The Thriving Underground UK Doom Metal Scene Chronicled In Awesome New Documentary, The Doom Doc
Regardless of which subgenre of metal you may find yourself drawn to, there's no disputing where it all started. The opening devil's note riff of Black Sabbath's eponymous 1970 debut laid the foundation for heavy metal as a whole, but more specifically, it served as the very first doom metal record ever created. Since then, countless bands following in the footsteps of Sabbath have spawned all over the globe, and in the UK, the underground doom scene continues to thrive. We previewed a new documentary called The Doom Doc that explores this earlier in the year, and now, we have the premiere of the full documentary right here.
The film was created by Connor Matheson and it follows the story of Holy Spider, a group of doom promoters in Sheffield who contribute to the DIY stoner, doom and sludge scene over there. On a personal note, I've been a longtime admirer of a lot of the bands coming out of that scene; bands like Boss Keloid, Slabdragger, Elephant Tree, Barbarian Hermit and Conan. The documentary features interviews with some of the underground bands keeping the doom scene alive over there, including some of the aforementioned bands, bands from other parts of the world, such as Denver's Primitive Man, as well as some legends of the genre, including Bill Ward of Black Sabbath and Kirk Windstein of Crowbar.
In addition to chronicling how the scene has evolved and the bands that make it so awesome, the documentary does a nice job of exploring the history of the genre, explaining the differentiation of the blurred lines between doom, stoner and sludge and some of the issues that inspire the musicians to create the art they do, including mental health gentrification and, of course, weed.
One of the film's producers, Joe E. Allen, plays drums in an up-and-coming band named Kurokuma and serves as one of the masterminds of Holy Spider. Along with director Connor Matheson, he was a big part of the film's production and he's particularly excited to get The Doom Doc out to the masses, which has been a pure labor of love.
"This film is a snapshot capturing the Sheffield and UK heavy scenes at their best, as well as a huge chunk of my life and friends, to be honest," Allen shared. "Looking back to the times when all the footage was lost, and then the subsequent crowdfunder where everyone came together to make sure we had the cash to make this possible, it's been a mad journey. The premiere at The Showroom here in Sheffield was insane, and we're proud the film's been shown at Roadburn, Brutal Assault and loads of other festivals, but now it's time to release it for everyone to see – this was our intention from the start."
If you like doom, stoner or sludge in any capacity, be sure to pick up a copy of The Doom Doc. I can guarantee that you will discover a slew of badass bands to fill your ears with. Weed not required (though it certainly helps).