Happy New Year to one and all, and welcome to the flipside. Dragging anchor today? No problem, I’ve got your back. Stoner metal, as the name would suggest, is the perfect soundtrack to a day spent in bed nursing a hangover, and 2018 saw no shortage of sun-baked desert riffage. A few made my Top 25 list, but many more were deserving of some shine. Time to remedy that. So order some takeout and soothe your aching noggin with some fuzzed-out grooves that you may have missed out on last year.
Shogun – Infinet
Kicking things off gently with acoustic guitar and birds chirping, Infinet soon take off on a stellar voyage of cosmic blues. These four tracks will leave you hungry for more.
Atomic Vulture – Stone of the Fifth Sun
For a (primarily) instrumental psychedelic stoner ode to the forces of nature, look no further. Belgium delivers.
Fusskalt – Intercooler
Instantly accessible, melodic, and groovy, this is the kind of stoner you’d take home to meet your parents. Great songs, excellent production, Danish quality.
Alastor – Slaves to the Grave
Moving into more doomy territory here, but Sweden’s Alastor has that slow dusky guitar tone that is so bloody soothing. Closing epic The Spider of My Love is guaranteed to put you in a delicious trance.
Gallons of Mud – God Bless & Fuck You
The band description is underselling these Germans hard. Some excellently infectious tunes and sweet-ass stoner grooving going on here. I find myself coming back to this one time and again.
Fire Down Below – Hymn of the Cosmic Man
This album was featured in many best of year lists and rightly so. Space tripping par excellence.
Foot – Buffalo
Excellent sophomore album from these down under cats.
Grandpa Jack – Grandpa Jack
A strong debut album of American desert fuzz that speaks to body, mind and soul.
Stoned Disciple – Lost Comm
Beautifully hypnotic, comfortingly warm, and exquisitely soothing, let this amazing desert stoner set you adrift in the cosmic gulf.
Dune Pilot – Lucy
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Better fasten your seatbelts, ‘cause this desert rocket is firing on all cylinders and our Dune Pilot will put it in sonic overdrive in three, two, one… blastoff!
Vestjysk Ørken – Cosmic Desert Fuzz
Fat slabs of heavy stoner fuzz laid down with skill, energy, and droned-out vision.
Saturno Grooves – Solar Hawk
Excellent no-frills sun-baked desert stoner. The Fuzz is strong with this one.
Wizard of phüzz – Cleõphüzz
Exactly what it says on the tin. Duh.
Tusmørkejuvel – Tusmørkejuvel
Another excellent addition to the burgeoning stoner/psych scene in Denmark.
Diamond Skull – Sleepless
Yeah, this was on my Top 25, but here it is again, ’cause this is about as soothing as desert stoner gets.
Lastly, not from 2018, but this so deserves mentioning:
Puta Volcano – Harmony of Spheres
That perfect moment when you follow some random Bandcamp link and two songs in you’re picking your jaw up off the floor while endorphines go off like fireworks in your brain. Melodies, riffs, vocals, drums, production – everything on this album is brilliant. A stoner rock revelation.
Featured image: Puta Volcano artwork by Katerina Karali