“Sabbath Jam” or five Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Heavy classics that often get unfairly overlooked/overshadowed by other albums by these bands/artists…in no particular order –
- Trouble – Manic Frustration
This album appears to cop a bit of grief from ‘Doom’ or ‘Stoner’ purists, as it marked a big change in sound for Trouble. The band came from a more traditional Metal/Doom background, and as I’m sure was thought at the time, changed quite dramatically to suit the sounds of the time. HOWEVER, that being said, this album rules, in this record I can hear a lot of what I can only assume influenced Phil Anselmo in Pantera and in Down as a whole band, in some of the vocal choices, and particularly in Down, in regards to some of the lead guitar playing/lick styles. This record has a ton of great riffs and the vocals from Eric Wagner are just amazing. Good one Rick Rubin – listen to the title track, the Chorus vocal hook is raging, as are the solos.
- The Obsessed – Self Titled
It is no secret to anyone who knows my band, or me personally, that I worship heavily at the feet of Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich, and in particular his guitar playing, and overall shred goodness. This album was recorded prior to him joining the legendary Saint Vitus, and as such put The Obsessed on hold for a number of years. However, this first release from The Obsessed, seems to get nowhere near as much attention as the later albums, I presume as it was record pre-Vitus, but released relatively soon after his departure from the band, at a time where the recording quality was then, five-ish years behind. None the less, this album contains some of what I feel are his finest achievements behind the riff stick. Shredding solos that suit their slow paced thumping songs, which have such great melody and rhythm to them. Not to mention the filthy guitar tone he is now so famous for. The first track ‘Tombstone Highway’ is probably my favourite, but check the whole thing out, appreciate his vocals!
- Buffalo – Volcanic Rock
Known by some as Australia’s Black Sabbath, this band is one of Australia’s formative Heavy Metal bands…in my young opinion. This album was their second full-length release for Vertigo records (look up this label if you don’t know it, c’mon now), and is considerably heavier and more ‘straight forward’ in my mind. According to what I have read, the album was recorded mainly live, which I love, and I think you can really hear in the groove and pace that some of the tracks have. Dave Tice the band’s vocalist, sings with such power and emotion in these songs and it is really astonishing how well it works over even the slower/quieter of the tracks on the album. The guitar playing on this album is fantastic and it really is very reminiscent of Black Sabbath, which no one should ever be ashamed of. Some other facts about this album, it has a penis on the cover, Peter Wells (the bands Bass player) later went on to form Rose Tattoo, and I think it’s sick. Check out every song, it’s not that long and they’re all awesome.
- Bongzilla – Gateway
Featuring members of Weedeater and the ever brutal and brilliant Buzzov*en, comes one of the world’s finest bud worship, bong shattering bands to ever exist. I don’t really know if people don’t like this record or just don’t pay too much attention to it, but they bloody well should. This album rules, it is so crushing at times with the ferocity and utter heaviness of Sleep at their fastest but with the screamed-torn throat vocals of a Stoner who hasn’t seen a pipe in hours. Riff wise, this album has been written with one intention, to spark up and bang your head. Groove for days, bends for weeks and licks that will get stuck in your head for years. Don’t believe me? Chuck on the track ‘666lb. Bongsession’ and skip to 5:45…try and refrain from having anything to do the next day, as you will be spending the whole day trying to pry your face from your smashed keyboard…from all the headbanging…der.
- Melvins – Bullhead
Ok, everyone knows the Melvins, and everyone has their opinions on which of their zillion albums are the best, so here is mine. ‘Bullhead’ marks the Melvins initial foray into the long droney songs that they once were famous for…now not so much, with whatever it is they are up to these days with the blokes from Big Business. Buzz’s vocals soar over the raw and gritty heaviness of the de tuned, sluggish tracks and Dale Crover’s drumming suits these riffs like no one else could (or should). This album to me is really important to the way Doom, Stoner and all types of slower/blues influenced metal developed. Melvins will always hold a special place to me due to their influence and significance to Eyehategod, and I love listening to this record and hearing where so much of their sound originated. ‘Boris’ and ‘Zodiac’ are my two favourites off the album, almost polar opposites of one another, and rightly so, show the diversity of this fantastic ‘slow’ metal classic. Simple, Heavy, Sloppy and Raw. Brutallllllllll!
Well, there you have it, another five records you should check out…stop mucking around, go listen! -Aaron Osborne
Do you agree, disagree or maybe just have additional thoughts? Let Aaron (KYS username: AaronOsborne) know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Halley Kate