The 25 Most Essential Doom Albums of All Time – 1970 to 2020s

best doom metal albums all time
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Doom. Your mom probably don’t like it but we freakin’ live for the stuff. Here’s ELECTRIKJAM’s picks for the 25 most essential doom albums of ALL TIME…

Doom metal, a subgenre that evolved from the heavy metal scene, is known for its slow tempos, thick sound, and an aura of sorrow and dread. It started with bands like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus, and Trouble in the 1970s and has been growing and evolving ever since.

There are now numerous subgenres and hundreds of artists and bands working in this particular field. Most people know SLEEP and Electric Wizard but there’s plenty of other gems to found if you’re new to the genre.

We’re big fans of the heavy stuff here at ELECTRIKJAM, so here’s our pick of the 25 most essential doom albums spanning from 1970 to the 2020s. Got a suggestion of your own? Join the r/ELECTRIKJAM subreddit and start a thread – we can argue / discuss shit on there.

Best Doom Albums of All Time

doom metal

Pioneers and Founding Fathers (1970s-1980s)

  1. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970) – This groundbreaking album birthed the doom genre with its heavy blues and occult themes, setting the standard for decades to come.
  2. Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus (1984) – Defined the essence of doom with its slow, heavy riffing and melancholic vocals.
  3. Trouble – Psalm 9 (1984) – Pioneered epic doom, featuring operatic vocals and dark, haunting lyrics.
  4. Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986) – Established epic doom metal with majestic melodies and dramatic operatic vocals.
  5. Witchfinder General – Death Penalty (1982) – A fusion of NWOBHM with doom elements, paving the way for future subgenres.
  6. Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales (1984) – Combined doom with thrash metal aggression, influencing the evolution of death metal.
  7. Paradise Lost – Icon (1990) – Bridged doom and death metal, laying the groundwork for the emergence of gothic metal.

Evolution and Subgenre Creation (1990s-2000s)

  1. My Dying Bride – Turn Loose the Swans (1993) – Defined melodic doom with its sorrowful beauty and clean, emotive vocals.
  2. Cathedral – Forest of Equilibrium (1991) – Established stoner doom with psychedelic influences and fuzzed-out guitars.
  3. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (2000) – Pioneered ultra-slow, sludgy doom with psychedelic and occult undertones.
  4. Neurosis – Souls at Zero (1992) – Combined sludge, doom, and hardcore, creating a crushing and chaotic sound.
  5. Sleep – Dopesmoker (1999) – A monolithic stoner doom masterpiece with hypnotic riffs and epic song structures.
  6. Type O Negative – October Rust (1996) – Fused gothic rock with doom metal, achieving mainstream success.
  7. Sunn O))) – Black One (2000) – Pioneered drone metal with minimalist, atmospheric soundscapes.
  8. Draconian – Arcane Rain Fell (2005) – Championed gothic doom with soaring operatic vocals and orchestral arrangements.

Modern Heavyweights and Future Directions (2010s-Present)

  1. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden (2012) – Reinvigorated traditional doom with emotional depth and technical songwriting.
  2. Bell Witch – Mirror Witch (2013) – Atmospheric funeral doom with mournful clean vocals and crushing weight.
  3. YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend (2014) – Experimental doom with progressive influences and complex song structures.
  4. The Body – Corpsepaint (2014) – Merged doom with noise and black metal, creating visceral and unsettling atmospheres.
  5. Conan – Blood Eagle (2018) – Revived epic doom with barbarian themes and Conan the Barbarian influences.
  6. Lingua Ignota – Caligula (2019) – Avant-garde black metal infused with doom and dark wave, exploring themes of trauma and abuse.
  7. Amenra – Mass III (2017) – Post-metal influenced doom with spiritual themes and soaring clean vocals.
  8. Thou – Magus (2014) – Sludge doom with raw honesty and introspective lyrics.
  9. Mizmor – Cairn (2017) – Atmospheric funeral doom with minimalist instrumentation and profound melancholy.
  10. Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind (2020) – Melodic death metal fused with doom, featuring powerful vocals and technical riffs.

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