The hand of doom sowed many a seed this year… and they blossomed into a slew of immense albums that sent ripples across the ages.
Seventh century Northumbria, ancient Mesoamerica and modern-day decay all vied for influence on our Best Doom Metal Albums of 2022.
Think you know heavy? Think again.

10. Behold! The Monolith – From The Fathomless Depths (Ripple Music)

Behold! The Monolith made us wait seven years for the follow-up to Architects of the Void.

And from the sounds of From The Fathomless Depths, they’d spent it under the gaze of Cthulu, jamming doom riffs in some godforsaken underwater abyss.

The LA trio’s fourth album came at us like a wave of filthy bilge water, carrying cyclopean grooves and swirling solos.

Peer into the darkness for long enough though, and you’d discover the proggy seascape of The Seams of Pangaea among the more abrasive offerings.

A welcome return.

9. The Otolith – Folium Lumina (Blues Funeral Recordings)

Former SubRosa members Kim Cordray, Levi Hanna, Andy Patterson and Sarah Pendleton, alongside bassist Matt Brotherton, brought us six melancholic hymns on The Otolith’s debut.

Cordray and Pendleton’s violins weaved rich tapestries of ghostly splendour into Folium Lumina, while Hanna underscored their contributions with the deepest riffs.

A palpable sense of tension was worked into every movement.

The multiple vocal contributions were thrilling.

Intensity burned through each note.

Folium Lumina begged to be explored… and was an album to lose yourself in.

8. Conan – Evidence of Immortality (Napalm Records)

Another Conan album, another planet pounded into dust.

Bar a blastbeat or two, Jon Davis and co.’s ‘caveman battle doom’ hasn’t evolved much since the band’s early days.

But Conan’s international success is proof of its allure.

Evidence of Immortality offered six slabs of incalculable weight, with Levitation Hoax and the fearsome Ritual of Anonymity doing the most structural damage, and Grief Sequence intriguing fans with its funeral doom organs and spectral atmospherics.

When it comes to relentless heaviness, few bands can compete.

7. Candlemass – Sweet Evil Sun (Napalm Records)

Candlemasss influence drips through the doom metal scene like hot wax.

The Swedes’ contribution to the genre has never been in doubt.

But 36 years after the release of Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, it’s still heartening to see Candlemass releasing albums as powerful as Sweet Evil Sun.

Johan Lanquist’s commanding vocals swept across songs like Black Butterfly and Scandinavian Gods: the man is a master of his craft.

And every last drop of darkness was wrung from the frets of Lars Johansson and Mappe Björkman, whose death knell riffs on Angel Battle epitomised this band’s timeless sound.

The sun isn’t setting on Candlemass any time soon.

6. Parish – Parish (Crypt Of The Wizard)

Londoners Parish wandered the lanes of old Albion as they brought fuzzy folk horror and pastoral proto-metal to 2022.

For one of the year’s surprise debuts, the quartet drew on Wishbone Ash, Budgie and Black Sabbath to create a very English doom record, an album born of archaic spells and witches’ brew.

From The Earth Stopper’s enchanting lilt to Cunning Murrell’s Iommian powerchords, Parish worked their earth magic into every nook and cranny of this record.

And they gave us something very special.

5. MWWB – The Harvest (New Heavy Sounds)

In their former guise as Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, MWWB conjured three magical albums of supreme psych-doom.

They could have continued on the same path.

But The Harvest opened up a new chapter for this mesmeric Welsh act.

The druidic essence of Noeth ac Anoeth, Y Proffwyd Dwyll and Yn Ol I Annwn submitted to retro-futurism, John Carpenter flick synths and an altogether darker aura: but the effect was no less enthralling.

This wasn’t a complete about turn, however, as Hawkwind’s cosmic rays still reached The Harvest… and MWWB’s doomed soul remained intact.

4. Blacklab – In A Bizarre Dream (New Heavy Sounds)

Yuko Morino and Chia Shiraishi have long defined their own sense of ‘heavy’… and consequently Blacklab’s third record was a kaleidoscope of low slung tones, immense riffery and punky chaos.

Cold Rain fell like acidic sludge, Collapse snapped and snarled, Abyss Woods seemed built from Cathedral’s masonry and album highlight Crows, Sparrows and Cats – featuring Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier on lead vocals – oozed eccentric cool.

This Osaka duo seemingly know no boundaries. And on In A Bizarre Dream, they shone brightly.

Read the full review here

3. Kurokuma – Born Of Obsidian (Self-released)

Sheffield’s Kurokuma opened a portal to ancient Mesoamerica on this reality-defying record.

Produced by Sanford Parker, Born Of Obsidian was a work of time-warping genius that blurred the lines between doom, krautrock and tribal psychedelia, a primal record which pulled its devotees into a swirling sonic vortex.

After a string of EPs, singles and splits, Kurokuma’s debut album was eagerly awaited.

But few could have imagined what lay in wait.

Check out the full review here

2. Grave Lines – Communion (New Heavy Sounds)


It’s as good a word as any to describe Grave Lines’ corrosive, soul-sapping take on doom.

On Communion, the Londoners scraped riffs from the abattoir floor and sculpted emotionally punishing, visceral music that got right under the skin.

It was the perfect successor to 2018’s terrifying Fed Into The Nihilist Engine.

From the proto-industrial pulse of Sinensis to the gutter-dwelling angst of Argyraphaga, Grave Lines’ intense third opus followed a nightmarish path… one they didn’t flinch from.

Read the full review here

So which album claimed number one spot in our Best Doom Metal Albums of 2022 list?

1. Arð – Take Up My Bones (Prophecy Productions)

Inspired by the story of Saint Cuthbert, a seventh century monk and the patron saint of Northumbria, Take Up My Bones was a majestic, windswept vision of ‘monastic doom’, brought to life by musical director, composer, pianist and arranger Mark Deeks.

Northumberland native Deeks (pictured top) – known in metal circles for his work with Winterfylleth – brought the full scope of his talents to bear on Arð’s debut.

And he weaved Saint Cuthbert’s tale into six beautifully crafted songs.

The chill of the North Sea and the scent of campfires was never far away.

Culminating in the breathtaking Only Three Shall Know, Take Up My Bones took doom to new places… and ancient lands. 

Enjoyed our Best Doom Metal Albums of 2022? Check out our Best Trad Metal Albums of 2022 here.

Arð photo by Gavin Forster.