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A Tasty Round-Up of French Stoner/Doom (Part II)

By Steph Le Saux

We are pleased to present this guest piece by Steph Le Saux, who writes for the blog Temple of Perdition and here gives us his picks for the best in French doom metal and stoner rock, from 2014 to the present. You may have noticed this article is labeled “Part II,” so where can you find Part I? Look to our friends across the pond at The Sludgelord, who have published Steph’s overall “heavy best” for 2014. In this article, he turns his attention to new and emerging heavy, Sabbath-influenced bands from the French scene in 2015. (BillyGoat)

Now it’s time for the second part of this tasty round-up! Let’s get some news on what’s about to come out this year from the french scene.

ABRAHMA's second album Reflections In the Bowel of a Bird will be released soon on Small Stone Records. No doubt, the band will be touring in Europe again to promote this new one, and why not the States? With this label, it seems more than possible.

AKASAVA is a promising young band from Le Havre, influenced by early Pentagram and the most obscure psychedelic, proto-doom stuff. Their first offering will be the Strange Aeons EP. Watch out for them - great image and charismatic singer!

BAGARRE GENERALE / YEAR OF NO LIGHT split LP will be soon out, an interesting release with two bands who’ve got their own unique (heavy) sound, forged through some kind of modern doom bordering on different (post-metal) territories.

CHAOS ECHŒS will release their first full-length Transient this summer on Nuclear War Now! Productions; a perfect teaming for a band which does everything possible to keep all your primal senses awake! This conceptual album will be released as a CD digi-sleeve, 2LP gatefold, digital and the usual special 2LP die hard, provided by the Californian label - each with special rich and refined artwork, Bleeding, horror-filled, initiatic, disturbing and experimental. This album will surely be pushing further the extremities of doom!

CROWN has been very quiet in 2014, but the band has a new album planned for release in a few months, as well as touring and festivals (Summer Breeze for example).

This month, CULT OF OCCULT recorded new songs: two covers and material for a split album…and they already plan to record again in April/May, which will already be their 3rd album! In 2014, the band played alternatively in the UK, Holland and Germany. I’m sure that those sludgey, satanic, riff worshipers will still be active here and there in Europe on the live front, too.

DENIZEN the old stoner rock band from Montpelier was pretty quiet over the past few years. Their comeback with Troubled Waters marks the beginning of a collaboration with Italian label Argonauta Records. Watch out for this bluesy machine!

After their successful demo released on vinyl, DOCTOR DOOM will be back within a couple of months with their first full length album - still on STB Records!

HANGMAN’S CHAIR is certainly not our sexiest band, but they’re probably our most solid, in terms of identity, rhythm, and quality of production. Their fourth album was recorded in December and will be called THISISNOTSUPPOSEDTOBEPOSITIVE!

After a nice little tour with UK’s obscure duo Pombagira last spring, HUATA have been pretty quiet, having to face line-up changes. The band is now a quintet (there’s a new bassist and dummer, plus Ronan left the organ to just concentrate on vocals, and they now have a keyboardist) and has worked hard on composing a new album which should definitely be their doomiest! Watch out, for they have not finished their ascension.

After having played several great gigs in 2014, including two dates in Russia, LOVE SEX MACHINE are actually recording their new album. Expect some dirty Sludge around the corner!

MUDBATH's album Corrado Zeller (follow-up to 2012’s Red Desert Orgy) will be out later this month on Lost Pilgrim Records. This band is a sludge monster and this album should be on the wishlist of every fan of harsh and doomy sludge. They’re actually touring Europe (Switzerland, Austria, France) and I’m sure there will be more foreign sonic devastations this year!

Heavy-Prog-doomsters NORTHWINDS will have Eternal Winter finally released sometime this year. The follow-up to the legendary Winter will see the band teaming again with long-time partners of Black Widow Records. Before this, the band will co-release a split EP with MARBLE CHARIOT, a young traditional doom metal act from Bordeaux. The song “Witchcoven” has been recorded “live” at home and is a pretty different take from what the band plays usually. Anyways, Northwinds too damn rare and underrated!

After playing Roadburn Festival last year and giving quite a few gigs domestically, REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER will enter the studio in March to record their new album for Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions, a new apocalyptic blackened sludge assault which should give them worldwide recognition.

SILVER MACHINE could be a kind of intruder on a doom-stoner blog, but I know that many of you here can also enjoy pure heavy metal, right?!? Silver Machine have an album in the works and they’re in the vein of the great old ones, with twirling guitars and a good melodic singer. If you’re still here, then this band’s second demo deserves a quick, attentive listen!

Toulouse’s new band SOYUZ BEAR recently released their debut demo MMXV, a promising three-song debut full of filthy sludge/doom with billing vocals.

Kreizh-Breizh heroes STANGALA and STONEBIRDS are about to be back with new stuff. Can’t tell you more about the first band at the moment, but Into The Fog… and The Filthy Air is the title of the new Stonebirds album, scheduled for release this spring on Pink Tank Records, I’ve been lucky enough to hear it and what strikes immediately is the MASSIVE sound, which is definitely a great take on heavy atmospheric sludge.

And what if THE BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND were to finally record a fucking new album?? The one and only Bottle Ben told me a few weeks ago that it should be for February, but it seems really hypothetical. Shit, it’s been such a long time that Blood For The Blood King was released now, just the split EP with Void Moon in 2013 was definitely not enough - we need this new album, guys, and you, too, I’m sure!

After a CD release via Deadlight Entertainment last summer, WITCHTHROAT SERPENT's first album will be released on vinyl (with new artwork) by the American label Emetic Records (Eyehategod, Crowbar, Belzebong). The band will be playing at the next Hellfest, too, and have been working hard on their sophomore album leading up to it.

I’m sure there’s quite a few other French bands with good stuff in the works, for example from the camps of FUNERALIUM, BLACK MOTH CULT, ATARAXIE, CARNE, LDDSM, etc. etc. Watch out for the French scene, my friends!

Thanks to Steve and Billy for giving me the place to write these lines, all the best to the Sludgelord and Doomed&Stoned!