The beginning was great. The German label HELLHOUND was the first German label that was focused on Doom/Heavyrock. They released a lot of milestones, like for example the "Lunar Womb" LP from THE OBSESSED, the "V" LP from SAINT VITUS or the re-release of "Stormwarning", the first COUNT RAVEN LP. I know that some bands doesn't have any good words for HELLHOUND RECORDS today, but that is another thing. After the great bands, they checked out the Maryland scene with Winos help. Forgotten bands like UNORTHODOX, WRETCHED, IRON MAN or INTERNAL VOID released great records on HELLHOUND. All this bands had a SABBATH background but they were doing their own thing. UNORTHODOX had a lot of progressive elements, WRETCHED were more 70's heavyrock and so on. And it was some kind of family. The band members were changing between the bands, supporting each other. Other great bands were BLOODFARMERS, LOST BREED or the Baltimore legend REVELATION. HELLHOUND presented the great variations of Doom Metal bands and all this records are high recommendable. Listen to them and you understand the history of this music (and of course the underground 70's heavyrock bands).
Doom doesn't mean to be slow like a snail or to sound like MORBID ANGEL on valium. The asthetic of most of this bands was more like a metapher. Crosses and skulls are only symbols and have sometimes a personal meaning. You have to look behind the image and not to believe any big magazine. And this Doom thing isn't influenced by any Death or Gothic Metal bands. Look to BLACK SABBATH! Their image seems to be satanic and demonic. But when you know their history and the lyrics you see that God/Devil are only metaphers for things between humans and the inverted cross on the first LP was an idea from VERTIGO. BLACK SABBATH and every other Doom band has much more to offer. But for music journalists it's very easy with this Doom thing. They hear heavy dark music, they see crosses and skulls and the clichee keeps rolling. But they don't understand the philosophy of it and that's very good I think.
With the release of the second KYUSS record and the first FU MANCHU something changed. Suddenly someone created the designation Stoner Rock. For me the Stoner Rock label is pretty fucked-up like maybe Grunge. Bands like SOUNDGARDEN had a heavy rock and punk background. Listen to the SOUNDGARDEN album "Ultramega OK" and you find a lot of SABBATH, Blues and other influences. Ok, but I don't want to talk about Grunge here, so let's get go back to the Stoner term. After a time some journalists thought that KYUSS or FU MANCHU had created some kind of new music. But that's not true. KYUSS are a just a nice blend of early BLUE CHEER and DANZIG. With Scott Reeders (former THE OBSESSED) on bass the band goes more in a 70's Heavyrock direction with a doomy edge. For example THE OBSESSED created an similar sound in the mid-80's and in the beginning of the 90's. Or maybe the second VITUS LP "Hallows Victim". There you'll find also groovy mid-tempo songs. Just listen to it. So groove isn't a trademark for Stoner Rock.
The new thing about FU MANCHU was their image. I call it "Hot-Rod Stoner". All this vans, cars and engines reminds to the 70's. But their sound was only on the first record very original. A mixture between Heavy Rock and 60's garage stuff. After this every record sounded like the same. Sorry guys, but that's what I think. But the KYUSS/FU MANCHU hype grows and grows. All the history seems to be forgotten and sometimes I thought that nobody knows all the forerunner bands and musicians that were before KYUSS/FU MANCHU. What's about, for example, Victor Griffin, Wino or Bobby Liebling? I think there is no justice in R'n'R!! Don't misunderstand me, I don't hate KYUSS or FU MANCHU, but HATE all this hype and all the bands that copy this music blind without any own thoughts. And I don't like this term "STONER". You can smoke your dope also to Jazz or any other music. So what about STONER - JAZZ! Some old great jazz-musicians were dopesmokers or junkies...! So, dear reader, make up your own mind and don't give a fuck about all this journalists and their musical terms. Listen to the roots and you will understand.