Manacle - No Fear To Persevere (No Remorse)
Balls to the wall classic metal is the order of the day on the debut from these Toronto maniacs. Power vocals, thrashing, proggy riffs and sing along choruses...can't beat that. Fans of early Savatage, EP-era Queensryche and Messiah-era Candlemass will all dig this one.
ALMS - Act One (Shadow Kingdom)
The debut album from this Baltimore quintet is an absolute clinic in how to incorporate keyboard/organ into a doom band. Add in the solid riffing, the huge leads and the smooth dual vocals and you have yourself one hell of a debut. Retro doom that doesn't sound forced or gimmicky.
Evil-Lÿn - Disciple of Steel (No Remorse)
Another debut and another super-catchy throwback classic metal album from Finland. Everything is in place here for a killer record - great songs, boss guitar, 80's vibe - but I'm not 100% on board with the pirate vocals. I wish they incorporated more of the high-pitched vocals that cut through at times. It's still a lot of fun and a great start.
Iron Void - Excalibur (Shadow Kingdom)
The British trio continues with their no-frills doom on their third release. Traditional doom with plodding pace and crushing riffs and emotive leads. Throw in the fantasy King Arthur themed lyrics and I'm sold. You've heard this stuff before, but you liked it then and you'll like it now.
Traitors Gate - Fallen (No Remorse)
These Welshmen were together from 1979-1989 but have only recently recently reformed and released their debut record. I didn't think we needed another Manilla Road, but I've changed my mind after jamming this one. The guitar tone is almost too thick for a NWOBHM-style release, but it doesn't detract from the amazing vocal performance and the well-crafted songs.
Witch Mountain - Witch Mountain (Svart)
Losing a dynamic vocalist like Uta Plotkin would be the death knell for most bands, but these Portlanders reloaded with the equally-impressive Kayla Dixon and kept moving forward. Pretty typical WM release with the crushing doom vibe and riffs and ultra-bluesy vocals. Dixon's range is absolutely stunning on this record and worth the price of admission alone.
Witchsorrow - Hexenhammer (Candlelight)
The heaviest record on this list by far. The Brit trio returns with their 4th album of Electric Wizard-esque doom metal. Thick ass riffs, plodding paces and witchcraft themed-lyrics makes a solid recipe for a doom record, no? Like I mentioned, if you're into EW and looking for more in that vein, start with this record and work your way back. Great stuff.