|Cultural origins||Early to mid 1970s, United Kingdom and United States|
Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres.Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal. During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England (Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General), the United States (Pentagram, Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, Trouble, and Cirith Ungol) and Sweden (Candlemass and later Count Raven) defined doom metal as a distinct genre.
The electric guitar, bass guitar, and drum kit are the most common instruments used to play doom metal (although keyboards are sometimes used), but its structures are rooted in the same scales as in blues.Guitarists and bassists often down tune their instruments to very low notes and make use of large amounts of distortion, thus producing a very "thick" or "heavy" guitar tone, which is one of the defining characteristics of the genre. Along with the usual heavy metal compositional technique of guitars and bass playing the same riff in unison, this creates a loud and bass-heavy wall of sound. Another defining characteristic is the consistent focus on slow tempos, and minor tonality with much use of dissonance (especially in the form of the tritone), employing the usage of repetitive rhythms with little regard to harmonic progression and musical structure.
Traditional doom metal vocalists favor clean vocals, which are often performed with a sense of despair, desperation, or pain; imitating the high-tone wails of Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath),Frank Ferrara (Bang), Bobby Liebling (Pentagram), and Zeeb Parkes (Witchfinder General). So-called "epic doom" vocalists often take it a step further, singing in an operatic style. Doom metal bands influenced by other extreme metal genres often use growled or screamed vocals, as is the case of death-doom, black-doom, and funeral doom.
Lyrics in doom metal play a key role. Influenced by notable blues musicians like Robert Johnson and Son House,normally they are gloomy and pessimistic, including themes such as suffering, depression, fear, grief, dread, death, and anger. While some bands write lyrics in introspective and personal ways, others convey their themes using symbolism – which may be inspired by occult arts and literature.
Some doom metal bands use religious themes in their music. Trouble, one of the genre's pioneers, were among the first to incorporate Christian imagery. Others have incorporated occult and pagan imagery. For many bands, the use of religious themes is for aesthetic and symbolic purposes only. Examples include lyrics/imagery about the Last Judgment to invoke dread, or the use of crucifixes and cross-shaped headstones to symbolize death.
Furthermore, some doom metal bands write lyrics about drugs or drug addiction. This is most common among stoner doom bands, who often describe hallucinogenic or psychedelic experiences.
Doom metal is rooted in the music of early Black Sabbath.Black Sabbath's music is (in and of) itself stylistically rooted in blues, but with the deliberately doomy and loud guitar playing of Tony Iommi, and the then-uncommon dark and pessimistic lyrics and atmosphere, they set the standards of early heavy metal and inspired various doom metal bands. In the early 1970s, both Black Sabbath and Pentagram (also as side band "Bedemon") composed and performed this heavy and dark music, which would in the 1980s begin to be known and referred to as doom metal by subsequent musicians, critics and fans.
Aside from Pentagram and Black Sabbath, other groups from the 1970s would heavily influence the genre's development. Blue Cheer is often hailed as one of the first stoner metal bands. Through the use of loud amplifiers and guitar feedback, their debut Vincebus Eruptum created a template for other artists to follow.Though lacking the pessimistic lyrical content of their contemporaries, Welsh heavy metal band Budgie would also produce heavy songs which were amongst the loudest of their day, stylistically influencing various doom metal acts. Early doom metal was also influenced by Japan's Flower Travellin' Band, particularly their albums Kirikyogen and Satori . Bang's 1971 self-titled debut is considered an important forerunner to doom metal. Other notable groups include Sir Lord Baltimore, Buffalo, Necromandus, Lucifer's Friend, Iron Claw and Leaf Hound.
During the early-mid-1980s, bands from England and the United States [ failed verification ]contributed much to the formation of doom metal as a distinct genre. In 1982, English pioneers Witchfinder General released their debut album Death Penalty . During 1984, two American pioneers also released their debuts; Saint Vitus released their eponymous album and Trouble released Psalm 9 . That same year American band Cirith Ungol (formed in 1971) released their second studio album, King of the Dead —regarded by many as an early influence on doom. The following year, American band Pentagram would go on to release their debut, Relentless . The Swedish Candlemass would also prove influential with their first record Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986 (and prior to that the 1984 album, Day of Retribution as Nemesis), from which the genre takes its name.
Some doom metal bands were also influenced by the underground gothic rock and post-punk scene of the 1980s, showing similarities with the dark themes addressed through lyrics and the music atmosphere, both music styles deal with. A doom metal band like Mindrot was often described as a cross-over between death metal and gothic rock.
Like other extreme metal genres, doom metal also has regionally based scenes, with their own particular characteristics:
In one of the greatest doom metal outputs, Finnish groups focus more on the depressive mood of the genre, evoking an intense grieving feeling.The bands play with very slow tempos and melodic tones, creating an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia. This scene was kick-started by the band Rigor Mortis (which, due to an older US band with the same name, changed their name to Spiritus Mortis), which originated in 1987. Notable bands include Reverend Bizarre, Minotauri, Dolorian, Shape of Despair, Thergothon, Skepticism, and Unholy.
Regarded as sludge metal's birthplace,this scene originated in New Orleans in the late 1980s. The bands of this scene employ some punk influences, like harsh vocals, guitar distortion and downtuned sound. This scene was pioneered by Exhorder, who was the first band to combine doom metal with a punk-influenced metal sound. In the 90s, several sludge and stoner metal bands arose in the state, mainly influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and Melvins, also mixing their sound with genres like hardcore punk and Southern rock. Notable bands include Eyehategod, Down Exhorder, Crowbar, and Acid Bath.
This scene formed in the early 1970s and was kickstarted by Pentagram and The Obsessed.Various doom/stoner bands, mostly from Washington, D.C. and its metropolitan area on Maryland and Virginia (thus also being labelled "Maryland doom sound" ), formed in this region being heavily influenced by early hard rock and heavy metal bands, like UFO, Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Sir Lord Baltimore. This scene is also known as "Hellhound sound" for being closely related to the late Hellhound Records, who signed with many important bands of the scene like Saint Vitus, Internal Void, Iron Man, Revelation, Wretched and Unorthodox. Other notable bands include Evoken, Spirit Caravan, Earthride, and The Hidden Hand.
The Pacific Northwest region – primarily Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia – has been host to a growing scene of doom, sludge, and stoner metalsince the 1990s. It is influenced by the geographical origin of grunge music and a sound pioneered in part by the Washington band Melvins. Common visual themes include the region's cold, rainy, forested climate, and many bands utilize psychedelic imagery influenced by bands like Sleep, Karp and Harkonen. Musical styles often share crossover features with atmospheric/ambient black metal, drone metal, and post-metal as seen in Oregon's YOB, Agalloch, Witch Mountain, and Red Fang; Washington's Earth, and Sunn O))); and Vancouver's Anciients, Astrakhan, and Aaron Turner project Sumac, among various others.
Palm Desert, California, hosts a thriving desert rock and stoner metal scene, drawing heavy influences from psychedelia, blues and hardcore punk, often featuring distinctive repetitive drum beats, a propensity for free-form jamming, and "trance-like" or "sludgy" grooves.Because of their integration, the term "stoner rock" is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "desert rock". Notable bands include Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Dali's Llama, Slo Burn, and Brant Bjork.
Black-doom, also known as blackened doom, is a style that combines the slowness and thicker, bassier sound of doom metal with the shrieking vocals and heavily distorted guitar sound of black metal.Black-doom bands maintain the Satanic ideology associated with black metal, while melding it with moodier themes more related to doom metal, like depression, nihilism, and nature. They also use the slower pace of doom metal in order to emphasize the harsh atmosphere present in black metal. Examples of black-doom bands include Barathrum, Forgotten Tomb, Woods of Ypres, Deinonychus, Shining, Nortt, Bethlehem, early Katatonia, Tiamat, Dolorian, October Tide, and In the Woods....
Pioneered by black-doom bands like Opthalamia, Katatonia, Bethlehem, Forgotten Tomb, and Shining, depressive suicidal black metal, also known as suicidal black metal, depressive black metal, or DSBM, is a style that melds the second wave-style of black metal with doom metal,with lyrics revolving around themes such as depression, self-harm, misanthrophy, suicide, and death. DSBM bands draw the lo-fi recording and highly distorted guitars of black metal, while employing the usage of acoustic instruments and non-distorted electric guitar's timbres present in doom metal, interchanging the slower, doom-like, sections with faster tremolo picking. Vocals are usually high-pitched like in black metal, but lacking of energy, simulating feelings like hopelessness, desperation, and plea. The presence of one-man bands is more proeminent in this genre compared to others. Examples of bands include Xasthur, Leviathan, Strid, Silencer, Make a Change... Kill Yourself, and I Shalt Become.
Blackened death-doom is a genre that combines the slow tempos and monolithic drumming of doom metal, the complex and loud riffage of death metal and the shrieking vocals of black metal.Examples of blackened death-doom bands include Morast, Faustcoven, The Ruins of Beverast, Bolzer, Necros Christos, Harvest Gulgaltha, Dragged into Sunlight, Hands of Thieves, and Soulburn.
Death-doom is a style that combines the slow tempos and pessimistic atmosphere of doom metal with the deep growling vocals and double-kick drumming of death metal.Influenced mostly by the early work of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, the style emerged during the late 1980s and gained a certain amount of popularity during the 1990s. Death-doom was pioneered by bands such as Winter, Disembowelment, Paradise Lost, Autopsy, Anathema, and My Dying Bride.
Funeral doom is a genre that crosses death-doom with funeral dirge music.It is played at a very slow tempo, and places an emphasis on evoking a sense of emptiness and despair. Typically, electric guitars are heavily distorted and dark ambient aspects such as keyboards or synthesizers are often used to create a "dreamlike" atmosphere. Vocals consist of mournful chants or growls and are often in the background. Funeral doom was pioneered by Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, Evoken, Funeral, Thergothon, and Skepticism.
Drone metal (also known as drone doom) is a style of doom metal that is largely defined by drones; notes or chords that are sustained and repeated throughout a piece of music.Typically, the electric guitar is performed with large amounts of reverb and feedback while lacking the presence of drums and vocals. Songs are often very long and lack beat or rhythm in the traditional sense. Drone metal is generally influenced by drone music, noise music, and minimalist music. The style emerged in the early 1990s and was pioneered by Earth, Boris, and Sunn O))).
Epic doom has a heavy classical influence. One of the main characteristics are the vocals; vocalists typically employ clean, operatic, and choral singing, accompanied by keyboarding and drumming performed in a bombastic fashion in order to evoke an "epic" sensation.Lyrics and imagery are typically inspired by fantasy or mythology. Examples of prominent epic doom bands include Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, While Heaven Wept, and Doomsword.
Gothic-doom, also known as doom-gothic, is a style that combines more traditional elements of doom metal with gothic rock.Gothic-doom bands usually play at slow and mid-tempos and employ the usage of instruments that are more related to classical music, alongside traditional doom metal instruments, in order to create darker and meditative atmospheres. Doom-gothic lyrics combines the dramatic and romantic elements of gothic rock with the sorrowness and melancholy present in doom metal, while being more introspective and focused on personal experiences such as love, grief, irreparable loss, loss of faith, etc. Unlike in gothic metal and death-doom, gothic-doom bands prefer the use of cleaner vocals instead of employing death growls, although some of them employ harsher vocals occasionally, and avoid the usage of death metal-like riffage. Bands labelled as gothic-doom include Weeping Silence, The Foreshadowing, Grave Lines, Artrosis, Ava Inferi, Draconian, and Type O Negative.
Progressive doom is a fusion genre that combines elements of progressive metal and doom metal.Notable bands include King Goat, Below the Sun, Sierra, and Oceans of Slumber.
Sludge metal (also known as sludge doom [ citation needed ] but drummers may employ hardcore d-beat or double-kick drumming during faster passages. Vocals are usually shouted or screamed, and lyrics often focus on suffering, drug abuse, politics and anger towards society. The style was pioneered in the early late 1980s by the Melvins, and in the 1990s by bands such as Eyehategod, Crowbar, Buzzov*en, Acid Bath, and Grief.or sludgecore) is a style that combines doom metal and hardcore punk. Many sludge bands compose slow and heavy songs that contain brief hardcore passages. However, some bands emphasise fast tempos throughout their music. The string instruments are heavily distorted and are often played with large amounts of feedback to produce an abrasive, sludgy sound. Drumming is often performed in typical doom metal fashion,
Sludgecore further combines sludge metal with hardcore punk, and possesses a slow pace, a low and dark pitch, and a grinding dirge-like feel.Bands regarded as sludgecore include Acid Bath, Eyehategod, and Soilent Green, Crowbar mixed "detuned, lethargic sludged-out metal with hardcore and southern elements".
Stoner metal or stoner doomdescribes doom metal that incorporates psychedelic rock and acid rock elements. Stoner metal is often heavily distorted, groove-laden bass-heavy sound, making much use of guitar effects such as fuzz, phaser, or flanger. Stoner bands typically play in slow-to-mid tempo, employing the usage of melodic vocals and "retro" production. It was pioneered in the early–mid-1990s by bands such as Kyuss, Sleep, Acid King, Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, and Sons of Otis.
Desert rock combines the psychedelic elements of stoner metal with hard rock characteristics.Bands of this style include Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Queens of The Stone Age, Earthlings? and Yawning Man.
Influenced by 70s and 80s heavy metal,traditional doom metal bands more commonly use higher guitar tunings, and do not play as slow as many other doom bands. Traditional doom bands typically play slow to mid-tempo songs with a thick and heavy sound with the electric bass following the melody line, and sometimes employ the usage of keyboards, although assuming a secondary role on traditional doom metal songs. Vocals are usually clean with the occasional growl or scream. The lyrics in traditional doom usually are eerie and dark like other doom metal divisions. Some bands who play traditional doom metal are Orodruin, Reverend Bizarre, Witchcraft, Saint Vitus, and Count Raven.
[Kyuss] almost single handed invented the phrase 'Stoner Rock'. They achieved this by tuning way down and summoning up a subterranean, organic sound...
Stoner metal could be campy and self-aware, messily evocative, or unabashedly retro.
...they are widely acknowledged as pioneers of the booming stoner rock scene of the 1990s...
Stoner metal pioneers Acid King emerged when the subgenre didn’t really exist yet.
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Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, heavy metal bands developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and loudness. The lyrics and performances are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.
Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues and is focused generally on electric guitars and vocals. Author Scott B. Bomar speculates the term "southern rock" may have been coined in 1972 by Mo Slotin, writing for Atlanta's underground paper, The Great Speckled Bird, in a review of an Allman Brothers Band concert.
Blues for the Red Sun is the second studio album by American rock band Kyuss, released in 1992. While the album received mainly favorable reviews, it fared poorly commercially, selling only 39,000 units. It has since become a very influential album within the stoner rock genre. It was the last Kyuss album to feature bassist Nick Oliveri, who was replaced by Scott Reeder shortly after recording had been completed. Reeder had previously played with the Obsessed.
Master of Reality is the third studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released on 21 July 1971 by Vertigo Records. It is regarded by some critics as the foundation of doom metal, stoner rock, and sludge metal. It peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart and number eight on the US Billboard 200. Negatively received by critics on release, the album is now considered one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. It was certified double platinum after having sold over two million copies.
Black Sabbath is the debut studio album by the English rock band Black Sabbath. It was released on 13 February 1970 in the United Kingdom by Vertigo Records and on 1 June 1970 in the United States by Warner Bros. Records. The album is widely regarded as the first album in the heavy metal genre. Additionally, the opening track, the self-titled "Black Sabbath", has been referred to as the first doom metal song.
A number of heavy metal genres have developed since the emergence of heavy metal during the late 1960s and early 1970s. At times heavy metal genres may overlap or are difficult to distinguish, but they can be identified by a number of traits. They may differ in terms of: instrumentation, tempo, song structure, vocal style, lyrics, guitar playing style, drumming style, and so on.
Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal, and visual transgression".
Sludge metal is a genre of heavy metal music that originated through combining elements of doom metal and hardcore punk. It is typically harsh and abrasive, often featuring shouted vocals, heavily distorted instruments and sharply contrasting tempos. The Melvins produced the first sludge metal albums in the late 1980s, as well as being influential in the grunge scene.
Cathedral were a doom metal band from Coventry, England. The group gained attention upon release of its debut album, Forest of Equilibrium (1991), which is considered a classic of the genre. However, the band's sound evolved quickly and began to adopt characteristics of 1970s metal, hard rock and progressive rock. After releasing ten full-length albums and touring extensively for over two decades, Cathedral broke up after the release of The Last Spire in 2013.
Iron Monkey is an English sludge metal band that formed in Nottingham, England in 1994. The original members were Justin Greaves, Johnny Morrow (vocals), Jim Rushby, Steve Watson and Doug Dalziel. The group's sound was influenced by the doom metal and sludge metal genres and in particular by bands such as Grief, Black Sabbath and Eyehategod.
"The Wizard" is a song by the British rock band Black Sabbath, taken from their 1970 album Black Sabbath. "The Wizard" was the B-side to the 1970 single "Paranoid", which reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Gothic metal is a fusion genre combining the heaviness of heavy metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in the United Kingdom originally as an outgrowth of death-doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.
Dopesick is the third studio album by American sludge metal band Eyehategod, released on April 2, 1996. It was reissued in 2006 as part of Century Media's 20th Anniversary series with three bonus tracks that were recorded during the original Dopesick recording sessions.
Post-metal is a style of music that is rooted in heavy metal but explores approaches beyond the genre's conventions. It emerged in the 1990s through the work of bands such as Neurosis and Godflesh who transformed metal texture through experimental composition. Associated with and inspired by post-rock and post-hardcore, the genre employs the darkness and intensity of extreme metal but emphasizes atmosphere, emotion, and even "revelation", drawing on a wide range of sources including ambient, noise, psychedelic, progressive, and classical music to develop an expansive but introspective sound. Post-metal songs are typically long, with loose and layered structures that discard the verse–chorus form in favor of crescendos and repeating themes. The sound centres on guitars and drums; any vocals are usually screamed or growled and resemble an additional instrument.
Death-doom is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal. It combines the slow tempos and pessimistic or depressive mood of doom metal with the deep growling vocals and double kick drumming of death metal. The genre emerged in the late-1980s and gained a certain amount of popularity during the 1990s, but had become less common by the turn of the 21st century. In turn, death-doom gave rise to the closely related genre of funeral doom as well as to the more melodic, gloomy and romantic gothic metal.
Stoner rock, also known as stoner metal or stoner doom, is a rock music fusion genre that combines elements of heavy metal and/or doom metal with psychedelic rock and acid rock. The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was pioneered foremost by Kyuss, and Sleep.
To Walk a Middle Course is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Kylesa. Released on March 22, 2005 by Prosthetic Records, it was produced by English record producer Alex Newport, who is known for his projects Fudge Tunnel and Nailbomb.
Bevar Sea originally called Dirt Bucket is a stoner/doom metal band based in Bangalore, India. Originally it was a bedroom project of Srikanth Panaman and Kaustubh Thirumalai. However, the band formed into a quintet in late 2010 and currently consists of Avinash Ramchander, Deepak Raghu, Rahul Chacko, Ganesh Krishnaswamy, and Srikanth Panaman. Their self-titled debut album was mixed by Billy Anderson and released on October 16, 2012. It received critical acclaim and was included in Ninehertz's best albums of 2012. Bevar Sea was named the "Best Emerging Act" at the Rolling Stone Metal Awards India 2013.
Occult rock is a subgenre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s to early 1970s, pioneered by bands such as Coven and Black Widow. The genre is influenced by hard rock, proto-metal, psychedelic rock, progressive rock and blues, as well as commonly incorporating lyrics referencing the occult. Despite the common perception, it has been noted that occult rock is not inherently gloomy nor dark, however many bands have ventured down that path.
Biker metal is a fusion genre that combines elements of punk rock, heavy metal, rock and roll and blues, that was pioneered in the late-1970s to early-1980s in England and the United States, by Motörhead, Plasmatics, Anti-Nowhere League and Girlschool.