Traditional Doom Metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Traditional Doom Metal is one of the sub-genres of the Doom Metal genre. It can be seen as one of the earliest recognised forms of metal music, found as early as Heavy Metal itself through the work of Black Sabbath, who can be seen as the biggest influence on the development of the first actual doom metal acts in the late seventies and early eighties. Up until about 1985 the key founding doom metal acts were Pentagram (A.K.A. Death Row), Witchfinder General, Pagan Altar, Trouble and Saint Vitus. Two of these bands, Witchfinder General and Pagan Altar, were also heavily associated with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the only acts of the movement to be playing doom.

Due to it appearing first, traditional doom metal is often seen to be an interchangeable term with doom metal, and in its early days that would have been fair. Since then the doom metal genre has diversified considerably, including the development of other sub-genres including Death-Doom Metal, Funeral Doom Metal and Stoner Doom Metal, so the term doom metal on its own has come to be seen as a general term and traditional doom metal to be a sub-genre meaning something more specific, that being doom metal which still has strong ties to its heavy metal roots. This can come out in the music in the form of faster playing than that employed by other types of doom metal act, though it isn't considered essential for something to be traditional doom metal. What is considered essential in the genre is the use of clean, melodic vocals. Any dominate harsh or growled vocals typically preclude an artist or release from being considered traditional doom.

Traditional doom metal is sometimes also known as Epic Doom Metal, though some use the two terms to mean different things and the latter isn't as widely recognised as the former and the two share many similarities, so it is better to consider epic doom to be a variant on traditional doom, that variation coming in the form of a classical influence to the doom sound, which may come in the form of operatic singing. Acts such as Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus are among those commonly credited with playing epic doom, though are usually branded under the traditional doom metal banner. Both though are slightly later key acts of the sub-genre, with Candlemass releasing their debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986 and Solitude Aeturnus being one of the key acts of the nineties. Candlemass especially has gone onto be arguably the best known act of traditional doom metal, with Epicus Doomicus Metallicus and the following album Nightfall in particular often credited as two of the genre's best albums along with Pentagram's self-titled debut, Trouble's Psalm 9 and Pagan Altar's self-titled debut (A.K.A. Volume 1 or Judgement of the Dead).

While antiquated, like with traditional heavy metal itself traditional doom metal is still a commonly played form of music with old guard artists like Pentagram still going and many new acts like Argus, Pallbearer, Spirit Adrift and perhaps most notably The Doomsday Kingdom, a new project of Candlemass founder Leif Edling, flying its flag. It's influence has also found it's way into a modern heavy psych scene through acts such as Blood Ceremony, Uncle Acid and Ides of Gemini.

- Genre definition written by MorniumGoatahl.

Click for Full Sub-Genre Chart

traditional doom metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

SAINT VITUS Die Healing Album Cover Die Healing
SAINT VITUS
4.67 | 11 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CANDLEMASS Nightfall Album Cover Nightfall
CANDLEMASS
4.32 | 49 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PENTAGRAM Review Your Choices Album Cover Review Your Choices
PENTAGRAM
4.62 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TROUBLE Run to the Light Album Cover Run to the Light
TROUBLE
4.46 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CANDLEMASS Candlemass Album Cover Candlemass
CANDLEMASS
4.25 | 39 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PAGAN ALTAR Volume 1 Album Cover Volume 1
PAGAN ALTAR
4.47 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PENTAGRAM Last Rites Album Cover Last Rites
PENTAGRAM
4.29 | 15 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM The Doomsday Kingdom Album Cover The Doomsday Kingdom
THE DOOMSDAY KINGDOM
4.44 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
SOLITUDE AETURNUS Downfall Album Cover Downfall
SOLITUDE AETURNUS
4.30 | 11 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CANDLEMASS Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Album Cover Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
CANDLEMASS
4.13 | 58 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ARGUS Boldly Stride The Doomed Album Cover Boldly Stride The Doomed
ARGUS
4.20 | 16 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
PALLBEARER Foundations of Burden Album Cover Foundations of Burden
PALLBEARER
4.25 | 9 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

traditional doom metal online videos

traditional doom metal New Releases

.. Album Cover
Preserved In Time
Album
WHEEL
Buy this album from MMA partners

traditional doom metal Music Reviews

TROUBLE Trouble

Album · 1990 · Traditional Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Trouble’s self-titled is considered the band’s best work, but I consider it a large step back. To be clear, it’s still one of the best Trad Doom albums of its era, but that’s partly the problem. The Skull and Run to the Light were making bounds and leaps towards true Doom – the depressing, emotional atmosphere, the crushing riffs… They were certainly the closest the 80’s came to true Doom, and they were masterpieces.

Trouble is simply the band falling back into groovy Trad Doom territory. The progress of their last few albums is thrown aside in favor of a more “fun” traditional album. The songwriting is simplified, and there’s more focus on vocal melodies. Lyrics tend to be somber, but the delivery isn’t. In fact, it sounds like the band’s having a great time. Good for them, but I don’t want my Doom to sound like that!

All those gripes aside, I have to reiterate it’s probably the best pure Trad Doom put to record by the turn of the decade. Songs are interesting, varied, and fun. Eric Wagner sounds better than ever, though I prefer his more desperate delivery on earlier releases.

CANDLEMASS Tales of Creation

Album · 1989 · Traditional Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Tales of Creation is the last of Candlemass’ original golden era of albums, and what a fine way to conclude Messiah’s (first) run with the band. The album is a concept album of sorts, focusing on creation, loneliness, introspection and self-love. It may not have a direct overarching story, but there are call-back moments throughout that connect the dots.

Musically, it sounds rather identical to the previous two albums. Every song is strong, aside from the short segues there are no weak moments. Messiah’s voice is in top form, and Leif’s slow, melodic yet sludgy riffs are on point. You can’t expect anything new here, but you can expect another top notch Candlemass album.

CANDLEMASS Ancient Dreams

Album · 1988 · Traditional Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Candlemass deliver the same kind of quality, riff-driven epic Trad Doom as always. Again with Messiah’s intense vocal prowess, the album retains the sound from Nightfall. Ancient Dreams tends to be seen as a drop in quality, but I instead see it as a trade off of sorts. There is no doubt that Ancient Dreams fails to deliver the same highs as Nightfall; however, it also does away with any sort of filler material, which dragged Nightfall down a bit. What remains is an extremely consistent album where every song is of equal quality – an odd exception being the title track, who’s riffs are just odd, and Messiah’s vocals don’t really play off them well.

All in all, another high quality Trad Doom album that should be given the same respect as the rest of Candlemass’ first four albums.

CANDLEMASS Nightfall

Album · 1987 · Traditional Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Candlemass enter one of their most celebrated lineups here with the addition of Messiah and record the great Nightfall. By 1987, Candlemass was pretty much indisputably the best Doom band around, especially solidifying the fact after dropping a follow up album just as amazing as their debut (both of which remain their finest works in most people’s opinion).

They continue the same style as their debut, adding an epic and even uplifting sound to the slow and simple Doom genre, rife with religious symbolism as well as occult fantasy. Messiah and leif grab all the attention here, as Leif wrote most if not all of the music, including many of Trad Doom’s most memorable riffs, and Messiah puts on a vocal performance that would sound at home in an opera show. The act works well for the epic Doom rockers, and many of the songs tell small tales that effectively play off this aesthetic.

Unfortunately, while the debut was strictly 6 great songs, this album has a bit of filler found in mostly pointless interludes between songs. At the Gallows’ End and Samarithan are two of the greatest songs the band ever wrote, but the filler puts this album just below the debut in my opinion.

CANDLEMASS Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Album · 1986 · Traditional Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. The name carries immense weight, even before hearing what lies therein. Often given the title of the greatest Doom Metal album of all time, bandleader Leif Edling carries the band with immense riff-writing prowess, and Johan Längqvist wields a powerful, epic operatic bellow. Here, he sets the now solidified trope of epic vocals in Trad Doom. His voice was very unique at the time, being capable hitting highs and lows and everything in between, but always remaining melodic and full of vibrato. The riffs here are reminiscent of early Sabbath, but heavier, groovier, and better.

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus has no shortage of quality riffs and vocals, and in fact, there is absolutely no filler to be found. Something Candlemass hadn’t expanded on for Doom, however, was the mood and atmosphere. The songs here remain rather generic worshippings of demons, god, and death in general, and apart from some nice acoustic sections, there is no variation in style or sound. Candlemass are no doubt gods at what they do, which is play straightforward Trad Doom. Unfortunately, to call this the greatest Doom Metal album of all time when the genre has expanded into something so much more than straightforward slow metal is rather unfounded.

traditional doom metal movie reviews

No traditional doom metal movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Traditional Doom Metal release(s)

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Paranoid Heavy Metal
BLACK SABBATH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock
LED ZEPPELIN
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

The Future Is Yours Grindcore
DEATH TOLL 80K
Buy this album from MMA partners
Born Free Thrash Metal
CROMAGNUM
Buy this album from MMA partners
No Other Godz Before Me Speed Metal
AGENT STEEL
Buy this album from MMA partners
Mark of The Wolf Heavy Metal
LYCANTHRO
Buy this album from MMA partners
Opus Ferox - The Great Escape Progressive Metal
LOCH VOSTOK
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

CROMAGNUM - Tunguska
CROMAGNUM
Time Signature· 13 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us