Electric guitar, Electric bass guitar and standard drum kit would be the most common instruments used in doom metal, although keyboards are sometimes used.
Guitarists and bassists often "downtune" their instruments so as to create very low notes and and add to thensure sound, a large amount of distortion.
The outcome of this, creates a sound that has a very heavy sound.
Alongside this the compositional techniques of the guitars and bass playing the same riff in unison, also creates an impressively loud and bass driven heavy sound, this is also a defining characteristic.
In the traditional days of doom metal, the vocalists would favor a clean sound to the vocals, which are often performed with an emotional tone of despair, desperation or pain; for example the high-tone wailings of Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath, and Zeeb Parkes of Witchfinder General.
So-called "epic doom" vocalists will often take things a step further, giving the vocals an almost Opera style tone.
Other Doom metal bands have drawn influences from other Extreme Metal genres and included growled or screamed vocals, as is the case of Death Metal, or Black Metal.
Lyrics in doom metal play a key role. Often, they are pessimistic and include themes such as: suffering, depression, fear, grief, dread, death and anger. While some bands write lyrics in introspective and personal ways, others convey their themes using symbolism – which may be inspired by classic literature.
Some doom metal bands write lyrics about drugs or drug addiction. This is most common among stoner doom bands, who often describe psychedelics and hallucinogenic, experiences.
Doom metal is among the oldest forms of Heavy Metal, rooted firmly within the music of early days of Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath's music is itself rooted very much in the Blues, but with the deliberately doomy and loud guitar genius of Tony Iommi. With everything they did, they set the standards of early Heavy Metal and inspired various doom metal bands.
Other groups from the 70s would heavily influence the genre's development; Blue Cheer are often hailed as one of the first stoner metal bands. Though lacking the pessimistic lyrical content of their contemporaries, Welsh Heavy Metal act Budgie would also produce heavy songs which were amongst the loudest of their day, stylistically influencing many Heavy Metal acts.
During the early-mid-1980s, bands from England and the United States contributed to much of the formation of doom metal as a distinct genre. In 1982, English pioneers Witchfinder General released their debut album, Death Penalty.
The Swedish band Candlemass would also prove influential with their first record Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in 1986.
Some doom metal bands were also influenced by the underground Gothic Rock and Post Punk scene of the 1980s, showing similarities with the dark themes addressed through lyrics and the music atmosphere.
Finnish doom metal
Finland became one of the place with the greatest doom metal output, Finnish groups focused more on the depressive mood of the genre, evoking an intense grieving feeling. The bands play with very slow tempos and melodic tones, creating an atmosphere of darkness and melancholia.
New Orleans is regarded as the birthplace of Sludge, as well as so many other styles of music. This scene originated out of New Orleans during late 1980s.
A number of the bands of this scene, especially the ones that came from Louisiana, employ some Punk, like harsh vocals, distorted guitars and downtuned sound.
This scene was pioneered by Exhorder, who were the first band to combine doom metal with a Thrash Metal and Punk. In the 90s, several Sludge and Stoner Metal/Stoner Rock bands arose in the region, mainly influenced by bands like Black Sabbath and The Melvins, also mixing their sound with genres like Hardcore Punk and Southern rock.
Some Doom Metal Bands
The Independent Voice has some great Doom Metal reviews