DRUIDESS – Hermits & Mandrakes EP

With an opening track titled ‘Witches’ Sabbath’, this EP from British rock band Druidess makes no secret of its chief influences and interests. However, in a world that can feel overpopulated by doom and stoner metal bands, these guys really stand out. Their occult themed material and huge riffs fill the void left by Witch Charmer and Black Moth, and throughout the material on this debut, Shonagh Brown’s melodic vocals provide a superbly clear counterpoint to the band’s otherwise heavy sound.

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RED MESA – Partial Distortions

Red Mesa’s second album ‘The Path To The Deathless’ brought the world a selection of finely crafted riffs during the pandemic lockdown of 2020. At the album’s most melodic, tracks like ‘Death I Am’ injected an extra spookiness into a classic desert rock backdrop; at its most groove laden, Red Mesa blended the driving elements of early Sabbath’s faster offerings with an extra layer of fuzz that looked back to classic Corrosion of Conformity, and when occasionally stretching for heavier sounds, their slow and oppressive riffs showed a love for the mighty Electric Wizard. In terms of taking a bunch of key influences and chucking them into a giant stoner metal stew, it was the kind of album that genre fans would love.

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Watch: The Holy Nothing share a new video for ‘Unending Death’

As 2023 began to fade, US doom/stoner metal band The Holy Nothing arrived with a genuine force. Their debut EP, ‘Vol 1: A Profound and Nameless Fear’ brought plenty of heaviness, but the band often worked their riffs in a more inventive way than a lot of other doom-centric acts.

Even on the EP’s most predictable cut, ‘Unending Death’, their gift for delivering a weighty sound was more than clear.

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During the dying days of 2023, Welsh stoner/doom band Goat Major made some huge musical waves with their debut EP ‘Evil Eye’. Although its three tracks didn’t really set out to offer genre fans anything especially new, it was clear these lads had a massive set of talents, and clearly understood that taking a well liked style and reworking it flawlessly would be, in many ways, more beneficial than adding new twists and somehow missing the mark. Whichever way you approached it, the EP sounded superb. The riffs were incredibly weighty, the filtered vocal added a Sabbathy ‘Planet Caravan’-esque strangeness, and the rhythm section sounded like a truck. In DIY terms, ‘Evil Eye’ was absolutely peak stoner/doom – a download not to be missed, and a release that set up enormous hopes for an equally good follow up.

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Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. This time around, we bring you the return of some ska legends, a remix from a cult dream pop act, something with a huge electronica/dance core, some massive stoner/doom riffs…and more besides. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy!


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