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Mind Manifesting: Apothecary's Guide To Psychedelic Soundscapes

I've always been a huge fan for psychedelic music of any and all kinds. The enveloping atmosphere, the ability of minimalist solos to create a grand sense of harmony, and all those deliciously trippy effects that you can zone out with... they all come together for such a stimulating, otherworldly experience. This is often the type of music I'm most comfortable with: dazing, mind numbing, and hypnotizing.

My psychedelic definitions (including, but not limited to)
1. Very free flowing and (often) formless guitar playing. Specific soloing style of focusing more on the individual notes themselves to create a grand harmony around the main rhythm at hand.
2. Intense manipulation of guitar tone, including feedback, delay, looping, etc.
3. Heavy use of electronic effects. This is something that goes back to the earliest psychedelic bands of the 60s who used hammond organ and harpsichord, but today it's evolved into a wide range of keyboards, synths, equalizers, etc.

Recs both encouraged and appreciated.

Created by: Apothecary | 19.09.2014

1. Aarni - Bathos
All that's good in the worlds of one man metal, Lovecraftian mythos, and magic mushrooms. Proceed through the caverns of Markus Marjomaa's mind with caution. *Highlights: Kivijumala, V.I.T.R.I.O.L.
2. Æthenor - En Form for Blå
A project of Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley and Garm and Daniel O'Sullivan from Ulver. Trippy, Avantgarde, and all around otherworldly and bizarre. If you enjoyed Terrestrials, chances are good you'll appreciate this one as well. *Highlights: Jocasta, One Number Of Destiny In Ninety Nine.
3. Angst Skvadron - Sweet Poison
Black metal drenched in spacey vibes, a good half of this album is actually just strictly instrumental melody. Fun, groovy, and surprisingly relaxing. *Highlights: Fucking Karma, Sweet Poison.
4. Atomikylä - Erkale
Oranssi Pazuzu meet Dark Buddha Rising. That should be enough to get any psychedelic, drone, or dark ambient junkie's mouth watering. As good as it sounds.
5. Bong - Stoner Rock
Hindu raga epic hail Shiva sitar drone. Yes, you read that right. *Highlights: Polaris.
6. Boris - Smile
These multi-faceted Japanese take a break from the monolithic drone of their early days and go for something more based in rock structures: relaxed, mellow, and floaty. *Highlights: Next Saturn, You Put Up Your Umbrella.
7. Cloak Of Altering - NONE
Maybe not psychedelic in the relaxing sense of most other albums on here, but nonetheless, this is probably the one COA album that most sits in this territory. Nightmarish, trippy, and strangely resembling video game music at points with its electronics, this is the sonic equivalent of Jodorosky's Santa Sangre: a psychedelic journey through hell. *Highlights: Unending Deities, Plane Of The Seven Earths.
8. Dark Buddha Rising - Dakhmandal
A curious blend of drone doom and dark ambient, with tasty electronic effects to help recreate the cries of Wrathful Buddhas in the Intermediate State. *Highlights: K, M.
9. Domovoyd - Oh Sensibility
The debut of this Finnish group is a strong stoner output. Groovy and heavy, but also very laid back, melodic, and pleasantly atmospheric, as a great ode to classic psychedelic culture. *Highlights: By Taking A Breath, Effluvial Condenser.
10. Earth - Primitive And Deadly
The first Earth album with vocals in quite a while, think of this one as a heavier version of The Bees. Same sort of Western, bluesy feel going on, but this time it's a bit darker and more structured. *Highlights: There Is A Serpent Coming, From The Zodiacal Light.
11. Electric Wizard - Come My Fanatics...
If you don't know this album, what the hell are you doing on this list? *Highlights: Return Trip, Wizard In Black.
12. Esoteric - Paragon Of Dissonance
Always a creative force in funeral doom, the recent output from these guys is a natural continuation in their saga: crushing, trippy, and enveloping as ever. *Highlights: Abandonment, Non Being.
13. Fullmoon Bongzai - Is All That You Deserve
Weird, weird, and more weird. BIZZARE black metal from Greece drenched in a mindfuckingly creepy electronic cloak. *Highlights: Like A Virgin, Mora & Kasida.
14. Ginnungagap - Remeindre
Another Stephen O'Malley project, totally shamanic and including many nontraditional instruments such as tambura, farfisa, and sruti box. Amazing Eastern feel, if George Harrison had gone full force with the Indian thing with the Beatles, this is likely what would've resulted. *Highlights: Duel Ravens.
15. Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma
Black metal meets Hawkwind. There is no turning back. *Highlights: Mountain Of Horror, When All Is Black.
16. Horseback - Half Blood
Essentially what happens when drone and black metal meet psychedelic rock. Awesome album, and awesome project in general. *Highlights: Arjuna, all the Hallucigenia tracks.
17. Jex Thoth - Blood Moon Rise
Something like doom's ode to Jefferson Airplane, with Jessica Bowen conjuring thoughts of Grace Slick with her vocals, and the band following suit with the laid back atmosphere at work here. *Highlights: The Places You Walk, Keep Your Weeds.
18. Klabautamann - Merkur
More BM than anything else, but also interspersed with an amazingly well-executed dreamy atmosphere that is both enticing and stimulating and well worth the wait at the moments in which it does choose to rear its head. *Highlights: Merkur, Lurker In The Moonlight, Noatun (cherish this album, it gets better as it goes along!).
19. Mastodon - The Hunter
I remember this used to be my least favorite of the band's albums, but these days I don't really dislike it for what it isn't as much as I can appreciate it for what it is: probably Mastodon's biggest tribute to acid rock, with a ton of nods to Pink Floyd. *Highlights: Stargasm, Creature Lives.
20. Monster Magnet - Tab
Quite possibly the spacey-est of these stoner rockers' releases, featuring the massive title track, a 30 minute + through hallucinogenic landscapes of guitar, keyboard, and groooovy viiiiiibes maaaaaan. *Highlights: Tab, of course!
21. Mörkö - Itsensänimeävä
Finnish metal has been getting quite trippy in recent years, and Mörkö are an excellent example. Blackened doom, but with a great balance between the two, the more doomy moments getting quite melodic and dreamlike. *Highlights: Kosmoksen Huhmareessa.
22. The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation - Anthropomorphic
A strange blend of jazz, dark ambient, and psychedelia. Horns lull you into a quiet numb while synth effects tickle your mind.
23. Murmuüre - Murmuüre
French Avantgarde psychedelic one man insanity black metal. To describe it any farther would simply ruin the mindfuck. *Highlights: Reincarnate, Amethyst.
24. Nachtmystium - Assassins: Black Meddle, Part 1
Perhaps the strangest album from Blake Judd's band, with a bunch of trippy elements and an intentional head nod to Pink Floyd with its title. *Highlights: Omnivore, the three part Seasick.
25. New Keepers Of The Water Towers - The Cosmic Child
More psychedelic-ish stoner metal, heavy, mellow, and chill. *Highlights: The Great Leveller, Pyre For The Red Sage.
26. Nocte Obducta - Umbriel (Das Schweigen Zwischen Den Sternen)
Once BM, these Germans have made a strange left turn with this latest album, which is more of an Avantgarde ambient journey through dense keyboard effects and melodic guitar lines. *Highlights: Dinner Auf Uranos, Leere.
27. Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu
More space rocky than the previous albums, in part a nod to the band's increasing embrace of krautrock influences. Bouncy, trippy, and faaaaar ouuuuut maaaaan. *Highlights: Uraanisula, Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silmän.
28. Rintrah - Salt Of The Earth
Cool mix of some psychedelic stoner elements with a bit of prog too. Strong debut.
29. Samsara Blues Experiment - Long Distance Trip
Great, great ode to classic acid rock, perhaps one of the best examples of the genre's resurgence in recent years. Easily sounds like something the Dead or Country Joe & The Fish could've done, but with a strange sense of modernity that unquestionably lets you know they're a recent band. *Highlights: Singata Mystic Queen, Center Of The Sun.
30. Seidr - Ginnungagap
Interesting funeral doom with a very relaxed, melodic side to it and some very drone-ish moments as well. Chants and occasional acoustic guitar help to embellish upon this mood quite well. *Highlights: A Blink Of The Cosmic Eye, As You Return.
31. Spectral Haze - I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains
With Hawkwind and Monster Magnet worship galore, the debut of this Norwegian four piece is enough to make you think it was released in 73 if you didn't read the release date. Proceed with caution with these psychonauts. *Highlights: Black Gandharvas, Triads And Trishulas.
32. Station Dysthymia - Overhead, Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out
Trippy Russian funeral doom, effectively described by one of our reviewers as something of a cross between Sunn O))) and Esoteric. Mastered by Greg Chandler, which may have contributed to the music's overall spacey vibe.
33. Sula Bassana - The Night
A side project of David Schmidt of Electric Moon, this one sees the inclusion of vocals to add in a whole nother dimension to the guy's trippy sound. Definitely recommended if you like your psych really spacey and inducing of a mood of flying in a rocketship, some nice krautrock elements to this one as well.
34. Sunn O))) - Terrestrials [Collaboration]
Masters of drone meet the psychedelic dabblings of the Avantgardists in Ulver. The result is nothing short of hypnotizing.
35. Transcending Bizarre? - The Four Scissors
Perhaps a strange album to put on here, more symphonic and Avantgarde than psychedelic, but still containing a very strong "floating" feeling, with an additional guitar soloing style typically associated with the style. All three members of Hail Spirit Noir were previously in this band, that should be enough to make you listen. *Highlights: A New Saturn!, To Heaven In A Thick Fog.
36. Undersmile - Narwhal
Drone/doom/sludge with not one, but TWO female vocalists. This creates an incredible dimension of harmony, and, coupled with the repetitive and often melodic nature of the music, conjures a highly ethereal, psychedelic vibe. *Highlights: Myra, Milk.
37. Windhand - Soma
Good stoner release, drony and monotonous, but with a pleasantly hazy, floating feeling. *Highlights: Woodbine.
38. Wo Fat - The Conjuring
One of stoner metal's biggest odes to classic psychedelic rock in recent years. Trippy, bluesy, and groovy in every sense of the word. *Highlights: The Conjuring, Dreamwalker.
39. Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom
One man psychedelic black metal from the heathen tundras of Iceland. Eerie shit. *Highlights: Djöflasýra.
40. Yob - Elaborations Of Carbon
Groovy and relaxing, everything Yob established themselves as being with this album, and have been ever since. *Highlights: Clearing Seeing, Asleep In Samsara.

Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Apothecary ]

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Comments: 34   Visited by: 90 users
28.10.2014 - 20:54
Erik M.

Tried Seidr - Ginnungagap the other day but it bored the hell out of me. Just listened to the first track though... since the album is so damn long I just put on something else after it.
28.10.2014 - 22:11
Drone Strike
Written by Erik M. on 28.10.2014 at 20:54

Tried Seidr - Ginnungagap the other day but it bored the hell out of me. Just listened to the first track though... since the album is so damn long I just put on something else after it.

Not gonna get results if you don't make the effort
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.
11.09.2015 - 08:16

Hey Apothecary, ever listened to Dysnomia, by Dawn of Midi? It's not metal in any way, but it's very formless and minimalist, really mesmerizing in my opinion, so it might be up your alley. If you hear any song off it you should get a good grasp of what the album sounds like. Cheers
27.09.2015 - 14:51
Drone Strike
Written by Gummingurru on 11.09.2015 at 08:16

Hey Apothecary, ever listened to Dysnomia, by Dawn of Midi? It's not metal in any way, but it's very formless and minimalist, really mesmerizing in my opinion, so it might be up your alley. If you hear any song off it you should get a good grasp of what the album sounds like. Cheers

Oh hey, I'm not sure why I didn't get a notification for this
I actually haven't heard of that, seems I've got some listening to do. Thanks
Check out Apothecary's Favorite Bands Playlist, brotendo. One track per band.

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