Music is one of my primary passions (after art, and passion itself, wank-wank). And as a big ol’ music nazi, I’m always on the hunt for audio that blows my mind. I have been without internet in the home for the last 12 months, so I had been missing out on musical excitement to the point where I sometimes felt as if my soul was ebbing slowly away from my body. That is, until I found doom metal. DOOOOOOOOOOM.
It took me a long time to work my way into an appreciation of metal; let me tell you the story. I’d flirted with Black Sabbath very briefly (it was the only decent vinyl we had in our lounge room at the last house I was living at in North Perth), but it never really went further than Led Zeppelin, and an appreciation for one Marilyn Manson album. All my experiences with metal heads were pimply teenage boys who were dissatisfied with their middle class upbringings. I grew to form some bad associations. Later on, I knew some cool guys who were into heavy music, but I always felt quite disconnected from it. We didn’t hang out and get stoned together, so I was never really exposed.
A few years ago, I decided it was time to give up bongs. And buckets and joints and pipes. My musical perspective changed, and I drifted away from my post-punk roots, and became more and more interested in music that brought my head back to that spacey, inspired and fuzzy place I used to live in, and started delving into the world of psychedelica. It took a few years to establish my tastes, but eventually I came across a band named Om. Ohhhhh man, Om. Having two of their albums in my possession was a full-scale paradigm shift for me. Like the first time I sat down and listened to Radiohead’s “Amnesiac” album when I was fourteen years old, listening to Om’s “Conference of the Birds” eight years later transported me across the fucking galaxy and home again.
It was because of this gateway band that I am now a fully fledged child of Satan. My eyes are finally opened. If yours are still shut, I will force my dirty, blood stained nails under your festering eyelids and tear them from your fucking face, as I guide you briefly through some of the better moments in my new favourite genre. Happy smiles everyone!
(P.S. I don’t actually worship the devil.)
Formed: late 80’s
Location: Northern California, USA.
Soon after first hearing Om, I read that they were formed out of a band called Sleep. Sleep are stoner metal, and from the first slow chug-chugg-chugg, I recognized- and was totally turned on by- the overt influence Black Sabbath had on their guitar riffs. I listened to Sabbath some more, then Sleep again, and then I was hooked. Doom for life.
Location: Bristol, England.
They are the blackest of the black, the kings and queen of the underworld; the screaming, chugging masters of the entire universe. Fact. If Sleep got me hooked, then Electric Wizard was my first overdose, and may well be my brutal, grisly death. Oh, what sweet agony I was in. Lying on my back, with the speakers on either side of my head, blasting their bone-crushing soundtrack to the end of the world that is “Funeropolis”, the second track off the album “Dopethrone”. Jaws clenched, eyes squeezed shut, my insides shaking with every chug on every guitar string. The song starts with the sound of a water pipe bubbling away, and ends with a pained “FUCK ”; the singer fucked up his vocal cords as a result of screaming nihilistic, satanic ramblings for most of 8 minutes. I’m listening to it now through headphones, as I sit at this chilled little internet café, and I’m wondering if anyone is noticing my occasional shakes of ecstasy and uneven breathing. Weird, I know. This band’s entire output is incredible.
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA.
These guys describe themselves as stoner-violence. Like most contemporary stoner metal bands, they take a lot of influence from Electric Wizard. One friend described them as an E.W. rip off, but that’s a bit rich, given that every doom riff was invented by Black Sabbath already. Churches Burn’s album “Adversary”, is something I can listen to while I’m washing the dishes, and if my hand were to get sliced open by an unseen knife in the water, I would rather watch the blood ooze through the water with “Mericle Farm” blasting from across the room than patch it up and prevent severe blood loss. Their newer stuff is a world away from the grimy, cutting of heads that is Adversary. It’s ain’t even doom no more.
Location: New Orleans, USA
“Take As Needed For Pain” is one album that gets absolutely thrashed at the bar I work at. It’s more of a sludge affair than straight up doom, and with songs like “Sister Fucker Pt.1” and “Kill Your Boss”, it’s hard not to nod your head furiously in time while you’re pouring beers for morons from the suburbs who think it’s my direct fault that we don’t stock Jim Beam or Bundaberg rum so think it’s okay to angry at me about it. So I yell at them to go shove it, they can leave if they don’t like it, and imagine tearing their heads off and tying them to the sign out the front, the warm and wet blood pooling on the footpath.
Listen to these bands, and you can’t go wrong. This is only scratching the surface. Get into it son. Join me in making 1am officially Doom O’clock. YES!