10 up-and-coming stoner and doom bands every self-respecting metalhead should know

Doom bands
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Although still undoubtedly indebted to the tolling bells and monolithic riffs of Black Sabbath, the worlds of stoner metal and doom continue to evolve and excite as their boundaries are pushed ever-further. 

Considering the 2010s saw Ghost rise from cult-occult doom-adjacent darlings to possibly the decade's biggest metal success story - all the way from Rise Above records to headlining festivals and playing arenas - it feels like the stoner and doom scenes have seldom been more vibrant and exciting. 

That in mind, we've assembled 10 incredible up-and-coming bands who have been making waves over the past decade, from the bands keeping occult rock alive to those embracing the triumphant sounds of trad metal and even topping the charts. These are the 10 new(ish) stoner and doom bands every metalhead needs to know... 

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Chelsea Wolfe

Doom metal might be the closest metal subgenre in blueprint to the wellspring of Black Sabbath, but that hasn't stopped the genre evolving over the past 50 years. Chelsea Wolfe is representative of this shift, drawing on everything from minimalist folk to goth rock and industrial while imbuing her music with a sense of doom oppression that defies traditional categorisation. 

Alongside the likes of Emma Ruth Rundle and A.A. Williams, Chelsea's music has been termed 'death gospel' a new wave of genre-straddling music which embraces the melancholy of doom whilst pushing the boat out stylistically, the records Abyss (2015) and Hiss Spun (2017) setting a high watermark for modern doom. And that's before we get to her sludge-tastic collaboration with Converge on Bloodmoon: I in 2021, or her work on the soundtrack to the brilliant splat-fest X which made effective use of her morose folk stylings. 


By complete contrast, Arkansas' Pallbearer are adherent champions of the old school doom metal sound, proof that if it ain't broke, it doesn't particularly need fixing. Across their four albums to date, the band have plied a goth-doom sound that harkens back to the 90s champions who helped popularise the genre like Paradise Lost or Type O Negative. 2020's Forgotten Days started the decade on a massive high for the band, fans now eager to see how they develop upon its immense critical success with a follow-up. 

Green Lung

Straddling the line between stoner and doom, Britain's Green Lung have fast become a cult phenomenon over the past few years, pulling massive crowds at festivals as diverse as Desertfest, Roadburn and Damnation. The band's first two albums - 2019's Woodland Rites and 2021's Black Harvest - drew more from the pool of Led Zeppelin than Sabbath but with an undeniable folk horror tinge that made them utterly bewitching to behold, but new album This Heathen Land could well be the record that helps them explode out onto the wider scene, embracing theatricality in ways that has seen it dubbed "their Number Of The Beast". 


Formed in Berlin in 2014, Lucifer have since gone on to become one of the leading lights of the occult rock revival of the 2010s, their doom-imbued sound evoking a retro style that tips its hat to Sabbath but owes just as much fealty to bands like Coven who ushered in the death of the peace-and-love hippie age. Across their four albums to date the band have climbed their way up international charts in Europe, 2020's Lucifer III even peaking at no. 10 in Sweden. 


Speaking of chart success, New Zealand's Beastwars have managed to wrack up three no. 1 records at home on the NZ Album Chart (a chart of domestic artists), their latest record Tyranny Of Distance also hitting no. 4 on New Zealand's Official Album Charts. Embracing the more melodic side of sludge metal, the band bridge the gap between the likes of Baroness and Soundgarden, producing monolithic riffs with a soulful, melodic heart. The band briefly split in 2016 when frontman Matt Hyde was diagnosed with cancer, but roared back to life on 2019's IV, showing no signs of slowing any time soon. 

All Them Witches

Much as doom has evolved over time, so too has stoner shifted away from the fuzzy grooves of Kyuss and Sleep over the past 30 years. Those elements are still prevalent in the modern scene of course, but the genre's embrace of blues and psychedelia in recent years has resulted in a veritable explosion of colourful and interesting new acts at the forefront of the stoner rock and metal scene. 

Nashville's All Them Witches are exemplar of this transformation, their jam-based psychedelia laced sound combining elements of americana and blues for a fascinating and almost transcendental listening experience. Across six studio albums to date the band have established themselves as one of modern stoner's most unique and interesting groups, even managing to bag support slots with the likes of Ghost for their 2019 UK arena tour. 

Spirit Adrift

While some areas of the stoner sphere have shifted more towards blues and psychedelic rock, others have embraced the triumphant sounds of trad metal to great effect. So it goes for Arizona's Spirit Adrift, the band formed by Nate Garrett in 2015 who have released five rip-roaring albums to date, 2023's Ghost At The Gallows even veering into thrash territory. Making their London debut at Desertfest in 2022, the band played to a packed-out Black Heart, before returning to the UK to again draw a massive crowd at Download Festival 2023. 

Divide And Dissolve

Although ostensibly instrumental doom, Australia's Divide And Dissolve have proven time and again that you don't need lyrics to share an important message. The duo - made up of saxophonist/guitarist Takiaya Reed and percussionist Sylvie Nehill - have used their harrowing, ear-splitting din to highlight on-going issues of colonialism and race, each of their four albums to date expanding their sonic arsenal as they challenge preconceptions of what doom is and how it sounds whilst remaining undoubtedly rooted in the genre. 


Much as bands like Spirit Adrift and Wolftooth embraced trad metal from a stoner perspective, Colorado's Khemmis have been embracing the maximalism of 70s metal in doom. With dual guitars providing heft and triumphant melodies alike, the band have since gone from strength to strength with 2021's Deceiver feeling like a fascinating amalgamation of Black Sabbath and ...Justice For All era Metallica

Royal Thunder

With elements of doom, psychedelia and occult rock in their musical DNA, Atlanta's Royal Thunder have traded in the more soulful aspects of stoner for the past decade. Difficult to categorise in any one genre, the band nonetheless have become critical darlings and a firm underground favourite. The six year gap after 2017's Wick saw the group almost fall apart completely, only to come back stronger with 2023's Rebuilding The Mountain, which honed their most emotional elements whilst offering titanic melodies and hooks that could yet turn them into breakout stars. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.