The Top 11 Albums of August, 2023

It’s time again. Every month at this time I agonize over the albums I didn’t hear, or gawd forbid forgot! Then I remember: I’m with the Doom Charts, and they got our back. So these are the Top 11 Albums of August, 2023. With a HUGE assist from Stephanie and Colin!!!!!!!

The Top 11 Albums of August

All of these albums are “album of the month” worthy, in my opinion. As usual, the Top 11 Albums of August are in a virtual tie for the #1 slot. I think it’s worth the time of any fan of the Heavy Underground’s to take you to these for a spin, put them on the playlist, and ultimately buy the album. Or at least buy a T-shirt. Support your bands!!!

11. Spirit Adrift – Ghost at the Gallows

Ghost at the Gallows is not a Stoner/Doom album. It’s straight-ahead classic Heavy Metal in its purest form. In fact, I think within the heavy metal seen in general this is an extremely strong album of the year contender. It comes in at #11 on my list as a show of respect: both to Spirit Adrift and the Stoner/Doom community. Nate Garrett and Co. have put together one of the finest slabs of metal in recent memory. With all Nate Garrett projects, this one goes deeper then your usual Metal release. I strongly recommend checking out his entire discography and see how he is involved from a person early in recovery, to someone dealing with the deeper issues that come up in sobriety. Spirit Adrift might even be developing a whole new genre: Post-Recovery Metal., showing that there’s more to life than the first year of sobriety.

10. Kind – close encounters

Kind has always been a band that brings a little “more” to the party than just killer riffs and a groovalicious rhythm section. They also bring a subtle sense of humor and an elevated approached all things heavy. While they might not necessarily be “progressive,” they’re certainly ambitious in ways that are always surprising and engaging. They also do harmonies that DON’T sound like Alice in Chains!


I LOVE hearing a band like Drune for the first time. There’s something magical about witnessing Stoner/Doom maturing and evolving over fifty years. Drune is one of a new generation of bands who grew up with all the various forms and factions of Metal, and have the ability to channel what they need to create haunting atmospheres with (at times) blackened intent. Props to any band that can make Black Metal-ish vocals feel like I’ve always liked them, and believe for a moment that I love them.


Yes, I love how eclectic Stoner/Doom is becoming. But Doom is still where my heart and spirit reside. I need something Classic, something low and slow that takes it’s time and gives me something to dive into and go “aaaaahh, yesssss.” Godthrymm is that band for me right now, and Distortions is that album. For fans of Monolord who need something other than Monolord, who can’t carry the scene by themselves.


Jeff Gallagher, AKA Mule Thrower, takes influences as varied and fragmented as Roy Clark and Electric Wizard, throws them against a wall and makes one hell of a mess. Cuts is basically an aural Jackson Pollock painting. Like Pollock, it’s a work of art worthy of study and reflection. But to get maximum effect, I think ya gotta be willing to look at your own shit in the process. My full review is here.

06. beware if gods – history eats itself

It would be easy to write that Beware of Gods is on the verge of greatness. I think it’s also safe to write that they already are, we just haven’t caught up to it yet. It’s hard to explain what’s going on with bandleader The Archetype’s music lately, and even if I could I think it would ruin the experience. But I will state, categorically, that if you’re a fan of all things dark and heavy, full of substance and meaning, you do not want to miss this release.

05. AWWKS/Aiwass – The Eastern Scrolls

What do you get when you take two bands, who are the best of friends yet totally unlike one another, give them each a song to write about a historical figure, and if I every possible expectation you had? You get The Eastern Scrolls, an album so cool and confounding that it’s a must-have experience.

But don’t take my word for it. Check out this video from The Fuzz Club as a bunch of us are also confused, amazed, and totally into it:


Todd from King Volume gets extremely excited about bands. Those are the bands that you find on his label. I had the chance to talk to him earlier in the year, and there were two bands he was extemely excited about: Auralayer and To Yo. I gotta tell ya, he undersold both of ’em”

To Yo is a modern Psych band from Japan that pulls from a rich tradition that includes the Magic Flower Band and even Mothers Acid Temple. But without the weirdness. The album flows from start to finish like a cool breeze in the heat of Summer. This is a magical album and a must-have for fans of psychedelic music with brief moments of heavy riffage.


Silent Future has been filling my ears and soul in between juggling final mixes and mastering for my own band’s release.  Because of all of the logistical nightmares that I’ve been experiencing with my own music, I couldn’t help but keep thinking to myself, “how the hell did these two bands pull this off?!!!” After all, REZN is based out of Chicago and Vinnum Sabbathi hail from Mexico City, Mexico.

If you dig music in the heavy/atmospheric/fantasy/doom wheelhouse, do yourself a favor and purchase REZN & Vinnum Sabbathi; Silent Future!

-Colin (Full review and Interview here)


Overall, I found this album to be a very polished, refined, and vibrant version of Moon Coven. I was actually very much reminded of The Sword considering the more traditional doom style and lyrics Moon Coven utilizes here. Comparatively, Slumber Wood was heavy and dark, even sludgy. Sun King feels a bit like crawling out of the abyss and into the light; almost like the continuation of a story or a new one altogether. It’s a very natural evolution.

It’s clear that Moon Coven has really put the work in fine-tuning their signature sound, proving themselves able to play multiple styles and do it well. If you can do that, the sky’s the limit. With this kind of talent and ambition to branch out and improve, I have a strong feeling that they’ll be (even more) successful. This is a band that absolutely refuses to stagnate.

-Stephanie (Full review here)


Oh, Borracho. Why did you have to be so awesome? #1 for this month was already hard, but y’all made it near impossible.

But it was also impossible to ignore what I heard. Deep, rich sounds with perfect balance and texture, emanating from a set of headphones I don’t associate with that kind of presentation. The song writing is also fantastic, ranging from straightahead rock ‘n’ roll to out of your mind sonic journeys.

Borracho has always been good, but I don’t remember them being this good. This is on a whole different level, and I can’t wait to go deep into their back catalog and catch up on what I’ve been missing. For this writer, this is solid AOTY material. Blurring the Lines of Reality makes it clear that there’s room at the top of the genre, and we have another band that can join the likes of Elder and King Buffalo representing the best that Stoner/Doom can offer.

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