Having too good a day? Need a little existential dread to infiltrate your cranial defenses? We’ve got just the albums for you!

Doom metal rarely gets the love that death metal and hardcore receive, but there’s so much creative brilliance in metal’s bleakest genre. From funeral doom, to stoner doom and blackened-rip-out-your-entrails doom, here’s 10 underrated albums to add to your rotation.

This is one of the best metal albums of the 2010s, period. A crushingly personal work, Woods 5 begins with the main character being struck by lightning. He slips into death only briefly, allowing him to discover there is no afterlife. He then spends his remaining years in a perpetual state of sorrow. Woods of Ypres mastermind David Gold created his magnum opus with Woods 5, but sadly never got to see its release. Gold died in a car accident two months before Woods 5 came out, adding an extra layer of gravity to the phenomenal album once it came out. 

With all due respect to Celestial Blues, the Doubt EP is the brightest gem in King Woman’s crown. This hypnotic, droning EP is depressing on an apocalyptic level. It’s beautiful too… the instrumental work expertly cycling around the witchy breath of Kristina Esfandiari. No doom track has ever been made quite like “King of Swords” or “Burn.” Just submit to this EP and the emotions will come.

Yes, Trouble is part of doom metal’s Big Four, but the Illinois band’s sophomore album deserves far more praise than it gets. It’s old school stylistic perfection, bringing the occult feel to tape like few American bands could. Packed with giant Iommi-style riffs, The Skull was inspired by a multitude of real-life troubles, like singer Eric Wagner’s substance abuse issues and boiling tensions within the band. It’s a 10/10 album for sure.

A gem from the 2010s, Lychgate’s The Contagion in Nine Steps is a doomy love letter to guttural Opeth… if Mikael Akerfeldt lived in a Transylvanian castle. The organ leads and bizarre drum beats are just so damn entrancing. It’s brilliantly produced, criminally slept-upon and brings an unnerving level of romantic-era sophistication to blackened doom metal. This would’ve been Bela Lugosi’s favorite metal album.

The final act of Salome was perhaps their finest, though their Our Enemy Civilization split with Thou is a must-hear. Salome’s Terminal is too deep a stare into the mirror, delving into emptiness, self-hatred and failure. The band’s sludgy doom brilliance was punctuated by vocalist Kat Katz, whose pipes sliced with high shrieks and crushed with gravelly lows. 

THAT FUCKING GUITAR TONE. Warhorse’s As Heaven Turns to Ash apparently took the Dopethrone route by recording on a crappy solid state amp with a Boss FZ-2 pedal… apparently this was the sacred formula in the early 2000s. This album just can’t be fucked with. It’s one of the heaviest stoner doom records you’ll ever hear, so invite your Sleep and Sabbath friends over for a massive bong rip on the couch, then turn this on.

How do you listen to Skepticism’s Stormcrowfleet and say, “I’m gonna make something 5x more depressing?” Fuck, this album is so bleak. The first time you spin Mournful Congregation’s The Monad of Creation, you won’t want to put your walls down, but once you get comfortable with this piece of funeral doom, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful stillness. It’s really like coming out the other side of grief.

Thanks for introducing this to me, 666MrDoom. This is doom crafted for the various sprites and nymphs in the forest behind your apartment building. With heavy Sabbath influence, Green Lung offer expertly crafted occult doom with a rare charm that invites you to let the devil into your heart. It’s classic doom that blends good with evil and bountiful times with pestilence. 

This album sounds harsh to even the most sandblasted of eardrums. It’s like a group of caveman accidentally performed a campfire ritual and summoned the Dark Lord, who subsequently convinced them to suit up for a war on heaven. That may sound silly at first read, but seriously, that’s exactly how this album feels. Cheers to Wormphlegm for that. 

Oh, the horrors of the sea and the madness of isolation. Eight BellsLandless rarely relies on pure heaviness to entrance the listener. Instead, the record builds limitless empty space to contain hypnotic guitar work and phantasmic vocals. Prepare to drift away deep into your thoughts if you decide to play this extremely slept-upon record.

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