Doomed: A Quick Introduction to Doom Metal
Doom metal is my favourite musical genre. Slow tempos, downtuned guitars, and heavy riffs.
There's something about those crushing riffs and the way they wash over your body. It's like a thundering stampede of war elephants, creating a rich soundscape so dense that your very bones reverberate.
Then there's the lyrics, which capture all kinds of emotions, from the sense of impending dread and despair, to the thrill of victory in battle, with surprising eloquence.
If you've never heard of doom metal before, let me fill you in. Get your headphones ready. 🤘🏻😎🤘🏻
Doom Metal was born, in part, by an unfortunate accident. A gifted young guitarist named Tony Iommi lost his fret hand's fingertips in a workplace accident. He thought he'd never be able to play again, but didn't give up. With the help of a coworker, he learned to extend his amputated fingers with thimbles, and loosen the strings to make them easier to pluck. This gave his notes the heavy, distorted sound that helped catapult his band into stardom.
That band was Black Sabbath.
The ensuing years gave rise to many imitators, gradually defining doom metal as its own unique genre within the heavy metal sphere. Since then, it has diversified even further, with different subgenres molding and shaping doom metal in all kinds of interesting ways.
Doom metal has many subgenres. What follows is a brief summary of each, and some example bands and songs.
There are also at least a couple of related, non-metal genres.
Drug use is probably the most common theme in doom metal songs; perhaps because stoner doom is probably the most popular subgenre. However, dig beneath the surface and there's a lot to explore.
Drugs (Black Sabbath, Dopethrone)
Wizards & magic (Candlemass, Witchcraft)
Anti-Christianity (Reverend Bizarre)
Science fiction (Mars Red Sky)
Epic fantasy (Conan, Cirith Ungol)
Grief and loss (Warning, Skepticism)
The desert (Kyuss, Truckfighters)
Slasher horror (Acid Witch, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats)
War (Devil's Witches)
Doom Metal has something for everyone. Well, almost everyone. Hopefully you'll find something you like!
Not to be confused with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, an unrelated magic reptile-themed band that is also Australian and also known to play doom metal.↩