Best Doom Metal Albums of 2023
The best doom metal albums of 2023 have been a revelation, featuring some of the best doom metal albums in recent years. Once not a fan, I find myself now deeply immersed in the doom metal genre, thanks to this year’s releases that brought surprising and original takes on the style. These albums have not only redefined my perception of doom metal but also highlighted the growing and passionate community of doom metal fans.
The genre’s evolution this year is marked by albums that offer a fresh perspective, combining traditional doom elements with innovative approaches. This surge in creative energy within the doom metal scene has brought the genre to the forefront, making 2023 a standout year for both long-time enthusiasts and new converts like myself. The best doom metal albums of 2023 signify a significant shift in the genre, celebrating its rich, atmospheric soundscapes and the unique community that supports it.
Doom Metal Albums 2023 Tier List
As we navigate the deep and resonant landscape of doom metal, let’s take a moment to appreciate the best doom metal albums of 2023. This journey is deeply personal, as each album resonates differently based on our individual experiences. The past year has been particularly rich for the doom metal genre, offering a diverse array of sounds that have left a lasting impression. I invite you to explore these albums with me, each one adding a unique flavor to the world of doom metal. Discover our Doom Metal Albums Tier List 2023, a reflection of a year filled with remarkable music in this metal genre:
Doom Metal Albums of 2023 Ranked
Let’s explore and order the top doom metal albums of 2023, from worst to best:
Ahab | The Coral Tombs review:
Ahab’s latest release, The Coral Tombs, ventures into the doom metal genre but struggles to leave a memorable impact. The album attempts an ambitious approach, blending traditional doom metal elements with their unique style, evoking the atmosphere of the vast ocean. However, the execution falls short of the mark. The album is characterized by a lack of dynamic range, resulting in a somewhat monotonous listening experience. While the instrumental aspects of The Coral Tombs show promise, they are often overshadowed by vocals that feel unpolished and disconnected, akin to a homemade production. This disparity between the vocals and the instrumentals detracts significantly from the album’s potential. Despite its interesting conceptual approach, The Coral Tombs is an example of how good ideas can falter in execution.
Medicine Horse | Medicine Horse review:
Medicine Horse’s debut this year introduces an intriguing approach to doom metal, marked by commendable instrumentals yet overshadowed by a vocal performance that struggles to harmonize with the ensemble. With all due respect to their efforts, the vocals in this album often come across as jarringly disconnected from the well-crafted instrumentals, diminishing the overall listening experience. Despite this, the album does showcase promising elements – notable riffs and some impressive acoustic sections – although it falls short of true brilliance. However, there’s a glimmer of potential here, a silver lining that suggests Medicine Horse could refine their sound in future endeavors. For a more harmonious blend of Western themes and metal, one might look to Wayfarer’s American Gothic as a prime example. This debut makes a bold attempt but ultimately serves as a lesson in the delicate balance required between vocals and instruments in creating a cohesive metal album.
Sorcerer | Reign of the Reaper review:
In their 2023 release Reign of the Reaper, Sorcerer offers an album that can be characterized as moderately compelling within the doom metal genre. The band, adhering to their established epic doom style, delivers a performance that shines in parts but overall lacks consistent engagement. Tracks such as “Morning Star” and “Thy Kingdom Will Come” stand out. However, these moments of brilliance are sporadic, and the album does not uniformly maintain this high level of intrigue. The production quality is commendable, skillfully balancing clarity with the requisite heaviness of doom metal, but the vocals harms the listening experience as they are not good enough, as it happens in the previous album we have reviewed.
Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean | Obsession Destruction review:
Obsession Destruction, the latest offering from Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean, emerges as a pivotal album in the sludge-doom genre, demonstrating a refined blend of oppressive bleakness and compelling doom metal. This record marks a departure from their previous work, including the EP I Tried Catching You but You Fell Through Me, presenting a more expansive and richly textured sound. The album’s distinctiveness lies in its blend of long-form compositions that exude a soul-crushing intensity, alongside shorter, more direct tracks like the impactful Hole in my Head.
The reason why it is ranked relatively low is because Obsession Destruction does not match my preferences at all, but objectively it is a solid work.
Convocation | No Dawn For The Caliginous Night review:
Convocation is known for their atmospheric and crushing approach to doom and death metal. Their music features dense, oppressive soundscapes, combined with a mix of guttural growls and haunting clean vocals. No Dawn For The Caliginous Night explores themes of despair and darkness, creating an immersive and emotionally heavy experience. They are adept at blending the slow, crushing weight of doom metal with the aggressive intensity of death metal, resulting in a sound that is both powerful and evocative.
In No Dawn For The Caliginous Night, listeners can expect a journey through dark and melancholic atmospheres, punctuated by moments of brutal intensity. The album features a combination of slow, heavy riffs, atmospheric passages, and impactful vocals, all woven together to create a cohesive and immersive and callous listening experience thanks also to its great production.
Lord Mountain | The Oath review:
The Oath by Lord Mountain is known for its distinctive blend of classic and doom metal elements. The album typically features strong, melodic guitar work with infectious riffs, often drawing comparisons to the traditional sound of early heavy metal bands. The band’s approach usually includes a mix of heavy riffs, atmospheric passages, and a strong focus on melody, likely making The Oath a solid listen for fans of both classic and doom metal genres. Particularly, it reminds me a lot of Black Sabbath: classic doomy heavy metal.
Inherus | Beholden review:
Beholden, by Inherus, immediately grabs attention with its exceptional artwork, which is both striking and indicative of the musical journey within. Inherus excels in guitar work, delivering catchy and powerful riffs that are the backbone of this album. The balance between clean and harsh vocals is executed with precision, adding a dynamic and emotive layer to their sound. This balance is particularly effective given the album’s blend of more dynamic songs with acoustic interludes, creating a varied and engaging listening experience.
The vocal performance, while not flawless, aligns well with the album’s desperate and thematic approach, enhancing the overall impact of the music. Standout tracks like Forgotten Kingdom and Lie to the Angels exemplify the best of Inherus‘ capabilities, featuring memorable riffs and basslines that resonate long after the songs end. These tracks, in particular, showcase the band’s ability to weave complex musical narratives that are both captivating and technically impressive. Overall, Beholden is the perfect album for the ones who are more into modern doom metal than the traditional one.
Vanishing Kids | Miracle of Death review:
Vanishing Kids is celebrated for their intriguing fusion of psychedelic rock, shoegaze, and doom metal. Their music often weaves together atmospheric soundscapes with ethereal vocals, creating a listening experience that’s both introspective and expansively rich. The band has a knack for blending haunting melodies with robust, doom-laden riffs, striking a balance between dreamy tones and heavier, more impactful moments. In Miracle of Death, they mix these styles perfectly, balanced by some hypnotic keyboard effects, as shown in “For Lauren”. There are also epic guitar solos like the one in “Spill the Dark”.
Overall, even though Miracle of Death is not a traditional doom metal album, I believe their approach is highly original and the final result is no other than a masterpiece.
Oromet | Oromet review:
Oromet’s self-titled debut album is a striking entry in the atmospheric doom metal genre, captivating listeners with its Tolkien-inspired world. The album artwork is immediately eye-catching – a beautiful and melancholic representation that sets the tone for the music within. Oromet excels in conveying a sense of authenticity and realism, particularly through its desperate and emotionally charged vocals. These elements combine to create a deeply immersive atmosphere that engulfs the listener in a beautifully sorrowful journey. Despite the length of the tracks, which is typical for the genre, the album maintains engagement through its intricate compositions and the palpable sense of despair and beauty they evoke. Oromet’s debut is more than just music; it’s an experiential foray into a realm that feels both fantastical and intensely real, driven by a blend of mournful melodies and daunting resonant themes. It is indeed such a masterpiece.
Godthrymm | Distortions review:
When I first sat down to listen to Godthrymm’s “Distortions” in one uninterrupted session, I didn’t expect to be so captivated. The album drew me into the depths of Doom Metal with its heavy yet serene sound, a hallmark of the genre. “Distortions” stands out for its exceptional production quality, which is quite rare in doom metal. The superb production enhances every aspect of the album, making for an extraordinary listening experience. I find myself returning to the album repeatedly, and each time, it reveals new layers and depths. The album has a unique quality, evoking a sense of melancholy while simultaneously providing a sense of fortitude. Particularly, the final tracks, as for example “Pictures Remain”, are profoundly moving and striking, showcasing the album’s impactful emotional range.
Which is the best Doom Metal album of 2023?
Distortions by Godthrymm is the album which made me an official doom metal enjoyer. No other album than Distortions deserve being the best doom metal album of 2023.
Final Ranking of Doom Metal 2023:
- Ahab – The Coral Tombs | 10º
- Medicine Horse – Medicine Horse | 9º
- Sorcerer – Reign of the Reaper | 8º
- Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean – Obsession Destruction | 7º
- Convocation – No Dawn For The Caliginous Night | 6º
- Lord Mountain – The Oath | 5º
- Inherus – Beholden | 4º
- Vanishing Kids – Miracle of Death | 3º
- Oromet – Oromet | 2º
- Godthrymm – Distortions | 1º