If you consider yourself to be a doom metal fan you probably recognize the ingenuity of all of these bands, and you understand why are they crucial in understanding the doom metal genre and appreciating it for what it has to offer. And if you are new to this genre, just listen to some or all of these albums and choose for yourself. I assure you that you won’t be left cold headed.
Dopethrone by Electric Wizard (2000)
Regarded as their best work, Dopethrone is probably the most known album by the Electric Wizard and it definitely lives up to the hype. This stoner doom metal classic is decorated with some of the slowest riffs you’ll ever hear (if we don’t include drone metal or any other more extreme version of metal), but it also has some instrumental passages that will make your body hit everything around you. While instrumentals float and fill the space with thick and heavy sound, drowned vocals make you feel like they are coming from dense fog of smoke from the devil’s bong.
Turn Loose the Swans by My Dying Bride (1993)
If you have ever wondered how would a combination of death- flavored doom metal and goth sound like try listening to Turn Loose the Swans. The direction that My Dying Bride took with their sophomore release is completely different than their debut, which was pure death doom metal. You can hear the reinvention of the genre just by listening to the opener Sear Me MCMXCIII which has a beautifully depressing combination of violin, piano, and vocals. Afterwards, it gets more and more aggressive, but it only adds up to the emotion and goth/funeral atmosphere. By the end of the album you will have either a massive (non)cathartic feeling or commit suicide (I suggest the former).
Relentless by Pentagram (1985)
This album speaks for itself. If you haven’t heard Relentless you cannot consider yourself a doom metal fan. This classic made its way to the doom metal pantheon thanks to its ingenious sound and great songwriting. With its production almost being in the demo realm of quality this album showed how to use great riffing and slow down to achieve a unique atmosphere with great density in every song. Pentagram opposed the ongoing 80s trend of making it as fast as you can, and I will forever be grateful to them and the result of their work.
Psalm 9 by Trouble (1984)
Another band that pioneered the sound of doom metal genre. This time with faster and more aggressive approach. Beside great solos and fast melodic passages, this album is also a banger when it comes to slow, more “doomy” parts. Incorporating speed metal into their music gave Trouble more spice and expressiveness which helped to carry out the idea of the album in a very great way. You will never be sure how to feel about this album, it will change your feelings and mood every few minutes. Despite that, you will stay with it until the end and let it lead you its own way.
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus by Candlemass (1986)
While some of the mentioned bands pioneered doom metal, with this album Candlemass defined the genre known as epic doom metal. They brought fresh ideas to the table, new ways to present the story and back it up with music in the most immersive way possible. While listening to this album, it’s good to know that this is the band’s debut. With that in mind, you will be able to appreciate the ingenuity of these musicians just as much as they deserve. If you don’t want to listen to the whole album try hearing the track “Solitude”, this track will show you everything there is to Candlemass.