Various Doom Capital: Maryland/DC Heavy Rock Underground

Decidedly one of the year’s best compilations, Doom Capital crushes with genuinely solid songs, not throwaways and lame b-sides like Rise Above’s Rise 13: Magick Rock Vol. 1 and TMC’s In The Groove comps. The name is derived from the extreme breadth of essential doom that hails from the Washington, DC area and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Not only have these environs helped to shape the face of heavy rock since Pentagram rose to underground prominence in the early ’70s, but they also continue to crank out quality acts, a few featured here for the first time. Perennial faves Clutch check in with the groove-based funk metal of "Sea Of Destruction” (also on the Slow Hole To China rarities comp and a live version on Live At The Googolplex), while Earthride’s "Grip The Wheel” (also on Southern Lord’s Let There Be Doom 2 label sampler) revs it up with ex-Spirit Caravan axe-slinger Dave Sherman in a Motörhead vein. The Hidden Hand, Scott "Wino” Weinrich’s latest band, offer their hottest track yet in "Rebellion.” Nothing has been heard from the Internal Void camp since 2000’s Unearthed on Southern Lord, so "Black Wings Of Deceit” will certainly blow fans away with its jazzy flashes, drop-down grooves, and amazing change-ups with Penance skinsman Mike Smail behind the traps. Life Beyond’s "Rising Sunn” and Unorthodox’s "Lifeline” are faster and more wailing Wino worship, but ex-Spirit Caravan drummer Gary Isom’s new band Nitroseed goes instrumental with no loss of heaviness on "Class War.” Countershaft plumbs old-school doom’s plodding bleakness on "Black Sky,” as do War Injun (with members of Internal Void, Earthride, and Nitroseed) on the punishing "Dangerous Prayer.” Black Manta deals the Cult-ish biker metal with "Days Of Yore,” but T.C. of King Valley clinches the Ian Astbury prize on the Oversoul-styled "$2 Brian.” Leviathan A.D. unleashes wave after wave of doom sludge with "Breathing Rust.” Carrion offers hardcore-inspired stomp-rock with "Damned To Know,” while Los Tres Pesados sports dual vocals from Unorthodox’s Dale Flood and Earthride’s Dave Sherman (along with the metronomic beats of Clutch’s Jean Paul Gaster) on "The Ruler.” These cuts plus an exhaustive history of the DC/MD/VA scene give Doom Capital an immediate class-A license for heavy rotation in your player. (Crucial Blast)