar playing reach a peak with this album. ByWolf’s Return (2005, Candlelight) and Iron Will (2008, Candlelight), the band drifted into more 80s style power metal. Hammer Of The North (2010) is beyond a doubt a full fledged metal album, and possibly their best.

Horisont - Två Sidor Av Horisonten (Crusher) 09Horisont, Två Sidor Av Horisonten (Crusher) 09
Dead Man labelmates reference November, Blue Cheer and of course Sabbath, they should be a welcome addition to the bunch of Swedish rockers. Half the album is sung in Swedish, half in English. “Nightrider” starts with a rousing Thin Lizzy twin guitar gallop, and keeps the energy levels just as high for most of the duration as vocalist Soderberg lets rip some wails worthy of prime Robert Plant.

Krux - Krux II (Mascot) 06Krux, Krux II (GMR) 06
Krux is a sort of supergroup with Jörgen Sandström, and drummer Peter Stjärnvind of Entombed, and Candlemass bassist Leif Edling. They definitely lean more towards the heavier doom metal side of things, and is sometimes difficult to tell apart from Candlemass, aside from just a touch more of that vintage 70s Sabbath sound.

New Releases

There has been a steady stream of great stoner rock albums in 2011, including the ones mentioned above by Graveyard, Sungrazer, Causa Sui, Blood Ceremony, and the upcoming Been Obscene. In 2012 so far I know we have new ones by Colour Haze, Ufomammut, Electric Wizard, Kyuss Lives!, Gypsyhawk, Black Pyramid, My Sleeping Karma and Orange Goblin to look forward to. Other new releases by Radio Moscow, Black Pyramid, Arenna, Samsara Blues Experiment, The Grand Astoria, Suplecs, Lo-Pan, Skraeckoedlan, Sigiriya, Lüger, Crumbling Ghost, Wight and Tia Carrera are listed below, but their positions will likely change as I sort through everything for my end of the year lists. Here are a couple more standouts that will definitely make my overall top 40 for the year.

Elder - Dead Roots Stirring (MeteorCity) 11Elder, Dead Roots Stirring (MeteorCity) 11
Elder formed in Boston in 2006 and released their promising self-titled debut on MeteorCity in 2009. Emphasizing a heavily distorted, doomy sound, they’re the latest to merge aspects of doom with stoner rock’s melodies and sticky riffs. They describe themselves as “a sonic interpretation of the forces that surround us; the pounding waves of ancient seas, the weight of stone colossi rising up from the earth and the endlessness of inflamed, majestic skies.” Or alternately, “like Ufomammut fucking Black Sabbath sideways.” However you want to describe it, Dead Roots Stirring is immediately addictive, and has rotated its way toward the top of my list.

Beastwars (Destroy/Universal) 11Beastwars (Destroy/Universal) 11
New Zealand stoner-sludge band Beastwars manage to incorporate both The Jesus Lizard and Kyuss (and Melvins and High On Fire). They have fantastic artwork (by Nick Keller, who worked on the Lord Of The Rings movies), and even have their own beer! Obey the riff, long live the beast.

At Devil Dirt (Corvus Discos) 11At Devil Dirt (Corvus Discos) 11
Ever crave a band that’s so downtuned that you can actually track the motion of the strings and feel the vibrations in your internal organs? Chile’s At Devil Dirt has a doozy for you. It’s hard to believe it’s just two guys, as their debut self-titled album has a mammoth sludgy fuzz sound worthy of Electric Wizard, Goatsnake, Kyuss and Floor/Torche, with some pretty inventive psychedelic vocals with harmonies.

Sleestak - The Fall Of Altrusia (Sleestak) 11Sleestak, The Fall Of Altrusia (Sleestak) 11
Sleestak formed in Milwaukee in 2003, and self-released their first album Skylon Express in 2010, featuring some jammy stoner-doom. Influenced by epic long-playing compositions by Pink Floyd, Cathedral, Sleep and Ufomammut, The Fall Of Altrusia is a stoner-doom space rock opera told in seven chapters. According to the band, it’s “like 35% stoner doom and 65% tripping balls and floating through the cosmos.” I’m actually going to see them play tonight, October 21st at Cafe Lura in Chicago!

Freedom Hawk - Holding On (Small Stone) 11Freedom Hawk, Holding On (Small Stone) 11
Like Sheavy’s Steve Hennessey, Freedom Hawk’s singer TR Morton has an uncanny vocal resemblence to Ozzy Osbourne in his prime. Formed in 2003 in Virginia Beach, the band sidestep the issue of being total Sabbath clones by incorporating more uptempo rock a la Fu Manchu and UFO. Sunlight (2008, MeteorCity) was a solid warmup followed by a self-titled EP the next year, but Holding On is definitely their best effort yet, showing a noticeable improvement in varying dynamics, songwriting and incorporating catchy choruses.

Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats - Blood Lust (Killer Candy/Rise Above) 11Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Blood Lust (Killer Candy/Svart) 11
Folks have been going absolutely apeshit bananas for this one lately. Probably because it’s filled with some surprisingly catchy hooks. I don’t consider it traditional doom at all — it’s much too fast paced and raucously garagey, which is why I consider it stoner rock. The low-fi production can get grating at times, and possibly one of the things holding me back from raving quite to the extent that others have, though it’s definitely great. I’ll give it more listens and have a better feel for it by the end of the year. It’s hard to find information about the band other than they like Hammer horror films and are from the UK. The limited run of CDs and LPs have all sold out, though Svart will be reissuing it on November 16th. An appropriate way to end the primer, with a bit of mystery, and of course one of my ridiculous lists!

Favorite Stoner Rock Albums

  1. Colour Haze – All (Elektrohasch) 08
  2. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (Rise Above/Candlelight) 00
  3. Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun (Dali/Elektra) 92
  4. Ufomammut – Eve (Supernatural Cat) 10
  5. Acrimony – Tumuli Shroomaroom (Leaf Hound) 96
  6. Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley (Elektra) 94
  7. Sleep – Dopesmoker (Tee Pee) 95
  8. Graveyard – Hisingen Blues (Nuclear Assault) 11
  9. Colour Haze – Tempel (Elektrohasch) 06
  10. Unida – The Great Divide (Unida) 01
  11. Colour Haze (Elektrohasch) 04
  12. Colour Haze – Los Sounds de Krauts (Elektrohasch) 03
  13. Sgt. Sunshine (Abstract/Elektrohasch) 03
  14. Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra (Music For Nations) 00
  15. Queens Of the Stone Age (Loosegroove) 98
  16. Unida – Coping With The Urban Coyote (Man’s Ruin) 99
  17. Monster Magnet – Spine Of God (Caroline) 91
  18. Ufomammut – Snailking (Music Cartel/Supernatural Cat) 04
  19. Monster Magnet – Dopes To Infinity (A&M) 95
  20. Ufomammut – Idolum (Supernatural Cat) 08
  21. Sgt. Sunshine – Black Hole (Elektrohasch) 07
  22. Goatsnake – Flower Of Disease (Man’s Ruin) 00
  23. Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics… (Music Cartel) 96
  24. Elder – Dead Roots Stirring (MeteorCity) 11
  25. Monster Magnet – Tab…25 (Glitterhouse/Caroline) 91
  26. Sons Of Otis – Temple Ball (Man’s Ruin) 99
  27. Monster Magnet – Superjudge (A&M) 93
  28. Been Obscene – Night O’ Mine (Elektrohasch) 11
  29. At Devil Dirt (Corvus Discos) 11
  30. Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats – Blood Lust (Killer Candy/Svart) 11
  31. Sungrazer – Mirador (Elektrohasch) 11
  32. Witchcraft – Firewood (Candlelight) 05
  33. Boris – Heavy Rocks (Quattro/UK) 02
  34. Sungrazer – Mirador (Elektrohasch) 11
  35. Colour Haze – Ewige Blumenkraft (MonsterZero) 01
  36. Mammoth Volume – A Single Book Of Songs (Music Cartel) 01
  37. Terra Firma – Harms Way (SPV) 01
  38. Spiritual Beggars – On Fire (Music For Nations) 02
  39. Cowboys & Aliens – Love Sex Volume (Buzzville) 02
  40. Fatso Jetson – Toasted (Bong Load) 01
  41. Graveyard (Tee Pee) 08
  42. Lowrider – Ode To Io (MeteorCity) 00
  43. Los Natas – Toba Trance (Ektro) 03
  44. Truckfighters – Mania (Fuzzorama) 09
  45. Dead Man – Euphoria (Crusher) 08
  46. Sungrazer (Elektrohasch) 10
  47. Blind Dog – Captain Dog Rides Again (MeteorCity) 03
  48. Numbah Ten – Reborn In 3D (Numbah Ten) 10
  49. Witchcraft (Candlelight) 04
  50. Sleep – Holy Mountain (Earache) 92
  51. Been Obscene – The Magic Table Dance (Elektrohasch) 10
  52. Ufomammut – Godlike Snake (Beard Of Stars) 00
  53. Boris – Akuma No Uta (Fangs Anal Satan/Southern Lord) 03
  54. Witchcraft – The Alchemist (Rise Above) 07
  55. Spiritual Beggars – Mantra III (Music For Nations) 98
  56. Los Natas – Toba Trance II (Ektro) 04
  57. Om – Pilgrimage (Southern Lord) 07
  58. Causa Sui – Free Ride (Elektrohasch) 07
  59. Goatsnake – Goatsnake 1 (Man’s Ruin) 99
  60. Fatso Jetson – Cruel & Delicious (Rekords) 02
  61. Colour Haze – Co2 (Homegrown/MonsterZero) 00
  62. Causa Sui – Pewt’r Sessions 1 & 2 (El Paraiso) 11
  63. Wo Fat – Noche del Chupacabra (Nasoni) 11
  64. Los Natas – Corsario Negro (Small Stone) 02
  65. Los Natas – Ciudad de Brahman (Man’s Ruin) 99
  66. Los Natas – El Hombre Montaña (Small Stone) 06
  67. Humo del Cairo – Vol. II (Estamos Felices) 11
  68. Om – Conference Of The Birds (Holy Mountain) 06
  69. Los Natas – Nuevo Orden de La Libertad (Small Stone) 09
  70. Electric Wizard (Rise Above) 94
  71. Acrimony – The Acid Elephant EP (Flying/Godhead) 95
  72. Kyuss – …And The Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) 95
  73. Sahg – Sahg I (Candlelight) 06
  74. Nightstalker – Use (Mad Prophet) 96
  75. Monster Magnet – Powertrip (A&M) 98
  76. Burning Saviours – Hundus (I Hate Records) 06
  77. Grand Magus – Monument (Rise Above) 03
  78. Causa Sui – Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3 (Elektrohasch) 09
  79. Dozer – Beyond Colossal (Small Stone) 08
  80. Abramis Brama – Nothing Changes (Transubstans) 03
  81. Ancestors – Of Sound Mind (Tee Pee) 09
  82. Ancestors – Neptune With Fire (North Atlantic Sound) 08
  83. Elder (MeteorCity) 09
  84. Wo Fat – Psychedelonaut (Brainticket) 09
  85. The Devil’s Blood – The Time Of No Time Evermore (Van) 09
  86. Pyrior – Oceanus Procellarum (Away) 10
  87. Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats – Vol. 1 (Killer Candy) 10
  88. Valkyrie – Man Of Two Visions (Noble Origin) 08
  89. Gozu – Locust Season (Small Stone) 10
  90. Dead Man (Crusher) 06
  91. Orange Goblin – The Big Black (The Music Cartel/Rise Above) 00
  92. Abramis Brama – Smakar Söndag (Transubstans) 09
  93. Monster Magnet EP (Glitterhouse) 90
  94. Fu Manchu – In Search Of… (Mammoth) 96
  95. Colour Haze – Periscope (Elektrohasch) 99
  96. Sahara Surfers – Spacetrip On A Paper Plane (Sound Zero) 10
  97. Hainloose – Burden State (Elektrohasch) 06
  98. Sahg – Sahg II (Regain) 08
  99. Cowboys & Aliens – Language Of Superstars (Apache) 05
  100. Electric Wizard – Black Masses (Rise Above) 10
  101. Fatso Jetson – Archaic Volumes (Cobraside) 10
  102. The Atomic Bitchwax (Tee Pee) 99
  103. Radio Moscow – Brain Cycles (Alive) 09
  104. Sons Of Otis – X (Small Stone) 05
  105. Gentleman’s Pistols (Rise Above) 07
  106. Nebula – To The Center (Sub Pop) 99
  107. Slo Burn – Amusing The Amazing EP (Malicious) 96
  108. Ufomammut – Lucifer Songs EP (Supernatural Cat) 05
  109. Truckfighters – Phi (Fuzzorama) 07
  110. Orange Goblin – Frequencies From Planet Ten (The Music Cartel/Rise Above) 97
  111. Hermano – Dare I Say… (MeteorCity) 05
  112. Sheavy – Celestial Hi-Fi (Music Cartel) 00
  113. Black Pyramid – Stormbringer (MeteorCity) 11
  114. Lonely Kamel – Dust Devil (Napalm) 11
  115. Mars Red Sky (Emergence) 11
  116. Arenna – Beats of Olarizu (Nasoni) 11
  117. Samsara Blues Experiment – Revelation & Mystery (World In Sound) 11
  118. Lo-Pan – Salvador (Small Stone) 11
  119. Skraeckoedlan – Äppelträdet (Transubstans) 11
  120. Sigiriya – Return To Earth (The Church Within) 11
  121. Crumbling Ghost (Withered Hand) 11
  122. Wight – Wight Weedy Wight (Kozmik Artifactz) 11
  123. Tia Carrera – Cosmic Priestess (Small Stone) 11
  124. Electric Wizard – We Live (Rise Above/The Music Cartel) 04
  125. Orange Goblin – Thieving From The House Of God (Rise Above) 04
  126. The Mushroom River Band – Simsalabim (Century Media) 02
  127. Hermano – Into The Exam Room (Suburban/Regain) 07
  128. Monster Magnet – Monolithic Baby! (SPV) 04
  129. Sheavy – Synchronized (Rise Above) 02
  130. Colour Haze – Seven (Selfburn) 98
  131. Orange Goblin – Coup de Grace (Rise Above) 02
  132. Acid King – Zoroaster (Sympathy for the Record Industry) 95
  133. Terra Firma (Music Cartel) 98
  134. Orange Goblin – Time Travelling Blues (Music Cartel/Rise Above) 98
  135. Quest For Fire – Lights From Paradise (Tee Pee) 10
  136. Gypsyhawk – Patience And Persevereace (Creator-Destructor) 10
  137. Humo del Cairo (MeteorCity) 10
  138. Bloodhorse – Horizoner (Translation Loss) 09
  139. Sons Of Otis – Songs For Worship (Music Cartel) 01
  140. Lo-Pan – Sasquanaut (Small Stone) 09
  141. Freedom Hawk (MeteorCity) 09
  142. Wo Fat – The Gathering Dark (Red Menace) 09
  143. Acid King – III (Small Stone) 05
  144. Black Pyramid (MeteorCity) 09
  145. My Sleeping Karma – Tri (Elektrohasch) 10
  146. Acid King – Busse Woods (Kreation) 99
  147. Samsara Blues Experiment – Long Distance Trip (World In Sound) 10
  148. Hypnos 69 – Legacy (Elektrohasch) 10
  149. Nebula – Charged (Sub Pop) 01
  150. Rotor – 4 (Elektrohasch) 10
  151. Sons Of Otis – Exiled (Small Stone) 09
  152. Cowboys & Aliens – A Trip To The Stonehenge Colony (Buzzville) 01
  153. Abramis Brama – Nar Tystnaden Lagt Sig (Transubstans) 01
  154. Sheavy – The Electric Sleep (Music Cartel) 98
  155. Sheavy – Republic? (Candlelight USA) 05
  156. Monster Magnet – 4-Way Diablo (SPV/Steamhammer) 07
  157. Dozer – Through The Eyes Of Heathens (Small Stone) 05
  158. Truckfighters – Gravity X (MeteorCity) 05
  159. Causa Sui (Elektrohasch) 05
  160. Spiritual Beggars – Demons (SPV/InsideOut) 05
  161. Rotor – 3 (Elektrohasch) 07
  162. Astroqueen – Into Submission (Pavement) 01
  163. Blind Dog – The Last Adventures Of Captain Dog (MeteorCity) 01
  164. Sons Of Otis – Spacejumbofudge (Man’s Ruin) 96
  165. Sheavy – Blue Sky Mind (Dallas Tar/Rise Above) 96
  166. Fu Manchu – No One Rides For Free (Cube Farm) 94
  167. Acrimony – Hymns To The Stone (Godhead/Gestrichen) 94
  168. Karma To Burn – Almost Heathen (Spitfire) 01
  169. Kyuss – Wretch (Dali/Chameleon) 91
  170. Horisont – Två Sidor Av Horisonten (Crusher) 09
  171. Om – God Is Good (Drag City) 09
  172. Blood Ceremony (Rise Above) 08
  173. Burning Saviours (Meteor City) 05
  174. Mammoth Volume (Music Cartel) 99
  175. Brant Bjork – Jalamanta (Man’s Ruin) 99
  176. Siena Root – Different Realities (Transubstans) 09
  177. Asbestosdeath – Dejection Unclean EP (Profane Existence/Southern Lord) 90
  178. Kyuss – Sons Of Kyuss EP (Kyuss) 90
  179. Krux (Mascot) 03
  180. Nebula – Atomic Ritual (Sub Pop) 03
  181. Mondo Generator – Cocaine Rodeo (Southern Lord) 00
  182. Monster Magnet – Mastermind (Napalm) 10
  183. Spiritual Beggars – Return To Zero (InsideOut) 10
  184. Sasquatch – III (Small Stone) 10
  185. Ramon Zarate – Oyster (Freebird) 10
  186. Stonewall Noise Orchestra – Sweet Mississippi Deal (Transubstans) 10
  187. My Sleeping Karma – Satya (Elektrohasch) 08
  188. Fu Manchu – The Action Is Go (Mammoth) 97
  189. Electric Wizard – Witchcult Today (CND) 07
  190. Hypnos 69 – Eclectic Measure (Elektrohasch) 06
  191. Dozer – Call It Conspiracy (Molten Universe) 03
  192. Hainloose – Rosula (Elektrohasch) 03
  193. Dozer – In The Tail Of A Comet (Man’s Ruin) 00
  194. Dozer – Madre De Dios (Man’s Ruin) 01
  195. Orange Goblin – Healing Through Fire (Mayan/Sanctuary) 07
  196. Church Of Misery – Master Of Brutality (Diwphalanx) 06
  197. Fu Manchu – California Crossing (Mammoth) 01

Heavy Psych

There’s a fine line between a lot of stoner rock that has a strong psychedelic compenent, and other music that is heavy, but is usually categorized as psychedelic. The Such Hawks Such Hounds movie reminded me of some of the better bands in this subgenre that deserve mentioning. Here’s some of my favorites.

  1. Circle – Prospekt (Elektroverde) 00
  2. Motorpsycho – Heavy Metal Fruit (Rune Grammofon) 10
  3. Motorpsycho – Timothy’s Monster (Stickman) 94
  4. Circle – Forest (Ektro/No Quarter) 04
  5. Circle – Taantumus (Bad Vugum/Ektro) 01
  6. Circle – Sunrise (Ektro/No Quarter) 02
  7. Circle – Tulikoira (No Quarter) 05
  8. Ufesas (Droehnhaus) 11
  9. Dungen – Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sounds) 04
  10. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular) 10
  11. Dungen – Skit I Allt (Mexican Summer) 10
  12. F/i – Blue Star (RRR/Lexicon Devil) 90
  13. Comets On Fire – Avatar (Sub Pop) 06
  14. Ghost – Hypnotic Underworld (Drag City) 04
  15. Mammatus (Holy Mountain) 06
  16. Circle – Andexelt (Metomorphos) 99
  17. The Boredoms – Vision, Creation, Newsun (WEA Japan) 01
  18. Peaking Lights – 936 (Not Not Fun) 11
  19. Comets On Fire – Blue Cathedral (Sub Pop) 04
  20. Bardo Pond – Dilate (Matador) 01
  21. Lüger – Concrete Light (Giradiscos) 11
  22. Dead Meadow – Shivering King and Others (Matador) 03
  23. Motorpsycho – Little Lucid Moments (Rune Grammofon) 08
  24. Motorpsycho – Child Of The Future (Rune Grammafon) 09
  25. Loop – A Gilded Eternity (RCA) 90
  26. The Cosmic Dead – Cosmik Tape I (Who Can You Trust?) 11
  27. Motorpsycho – Trust Us (Stickman) 98
  28. Dungen – 4 (Kemado) 08
  29. Bardo Pond – Amanita (Matador) 96
  30. Dead Meadow – Feathers (Matador) 05
  31. Motorpsycho – Black Hole/Blank Canvas (Rune Grammofon) 06
  32. Mammatus – The Coast Explodes (Holy Mountain) 07
  33. White Hills (Thrill Jockey) 10
  34. Motorpsycho – Let Them Eat Cake (Stickman) 00
  35. Bowery Electric – Beat (Kranky) 96
  36. Motorpsycho – Demon Box (Voices Of Wonder) 93
  37. 35007 – Liquid (Stickman) 03
  38. Interkosmos – Nhtepkocmoc (Clinical Archives) 09
  39. Mother-Unit – Brain-Massage (Stickman) 10
  40. Loop – The World In Your Eyes (Mute) 90
  41. Bardo Pond – Set And Setting (Matador) 99
  42. Dead Meadow (Tolotta) 01
  43. F/i – Blanga (Lexicon Devil) 05
  44. F/i – A Question For The Somnambulist (Submergence/Strange Attractors) 03
  45. Dungen – Tio Bitar (Kemado) 07
  46. Dead Meadow – Old Growth (Matador) 08
  47. Bardo Pond – Lapsed (Matador) 97
  48. Bardo Pond – On The Eclipse (ATP) 03
  49. Øresund Space Collective – Slip Into The Vortex (Transubstans) 10
  50. The Besnard Lakes – Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguwar) 10
  51. Sun Araw – On Patrol (Fun Not Fun)

Doom Metal

Even more popular than heavy psych is doom metal. Lots of fans don’t even really distinguish between stoner rock and doom metal. There’s certainly some blurring and bleeding between the genres. To simplify and focus my piece, I only included a handful of bands in the master list with doom influence, like Sleep, Electric Wizard and Acrimony.

Sahg - I (Candelight) 06Sahg, (Candlelight) 06
A particularly interesting case is Norwegian band Sahg, that started out as a stoner/doom hybrid, but drifted towards doom and power metal. Members of Audrey Horne, Gorgoroth and Manngard got together in Sahg to toe the line between stoner rock and heavier doom to great effect on III (2008, Regain) ventures more into doom metal territory, and III (2009, Indie) incorporates more power metal into its sound, much like later Grand Magus.

  1. Shrinebuilder (Neurot) 09
  2. Saint Vitus – Born Too Late (SST) 86
  3. Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (Leviathan/Peaceville) 86
  4. Lord Vicar – Signs Of Osiris (The Church Within) 11
  5. Krux – III – He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars (GMR) 11
  6. Obrero – Mortui Vivos Docent (Night Tripper) 11
  7. Yob – Atma (Profound Lore) 11
  8. Pentagram – Last Rites (Metal Blade) 11
  9. The Gates Of Slumber – The Wretch (Rise Above) 11
  10. Lord Vicar – Fear No Pain (The Church Within) 09
  11. Reverend Bizarre – In The Rectory Of Reverend Bizarre (Hammerheart) 02
  12. YOB – The Great Cessation (Profound Lore) 09
  13. YOB – The Unreal Never Lived (Metal Blade) 05
  14. Trouble – Psalm 9 (Metal Blade) 84
  15. Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror (Colulmbia) 93
  16. Corrupted – El Mundo Frio (HG Fact) 05
  17. Burning Witch – Crippled Lucifer (Bad Acid/Southern Lord) 97
  18. The Obsessed – Lunar Womb (Noise) 91
  19. The Gates Of Slumber – Hymns Of Blood And Thunder (Rise Above) 09
  20. Cathedral – The Carnival Bizarre (Earache) 95
  21. Corrupted – Garten Der Unbewusstheit (Nostalgia Blackrain) 11
  22. Tombs – Winter Hours (Relapse) 09
  23. Pentagram – Relentless (Peaceville/Snapper) 85
  24. Candlemass – Nightfall (Powerline/Peaceville) 87
  25. Sahg – Sahg III (Indie Recordings) 10
  26. Cathedral – Forest Of Equilibrium (Earache) 91
  27. The Gates Of Slumber – Conqueror (Profound Lore) 08
  28. Cathedral – Endtyme (Earache) 01
  29. Esoteric – Paragon Of Dissonance (Season Of Mist) 11
  30. Premonition 13 – 13 (Volcom) 11
  31. Count Raven – Mammons War (I Hate Records) 09
  32. Witchfinder General – Death Penalty (Heavy Metal) 82
  33. Cathedral – The Guessing Game (Nuclear Blast) 10
  34. Count Raven – Messiah Of Confusion (Hellhound) 96
  35. Solitude Aeturnus – Beyond The Crimson Horizon (Roadrunner) 92
  36. Corrupted – Paso Inferior (Frigidity) 97
  37. Unearthly Trance – V (Relapse) 10
  38. Reverend Bizarre – II. Crush The Insects (Season Of Mist) 05
  39. Esoteric – The Maniacal Vale (Season of Mist) 08
  40. Count Raven – High On Infinity (Hellhound) 94
  41. Count Raven – Destruction Of The Void (Hellhound) 92
  42. Devil – Time To Repent (Soulseller) 11
  43. Acid Witch – Stoned (Hell’s Headbangers) 11
  44. Trouble – Manic Frustration (American) 91
  45. Middian – Age Eternal (Metal Blade) 07
  46. Pharaoh Overlord – The Battle of the Axehammer (Riot Season) 07
  47. Trouble – The Skull (Metal Blade) 85
  48. Candlemass – Death Magic Doom (Nuclear Blast) 09
  49. The Gates Of Slumber – The Awakening (Final Chapter) 06
  50. Reverend Bizarre – III: So Long Suckers (Universal-Island) 07

Best Heavy Rock Albums

Best Metal Albums

I ordered a lot of these albums from All That Is Heavy. They often ship very quickly, delivering within 4 days. You can get almost all the albums I mentioned there, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal. For regular stoner-rock (among other things) related postings, news and album blog links, follow Fast ‘n’ Bulbous on Facebook and/orTwitter.

While all of Jack White’s various projects delve into various types of retro rock, the Dead Weather album has little in common with stoner rock. This cover of Pentagram’s “Forever My Queen” suggests a stoner rock project wouldn’t be a bad thing for Jack White to spend his time now that The White Stripes are defunct!

Last FM’s Top Stoner Rock Albums of All Time

As voted here.

  1. Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley
  2. Kyuss – Blues For The Red Sun
  3. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone
  4. Sleep – Holy Mountain
  5. Unida – Coping With The Urban Coyote
  6. Kyuss – …And The Circus Leaves Town
  7. Queens Of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf
  8. Down – Nola
  9. Queens Of The Stone Age
  10. Sleep – Dopesmoker
  11. Colour Haze – Tempel
  12. Fu Manchu – The Action Is Go
  13. Colour Haze – Colour Haze
  14. Slo Burn – Amusing the Amazing EP
  15. The Atomic Bitchwax – The Atomic Bitchwax
  16. Fu Manchu – In Search Of…
  17. Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics
  18. Clutch – Blast Tyrant
  19. Colour Haze – All
  20. Monster Magnet – Dopes To Infinity
  21. Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics…
  22. Monster Magnet – Spine Of God
  23. Lowrider – Ode To Io
  24. Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R
  25. Los Natas – Ciudad de Brahman
  26. Melvins – Houdini
  27. Kyuss – Sons Of Kyuss EP
  28. Nebula – Charged
  29. Acrimony – Tumuli Shroomaroom
  30. Dozer – Through The Eyes Of Heathens
  31. Brant Bjork – Jalamanta
  32. Down – Over The Under
  33. Black Sabbath – Master Of Reality
  34. Nebula – To The Center
  35. Queens Of The Stone Age – Lullabies To Paralize
  36. Orange Goblin – Time Travelling Blues
  37. Nebula – Atomic Ritual
  38. Corrosion of Conformity – Deliverance
  39. Om – Conference Of The Birds
  40. Unida – The Great Divide
  41. Dozer – In The Tail Of A Comet
  42. Monster Magnet – Powertrip
  43. Orange Goblin – The Big Black
  44. Queens Of The Stone Age – Era Vulgaris
  45. Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra
  46. Hermano – Dare I Say
  47. Karma To Burn – Almost Heathen
  48. Astroqueen – Into Submission
  49. Sasquatch – Sasquatch II
  50. Spiritual Beggars – Demons

Decibel Top 20 Stoner Rock Albums of All Times – Issue #35

  1. BLACK SABBATH – Masters of Reality (1971)
  2. ELECTRIC WIZARD – Dopethrone (2000)
  3. SLEEP – Jerusalem (1998)
  4. KYUSS – Blues For The Red Sun (1992)
  5. BLACK SABBATH – Black Sabbath (1970)
  6. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Queens of The Stone Age (1998)
  7. TROUBLE – Psalm 9 (1984)
  8. BLUE CHEER – Vincebus Eruptum (1968)
  9. MELVINS – Bullhead (1991)
  10. HAWKWIND – Space Ritual [LIVE] (1973)
  11. MASTERS OF REALITY – Masters of Reality (1988)
  12. WITCHFINDER GENERAL – Death Penalty (1982)
  13. MONSTER MAGNET – Spine of God (1991)
  14. CATHEDRAL – The Ethereal Mirror (1993)
  15. SAINT VITUS – Born Too Late (1986)
  16. LEAF HOUND – Grower of Mushroom (1971)
  17. THE OBSESSED – Lunar Womb (1991)
  18. ACRIMONY – Tumuli Shroomaroom (1997)
  19. HIGH ON FIRE – Surrounded By Thieves (2002)
  20. FU MANCHU – In Search Of… (1996)

Stoner HiVe Year-End Lists

While other blogs have done a better job in picking up the slack after the demise of Stonerrock.com in covering music, Stoner HiVe is the only one I know of that’s bothered to poll for albums of the year, going from 18 ballot lists in 2009 to 37 in 3010, and 45 in 2011.

Stoner HiVe Top 20 Of 2011

1. Elder – Dead Roots Rising
2. Graveyard – Hisingen Blues
3. Lo-Pan – Salvador
4. Skraeckoedlan – Äppelträdet
5. Red Fang – Murder The Mountains
6. Mars Red Sky – Mars Red Sky
7. The Atomic Bitchwax – The Local Fuzz
8. Yob – Atma
9. Heavy Eyes – Heavy Eyes
10. Karma to Burn – V
11. Freedom Hawk – Holding On
12. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Blood Lust
13. 1000Mods – Super Van Vacation
14. Lonely Kamel – Dust Devil
15. Mastodon – The Hunter
16. Monkey3 – Beyond The Black Sky
17. Been Obscene – Night O Mine
18. Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
19. Elvis Deluxe – Favourite State of Mind
20. DeWolff – Orchards / Lupine

#21-50 | Stoned Sun Vibrations Top 20 | Derochas Top 25 | Captain Beyond Zen Top 40 |Doomantia Readers Poll | The Obelisk Readers Poll

Stoner HiVe Top 20 Of 2010

1. Electric Wizard – Black Masses
2. Been Obscene – The Magic Table Dance
3. Sasquatch – III
4. The Sword – Warp Riders
5. Karma To Burn – Appalachian Incantation
6. The Machine – Drie
7. Brant Bjork – Gods & Goddesses
8. Monobrow – Monobrow
9. Black Bombain – Saturdays and Space Travels
10. Motorpsycho – Heavy Metal Fruit
11. Egocentrics – Love Fear Choices And Astronauts
12. Solace – A.D.
13. The Black Angels – Phosphene Dream
14. Monster Magnet – Mastermind
15. Wheelfall – From The Blazing Sky At Dusk
16. Re-Stoned – Revealed Gravitation
17. Black Mountain – Wilderness Heart
18. White Hills – White Hills
19. The Black Keys – Brothers
20. Endless Boogie – Full House Head

Stoner HiVe Top 20 Of 2009

1. Om – God Is Good
2. Mastodon – Crack The Skye
3. Feuerzeug – Drive Fast And Crash!!
4. Shrinebuilder – Shrinebuilder
5. Masters of Reality – Pine / Cross Dover
6. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
7. Nightstalker – Superfreak
8. Wo Fat – Psychedelonaut
9. Lo-Pan – Sasquanaut
10. Nebula – Heavy Psych
11. Siena Root – Different Realities
12. Los Natas – El Nuevo Orden de La Libertad
13. Baroness – Blue Album
14. The Machine – Solar Corona
15. Ancestors – Of Sound Mind
16. Ahkmed – Distance
17. Cyclone 60 – Instant Classic
18. Saviours – Accelerated Living
19. Clutch – Strange Cousins from The West
20. Palm Desert – Dawn Of The Burning Sun

Stonerrock.com RIP – December 15, 1999 – November 29, 2010

The best resource of stoner rock related news, reviews and community disappeared mysteriously last year. It’s a bummer, as I found their yearly polls really unique and useful. I’m hoping that between new communities at The Obelisk ForumThe Soda Shop Forum, and stonerrocklives.com. I’m doing my best to dig up the old lists. Hopefully in the future between these communities, we can do a 2010 poll.

Stonerrock.com Top 29 Albums of 2009

  1. Mastodon – Crack The Skye (2185 Pts)
  2. Baroness – Blue Record (1804 Pts)
  3. Shrinebuilder – Shrinebuilder (1789 Pts)
  4. Kylesa – Static Tensions (1215 Pts)
  5. Clutch – Strange Cousins From The West (1155 Pts)
  6. Om – God Is Good (1124 Pts)
  7. Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures (1047 Pts)
  8. Yob – The Great Cessation (923 Pts)
  9. Black Pyramid – Black Pyramid (701 Pts)
  10. Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions (680 Pts)
  11. Isis – Wavering Radiant (654 Pts)
  12. Church Of Misery – Houses Of The Unholy (636 Pts)
  13. Fu Manchu – Signs Of Infinite Power (585 Pts)
  14. Wino – Punctauted Equilibrium (490 Pts)
  15. Big Business – Mind The Drift (457 Pts)
  16. Converge – Axe To Fall (445 Pts)
  17. Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue (434 Pts)
  18. Pelican – What We All Come To Need (421 Pts)
  19. Astra – The Weirding (416 Pts)
  20. Ancestors – Of Sound Mind (388 Pts)
  21. Black Cobra – Chronomega (381 Pts)
  22. Truckfighters – Mania (361 Pts)
  23. Slayer – World Painted Blood (333 Pts)
  24. Nebula – Heavy Psych (329 Pts)
  25. The Company Band – The Company Band (320 Pts)
  26. Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg (276 Pts)
  27. Radio Moscow – Brain Cycles (268 Pts)
  28. Snail – Blood (261 Pts)
  29. Naam – Naam (259 Pts)

Stonerrock.com Top 28 Albums of 2008

  1. Melvins – Nude with Boots
  2. Torche – Meanderthal
  3. Earth – The Bees Made Honey in the Lion`s Skull
  4. The Sword – Gods of the Earth
  5. Brant Bjork – Punk Rock Guilt
  6. Black Mountain – In the Future
  7. Colour Haze – All
  8. Boris – Smile
  9. Dozer – Beyond Colossal
  10. Ufomammut – Idolum
  11. Graveyard – Graveyard
  12. Grand Magus – Iron Will
  13. Harvey Milk – Life… The Best Game in Town
  14. Metallica – Death Magnetic
  15. Dead Meadow – Old Growth
  16. Blood Ceremony – Blood Ceremony
  17. Farflung – A Wound In Eternity
  18. Earthless – Live at Roadburn
  19. Eagles Of Death Metal – Heart On
  20. Opeth – Watershed
  21. Clutch – Full Fathom Five
  22. The Atomic Bitchwax – 4
  23. 5ive – Hesperus
  24. The Gates of Slumber – Conqueror
  25. Witch – Paralyzed
  26. Ancestors – Neptune with Fire
  27. Nachtmystium – Assassins: Black Meddle Part 1
  28. Coffins – Buried Death

Stonerrock.com Top 25 Albums of 2005

1. High on Fire – Blessed Black Wiings (11050 pts)
2. Queens of the Stone Age – Lullabies to Paralyze (8696 pts)
3. Clutch – Robot Hive/Exodus (7585 pts)
4. Corrosion of Conformity – In the Arms of God (6688 pts)
5. YOB – The Unreal Never Lived (5340 pts)
6. Sunn 0))) – Black One (5027 pts)
7. Pelican – The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (4924 pts)
8. Witchcraft – Firewood (4634 pts)
9. Dozer – Through The Eyes of Heathens (4468 pts)
10. Hermano – Dare I Say (4441 pts)
11. Om – Varations on a Theme (4438 pts)
12. Brant Bjork and the Bros – Saved by Magic (4266 pts)
13. Earth – Hex: or Printing In The Infernal Method (4183 pts)
14. Cathedral – The Garden of Unearthly Delights (4091 pts)
15. Red Sparowes – At the Soundless Dawn (3763 pts)
16. The Atomic Bitchwax – 3 (3605 pts)
17. Acid King – III (3370 pts)
18. Jesu – Self Titled (3349 pts)
19. Bongzilla – Amerijuanican (3254 pts)
20. Ufomammut – Lucifer Songs (3107 pts)
21. Grand Magus – Wolf´s Return (2964 pts)
22. Spiritual Beggars – Demons (2736 pts)
23. Dead Meadow – Feathers (2435 pts)
24. Crowbar – Life`s Blood for the Downtrodden (2254 pts)
25. The Hellacopters – Rock & Roll Is Dead (2203 pts)

Stonerrock.com Top 24 Albums of 2004

1. Mastodon – Leviathan (5260 pts)
2. Isis – Panopticon (4084 pts)
3. Clutch – Blast Tryant (4060 pts)
4. Electric Wizard – We Live (3437 pts)
5. YOB – The Illusion of Motion (2894 pts)
6. The Hidden Hand – Mother Teacher Destroyer (2735 pts)
7. Witchcraft – Self Titled (2598 pts)
8. Probot – Self Titled (2583 pts)
9. Ufomammut – Snailking (2536 pts)
10. Orange Goblin – Thieving from the House of God (2466 pts)
11. Monster Magnet – Monolithic Baby (2293 pts)
12. Fu Manchu – Start the Machine (1931 pts)
13. Alabama Thunderpussy – Fulton Hill (1865 pts)
14. Goatsnake -Trampled Under Hoof (1739 pts)
15. Eagles of Death Metal – Peace Love Death Metal (1722 pts)
16. Brant Bjork – Local Angel (1635 pts)
17. Colour Haze – Self Titled (1557 pts)
18. Sunn0))) – White 2 (1292 pts)
19. Neurosis – The Eye of Every Storm (1290 pts)
20. Melvins/Lustmord – Pigs of the Roman Empire (1253 pts)
21. Old Man Gloom – Christmas (1235 pts)
22. Mark Lanegan Band – Bubblegum (1112 pts)
23. Melvins/Jello Biafra – Never Breathe What You Can`t See (1096 pts)
24. Halfway to Gone – Self Titled (1007 pts)

Stonerrock.com Top 21 Albums of 2001

1. Mammoth Volume – A Single Book of Songs (976 pts)
2. Clutch – Pure Rock Fury (969 pts)
3. Tool – Lateralus (956 pts)
4. Spirit Caravan – Elusive Truth (865 pts)
5. Karma to Burn – Almost Heathen (825 pts)
6. Nebula – Charged (787 pts)
7. Masters of Reality – Deep in the Hole (485 pts)
8. Dozer – Madre de Dios (476 pts)
9. Desert Sessions – Volumes 7 & 8 (454 pts)
10. Monster Magnet – God Says No (446 pts)
11. Cathedral – Endtyme (433 pts)
12. Five Horse Johnson – The No. 6 Dance (425 pts)
13. Fantomas – Director`s Cut (423 pts)
14. Warhorse – As Heaven Turns to Ash (418 pts)
15. Roachpowder – Atomic Church (391 pts)
16. Beaver – Mobile (386 pts)
17. Acid King / Mystick Krewe of Clearlight – Split CD (379 pts)
18. Halfway to Gone – High Five (339 pts)
19. Neurosis – A Sun that Never Sets (328 pts)
20. Operator Generator – Polar Fleet (315 pts)
21. Sea of Green – Time to Fly (311 pts)

Stonerrock.com Top 20 Albums of 2000

1. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (599 pts)
2. High on Fire – The Art of Self Defense (298 pts)
3. The Atomic Bitchwax – II (286 pts)
4. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (260 pts)
5. Orange Goblin – The Big Black (225 pts)
6. Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra (223 pts)
7. Solace – Further (202 pts)
8. Goatsnake – Flower of Disease (188 pts)
9. Lowrider – Ode to Io (163 pts)
10. Monster Magnet – God Says No (160 pts)
11. Corrosion of Conformity – America`s Volume Dealer (152 pts)
12. Che – Sounds of Liberation (128 pts)
13. sHEAVY – Celestial Hi-Fi (125 pts)
14. The Mystick Krewe of Clearlight – Self Titled (123 pts)
15. Fu Manchu – King of the Road (112 pts)
16. Sixty Watt Shaman – Seed of Decades (103 pts)
17. Dozer – In the Tail of a Comet (90 pts)
18. Firebird – Self Titled (87 pts)
19. A Perfect Circle – Mer De Noms (83 pts)
20. Ufomammut – Godlike Snake (74 pts)

This entry was posted in Features, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.