We asked Wrexham’s Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard to pick the best doom albums which will rattle the fillings from your teeth and create an impending feeling of dread – even on the sunniest of days.
These are their 10 choices. Brace yourself.
BLACK SABBATH – Master Of Reality (1971)
Wes Leon: “What can you say about Master Of Reality that hasn’t been said before? I doubt many will be surprised at seeing this in anyone’s top doom albums list. Personally, this is my favourite Sabbath album. It’s awesome to listen to no matter what mood you’re in. It’s crammed with lots of juicy doom riffs right until the very end. If you’ve just arrived on planet Earth, then I wholeheartedly recommend this release. Alright now!”
CATHEDRAL – The Ethereal Mirror (1993)
Paul Michael Davies: “This is a great release from my favourite British doom band. They mix up the long, slow, heavy tracks of [1991 album] Forest Of Equilibrium with more upbeat songs like the groovy Ride and the wonderful disco doom of Midnight Mountain. This album shows off more character and a sense of humour from the players than the heads-down slog of Forest. Can I choose more Cathedral? Of course I can.”
EARTH – Angels Of Darkness Demons Of Light I & II (2011⁄2012)
James Carrington: “A wonderful double album of sublimely heavy yet mellow compositions. Slow and low. I love the drums as they sound really free and organic. The strings on here are amazing, too. Our Jess [Ball, bass and vocals] can play cello, so it was something we wanted to work into our album Nachthexen – but didn’t in the end. It’s definitely going to appear somewhere in the future.”
PENTAGRAM – Relentless
Wes Leon: ”I bought this album quite a while ago without really knowing anything about the band. I just liked the cover, admittedly. There was no internet back then, so information was a little harder to come by. When I first played it through, I thought it must be a greatest hits album because every song was so good. They just eat through massive riffs like its nothing and the guitar sound turns your brain to paste. If you played this album to a nun, I reckon even she’d break out the air guitar.”
CATHEDRAL – Forest of Equilibrium (1991)
Paul Michael Davies: ”My God, this album was earth shattering. I’d never heard anything like it before. I was familiar with Lee Dorian from Napalm Death and Gary Jennings from Acid Reign, but this time they’d turned everything on its head with the crushing slow tempo as opposed to the whirlwind speed of the former. The stand out tracks for me are A Funeral Request, Equilibrium and Reaching Happiness Touching Pain”.
TROUBLE – Psalm 9 (1984)
James Carrington: “I missed this first time round. I found out about Trouble through Cathedral name checking them in interviews and sleeve notes. Take one Black Sabbath riff, add some twin axe harmonies and garnish of religion and leave to marinade for 40 minutes. I saw The Skull [band formed by members of Trouble] play the album in entirety at the Day of Doom Festival in Barcelona. It was a great show and I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Wagner, one of my favourite vocalists.”
ACID KING – III (2005)
Wes Leon: “Something a bit more contemporary I guess, compared to my last two choices. Firstly, the drums on this record are awesome right from the second they come in; all the rolls will have you tapping the furniture and annoying your loved ones. This is good music for when you’re on the motorbike, especially here in Wrexham, where it rains endlessly. Nice and slow, the guitar sound is massive and fuzzy and just oozes out of the speakers. I had the pleasure of bumping into their drummer Joey [Osbourne] at the Sleep reunion gig in Minehead at All Tomorrow’s Parties. He was the nicest guy ever. He even asked me for a photo of us – I had an Acid King shirt on! A few years later, I went to see them play at the Purple Turtle in London and he recognised me and said hello. As a massive fan, I thought was very cool. Go out – or stay at home – and buy this record.”
WARNING – Watching From A Distance (2006)
Paul Michael Davies: ”I love this album. Five heartbreaking songs of raw emotion. I love the lyrics and the vulnerability of the vocals. It really hits home. A great comfort when times are hard, bang on Warning and cry your eyes out. Best weepers.”
THE SKULL – For Those Which Are Asleep (2014)
** James Carrington:** “My first comtempary choice. I’m a huge Trouble fan and never thought I’d get to hear any new material. Then I heard about The Skull, the band featuring Trouble’s drummer Jeff Olsen, Eric Wagner and bassist Ron Holzner. They’re a great range of songs with familiarity of the Manic Frustration or their self-titled era, but with new twists like the layered keys on The Door. Favourite tracks? Sometime Yesterday Morning, Sick Of It All and For Those Which Are Asleep. It’s triumphant doom.”
SLEEP – Dopesmoker (1998)
Paul Michael Davies: ”One riff for an hour. Truly epic from the opening salvo until that last note rings out. The Ben Hur of doom and stoner tracks. I could listen to this all day – and probably have done at some point. I saw them play in Leeds a few years back. Matt Pike started the riff but I couldn’t see him on stage. Then he rose into the air, stood on top of a disability access lift at the side of the venue. Mint.”
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard’s album Noeth Ac Anoeth will be released on December 4 through New Heavy Sounds. For more information, visit their Facebook page.